Sweeping Pt. 1

I have spent the majority of my time in competitive curling skipping, and therefore not sweeping. This wasn't always the case though, like most curlers I also started out playing front end, and my time in the competitive ranks has helped me understand the importance of sweeping in the game, whether it's the Tuesday dinner league, or the Olympics.

The biggest mistake a sweeper can make is not doing anything. To steal the tagline from Nike, "Just Do It". If you think it's light - sweep. If you think it's heavy - don't sweep. Same for narrow or wide line. If the skip or shooter (or other sweeper) think you are wrong they will let you know, or at least they should. If you wait for someone else to make the call, you won't get any better at judging it for yourself. Sure, you will make some mistakes, you'll sweep some too far, or not far enough, but you'll learn from every mistake and they will become fewer and farther between.

Sweepers win and lose games, but more often than not it's the team with best sweeping that ends up winning. This isn't just power or strength (although helpful), it's the smarter sweepers that come out on top. So just go out there and get smarter by doing it. Make a judgement about every rock that is thrown and decide the appropriate course of action for that shot. Communicate and learn. It won't take long before your skip is happy to have you in charge of their rocks once they are released.