John Morris says fitness and curling go together. And he’s written a book to prove it.
Johnny Mo, who plays third for Kevin Martin’s 2008 world champion team, is releasing Fit to Curl: A Sport-Specific Guide to Training for the World’s Greatest Game.
“I’ve seen the game evolve,” says Morris. “The old stereotypes about curlers just aren’t true anymore. If you look at the top players, nearly all of them are very fit athletes with Olympic aspirations who devote a great deal of time to physical conditioning.”
Morris points out that high-performance curlers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the sport-specific training offered in the book.
“The book is written so that curlers of all levels can follow a program that suits them,” says JoMo. “Even the recreational player who curls once or twice a week and competes in a couple of bonspiels will enjoy the game more by working out just a few hours a week. They’ll be able to contribute more when they compete and feel better about their overall level of fitness.”
Filled with color photography of many of the world’s top players – the pics are supplied by CurlingZone’s Dallas Bittle, SWEEP! chief Jim Henderson and, of course, Anil Mungal of this here The Curling News – the book details the physical demands of the sport and offers three levels of training programs – with calendars – to “make it easy for people to incorporate a fitness routine into their life. Even the typical curler who juggles family, career and the sport can find time for the workouts – many can be completed in less than an hour.”
Morris, who also skipped teams to world junior titles in 1998 and 1999, also suggests that “Whether you’re delivering a stone or sweeping from end to end, curling places unique demands on the body. It only makes sense to follow a training program that will help you feel fresh and perform better on the ice.”
Morris wrote the book with Dean Gemmell, who played lead for Quebec in the 1988 Brier and now produces a popular podcast called The Curling Show from his home in Short Hills, New Jersey. A side benefit of working on the book, remarks Gemmell, is that “I’m a more fit curler at 42 than I was at 20.”
Gemmell also notes that one dollar from the sale of every book in Canada will be given to the Canadian Curling Association to support junior curling programs throughout the country.
“John believes strongly in the value of curling in the life of a young person,” says Gemmell. We hope that this might help introduce a few more kids to the sport or keep them playing.”
Fit to Curl is available for purchase as of now through the official website and in curling pro shops. Shipping commences on September 8.
The website offers a 17-page preview download, which includes the table of contents and some fine pics, including one classic from 1993. Yes, John, Sav’s hair is worse than yours.