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Are you ready for Briar- slide

January 10, 2022 by Alex Harrison

Are you ready to play in the Briar?
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With 5 full days of curling, 2 games a day, is your body ready for this? I've put together a few stretches and links for some workout plans from some curling experts.

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How to be a Friars' Briar Winner

We sat down with the winners from the 2022 Friars' Briar to see what they did to prepare, what they learned and how they plan to return next year.

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FRIARS' BRIAR is back!

Have you been missing curling with your fellow clergy?! London Ontario in 2023 could be your year!

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Are you ready to play at the BRIAR?

For the last few Briar’s, I’ve noticed a few trends with the players and spectators at our special event, and it’s not what you may think. It’s been an odd couple of years now, with COVID, travel bans and civil unrest across our country, and I wanted to explore how things have changed in our mental and physical preparations for events, including The Friars’. With that, I want to share some ideas on how to maximize your time before our event and help it to be an enjoyable one.

I’ve seen some interesting moments at the Friars’ Briar, from cool local media coverage to tough losses on the ice, how do we mentally prepare for such an event. I know this is fun event, however we’re called to give our best in everything, so how can we give our best. Texas University put out an article about sport psychology, and I wanted to highlight 3 main ideas. 

  1. Take your time: now I’m not saying drag out the game, we all know curling can be long enough on its own. However, in the hack, take that extra moment to breathe and visualize the shot you’re about to make. Make a habit of doing the same motions to build that muscle memory
  2. Communicate with your team: one of the biggest issues in any team dynamic is communication, and tends to create tension, which often leads to poor focus. Talk with your team often, whether it be about the last shot or the last good pizza you ate. Keep it loose and your team will relax
  3. Have fun: many sport articles I’ve read all say the same thing, if you’re having fun, you’ll be more at ease when your next shot comes along. Crack a few jokes, even with the other team. Encourage one another, give positive notes and remember to share a laugh together.

Now how many of you have experienced any these during your week at the Friar’s:

  • Sore and achy muscles
  • Out of breathe
  • Exhaustion

That’s ok! Your body is just telling you that you didn’t make the proper steps to prepare for this event, and this is why you’re reading this. I assume that the majority of you are curling in your various leagues right now, and that’s great for preparing for each game individually. I’m going to suggest a few simple things to do so that you can make it through the bonspiel, with still the strength to hold the trophy after. 

  1. Start Stretching: if you’re anything like me, every muscle and tendon in my arms and back are tender after a week of curling. Having muscles that have been acclimatized to stretching often should be less likely to be tender or in pain following a full game. One muscle group that is often forgotten is the back, where we tend to focus on our arms and legs. Check out this page to see some specific stretches for curling.
  2. Cardio: whether or not you’re going for a run on the treadmill, biking indoors or just going for a walk each day, make a habit to do so a little each day so that you can maintain the same vigor throughout the week at the bonspiel
  3. Core workout: balance is one of the most essential parts of curling from the slide to sweeping, creating a strong core will help you stay strong out there on the ice, and confident in your rock release and strong sweeping patterns. Please visit this site for some core strength suggestions.

All in all, I wish you the best at the Friars’ Briar, and remember to enjoy yourselves.