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Bowls In Focus : June July 2010
38 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 No doubt many players have used different forms of practice drills in the past but over the last few years they have really been transformed from an occasional variation to the drive and draw to a regimented ap- proach to practice, especially when it comes to team practice. Regimented is probably not the right word as there can be so many variations and can range from 'fair dinkum' to light hearted with both having their place in an extended practice session. The former conjures up the thought of serious, recorded practice with concentration being the order of the day, while the latter allows one to enjoy a laid back ap- proach which teaches us that the game itself is one to take pleasure in and also educates us in the art of relaxation. Put the two together and you have the ideal scenario - relaxed concentration. It would seem to me a fair bet it all started with that man who really thinks outside the square, Lachlan Tighe. I can recall he agreed to help me prepare for my series of matches against our game's ultimate legend, the great David Bryant. Whilst I have always tried minor variations to the conventional draw shot, they were usually confined to a few weighted deliveries and maybe an occasional trail shot. However, Lachlan put me through quite a number of different variations and all in a couple of relatively short sessions although to some two two- hour sessions may not seem short. Generally he would start with a drill he calls 'caterpillar', which to me is much the same as David Bryant's main form of practice, putting the first bowl on line and close to the jack then attempting to replicate it, one bowl on top of the other. I've always tried to start my practice sessions by searching out and finding good rhythm so it would appear all three of us have a similar approach to the beginning of our practice exercise. What are these drills then? Well, if one stops to think about it there could be somewhere between 50 and 100 variations. These include mundane exercises such as, drawing to the ditch, drawing around or under a bowl placed in the draw, trailing a jack to a second jack placed behind the head, having four jacks placed on the line and drawing to a particular one until you get within a mat's length - or width if you want to be really hard on yourself - then move on to the next distance. Then we have 'way out' drills such as playing five ends against an op- ponent where you are only allowed to play the forehand - such an exercise teaches one the art of improvisa- tion. If you can get hold of or make a round target, approximately 1.5 metres in diameter with an inner 'bullseye' about 75mm in diameter, you could allot yourself two points for an 'outer' and five for an 'inner'. To add a variation to this exercise, and teach yourself real application, you must walk and retrieve your bowl immediately after delivery if you don't reach the target area. It was even suggested to me by an osteopath that from time to time for short periods you should practice with your non-preferred hand (right handers with your left hand and vice versa). This type of exercise will enhance your balance. One recent exercise initiated by Lachlan was, to me, right out of left field. It is designed to help you as- sess just how well you have delivered your bowl. In other words it is an aid to executing each and every delivery exactly the same. The exercise in- volves placing a mark approximately eight metres out from the mat and when each delivered bowl passes that mark you must signify exactly where the bowl will finish. For example one metre past the jack and 15cm narrow of the line. After each set of, say, 20 bowls you can assess your recorded findings and see for yourself just how you have fared in your attempts to repli- cate your first, or more importantly, your best delivered bowl. It will also indicate such things as a tendency to pull across your forehand etc. If you are unable to devise a set of drills for yourself I advise you to undertake the BBB internet coaching course by logging on to the www.bea- betterbowler.com.au website. If you book for a full course of six sessions, a comprehensive set of drills will be available to you free of charge. As we now move into the dormant period of the Victorian bowls season I wish you all a enjoyable time if you are taking a break; good bowling if you are venturing up north to the warmer climes; and good luck with the above practice ideas to those of you who are able to find rink space over winter to work on your game. IN FOCUS • Legendary Briton David Bryant, the greatest bowler of all time, with the bust of the fnest cricketer of his time, W.G. Grace, who also happened to be the inaugural president of the English Bowling Association. Successful Practice Drills
Bowls In Focus May 2010
August September 2010