Skips, have you ever been making your calls to “HURRY HARD” or pull the brooms “UP” and have your sweepers look lost? Are you getting ignored or having the front end do the wrong thing?
I’ve been on both sides of the house – the front end and the back end. Through watching other skips, I’ve picked up on this tip that can help prevent confusion. And, trust me, I’ve been that confused Lead or Second.
TROUBLES ON THE FRONT
When curling with a new team, you have to get used to a new skip. This means, you have to get used to a new voice yelling at you. There are a lot of noises on curling ice, and many people yelling.
I’ve curled with quiet skips that just are not used to yelling. Their voice gets easily drowned out by other skips in other games.
I’ve had games where my skip sounds EXACTLY like the skip from a different sheet. Is my skip yelling up, or is it someone else? Combine that trouble with a curling house that noises tend to bounce off the walls. It can cause a lot of confusion.
A SIMPLE SOLUTION
If your front end is not hearing you, use your hands! You will probably notice that your sweepers are looking at you for direction – trying to read your lips from 75 feet out. Throw up the hand if you want them to stop. Wave them in if you need them sweeping.
Don’t be afraid to be active! It will help your front end out significantly. Remember, the goal is to get the rock to stop where you want it … if your sweepers aren’t hearing you – make sure they see you!
Dan Mulka is just about to hit his one-year curling anniversary at Windy City Curling and has already put on numerous miles on his Ford Focus heading to local curling clubs in the midwest. Follow Dan’s adventures on Twitter (@dtgoalie30) as he tweets.
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