The sport of curling is mesmerizing to new spectators.
At first glance, the yelling, obscure body positioning, and commotion of the rocks are not quite like anything most have seen before, and as you continue to peel back the layers, it quickly becomes evident that curling is much more than “shuffleboard on ice”.
In addition to athletic ability, the sport demands high caliber mental toughness.
At this Olympic Games, the men’s and women’s fields each have ten teams, meaning Team USA will have to battle through a grueling nine-game round robin to determine their fate in the playoff bracket.
While the team strategist, the skip, primarily focuses on thinking shots ahead of the opponent, the other players help execute the intended game plan by taking turns reading and communicating the speed of the ice while sweeping.
For defending Olympic Gold Medalist Team Shuster, the roles required for performance are just as important as the ability to utilize dynamics to operate as a well-oiled machine.
“We work with a sports psychologist (Dr. Carlin Anderson) who has been with us for the last seven years or so,” Shuster said. “She just has us in a really great space where our team is out there and in a good place having fun and communicating.”
With the guidance of sports psychology and a wealth of international experience, Team Shuster has learned the ingredients necessary to achieve optimal performance.