"Is curling a sport?" How many curlers have heard that before? And if you're not a curler, how many times have you questioned if curling is a sport or not? Well I'm here to tell you that yes it is a sport, and yes we are athletes. It wasn't too long ago when it was normal for a curler to have a beer in hand and have a cigarette between ends while playing a game. However, times have changed and so have our athletes.
Take a look at the elite curlers today. It is without a doubt that the men, women and even junior curlers are at peak physical and mental condition. If you don't stay fit, you aren't going to be able to compete with the top teams in the world. As a junior curler myself, I put fitness first. I take my off season training seriously because I know that when the season starts in a few months, I will be at least one step ahead of the teams that I compete against who haven't implemented an off season training program.
Front end players need strong upper body strength and power to sweep rocks every end, but also need excellent endurance to play several games over the course of multiple games a day, multiple days a week. Back end players also need to be fit, both physically and mentally. The more mentally fit a back end player is, the better they are able to handle the stress and pressure of big competitions consistently.
A team that I personally look up to would be Team Brad Jacobs. Even though they are a mens team, their drive and motivation to stay fit is what inspires me to keep fit as well. It goes without saying that part of their recent Olympic Gold success was due to the amount of time that they spend in the gym.
Although curling may seem easy compared to other high intensity sports, but throwing a 40 pound stone down a sheet of ice to a target takes a great deal of accuracy, precision and athleticism.
Stay tuned for more posts about specific workouts, exercises and tips for curlers!