"Doing The Right Thing Right The First Time"


4 Steps to Success in Lawn Bowls

The 4 Steps are:

1. Strategic Competence

2. Technical Excellence

3. Emotional and Mental Discipline

4. Physical Fitness

Each Step has its own volume, ordered separately.

Improvement of your own performance requires you to understand what the champions deliver in competitive game performance in each of the 4 Steps and set that level as at least a minimum goal.

Goal orientation of your competitive, mental, physical and technical future is essential to achieve improvement in this program. You need to measure your own levels of performance first before you dash off in pursuit. There will be a gap between the Champions performance and your own. This is the improvement you need to achieve. You then need to set your goals for short term, medium term and long term achievement.

The foundation theory in the 4 Steps to Success in Lawn Bowls is used in nearly every sports training system throughout the World. Strategic decision- making with Goal- setting, Structured Practice, mental skills training and fitness training are now the acknowledged framework to successful athletic programs. These books are written to contribute to the successful application of this approach to the sport of Lawn Bowls.

Step 1 - Strategic Competence

So much of Strategy in any game, or any human endeavour for that matter, is based on three things:

1. Knowing what you are trying to achieve.

2. Understanding the rules by which you are constrained.

3. Analyzing the technical strengths of your team or self in comparison with your opponent.

In Lawn Bowls, superior Strategy and Tactics comes down to the following “Winning Ways”:

· Know the Laws of the Game of Bowls

· Understand the Tournament Rules

· Set a Goal for The Tournament Result

· Observe the Game Environment

· Set a Goal for EVERY Game

· Decide a Strategy For Starting the Game

· Set a Goal for EVERY End

· Use a Standard Decision-Making Method

· Set a Positive Goal for EVERY Bowl

· Play to your strengths

· Play the way you practice

· Practice Mental Precision

· Never Give Your Opponent Another Reason To Beat You

Step 2 - Technical Excellence

The aim of the game of Bowls is to perform the distinct technical skills and techniques better than your opponent in order to have one or more of your team’s bowls nearer to the Jack than your opponent at the conclusion of each End.

For that you need to practice. To get really good quickly, you need to practice the right things correctly and with positive attitude.

There are four different technical skills at which you need to excel in order to find “Winning Ways”:

1. The Draw Shot

2. The Drive

3. Casting The Jack

4. The Controlled Weight Shot

The Strobe Structured Practice methods in the 4 Steps program will accelerate your improvement to the level you set as your goals.

Step 3 - Emotional and Mental Discipline

This book contains a lot of information on how your mind and emotions work, with methods to train yourself to deliver mental discipline as a normal activity. The book also contains help in identifying and correcting emotional disturbance, hopefully before it results in too big a problem in terms of the competition goal.

The fundamental elements of Emotional and Mental Discipline are:

1. Goal Setting

2. Routines

3. Relaxation

4. Self-Confidence

You will find that writing down your goals and building routines for practice, competition preparation and then competition itself are your best foundation. Relaxation and self-confidence are built from Structured Practice, experience and knowing you are prepared as best you can be.

Many Champions have stated they feel that the sport of Lawn Bowls is between 70 and 90% a mental game once the technical skill has been practiced.

Stephen believes that the Technical Excellence needed to become a world class Player requires the Emotional and Mental Discipline skills to be assimilated at the same time as the technical skills. This is accomplished through use of those techniques in your Structured Practice sessions. In that way, use of synchronized deep breathing and relaxation routines, as well as the other techniques, become a sub-conscious part of your playing methods that can be completely relied on regardless of the competitive situation later in your career. And that would be a very good thing indeed.

Step 4 - Physical Fitness

At a surface glance, almost every person can play Lawn Bowls. The game looks so easy. Being with a few friends and rolling a ball for an hour or so down a lawn to stop 30 metres away is obviously within the physical scope of everyone - or so it seems. As a competitive sport, Lawn Bowls is much more demanding on the players than that.

1. Flexibility of joints, muscles and tendons needs to be maintained or improved.

2. Rhythm of the delivery motion is very important in practice and competition.

3. Balance is required throughout the delivery motion. This improves the consistency of the results.

4. Strength endurance must be sufficient to cope with the weight of the bowls in the delivery arm and hand and for the bending and lifting of the players own body weight.

5. Stamina is required even for recreational players so that they can enjoy playing to the completion of their game.

6. Accurate eyesight with good depth perception might require corrective lenses to reduce the physical toll on the eyes that extended exposure on the green can create.

Lawn Bowls is categorized as an analectic, anaerobic physical activity in the Coaching of Sport hierarchy. That means that speed, strength and specialized cardiovascular fitness are not high on the list of requirements and should not be the focus of physical training for players looking to improve their competition results.

That is not to say that strength and speed play no part at all in Lawn Bowls. You must be strong enough to lift, hold and swing your bowl for every delivery. The ball we use weighs between 1200 and 1590 grams (2 lb. 10oz to 3 lb. 8oz). After 40 or so deliveries, that adds up to a good workout for the fingers, wrist and arm.

This book does not contain any guidance on weight training, running, jogging or other athletic training activities.

Step4 instead introduces activities using your own body weight and goals to enable you to build lawn bowls specific routines.

We're Playing Bowls

Were Playing Bowls is a coaching book written specifically to address the needs of Coaches involved in introducing new Players to the sport adults and teenagers.

The content is also designed to assist Coaches in delivering effective and engaging training for Players who wish to participate only in recreational play at their Club. The emphasis is on learning through playing games that emphasize tactical decision making and competitive challenges rather than just practicing technique.

This is a fun game with a light physical activity challenge. If we quickly introduce our beginners and Recreational players to the challenge of the game, the modern thought is that we will retain those people in the sport. Also, because they will enjoy themselves so much, they will bring their friends and families to the sport.