The Curling Manual

Table of Contents

Section 15 Teaching Curling

Training Philosophy

Learning to curl should be fun for both students and instructors. Students will take away useful information from each clinic. All training methods and techniques will stress safety on and off the ice.

Again - HAVE FUN

Five Steps of Proper Training

Step 1. Information

Before learning can happen properly, steps must be taken to introduce the skill to the learner. This can be reviewing the web site, reading, video, discussion, etc. The important thing here is the new instructors must prepare the students properly. A discussion on the skill will always take place immediately before the demonstration.

Step 2. Instructor Demonstration

Students will do what you do. After they have been introduced to the skill, they must see it demonstrated properly. Find someone that can demonstrate properly.

3. Learner Trial

Now is the time for the students to try the new skill.

4. Instructor Feedback

As they continue to try the skill, constantly provide feedback. An additional demo may be necessary.

5. Practice

Students get better by practicing the skill.

A quick note on practice: We practice things to get better at something; sort of. The real reason we practice is to create a "default" skill. When anyone is asked to do something, they respond in a certain way, sometimes without even thinking about it. The default reaction comes from repetition of doing the action. It may or may not be correct or proper, but it is what we're accustomed to do.

Training creates (in the case of a new curler) or changes a default behavior or skill. No curler will become proficient at curling unless they practice. In many cases, the league night is the only practice.

A ten-year curler comes to you as an instructor looking for a proper release. He learns about the new release by reading, and then sees a proper demonstration at the clinic. He then demonstrates the new release perfectly. He's even asked to repeat it a few times. He leaves your clinic happy with his newly learned skill. The next night, he's forced to throw a difficult shot in the first end and guess what happens, his old release shows up and he misses the shot.

What happened to his new release?

Even though he learned a new release and showed he could do it, his "default" release was still the old one. In order for the new release to become the default, he needs to practice the new release properly over and over until it becomes instinct.

How long will he have to practice to change his default? It's up to the individual. Some people have the ability to concentrate and override the default while others revert back quickly.