Mixed Doubles vs. Four-Person Curling
I get the question a lot, what do you like better, Four-person or Mixed Doubles Curling? I thought it would be fun to put some thoughts down for everyone to consider. The two disciplines are different in many ways, but obviously the central core of the sport is the same, throw a Curling rock down a sheet of ice.
This is why I love them both, I love sliding down the ice, throwing a stone and watching the result. I love competing at a high level and playing to win and be in big games. Both disciplines offer these central themes for me, so I continue to strive to be the best I can be at both. The day one of these disciplines, no longer gets me excited or no longer offers me high pressure moments or the chance to win big games. I think that will be the day I quit competing. I love the pressure, excitement and nerves that come along with big games and big pressure packed moments. The countless hours on the road, practicing, on ice and in lead up games are the price I pay to get to feel the nerves and excitement of the big games; feelings that most people in this world are never lucky enough to feel. That is why I play and why I love both disciplines and why I want to continue to pursue both disciplines.
Slide straight to the broom, throw the correct weight. Sounds easy doesn’t it? That is about the only thing the same about the two games and what keeps them tied. If you are good at Curling, you will be good at both disciplines in my opinion. If you can slide to the broom with the right weight, you will be successful.
I started playing mixed doubles less than a year ago and have had serious success. Laura Walker, my partner and I have only lost seven games in our time together and we have a Canadian Championship, World Bronze Medal and a Curling World Cup Gold to our name, which we are very proud of.
I digress, when people ask me which I like better or the differences, I always say, four-person is like baseball, it has its pressure packed moments, its longer, slower and more methodical. It has bursts of extreme and magnificent athletics, with moments of intriguing strategy. Whereas, mixed doubles is very similar to Soccer, it has constant movement, constant maneuvering for position and never a break from the physical demands (for the sweeper anyways), it is fast paced, and you are always moving and working for the best position. You have no time to think about the next move it is just constant flow and working with your gut. I think that is the best way I can compare the two disciplines.
There you have it, my best stab at giving you an analogy that explains the differences in the disciplines. I played both Soccer and Baseball in high school and that is my best attempt to decipher how both disciplines “feel.” Also, you may notice that a lot of times the same people are winning in both disciplines and I think that is a product of both games offering the same core; slide to the broom, throw the right weight.