Sunday, September 21, 2008

Practice, practice, practice makes perfect.

Lots of curling practice this weekend.

Friday night, Gabrielle flew in from San Francisco. Our team practiced for about 2 hours on the ice, along with several others. It was a very crowded evening. Jennifer W dropped in and practiced with us. With an invite from Jennifer W, I decided to drop women's league, to pick up superleague on Tuesdays. Our team will be Jennifer W, Beth C, Jeremy, and myself. I don't know if we will win all that many games, but it is bound to be a great learning experience.

Saturday (yesterday), we went out on the ice at 11 am. This was a preplanned women's competitive event, put together by Leslie F. We had 15 or so women that turned out for the event. On sheet 1, Leslie worked on Balance Analysis. Sheet 2, Nancy R worked on Line of Delivery. Sheet 3, Miyo worked with us on Sweeping Instruction. It was very well set up for the small amount of time that we had.

Leslie impressed us with her angels drill. What a hard drill!! Moving into delivery position, then standing back up. I went down for the 1st angel, wobbled, almost fell over, then called it good. Gabrielle was the most graceful of us all, and managed to complete the drill all the way down and back on sheet 1.

Nancy had some great drills for us on sheet drill. The most important tip, that is easy to forget, is to make small adjustments in the hack. Keep your movement small.

Miyo had awesome advice on sheet 3 with her sweeping instruction. I've worked hard to change my 1st year curling sweeping habits, since I went away to Four Foot Curling Camp. I appreciated what she had to say to match the sweeping strokes of the person that I am sweeping with. The best advice : drink water throughout a game so you don't get dehydrated and lose focus.

After practice, our team had lunch at the 125th Ave Grill. There were some tasty vegetarian omelets, a BLT, and a prime rib dip. We chatted with Sara's kids, talked a little about Beth's work, and just a smidgen about curling.

After a quick trip to the mall, and a nap, Jeremy arrived back in town with his new Balance Plus 300s, with a 1/4 inch slider. We headed back to the club for some more practice. We called a few others, but only Beth and Derrick came out to play with the 3 of us.

Practice was interesting. I decided that after this women's practice, my goal for the week is balance. I spent all evening sliding out without a rock or stabilizer. The first half hour was miserable. I was all over the place, falling over half the time. Derrick came over, and showed me a drill using dixie cups. After only being somewhat successful with that, he tried one of the drills they showed us back in four foot. Where you get into your delivery position, grab the broom head of someone's broom, and they drag you across the ice. One small tip that I didn't know: when falling over, don't let go of the broom head. I made it out, maybe half a foot, before I lost my balance, let go of the broom head, and got clocked on the nose. Ow.

That drill didn't last very long. From that, I decided I needed to practice getting in the hack, and sliding out to the delivery position, without pushing out. I did that several times in a row. Then I did a short delivery without a rock or stabilizer. Success! I tried a few short deliveries. When I started to wobble, I went back to the basics. Looks like I have found my drill for the week.

We finished the practice at 9 pm, and then headed over to Mark and Lisa's party for a beer. The party was to collect money for the Autism walk. We donated some money, and had a few snacks.

Time: 8:50 PM

I am sooo exhausted. I went into women's competitive practice feeling refreshed, but halfway through practice started to flag.

I should have gone to sleep an hour ago, but felt the need to wash my curling clothes. It's bridge night tomorrow night, but I might get a chance to throw a couple of rocks.

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