Why Did We Do That?????

Beginning of the season, this is where I say stretch more and practice more. It's very true, both of those things will help your body and your game, but I'll briefly discuss something else as well. If you want to improve your all around game try to spend a little more time learning strategy. If you're a front end player pay attention to what the skip of your team and the other team is calling and try to figure out why, if you don't completely understand ask them after the game. If you're a skip watch some other games and see how other skips call the game. There are few traditions in curling better than the post game strategy discussion over a beverage, and no matter how good you are (or think you are) there is always something to learn.

The Very Basic Guide to Strategy:
If you're winning - keep it simple, the more rocks in play the more complicated things get and the better the chances of you giving up your lead.
If you're losing - opposite of above, get more rocks in play to make things more complicated and hope to get some points back.

If you have the hammer - try to force play to the outside so you have a bailout draw to the center for a point should things go wrong.
If you don't have the hammer - try to force play to the middle which will cut down the opponents area to make a bail out draw to prevent a steal.

Obviously this is just the general concept of strategy. Your decisions will be based on the team's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opponents and what the ice may be giving you on any given day, but keep those general principles in mind and you're on the right track.