Jamie Sinclair is a curler who, along with teammates Alex Carlson, Vicky Persinger and Monica Walker, won the 2017 U.S. championships and was part of the winning 2017 Continental Cup team. Sinclair is blogging for TeamUSA.org leading up to and through the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
I grew up curling and being a huge fan of the sport along with my brothers, dad and grandparents – but not my mom.
My mom did not grow up curling. Her family did not curl. She didn't know anyone that curled. Curling wasn't on TV back then so she never even saw the game.
Enter my dad. They had only been dating for a bit when he asked her if she would like to come watch him curl. As my mom tells it, she was thrilled to go see her boyfriend play a sport; I think she thought it would be like hockey. My dad was a fighter pilot in the age of “Top Gun” so this had to be cool, right?
They arrived at the curling club full of people, lots of chatting, energy, joking ... this was going to be great. The next thing my mom knew was half the people went out on the ice to play and the other half soon left. My mom sat by herself, watching the game with only the bartender for company. She sat behind the glass watching people talk and push rocks, not really understanding, and generally bored to death.
Fast forward to now and my mom is the biggest curling fan ever and I'm not just talking about my games. In fact, I think my mom might like to watch other people curl more than me because it is less stressful for her. She curls in a ladies’ league and watches more curling on TV than I do.
How does this happen?
Step 1: Watch Curling On TV
Watch curling on TV. Listen to the announcers explain what is happening and what the options are; get into the strategy. Get excited for those big takeout weight shots that clear so many rocks or the delicate taps that look impossible.
Step 2: Try Curling
Of all the Olympic sports you are seeing on TV, curling is the one sport you can just get out there and try. You will be able to do it no matter your physical limitations, age or gender. It really is for everyone.
Step 3: Keep Watching And Call The Shots
Watch some more curling on TV and start calling the shots yourself and see if you see what we see. Try calling the shot before the announcers even say it.
Step 4: Now Throw Those Shots
Go back to a curling club and throw those shots you saw on TV. Everyone knows that you throw better after watching it on TV, at least we all believe we do anyway.
I saw a tweet that said, "I turned on the TV and curling was on, I groaned, watched for a minute, then yelled ‘SWEEP’ and then started calling the shots" - GOTCHA! It happens just like that.
The Olympics just ended and curling has been everywhere, the TV coverage has been amazing. People are watching it, tweeting about it, being confused about it but hopefully getting into it. I did not qualify for this Olympics, but I am so fortunate to have covered the curling games at the Olympics for NBC. This is my chance to help explain curling to you, to share the sport I love with you. Hopefully I can get you interested in the sport and maybe even get you to give it a try. You know you want to!
For tips and tricks on how to improve your curling game or to understand more, go to my YouTube channel "Curl Up With Jamie.”