DON'T DROP NUMBERS
Many times I see players trying to get the shot with every bowl delivered or playing weight too early. The art of building a head is sometimes lost in the heat of battle. Building a head will minimise dangerous situations and provides opportunities to convert shots down to shots up once you have bowls in the head. Games can be won or lost in one or two ends and we all look back at some games and think, if only I had drawn second shot, instead of dropping four, we may have won.
Coaching & Training
GETTING A GRIP ON YOUR GAME
Having a correct and comfortable grip is first and foremost but everybody will vary slightly in adapting their own grip. What may be right for one person could be totally wrong and feel uncomfortable for another.
There are a couple of standard techniques that I will share with you. Once you master the textbook grip, you can tweak it to make it more comfortable for you.
There are two common grips used in Australia, the fingertip grip and the claw grip. There is also a cradle grip but it is rarely used in Australia as it is suited more to slower greens.
The purpose of developing a good, consistent grip is to be able to deliver your bowl on it's running surface eliminating any wobbles.
Regardless of which grip you use, you must ensure your middle finger is centred on the bowl. This finger being the longest finger it should be the last one to make contact with the bowl prior to it's release. If this is off centre you may set the bowl off on a lean, hence creating that dreaded wobble.
The main thing is that you replicate the same delivery with every bowl by releasing it at the same point and angle every time.
The fingertip grip is probably the most popular grip in Australia due to our greens being quite fast in certain areas and it gives you a better feel and touch for the bowl. Your fingers should be spread in a relaxed position, but reasonably close together. Your thumb should be moderately high up the bowl, but not on the running service. The weight of the bowl should be on your middle three fingertips. Be careful not to let your little finger creep too far up the side of the bowl as this will cause your bowl to wobble on delivery.
The claw grip unlike the fingertip grip is when the bowl sits back more into the palm of your hand. Your fingers should be slightly apart with your thumb covering the outer ring. This grip is generally good for people who have a smaller hand and people that have difficulty holding their bowl in damp or very humid conditions. It is also a good grip if the greens are quite slow.
Last by not least the golden rule is try not to break your wrist at the point of delivery as this will create a flick and your weight control will be all over the place. Unfortunately this is a bad trait that many of us have, especially when greens become quick as you try to steer the bowl towards the target, but this will add extra weight when you are actually trying to take it off! Try to imagine you have a steel rod through your hand and forearm joining to your elbow, if that makes sense. Simply deliver the bowl in a natural motion releasing your fingers from the bowl at the point of release.
If you have a video camera it is good to video your bowl at the point of release on a number of deliveries and you will immediately be able to see any faults.
Bowls Australia release new coaching accreditation video to become part of the new Coaching Reaccreditation Scheme.
The Coaches Den www.bowlsaustralia.com.au
As part of its revised coaching reaccreditation policy for both introductory and club coaches nationwide, Bowls Australia have developed a new suite of online videos, entitled 'The Coaches Den'. The Coaches Den video series, hosted by national coach Steve Glasson OAM, aims to provide coaches with an...
For a full list of upcoming courses and more information on how to accredit or reaccredit as a coach, please visit https://www.bowls.com.au/get-involved/coaching/
- “Hearing it so, can make it so”,
- “If you think you can, you can” and “Think it, see it, do it” are particularly relevant to the game of bowls.
- Skips should always explain what they require of their players. While it may be ok to wave an arm out to the left or right in some situations, it is not, in a right situation.
- Players need to know, “am I trying to turn a bowl in, out, through, if so by how much or is it the jack I’m going for? Is the bowl I’m looking for a bowl in front, a bowl behind or is it Jack high? Is the Jack touching the bowl or in fact 10 inches behind? One can’t picture a shot without having some idea of what’s up front, and where exactly he/she should be focusing their attention.
- This however doesn’t mean the skip should go off drawing an entire landscape picture to confuse or delay the player at the other end. A simple “You are looking for an inside edge, a foot over” would do. The player then has a good idea of what is required and has something to visualize before stepping onto the mat. Thus “seeing” and “hearing” it, can make it so. Magic happens.