by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Bowls In Focus : October 2009
50 Bowls In Focus Fully Stocked Reduced Prices Fully Stocked Reduced Prices New & Pre-loved Bowls Demo Bowls available Trade-ins Welcome Coloured Bowls Trackpants and Shorts Coloured Slough Hats Coloured Polar Fleece Vests Coloured Baseball Caps Coloured Bucket Hats Call us for a quote on club orders. Coloured pants from $37, Vests from $37, hats from $13 SHOP ONLINE www.thebowlsshoppe.com.au Many years ago one of Victoria’s elite bowlers, the late Ken Gay, offered me a small piece of advice, saying simply that bowls is a ‘thinking man’s game’. Without doubt, almost all bowlers, men or women, will agree that to be alert and have your mind ‘in gear’ is essential if you are to progress. Good bowlers like to get their delivery working smoothly as soon after the game begins as possible, and then become almost mechanical, bowl after bowl. Such an approach is great, but what happens when a substantial change occurs? Like an alteration in the wind direction, a shower of rain, sudden cloud cover, or even a radical change in tactics by your opponent? Will you be ready to make the necessary adjustment? As an example, not so long ago, I participated in a District match be- tween East and North Gippsland and our depleted pennant rink got away to a flying start and ran up a big lead. However, our opponents eventu- ally relieved us of the mat, and on a green which had livened up to about 15-16 seconds, rolled a short jack to the ditch. Our somewhat inexperi- enced players did not respond well, in other words they failed to think clearly about the change they had to make, and the opposition quickly made inroads into our substantial lead. Experience, like hindsight, is a wonderful thing but team members suddenly elevated to a higher grade, or a new position in a rink, are quite often overawed by the situation and fail to comprehend the adjustment required. Consequently we must train ourselves in the area of awareness and alertness, as many of these situ- ations of change can be anticipated in advance so that we are ever ready to adjust as necessary. Earlier I mentioned how good players groove their delivery as quickly as possible, but it’s the elite players who are alert to any change, no matter how minute it may be. And they are quite often able to adapt to the changed situation before their opponents realise that an adjustment is necessary. There is no doubt in my mind that the greatest bowler of all time, David Bryant, was the best I’ve seen at detecting change and was also outstanding at picking up little ‘r uns’ in different parts of the green. I played the great man six times during our heyday, and more recently in a series of ‘Celebrity Rematches’ in 2005, and noticed that even in his later years his mind was always focussed on possible changes to conditions. So, be alert to what’s going on around you at all times. Sorry I can’t give you much more in the way of tips in this area, only to advise that you should use the free time between deliveries to clear your mind, and practice obser vation of all the things you know of which can affect the way you bowl. Having watched many ‘senior’ bowlers and being 75-years-young myself, I like to closely obser ve their deliveries. If I’ve known them over a long period of time I also like to analyse their current performance and whether or not they have slipped, and if so, by how much. Most, having reached my age or thereabouts, have slipped to some degree and a study of their delivery usually finds they are not getting or staying down the way they used to. Whilst some do have a genuine reason, I do believe that many of them are only ‘dumping’ the bowl through habit. If they still have that competitive streak then they should do something about it. Maybe I’m lucky in only having a bad left knee, but I still roll a few bowls down on the carpet most days, do some limbering exercises and manage to ‘stay down’ on most deliveries. Even a few knee bends and squats each day, and prior to play or practice, will work wonders and you will reap the rewards. There is just a chance that bowlers who suffer from belt overhang (men only, of course) may well re-read this segment. Whatever you do, don’t give the game away. It may be that you need to change to a fixed stance, a Kerkow-like walking stick, a cus- tomised cr utch or even a mechani- cal ar m, but the frater nisation with your mates, the fresh air and gentle exercise, will certainly benefit your quality of life. Snell SnellIN FOCUS Use Your Head And Your Legs! • Above: One of the many attributes of the game’s greatest player David Bryant CBE was his ability to detect condition changes quickly and adapt. • Left: Golden times as younger (much younger!) opponents John Snell and David Bryant prepare for one of their six career meetings.
August September 2009