There’s learning how to play lawn bowls, and then there’s learning how to play well.
If you’re looking to perfect your bowling skills, then you’re in the right place. Read on to find out the best tips to help you become more confident at your game. You’ll also find some drills and exercises to help improve your game.
Learning How To Play Lawn Bowls Well
Lawn bowls is a friendly and pleasant sport to take part in. It doesn’t take long to notice how tight-knit the community is, and members seem to get along with little to no problems.
However, lawn bowls is competitive, so having a few tricks up your sleeve is highly recommended.
1. Practice, practice, practice.
We can’t say it enough. To get better at your game, you need to be training at least 3 to 4 times a week minimum. This means getting together with other team members and playing together. Sure, you can always work on your technique alone, but to really hone your skills, you need to be challenging yourself against other players.
A good player knows never to focus on the target, but the road on which you aim to deliver your bowl. Take your time before delivering, and don’t worry too much if it doesn’t go the way you plan.
3. Sharpen Your Game With Drills
The weight-controlled exercises listed below will help you improve physically and mentally. The aim of these drills is to help you to gauge the power each bowl needs to travel a certain distance.
Roll the bowl a short length and as close to the center line as possible. Then increase the length of every bowl after. If a bowl fails to pass the previous one, repeat that particular bowl.
Once you have completed the game, start bowling in the opposite direction. This time, roll the first bowl a long length, and decrease the length of every bowl after.
Place two discs (or CD’s if you still have any!) either 6 or 8 meters apart. Roll the first bowl just past the disc closest to you. Play the last three bowls, making sure each one rolls further than the previous. The aim of this drill is to finish with all four bowls between the two discs. Again, if a bowl fails to pass the previous one, repeat the bowl.
4. Be Competitive
If you’re serious about improving, try thinking of every training session as a competition. Look at the way the other players bowl, look at their technique. What are they doing differently to you?
If possible, ask to train with senior members. They will often be more than happy to help and are bound to have heaps of experience.
5. Challenge Yourself Before Tournaments
Big tournament coming up? Then why wait around until it begins? Ask a few members of your club to a friendly match the day before. This is a great way to keep the game fresh on your mind ready for the big day ahead.
6. Record Results
Keep a record of your results to reflect upon whenever you feel disheartened. Think about where you might be going wrong and how you can improve. Nobody likes criticism, but other team members may be able to point out areas that require improvement.
7. Invest Into The Game Correctly
Don’t go out and purchase any old bowls. Not only are bowls expensive, there are many different options available. Therefore, it is best to have a shop around to find a set that meets your requirements. After all, you’re going to be stuck with them for a long time!
8. Communication Is Key
If playing a friendly match with club members, sit down afterwards to discuss the game. You might want to ask how or why an opponent took such a shot or how the delivery of a bowl took a certain path. To become the master of your game, you must live, think and breathe it!
9. Stretch It Out
Keeping your muscles in top shape is needed to play lawn bowls. Although it isn’t the most strenuous of activities, you still need to be relatively in-shape. Here are some easy exercises to loosen those muscles. Stretching before a match is always advised.
These are useful when it comes to delivering your bowls. Your leg muscles are quite important in a game of lawn bowls.
Keeping your upper and lower back muscles lubricated will reduce the risk of injury. This is something you don’t want when playing a tournament!
We’ve included this one for obvious reasons as the use of your arm muscles is pretty essential when it comes to lawn bowls.
How To Boost Your Delivery
Think About Your Mat Position
Step onto the same spot on the mat every time. This may be difficult to do if playing on uneven ground as your brain may struggle to comprehend the path your bowl is going to take.
Position Your Feet And Shoulders
After you pivot your feet towards your point of aim, keep your shoulders square as you swing to deliver. Your arm should not cross your torso, but instead swing in a straight line.
Avoid Floppy Arms
You will only get any decent weight control if your arm is moved in a controlled manner. This doesn’t mean it should be rigid, but it should move almost gracefully like a pendulum. The more you practice your swing, the better you will remember how to do it.
Learning how to play bowls well boils down to practice. You will become a better player as long as you train frequently, constantly work on improving your technique, and never stop challenging yourself.
Asking other members of your club for tips and advice is another way to improve your game. Nothing beats experience and that is something older team members are sure to have a lot of.