A good lawn bowls delivery will only have a handful of key ideas. Here is my list of fundamental ways to boost your lawn bowls delivery.
Whether you are just starting out, or a seasoned veteran of lawn bowls going through a sticky patch, it’s always good to review the fundamentals from time to time.
If things aren’t going well, or you feel you aren’t performing to your best then now may be a good time to review how you deliver your shots, and think about what basics you could improve on.
Here is my list of fundamental ways to boost your lawn bowls delivery.
Having a consistent planned out pre-delivery routine is a great place to start. A pre-delivery routine not only makes sure you are in the right mental state to take your shot, but also gives you a better chance that you will be in the correct alignment for your shot.
A pre-delivery routine could include:
- Picking up your bowl, and deciding on your shot. Be sure you are 100% focussed on the selected shot as you don’t want to be in two minds
- Visualise your line. Either do this by imagining the line the bowl would need to take, or at the very less identify your aiming point to hit the line you want
- Visualise the weight needed for the shot. This is key, especially if you are playing some kind of yard-on shot
- Step onto the mat along the target line.
- Ensure feet, hips, and shoulders are all aligned to your aiming point. Usually it’s best to focus on one element – usually the hips for your alignment
- Get into your pre-delivery stance. If you stand up in your stand make sure you stay stood up for every shot
- Do a couple of practice swings. This makes sure your arm is swinging along the correct line and also gives you a feel for the weight you need.
- Deliver the bowl
This sounds like quite a lot to do for each shot – especially for those who like to keep the game moving – but these steps shouldn’t take long. Eventually they become second nature and you do it without thinking about it.
One tip that I have heard from some very successful bowlers is to aim from the inside of your elbow. If you hold your arm straight the inner elbow should be pointing along the desired line.
Further to this you should also see the elbow, middle finger and running surface all pointing down the same line.
Depending on your style of grip this may not work for you, however you will find one element of your arm that can be used in a similar way (the palm of your hand for example).
When you first start playing bowls there is a big emphasis on getting your feet pointing towards your target line, however you step where your hips point, not your feet!
The actual alignment of your hips will depend on the stance you take.
A more traditional stance where your feet start next to each other your hips will need to be square on to the target line. Whereas something like a shooter stance, where the feet start one in front of the other, you will find the outside or your front hip will need to be in line with the aiming point.
Use your roll ups to make sure you understand where your hips need to be, so it becomes second nature when you take your shot in a game.
Make sure your arm is straight and relaxed. Bowls is a game of touch, and the more relaxed you are the better your body weight will transfer into the bowl.
A straight arm also provides a consistent release point – as if you bend your elbow differently each time your hand will end up higher or lower each time. A bent elbow can also add extra weight to the bowl, which is tough to control, especially on fast greens where even a slight change in delivery effort can result in very different weights of shot.
A relaxed arm also helps prevent injury. Forcing the bowl from the shoulder is a sure-fire way to getting injured!
Finally, find what works for you. Sometimes all you need is an hour on the green giving a few things a try.
We are all different, and we each have a unique way to deliver a bowl. Have a play around with your action and have some fun. Be curious as to how certain things might work!
The fundamentals of a lawn bowls delivery comes down to:
- Consistent delivery
- Constant learning
Follow these principles and you will eventually find the elusive “perfect delivery”.