I Thought They Only Did This in the Olympics

Last week I did something I’ve only seen done before in the olympics…

I went Curling!

Yes, I’m referring to that activity where you slide big rounded slabs of granite (called stones) down the ice. Together with my wife and a group of ten Curling newbies, all slipping and sliding and doing face plants on the ice, I learned how to strategically deliver a stone down a long stretch of ice to what’s called “the house.”

Fortunately, we’re not talking about throwing stones at glass houses!

If you’ve ever watched curling, then no doubt you’re familiar with the “sweepers”. Those are the folks that scoot along and frantically “sweep” the ice in the stone’s path. They do this to reduce friction, enabling the stone to travel further.

One very fascinating thing that I learned as I observed people sweeping was…

Every sweep counts!

I had the job of standing in the house, the place where the stones are supposed to end up. As I watched the stones slide towards me, I also noticed the effort the sweepers were putting in. Often it seemed like, if they had realized what their efforts could accomplish, they would have given it a bit more umph.

But because they haven’t learned the fine art of sweeping, they couldn’t see the result of their efforts, and they let up. Maybe they didn’t give up entirely, but they eased up slightly. And that little bit was enough to keep them from reaching their goal.

We tend to think one missed opportunity is not that big of a deal, but it could make all the difference in the world. It could mean the difference between reaching our goal and “missing it by that much” (as Maxwell Smart used to say


The message here is not that we feel remorse and beat ourselves up for missed opportunities. We want to feel great about every bit of effort we make and forgive ourselves and each other for our shortcomings. It’s not about the sweeping anyhow. Teams don’t get gold medals for sweeping. It’s about the result.

I think the point is about awareness – being aware of the opportunities and realizing that each opportunity is significant. It is a gift.

It’s our choice whether we want to make the most of the opportunities that come our way and give it everything we’ve got.

Every sweep counts! We could be so close to our dreams goals and just not realize it.

What might this look like in our personal lives, in our businesses/careers, in our parenting or in our marriages?

Are you trying to develop a new habit? Meet a deadline at work? Grow closer to your spouse or help your child overcome some hurdle?

I invite you to take a moment to think about the opportunities that are presenting themselves to you and how you might “make every sweep count” in seeing that come to pass.

If you are so inclined to share, I’d love to hear about it!

Scroll to Top