Below are some guidelines to teaching walking or sliding with a stick delivery. While this document should provide guidance, adaptions will be required dependant on the player’s physical ability.
Consider use of a safety helmet and make sure you have appropriate footwear to prevent slipping and to help maintain your balance. Grippers are recommended. (Runners get slippery when cold). A gripper is recommended for each foot rather than a slider on one foot unless you wish to use the push and slide delivery. A gripper on each foot is recommended unless you can confidently maintain your balance with only one gripper.
Clean the bottom of your rock and the ice immediately in front of your starting point.
2. Determine if curler will be throwing right or left handed.
Right-handed players shall deliver from the hack on the left of the centre line, and left-handed players will deliver from the hack on the right of the centre line.
Standing behind the hack, visualize your line of delivery.
For right handed players – visualize a line directly over the left edge of the left hack and aligned with the intended target broom.
For left handed players – visualize a line directly over the right edge of the right hack and aligned with the intended target broom.
Now place the center of the rock in front of the appropriate hack directly on the intended line of delivery. (TIP – pick spot on nearest hog line as aiming point)
4. Attach Delivery stick to rock
The handle of the stick should be aligned as close as possible to your belly button. It may help to use both hands to centre the delivery stick as shown in image A.
The goose-neck of the stone should be set at either the 10 o’clock (for clockwise rotation) or 2 o’clock position (for counter-clockwise rotation) depending on the turn the skip is requesting. (Note: the 10 and 2 positions are opposite for right and left hand players)
Visualize your line of delivery through the center of the rock to the target of skip’s intended target broom and now align delivery stick handle with target line and place delivery end of stick over handle of rock.
5. Place one foot in hack
The player should now place foot (right foot – if right handed, left foot if left handed) securely into the hack, with their other foot on the ice, parallel to the hack foot.
Ensure shoulders, body, knees and feet are aligned to the skip’s brush or target.
Correct – Image A
Incorrect – Image B
6. Re-check alignment
When you look down at the delivery stick, this should align directly with the intended target of the skip’s broom at the other end of the sheet (see image A). The delivery stick should not be on a slant off the intended target line (see image B).
The rock may need to be moved slightly left or right to ensure the delivery stick remains aligned to the intended target broom.
Square your shoulders to the target broom and ensure your delivery is intended to occur in a reasonably straight line from the hack towards the target broom.
7. Forward Delivery
With the handle of the rock now in its proper position, proceed forward slowly with your arm relaxed and slightly bent and the grip of the stick in the mid-section of your body, with your eyes, stick and rock aligned with the target.
(TIP – don’t be afraid to get close to nearest hog line)
(TIP – remember to leave the rock handle at 10 or 2 until the final release)
When you are at the appropriate speed and release point, simultaneously extend your arm towards the target and gently rotate your wrist and rock handle back to the neutral or 12 o’clock position. (TIP – try not to lunge forward and do not let your delivery stick remain on the handle past the neutral or 12 o’clock position)
Ideally rocks should have about 3 full rotations over the full sheet to be most effective. (TIP – avoid spinners – 5 plus rotations or lazy handles – less than 1 rotation)
Remember your rock MUST be clearly released from the delivery stick before the rock reaches the hog line.
8. Follow Through
After releasing the rock continue your slide or walking towards the target as a follow through and visually follow your rock all the way down the sheet. This will help you “read” the iceand help you assess the effectiveness of your delivery.