This article is joint work, and part of a continuing research project, with Dr. John Newhook, Professor of Engineering at Dalhousie University. We are grateful to Alison Poluck and Monica Graham for their demonstrations of closed technique. Most importantly, we would like to thank Fraser Reid, former Canadian university champion and now a coach at Wilfrid Laurier University – and one of the best brushers in the game – for his demonstrations of brushing in the open stance. Introduction
Several Ontario teams have acquired or built dryland footwork trainers to better develop their closed brushing footwork technique during the summer months, so that they are trained and ready-to-go when ice becomes available in the fall. Note: the Junior curling season will be here before you know it; the first week of the Trillium Curling Camp at K-W Granite is only six weeks away! What follows are some training tips and coaching hints for those teams using a footwork trainer
Since publishing the first article about the footwork trainer in June, a number of people have asked for more detailed specifications and additional photographs so that they can construct their own. The trainer itself is simple to construct. The parts list is as follows: two 30-inch wood pieces of 2×6 glued and screwed together using 3-inch brass wood screws; one 30-inch piece of 2×4 attached to the top, again using 3-inch brass screws; two 18-inch 2×4 pieces for the trainer’s wheelbase.
This past June I wrote an article that described the use of a footwork trainer for brushing in the closed position. The trainer permits competitive athletes to train off-ice, on their own time, and I have been extremely pleased with the results with Team McKenzie over the past three months. Alison Poluck and Jessica Filipcic, who appear in that video, have done extremely well in learning closed position brushing footwork and that has instantly translated into better on-ice performance
In the Curling Canada High Performance Program coaching manual, under “Technical Development: Sweeping”, you will find the following quote attributed to Darryl Horne: Without doubt sweeping is the most under-coached, under-practiced, under-appreciated, and under-rated aspect of the game. I could not agree more. With nearly three years of smart-broom testing of bantam- and junior-aged players in Ontario I can safely say that the number of top-quality brushers amongst (even) championship teams needs to increase. Which brings me to the work I am