This 5-part curling lesson on delivering the rock is reprinted from a United States Curling Association brochure. The entire brochure can be found at the bottom of this post.
DELIVERY – Rock Play
Much of the enjoyment of curling comes from delivering a rock consistently well. Once good fundamentals are achieved, any curler will be able to enjoy club-level social games or top-level competitive play. The degree of competition may change, but the fundamentals remain the same.
A sound curling delivery requires accomplishment in four technical areas: Alignment, Timing, Balance and Release. The delivery must be straight, the movements properly coordinated, the body in balance, and the release controlled and consistent. As each skill improves, so does accuracy. In addition to the technical aspects, a sound curling delivery requires a delicate “feel” for weight and sound mental skills.
Rock speed may be derived from four distinct power generators – weight shift, body drop, leg drive and arm extension. Weight shift occurs when a curler is in the most upright and back position, and begins to move the body toward the skip’s broom. Additional power is generated as the shooter’s body moves down toward the ice. Still more power and speed are created when leg drive is exerted with the hack foot. A final source of power may come from arm extension but curlers must be extremely careful not to push the stone.
Most power is generated by the body drop and leg drive. The amount coming from each will be dictated by ice conditions and the shot being played; a harder body drop and more leg drive will typically be applied when shooting take-outs and when playing on heavy ice.