Coaches Corner

Club coach Michael Wheal OAM has been asked by selectors to provide information that will assist members with many aspects of the game.  At any time, members can have a word with him or ask any long standing player for help.

New drill

Place four bowls in an arc about a mat length short of the jack

Bowl to draw around the outer bowls

Variations: forehand or backhand, attempt to bowl through a gap between the short bowls.

Here is a draw drill to practise….

Click to view graphic    Draw_drills_1

A drill for leaders

There are neural and physical links between the step and arm swing you use to deliver the jack and the step and arm swing you need to deliver a bowl close to it.

This drill is designed to help you establish those connections.

  • After some loosening-up and preliminary ends, proceed as follows.
  • Roll the jack medium length, centre it, or have someone centre it for you, and then deliver your four bowls to the jack. Whatever length you roll the jack, centre it and then deliver your four bowls to it.
  • Roll the jack long length, centre it and then deliver your four bowls to it.
  • Roll the jack short length, centre it and then deliver your four bowls to it.
  • Repeat this sequence several times.
  • For the first six ends, deliver your bowls on the one hand.
  • For ends seven and beyond, choose to continue on the same hand or the opposite hand or two bowls forehand then two backhand or alternate forehand then backhand.

When you are about to deliver a bowl

Once your opponent’s bowl has come to rest the mat is yours. Any players from the opposing rink must retire to a position out of your sight and remain silent until your bowl in course.  This includes the opposing director who is not permitted to distract you, for example, by moving within your line of sight.

Stand behind the mat and check the bowl your director is requesting: an indication only of forehand or backhand usually means that you should attempt to draw to the jack on that hand.

It is not always necessary that your next bowl should become the shot so the director could ask for a bowl at the back, perhaps on the line but also perhaps to the left or the right. If in doubt ask the question or even request the director to stand where the perfect bowl would finish so that you can try to bowl to that spot.

From prior knowledge, your practice immediately before the game, the trial ends and what might have happened earlier in the match you should be aware of the line on both hands.

Take your stance on the mat ensuring initially that your ankles, hips and shoulders are on lines perpendicular to the line along which you wish to deliver your bowl. This is one way of ensuring that you do not bowl across your body or from behind it, both of which can have you unbalanced as you release the bowl.

As you prepare to deliver the bowl, keep your eyes focussed on your aiming point which could be a spot on the green, a place on the bank or some other point you have chosen. After setting the bowl in course ensure that your hand points towards the aiming point.  This is one way of ensuring that you delivered the bowl in the direction you intended.  It also enables you to check that your intention, as opposed to your execution, was correct.  Even if you turn your back on the bowl you should turn again to observe it come to rest and start thinking about any corrections needed.

To bowl with more weight, as you set yourself, hold the bowl higher and stand further back on the mat but still step to the same point as before. This will give you a longer swing and release the bowl with higher speed.

Similarly, to bowl with less weight, as you set yourself, hold the bowl lower and stand closer to the front of the mat and still step to the same point as before. This will give you a shorter swing and release the bowl with lower speed.  Your arm should still follow through along your delivery line.

Your director can speak to you whilst your bowl is moving but once it has come to rest the head reverts to your opponents.