Sweeping in Front of the Rock

If you are a curler, you might know about the controversy that has arisen in the last year around the construction and particular fabric used on broom heads. The gist of it is that good curlers can significantly alter the distance and curl on a rock by sweeping with these broom heads that have a “directional fabric” – the weave and finish on the material alters the ice surface that the rock runs on and even more importantly has the potential to mar the ice for future shots.

dscn2337At a recreational level, I am not sure many of us sweep with such gusto that this fabric makes a lot of difference, but at a competitive level it has significant impact. And so, the governing bodies of the sport are working to rectify the situation and bring the game back into being a fair and equitable contest.

Last night at the rink a fellow curler made a comment that rings true in my mind: she recounted a statement from an international competitor who noted that “…it makes no difference what fabric you have on your broom, if you are not sweeping in front of the rock.”


So true! At a club-level, so many of us make this simple mistake in our game; we sweep like mad and yet we are completely out of line with the running path of the rock!

I recognized a metaphor in her words and the relevance to coaching and to the work of personal development resonated with me. Unless we focus our attention where it needs to be and hold ourselves accountable to our desired actions, the effort is wasted. By applying grand, sweeping gestures in the right places we might move mountains (or at least 40 pounds of granite curling rock), but what ultimately makes the difference is putting the focus and intent squarely where it belongs –  front and center.


To that end, where do you need to re-align your efforts and “up” your game?


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