Practice makes perfect. Practice sessions develop and build on existing skills. Match play is where those skills will be demonstrated. Quality practice induces and requires high levels of concentration. This will flow on into match performance. Focus attention on developing sound routines until they become automatic. Bowlers need to practise skills on a daily basis. It is only by doing this that one can become good at the skill. Some examples of skills might be: Draw to a jack, draw to a spilled jack, draw to the ditch, wrest a bowl with a yard-on, drive a bowl or the jack, play a run shot, deliver the jack – short, medium, long. Two essential skills. Smooth release/Straight lines. Many bowlers talk to themselves to help their focus or concentration. It can also be used to relieve pressure and maintain that calm, relaxed, in-control state, which is so important when performing a set of skills. Pre shot routine Position the jack in the hand, Identify the line, Visualise the delivery – line and weight, Move onto the mat. Remember the two essential skills: *Smooth release (rolling the bowl away on its running surface) *Straight lines (delivering the bowl consistently down the intended line). Other coaching bits and pieces. Steve Glasson is a Bowls Australia Coach. A bit of “propaganda” to get through before the tips! Steve Glasson talks about three types of grips. Steve Glasson talks about using the mat. Steve Glasson talks about using a bowling arm. Steve Glasson talks about windy days. Playing on a windy day: Do not expect to get the same results on windy days as you would hope to achieve on calm days. A bowl that is a metre from the jack in windy conditions will often be in the count. When playing with the wind at an angle to the green play around the clock. Do not have your bowl finishing directly into the wind or finishing with the wind directly behind it. This means that the wind should always be hitting the side of your bowl as it finishes into the head. This has less impact on the slowing bowl compared with the wind hitting its running surface. Remember if you want to understand how to play in windy conditions then get out and practise on windy days. Everything you want to know about bowls. Rob Judson is a lawn bowls coach who resides in Australia at Currumbin Waters. Have a game plan. Generally, a game plan will reflect a chosen strategy, and will include the intended tactics for achieving it. Simplicity is an attribute of a game plan that makes it easier for competitors to remember when under pressure. Complicated or highly detailed game plans tend to be forgotten in tight contests. A game plan should allow for changes should particular tactics prove unproductive. Therefore, flexibility is another positive attribute for a game plan. The following points might be part of your game plan * Always have two bowls in the head. * Minimize errors by keeping shot losses to 1 shot * Greed * Do not widen the head for the opposition * Do not chase more shots and cause risk when holding shot. * Enjoy * Keep composed * Show confidence, especially if you or the team are losing. * Do not change a game or length that is winning. Game plan preparation: * Minimum of 2 bowls ALWAYS in head * Don’t drop more than 1 point * Don’t be greedy. * Persisting with winning lengths. * Roll the jack to accurate lengths. * Avoid short bowling. * Avoid unreasonable risks. * Have bowls in the nucleus of the head. * Avoid distractions. * Support and encourage team mates If losing the plan options become: * Change the mat length, * Change the side you are bowling on, * change the type of shots previously employed. ’48 Bowl Test’ Score your own results. Click on the icon at the end of the instructions and keep your own score. There are two levels presented – Advanced and Intermediate/Beginners with corresponding different distances. Although the form indicates short then long, varying to long then short will show your ability to change. Short should be approx 23 metres and long 29 metres. By bowling forehand then backhand you are using only one side of the green. The -2 for bowls finishing outside the further limit is important to emphasize consistency. Time to complete the exercise is about 45 minutes. Click on the bowl and you will be taken to the North Balwyn Bowls Club. Click on the bowl for three coaching articles.