Archive for ‘Training’

March 21, 2011

Feathers Ruffled @ Bowls In Canada

Feathers have been ruffled! At the High Performance Training/ Selection Camp in Arizona this past January,  new Team Canada coach Lachlan Tighe borrowed the title of Keith F. Bell’s book “If You Want to Soar With the Eagles,  Don’t Fly With the Turkey’s” when asked about playing in Jitney and Club level tournaments.  This quote made it’s way to a facebook group called “Bowls in Canada” and has many of it’s members up in arms at the coach’s statement.  Many feel betrayed and insulted being called a “turkey” and enraged that the new Aussie coach might be implying that the High Performance Athletes can do nothing but lose if they associate with anyone but their own.  At the risk of sounding like a kiss-ass I feel I should try to clear things up a bit… The direct quote from coach at camp was “If you want to soar with the eagles (the cream of the crop on the world stage) don’t fly with the turkey’s (everyone else).” This is the title of a Keith F. Bell novel illustrating 76 rules for outperforming the competition. It’s my opinion that coach intended no insult to those who are not of an elite caliber, but merely tried to stress the importance of purposeful practice for High Performance athletes over playing games. That was the major focus of this years camp which saw athletes perform 4 straight days of drills, and maybe 12 ends of “game type scenarios.” Of course it is our duty as ambassadors of the National Team to encourage all bowlers to become the best they can be, but in order to *WIN* Team Canada must perform at an optimal level. In order to stay at that optimal level, a decision has to be made to choose training over playing games. There’s no question I love playing games just as much as the next guy, but this year with Adelaide in my sights, I will be spending a lot less time with the “turkeys” and a lot more time training to be  the best I can and bring home Gold in December.

March 7, 2011


Why Bowl?  What is it that you want out of each and every game?  The first image that comes to my mind is our team atop the podium, our team hoisting the trophy above our heads and our team with a gold medal clasped between our teeth.  Winning is what we all strive for whether we’re competing at an international level or playing in a weekday jitney.  The following is a list provided by Lachlan Tighe,  which illustrates everything it takes to be a winner.  How to plan like a winner, think like a winner, act like a winner, and train to be a winner.        

Plan to Win
•Have a game plan strategy
•Using your skills to their optimum
•Use your team / player skills to their optimum
•Expect to win, WHY?
•With knowledge we worked hard at the skills
•Weaknesses have been identified and minimised
•Knowledge of team members skill
•Alert to what doesn’t work out here today
•Fundamental of resorting to basics- pre delivery, rhythm
•Flexible in application of game plan/ strategy
Think to Win-  positive choices you have
•Plan and prepare for the game
•Know yourself – emotionally, tactically, mentally, physically
•Control the game by constant, alert observation of game pattern
•Know and rely on your skill
•Record and apply your contribution during the game
•Revel in the contest, compete till the very end
•Apply your game plan strategy
•Be adventurous but wary of high capacity risk
Act to Win-  Game Plan Strategy
•Rehearse your game plan strategy pre game
•Feel and see your ‘perfect’ technique in your mind
•Observe the opposition behaviour and respond accordingly
•Observe todays playing conditions and play them accordingly
•Know and stay with your winning length
•Know and stay with your winning  hand
•Let the number of effective bowls be your scoreboard
•Game plan- be flexible don’t wait until it’s too late!
•Set mini goals when you are struggling, or even losing with no chance of winning
Review for Future Wins- Training Skills
•Review the outcome to objective of the recent game
•Audit a selection of your technical skills at each training session
•Reinforce skill by striving to reach a new ‘pb’ (personal best)
•Reinforce the preferred game strategy at the training session
•Train to learn/ apply other game plan strategies so as to know how to modify or change your strategy in a game
•Look at all heads and apply backhand & forehand strategies
•Use part of a training session to have a different approach to your normal method of tactical play
•Raise your intensity level at training
•Knowing what you want helps drive you to train
•Look at this word …FUNdamental… and apply both elements
WINNERS  are challenged. Winners are never satisfied.  Winners know that inspiration never replaces perspiration, and that attitude is all about practising habits.  Winners know that in order to soar with eagles, don’t mix with turkeys. 
GregorBowls is still looking for contributors to talk about anything LAWNBOWLS! Please contact us and get in your submissions!”
February 17, 2011

Pre-delivery… where to begin?

This will be the first of many posts I regurgitate from Coach Lachlan Tighe, who was the coaching consultant of the High Performance Camp for Bowls Canada this past January. As this is the first post with respect to training, I figured the best place to start, is the start. Consistency is the ultimate goal of every bowler, and for consistent results, a consistent delivery is crucial. Now, whether you believe in a pre-delivery (the actions you go through prior to delivering your bowl) or not, you can’t deny that you do go through certain motions before you set your bowl on its path. If you can cut out inconsistency’s in your pre-delivery, your delivery will become much more natural and percentage of successful deliveries will go up. The following is an example, just an example, of a successful pre-delivery very similar to my own.

Pre Delivery Routine

1. Project a line from a chosen bank mark (peg).
2. Visualize the turn of your bowl to the jack.
3. Recall the flight path of your bowl.
4. Take one step onto the mat with your right foot aligned to the middle mat line and your left foot slightly in front of the right. Aim both feet out along the draw line.
5. Use your cloth to rub the bowl and then move it from your left hand to your right hand, checking the bias and making sure the bowl is correctly gripped.
6. Decide on the weight and pendulum height for this delivery.
7. Breathe easily.
8. Execute a slow, easy delivery.
9. Bend your knees to ensure you take your body low and through.
10. Deliver the bowl with the focus of eyes, mind and body on that ‘spot’.
11. Know how many seconds it takes to do your routine.

…know exactly your personal delivery routine, every time!!!

If you are new to the game, I suggest starting here. I’ll bet ya dollars to doughnuts that if you take your pre-delivery seriously you will reap the benefits and pick the game up much more quickly than your peers who haven’t been privy to this post. For those of you who have been playing the game for years and still find that the most consistent thing about your game is your inconsistency, implement this pre-delivery or one similar to it, for every bowl of a 1 hour training session and see what happens.