Rick Dickson – still training winners at the age of 92
By Barry Ashby
The Sunshine Coast Lawn Bowls District is privileged to have decades of dedicated service from high performance coach Rick Dickson, who is still training winners at the ripe age of 92. Based at Tewantin Noosa Bowls Club, he spends four days a week conducting training programs aimed at improving bowler performance. Rick now conducts high performance programs with a series of consistency disciplines with great success.
Rick uses the KISS concept. He explains “the only reason you or your team lose a game is because the opposition had closer bowls to the jack than you or your team”. He said to forget the well-worn excuses such as weather, poor greens, speed of greens or home advantage. His solution is simple. Bowlers must train to increase their close bowls. Bowls is a game of “consistency” not “correction,” Rick says. A former Bowls Queensland Coaching Committee co-ordinator and Sunshine Coast District Men’s Bowls Association District coach, Rick has been a mentor and friend for many players and coaches over the years.
Sunshine Coast coach and Bowls Queensland panel member Jacqui Hineman is thankful for the mentoring role Rick has played for her and many other coaches through the years. “He is a great mentor for many coaches,” Jacqui said. “He taught me to be a high quality coach. Rick would throw you in the deep end by telling you the day before that you were running a session he would assess you. I would not be the coach I am today without his influence.” Rick has been instrumental in identifying talented Sunshine Coast juniors for progression on to Bowls Queensland state camps and Bowls Queensland junior squads. One such player is Kelsey Cottrell who has achieved Queensland, Australian and international titles, including Commonwealth Games gold medals. It was Rick’s high performance coaching of Kelsey after school, at age13, that elevated her to the international bowler she is today. Rick’s knowledge and expertise is still in demand, so much so that he has had to cap the number of bowlers who wish to attend sessions to 15.