..more information to come..
Learn to slide programs are usually a minimum of 6-8 weeks and often last the full winter season.
Unlike stick delivery programs, where on ice volunteers can be experienced curlers, a slide delivery program should be run by trained coaches.
There are many ways a learn to slide program can be implemented. The style of program will be unique to the club and the coaches.
Over time we will add stories from clubs who share with us their learn to slide program formats and learnings.
A Hybrid Option
When designing your learn to slide program, please consider a situation that can occur at various times during the program:
When a player learns to slide, a lot of one on one coaching and practice is necessary. This can result in a scenario where players line up and take turns practicing their slide. Although this is logically how 8 players share one hack and one coach; at any given time, 1 player is practicing and 7 people are watching another person practice. Statistically, in a 1 hour period, each player practices for 7.5 minutes and waits 52.5 minutes for another turn.
One way to reduce each players wait time is to use a hybrid model, where the coach works directly with two players in each 15 minutes of the hour, while the other 6 players play a half sheet stick delivery game on the other half of the ice. With the hybrid model each player practices for the same 7.5 minutes, waits only 7.5 minutes and plays a 45 minute game of curling – learning strategy, sweeping, etc. This is bound to increase the fun factor significantly.
There may be other ways to solve the 52 minute wait problem, what’s most important is to recognize if it exists and to look for ways to reduce it.
At What Age Should The Slide Be Taught?
The minimum age advertised by youth curling programs varies. Usually ranging from 7 to 9 years old or older. The minimum age you choose may depend on a number of factors including these two:
- If the curling world doesn’t bring youth curlers in at a young age, it risks other sports grabbing and keeping their attention.
- At what age are most youth physically capable of learning to slide properly, where their throws are close to hitting the broom?
What if the age that youth are ready to learn the slide is older than the age youth need to start curling before they pick a different sport?
Can you guess what the author of this site might suggest? 🙂 You guessed it! One great option is to let our younger youth play a few years of exciting stick curling games, until they reach an age when they are ready to learn the slide delivery.
But Wait! Doesn’t waiting a few years to learn the slide delivery mean they will always be two years behind with their slide delivery skills?
One answer might be: ..If it takes 3 months for a new 10 year old curler to catch up to other 10 year old curlers with 3 years of experience, then we can let our younger youth play real games from day one.
Would playing games be even more fun for the players, build even more passion, generate word of mouth recruitment and further enhance the lives of our youth?
Opinions will vary, the questions will be answered differently, and different programs will be designed at different clubs. We all need to do what we believe will enhance the lives of youth and families. ..and this site will support you.