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    Friday, December 4, 2009

    Get a (better) grip, says coach Ernie Comerford


    Coach Ernie Comerford says: I have been experimenting with additions to some delivery sticks with handles from garden tools to see if this might help the thrower throw more easily and be more consistently accurate. Feel free to improve on these ideas.

    Garden tool handles were purchased from a standard “box store” (Home Depot).  Metal tool was removed and inside drilled out to ¾ inch size.  Dowling then added and epoxy glue used to hold then into the delivery stick.

    Photo 1: Shows indentation in this type of handle which “forces” the player to hold the stick in the same spot each time.  Soft rubber handle.




    Photo 2: Top view. Handle is attached and aligned.  Note thumb indentation spot.


    Photo 3 - Side View. Note groves on side for better grip, hook at end for hand.



    Photo 4 - Shows player gripping stick.  Note thumb in indentation.

    COMMENTS – This has been adapted quite well on Goldline sticks.  Some concerns on Extender Sticks as it may/can be hard to realign the handle and the throwing end once loosened or extended further.  However I believe we will find the Extender Sticks will be just as good if not better due to weight.  One player in particular believes it has made it easier for him to be much more accurate and consistent.  



    Photo 5 -  Top view. Thumb indentation on top. Soft rubber for easy grip.  Grooves on top only.



    Photo 6 - Note pronounced hook at end.  Handle shape has been well received.



    Photo 7 - Player gripping stick. Thumb in indentation

    GENERAL COMMENTS

    The aim was to find a handle that would make it easier to be consistent.  Concept came from the golf teaching aid (Golf Grip handles) which try to get a golfer to hold the club in proper position.  Initial trials have been satisfactory.  Cost of the handles runs about $6 to $9 each.

    Smaller female hands seem to be no problem.

    Thoughts have been given to angling the handle even more to make it a totally “natural” hand angle.

    One player uses the handle in a reverse position and finds it fine for them.  He left part of the metal handle of the gardening tool in and glued it into the delivery stick.  He finds it lowers the angle of the stick to the ice surface.

    OTHER IDEAS




    Using pvc  electrical conduit pipe with a 45 degree angle.  Cost less than a dollar. Fits an all sticks.

    NOTE – how player can move hand forward or backwards to their “spot”.  The angle of the force then changes.  We have not done any lengthy experimentation yet.  Concept seems fine though.

    OTHER IDEAS

    a) USE OF COPPER OR PLASTIC TUBING.  It may be possible to design a handle with various angles to suit the player.  A 45 degree elbow could be used on a garden handle to also alter the players hand angle.  Combos could be tried.

    b) HAND MOULDS - Perhaps these could be used to make a unique handle for individual players.  Thus perhaps allowing for maximum force and control.

    I hope these are helpful to some wheelchair curlers.  We are still an evolving sport technically and I am pleased to share some ideas to hopefully better the sport.

    Ernie Comerford - London Ontario Nov. 2009


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