Helping Your Team with Your Broom
By Michael Spensieri and Nicole Mikoleski
Sweeping is often one of the most underrated aspects of a curling match. In reality, good sweeping can often mean the difference between victory and defeat! 2 effective sweepers can add 8-12 feet to a given shot (nothing to sneeze at)! When you’re new to the game of curling it’s important to make sure you are sweeping effectively because, well let’s face it, you’re probably going to miss your fair share of shots early on, but no matter how badly you miss a shot you can always then turn right around and help your team out with your broom. I’d like to stress a few pointers that if you can keep in mind while on the ice, will make you a great asset to your team . . .
1) Make sure you are walking and facing forward while sweeping. You can’t help your team at all if your on the way to the emergency room with a concussion after having fallen during a sweep. Always be safe first and foremost.
2) Keep one hand 1/3 of the way up the broom shaft and the other 2/3 of the way up and try as best as you can to stand over your broom while sweeping. This way you can put more of your weight into it and really sweep hard!
3) Work hard on your communication skills between you and your teammates. Little things like knowing ahead of time which sweeper will take the stone and what kinds of sweep calls your skip is likely to make will make a big difference between getting done what needs to be done or not. Figure out the best way between you and your teammates to translate important information to each other during a shot so when it’s crunch time on a necessary sweep you’ll all be on the same page!
I’ve always said that sweeping is one my favorite things to do in a match as well as one of my LEAST favorite things to do in a match! It’s not always the most fun thing to do, but I love the fact that if I miss a big shot I can always make up for it by sweeping my teammates’ stones as hard as I can. There’s almost not better feeling in a curling match than sweeping a stone with max effort from start to finish and having it end up exactly where it needs to be!