Bowls, the simple game of consistency, correction & adaptation
How can a simple game by nature evolve into a complicated struggle requiring the use of all the senses, technical skills and mental skills? Dennis O’Toole give some of his best tips. by Dennis O’Toole
How can a simple game by nature evolve into a complicated struggle requiring the use of all the senses, technical skills and mental skills?
After all, it only requires a green divided into rinks by boundary pegs, a centre line, a mat, a jack and players using between 2 and 4 bowls, with the only requirement being to get as many bowls closer to the jack than the opposition. Somewhere along the line, that “simple” becomes “art”.
The “art” of lawn bowls is in the skill and ability to contend with certain challenges. These include:
Scorching sun, blustery winds and drizzling rain
Grass greens and synthetic greens with completely different structural elements
3. External forces
Bowlers who raise and lower their body excessively with each delivery waste energy, combating the force of gravity
Resistance to motion created by two surfaces touching each other. For example, a fast green will create less friction than a slow green
c) Air Resistance
Resistance to motion or drag – bowls will perform differently depending on wind conditions and whether playing indoors or outdoors.
These challenges, combined with the mental and physical factors required in perfecting bowls’ delivery, make the “art” of bowls more demanding.
This “art” is what makes our sport the most wonderful challenge. That challenge is to be able to establish a smooth and synchronised delivery whatever the surface, weather conditions and external forces. The fact that we are able to establish our target, appreciate the line our bowl is required to run and apply the necessary force to our bowl, so that it can connect to achieve the perfect result.
As with all other sports, we must establish a routine delivery suited to our own physical structure. We must train ourselves to mentally focus only on the things that we can control and then we must learn to relax and enjoy the game, because the more relaxed we are the better we will play.