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.
Your sliding foot must be flat to the ice and centered under the chest to achieve a balanced slide. If possible, angle your slide foot out to increase the sliding area and provide surer balance. A balanced delivery means you won’t be leaning on the rock and will be able to impart a positive turn upon release.
Some common symptoms of a balance problem are: putting a hand down immediately after releasing the rock, rising up on the sliding toe, unsteadiness during the slide, leaning heavily on the broom, or a circular drift toward the end of the slide. Typically, the sliding foot either does not come far enough under your chest, or it ends up more under the waist or hips than under the chest. If your body weight is not centered over your slide foot, other makeshift adjustments may have to be developed to steady your delivery: you may rely on the rock, the broom, or your trailing leg for balance. Such habits can be perfected, but do not produce a position as stable as the one created by centering weight over your sliding foot.