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Bowls In Focus : November 2009
50 Bowls In Focus asics bowls shoes now available 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 Winning Bowls? It's 27 years since my mate and seasoned journalist Bill Pritchard wrote a book with the above title, but in recent times I've come to doubt the advisability of using such a banner. Bowls coaching guru Lachlan Tighe brought to my notice, just a couple of weeks ago, that the successful 2009 AFL footy season experienced by the St Kilda Football Club is due, at least in part, to the fact that the emphasis on winning has been eased out of the club culture. Such an amazing revelation will come as quite a shock to bowls club selectors, team coaches, and those in authority trying to rev their players up with the sole ambition of winning a pennant. Is there too great an emphasis in all sports on winning? When a professional football team says 'yes', we as coaches along with those in administration and the media should sit up and take notice. Immediately that information came through from Lachlan, my mind started to tick over, and I recalled that the great Ian Thorpe had that very same method in his halcyon swimming days. As I understand it, when asked what his thoughts were when he was standing on the blocks ready for a premier race, the Olympic champion replied, "I don't think about winning or losing. "I know I've prepared as well as I possibly can, so I just intend to swim the very best I can, and if the other fellow beats me, then he is the best on the day." What a great attitude as it certainly would help to allay the inevitable nerves, or perhaps it should be 'the excessive nervousness' that precedes any big time event, whether it be bowls or any other sport. When one observes the actions of players immediately prior to the commencement of a pennant final, and right into the first few ends of such a big game, and sees the evidence of excessive tenseness, then maybe it is best to take the emphasis on winning out of their preparation. Those watching AFL football finals will also observe excessive fumbling not normally seen in home and away games. During an interview prior to the grand final with St Kilda Captain Nick Riewoldt, I dwelt intently on his words and not once did he mention pressure or winning. He indicated they were prepared and looked forward to enjoying the occasion. Many players thrive on pressure, but you won't find too many at club level who can raise their game on a 'big' occasion. So perhaps it is a good idea to start early in the pennant season and change the club culture by placing a greater emphasis on practice and training rather than on winning. Give it a try; if it's good enough for St Kilda and Ian Thorpe then just maybe it's good enough for we mere mortals. IN FOCUS • Prior to competing superstar swimmer Ian Thorpe shut all reference to winning or losing out of his thinking. Revolutionary Carpet Greens at Lakes Entrance "Lakes Entrance Bowls Club has been blessed with the two best carpet greens I've ever played on," remarked Bowls In Focus celebrity columnist John Snell at the launch of the club's new playing surface. This glowing indictment is endorsed by current Australian skipper Mark Jacobsen, who describes the greens as the 'nearest possible to good grass surfaces'. Timed at about 14-seconds (another stretch to come down the track), the greens are the first of their type laid in Australia, and are described as a 1000 gram polypropylene woven surface, laid over a 1200 gram needle punched polypropylene underlay, and designed specifically for Lakes Entrance. This same surface will also be laid in India for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and will be available to other Australian clubs in the not too distant future. The week ending 19 September was a big one for Snell, who not only enjoyed the opening of the new greens, but also turned 75, and with wife Ricky, celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.