“Fitness advice for both the competitive & league curlers” brought to you by Stephanie Thompson & Empowered Performance
Part 3: Practice Tips that Build Fitness, Efficiency and Mental toughness
During the season your focus has shifted from the gym on to the ice, but this doesn’t mean that training falls to the wayside. Your focus on the ice during practice can include work on strategy, team dynamics, technique, and also performance specific fitness.
During a busy competitive season, I like to maximize my time by getting my work out done on the ice during my practices. The in-season is all about efficiency! Here are my top 4 suggestions:
- Adding simple exercises such as squats, pushups and planks between shots can improve strength, and prepare you for maintaining technique, focus and decision making while fatigued.
- Make practices performance specific using sweeping and throwing drills that act as your cardiovascular endurance and/or interval workout, allowing you to put more time and energy into being on the ice.
- Incorporate strength circuits before, during or after a practice session.
- In one session you can complete a strength and conditioning workout, a curling practice and work on focus and distraction control. Fatigue can be a major distraction during a game; training while on the ice allows individuals and the team to determine how to maximize each of the players’ energies and strengths.
The following are 3 example training/practice drills:
A –Sweeping and Throwing Endurance Drill:
- Throw all 16 rocks
- One athlete throws, two athletes sweep, and the fourth athlete is resting (can also be done with a 5th player completing squats, pushups and/or holding the plank while rock being thrown is in motion)
- See how many draws you can get using sweeping into the house in 10 minutes. Rotate through your lineup.
- After all 16 rocks have been thrown, count up points and compare to previous session:
- 1/2 point for each rock in the house
- 1 point –12 foot
- 2 points –8 foot
- 3 points –4 foot
- 4 points –Button
B –Leg Strength and Weight Control Drill:
- Pick a drill to complete as a team
- Before each shot:
- Skip calls shot while holding a plank
- Once shot is called sweepers complete 5-10 pushups on backboards
- Thrower completes 4 jump squats or 4 jump lunges (2 per side)
- Rock is thrown and swept.
C –Solo or Team Sweeping Interval Drill
- Complete 5-10 pushups (AMRAP clapping)
- Sweep for 15 seconds hard on the spot, or up and down the ice
- Repeat 5-10 times
By Stephanie Thompson, HBa.Kin, B.Ed, CSEP-CPT, OCT, NCCP
— Work Hard — Hurry Hard — Play Hard —