A few nights after the Olympics commenced, I stumbled across a broadcast of the curling competition and decided to put the metaphor to the test. My first thought was to not only see how curling might relate to parenting but also assess potential crossover into other disciplines near and dear to my heart…coaching, mentoring, and just plain leading. As I fought my heavy eyelids, I began to see it.

First, like any of the aforementioned disciplines (minus the stones and ice terminology), all are team sports focused on getting someone/something toward a target area. Rather than seeing the Thrower slide a stone across the ice and two Sweepers with brooms accompany the Stone as it slid towards the target, I began to see so much more.

Parenting: The Thrower represented my son’s passion for life and learning and my wife and I became the Sweepers helping him to move obstacles as he reached his goals.

Coaching: I saw the Stone take the shape of the 6 y/o soccer team I coached last year and the Sweepers were now me and my assistant coach with the target being smiles, understanding, and love of the game.

Mentoring: I saw myself as the Stone and multiple mentors sweeping in a synchronized effort to help me achieve my personal and professional goals.

Leading: I saw the Sailors under my charge take the shape of the Stone as their own initiative propelled them down the path, while the Chiefs and Officers swept as much (or as little) as required to help the team arrive on target.

Curling is so much more than people sliding objects over the ice, while simultaneously sweeping and yelling at an inanimate object in hopes of it landing near a bulls-eye. It is a sport that reflects many aspects of daily life.

From here forward, let’s live life as curlers, where the Thrower symbolizes individual or team passion, the Stone represents ourselves, our children, or those under our charge and let’s all see ourselves as Sweepers. If we do, there is no reason why we all shouldn’t land on target.

  • How often do you find yourself sweeping for others?
  • How accurate are you throwing?
  • Are your stones landing on target?