Bravo Sergio!!

We are pleased to be able to report that one of our training students Sergio Vilela has qualified to be a member of the Brazilian National Curling Team. Sergio lives in Switzerland and trains at our Curling Academy facility in Kussnacht am Rigi with both Jean Pierre and Rodger.

Next step for Sergio and the Team Brazil is to prepare for the World Challenge against the USA. Winner of this Americas Challenge will qualify for the 2015 World Championship. Brazil has challenged in the past with no success, but this will be the first time for Sergio.

The Curling Academy extends its cooperation with Russian Curling

We at the Curling Academy are very pleased that Rodger Schmidt, our Academy Director will be continuing working with the Russian Curling Federation. The Sochi Olympics built a strong relationship between our entities and we look forward to be able to continue to provide the highest quality service and assistance to the aspiring Russian Athletes in the Russian National Programs.

Our primary focus in these months is on the Women’s Program and the lead up to the European Championship in Champery at the end of November.

Next stop for the teams will be the International Wetzikon Tournament November 14 – 16, 2014.

Curling Academy Summer Program – June 18 to August 30, 2014

Our Summer Program will run from June 18 to August 30. Rodger Schmidt will be conducting Strategy and Mental Sessions with Individuals and Teams in off ice sessions, and both our Curling Academy Olympic Instructors, Rodger Schmidt and Jean Pierre Ruetsche will be available for on ice training sessions based on the Five Elements of Curling Technique. For bookings please call or mail to: rodger@curlingacademy.com / + 41 76 375 78 78.

Olympic Season Extra Competition September 27 – 29, 2013

In this Olympic Year there is a need for more High Level Competitions, especially since the Oslo Cup will not happen. Therefore, we are going to host a little 4 Nation competition in Kuessnacht, Switzerland SEPTEMBER 27(evening) – SEPTEMBER 29. We need minimum 6 teams, have 3 Nations and 4 teams now, so if your Team or Nation is interested please contact the Curling Academy asap. We will work out the detailed plan and sharing of costs once we have the teams set.

Also, be informed that the Curling Academy has ice from 24th of August on, and that between 24th August and 31st August we are accepting Teams and Individuals for training sessions and practice games with qualified Coaching and Trainers.

Curling Academy Olympic Season Begins

On June 10th 2013 the new curling season officially began for the Curling Academy. Director Rodger Schmidt traveled to Sochi to open the Russian Men’s Curling Training Season at the Russian Olympic Training Centre. This Camp – with 18 Athletes and 8 support staffers – will continue until June 26th and begins the final months of preparation for the 2014 Olympic Games in February.

2013 World Championship in Victoria – Russian Update

Our Curling Academy Director Rodger Schmidt is leading the Russian Men’s Curling Development Program at the 2013 World Curling Championship in Victoria Canada – March 28 to April 8. The Russians have been training since August 2012 at our Curling Academy in Kussnacht am Rigi and we are proud to have contributed to the Russian Men qualifying for this World Championship. It is the first time in history that a Russian Men’s Team has earned the right to play in a World Championship.

Playing against the top 12 Nations in the World has proved a monstrous task however for the Russian Men and it has taken 6 tries before we could earn a victory. Russian currently stands at 1 win and 5 losses following an early morning victory over Finland.

Clearly, it takes some time to adjust to an event like this – and this experience earned will be immeasurable to the future of the Russian Men Program as we continue to prepare for Sochi 2014.

In the first five experiences Russia did show that they are not so many miles away from being able to compete at this level. Perhaps only a kilometre or so! Game won was a loss to Switzerland – which the Swiss controlled very well following a Birthday Present 2 for Sven Michel (it really was his Birthday) in the fourth end. Game two vs Sweden was ruled by Russia and they missed a golden opportunity for an early competition victory being tied coming home with hammer.

Game three was a loss to Czech Republic – in a hard fought extra end – despite giving up a horrid 4 to the Czechs early in the game.

In game four Russia got a fortunate break to be leading 4- 2 with hammer in the fifth, but missed a routine take out to keep control of the game and allowed Denmark to take control of the second half of the contest.

Loss number five was delivered by China when Russia came short on an all important freeze in end 4 offering the Chinese to take control of the game with an easy 3.

And then Victory at last in Game 6 vs Finland.

This is the road to Sochi 2014, currently winding through Victoria.

Russia returns to Train at the Academy beginning February 14, 2013

The Russian National Men’s Program has been moving forward at a rapid pace since our Academy Director Rodger Schmidt has begun to work with the Russian Coaching staff. NOW – the focus is on preparing for the two 2013 World Championships. Both Men’s and Juniors will be training in Kussnacht am Rigi for the rest of this month.

Junior Men are preparing for the 2013 Sochi World Junior Championship which begins February 27, while the Mens Team is preparing for the 2012 World Mens Championship in Victoria Canada – the last World Championship before the 2014 Olympic Games – and the first time that that a Russian Men’s Team has qualified to participate in a World Men’s Championship ever.

The 2013-14 Curling Academy Season Begins August 24 in Curling Hall Kuessnacht am Rigi

We have a number of International Teams Training and playing friendly Matches against Swiss National Teams throughout the next two months. We would be very happy to have more top Swiss competitors to play training games at our Curling facilities in Kuessnacht am Rigi and Kuesnacht Zurich

We have evening (or daytime) openings between August 24 and August 30 in Kussnacht am Rigi

Please contact our Director, Rodger Schmidt at 076 375 7878 or rodger@curlingacademy.com

Another Review of “The Five Elements of Curling Technique” by Rodger Schmidt

Olympic Coach Vancouver 2012:

I just completed a complete study of the book. Each element, each page, paragraph and sentence. I did lots of highlighting and notes with the idea of teaching from it. When I first read it last fall, I thought it was a very comprehensive procedural book on the curling delivery. After my study of each concept that Rodger detailed within each principal of every Element, I found that the information and his method of explanation is truly amazing! My hat is off to him and to you as well – What a piece of work!
I hope to use my study of the manual at the GB Jr camp this summer.

Recent Reviews of the Manual “The Five Elements of Curling Technique” by Rodger Schmidt

Independant Review:

“The Five Elements of Curling Technique,” co-authored by by Higgins, with U.S. Olympic Team Technical Rodger Schmidt’s method for understanding and improving delivery mechanics. Schmidt curled at an elite level in Canada and Europe in the ‘70s and ‘80s. He now runs a curling school based in Switzerland and has coached many Olympic teams, including the 2010 US squads.
For a bit of perspective on where I’m writing from, I am a 6th year curler from California where, yes, we curl in arenas. I’m now playing at what I’d call “close to the top of the pack” in US women’s curling. (My team tied for 5th at Nationals in 2010.) Because I don’t live in a region with dedicated ice, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road training in Vancouver and Seattle. And, because I’m a curling nerd, I’ve worked very hard to study with as many “masters” as possible.
This book was my first major exposure to Schmidt’s approach and it is very different from anything else I’ve seen – especially in the lengths it goes to to explain *why* top athletes move the way they do

Schmidt’s, however, attempts to explain in physics and body mechanics terms why it’s necessary for your shoulders to be square and why your rock or foot or hips should be in a certain place at a certain time in your delivery.
The book breaks down delivery into 5 elements:
1. Control of Center of Body Weight
2. Control of Energy
3. Control of Stone Position
4. Control of Release and Finish
5. Control of Head: Curling Intellect
So what does that mean to you? Here’s my super-brief interpretation of the Schmidt delivery for non-lifters: When you stand in the hack, feel your center of gravity and identify the line of delivery. With your draw back and push out, accelerate your center of gravity into motion behind the rock. Transfer your center of gravity onto your slide foot and continue to focus your energy behind the rock as you and the rock move into alignment on the line of delivery. Once you have reached your slide position – feel, feel, feel. When the time comes, use that feel along with your deep experience as a curler to finish the shot as needed.
The biggest strength, in my opinion, of The Five Elements of Curling Technique method is that it can be applied to all types of deliveries – from tuckers, to lifters, to flat-footers – you name it! I know this will help me teach. In the past, when a tucker came my way, the best I could do was advise them to watch Jeff Stoughton video. Now I will be able to explain why they are fishtailing in terms of force, center of weight and the timing of their push.
The material is dense and complex so don’t judge yourself if it takes you a while to sort out the nuances. (I did most of an astrophysics major at Princeton (I eventually got my degree in art) and found myself flashing back to those 2 am study sessions at times.) As an ex-near-physicist, I did have some minor quibbles here and there with some of the ideas and images and I’m not sure I’m fully on board with everything that’s said – or not said – about line of delivery. But that stuff aside, I’m glad I read the book and I found it very interesting to think about delivery in this new light.
I’m a visual learner, so I appreciated all the photos and computer illustrations. In some places, I think it might have been helpful to take pictures specifically for the book, for example, with concepts that needed to be shown head-on, like eye-dominance and rock alignment.
All in all, I think this would be a challenging first curling book for novices, but the principles should be part of all curlers’ vocabulary.
By Gabrielle Coleman