QUICK BOWLING TIPS
1. PLAYING TOO HEAVY
Slow down – just move slower and reduce the speed of your delivery. Speed comes from the velocity you’re creating so reduce it and the Wood won’t travel so far.
Take a shorter step – this moves the weight back slightly.
Use your position on the mat i.e. move to the back of the mat.
2. PLAYING SHORT
Move quicker – simply increase the speed of your delivery. Swing your arm back slightly more for the additional weight.
Take a slightly longer step.
Use your position on the mat i.e. move forward.
3. PLAYING TOO NARROW
Ensure your whole body is committed down the line you’re trying to play.
Have you found your aiming point on the far bank?
Have you picked the shoulder (the point at which the Wood visibly starts to turn)? Are your eyes, feet, and whole body pointing at the shoulder?
Is your hand pointing along the line after delivery?
Stop looking at that Jack (Jackitis). Look at your aiming point on the end of the rink and be aware of the ‘Shoulder’ (the point where the bias of the bowl takes over), usually approximately 2/3 of the distance to the jack. This will vary according to conditions.
4. PLAYING TOO WIDE
Ensure you are addressing the line down to the ‘Shoulder’. Ensure you “step down this line”
Watch what shoulder other players’ successful Woods are turning on. You may be over compensating for your Woods. Try their line.
You may be stepping out too far to the side.
You may be “throwing your arm out”. lt should be a smooth pendulum action down the side of your body.
It could be as simple as turning your body less.
5. BOUNCING THE BOWL
It is essential to make every attempt to avoid letting the bowl ‘bounce’ out of your hand. This is for a few reasons, principal of which are: it will take ‘weight’ out of the delivery, so that the length will not be as expected; it will damage the green, which is extremely expensive to maintain; consistency of delivery will not be achieved. The following should assist in a smooth delivery.
· If using a cradle grip, a slight flex at the wrist is necessary to avoid the ball rolling out of the hand on the back swing.
· Use the grips on the bowl as much as the flexibility of the hand will allow.
· Keep the arm straight on the release of the bowl.
· Follow through, keeping your eye on the line of delivery.
6. DELIVERING THE JACK
Too many people just “Cast the Jack” up the green in order to get on with the match. This is a disaster waiting to happen. The control of the match rests with the person who controls the Jack. This is undoubtedly the most important delivery in every single end and should be treated with as much care and effort than any wood.
Great care should be taken with the grip and delivery of the Jack. Ensure you hold the Jack with your fingers to ensure adequate ‘feel’. Remember, the jack should begin to slow down at about 2/3 of the distance towards your intended finish point.
7. GENERALLY LOSING THE LINE
There is a position that is most comfortable and profitable for all bowlers. Ideally, the eyes must be concentrated along the line of delivery; almost stare along the line for as long as it takes. Having decided the line along the green the bowl has to travel, and seen this clearly in the mind’s eye, deliver the bowl.
Your leading foot should generally be extended no more than a walking pace, providing perfect balance, pointing along delivery line. Balance is improved by resting your non-bowling arm (not hand) on the knee or thigh of the leading leg. However, looking at your feet at the moment of release can cause a player to lose line. The position of your head is critical at the point that the bowl is delivered. Some bowlers look downward at the moment of release; this can cause you to lose line. There are others that hold the head too high. This puts a strain on the neck and shoulders and can transmit to the arm. The bowl is bumped because the bowling arm has already started to move up. Your head should always feel relaxed, comfortable, and remain as still as possible.
The distance from the mat at this point of eye contact will vary from bowler to bowler. The head must remain still but not rigid, and it is up to every bowler to find a comfortable spot along that line without any strain in the neck to make an elegant delivery. Some will opt to gaze at the shoulder of the green. Some will select a point a couple of yards from the mat and on every delivery, aim to run over the same spot; that’s fine so long as you can adjust for various mat positions.
Movement of the whole body at the point of delivery can result in a bowl being bumped out of your hand. This happens when your arm is jerked up too high or is quickened at the moment of release. When you deliver, stay down for a few seconds and watch your bowl run along the line you have taken – is it the line you intended to take?
When things are not going as you wish, go back to basics:
· Check you grip; is your middle finger along the centre of the running face?
· Are your feet lined up along the line you wish to deliver your bowl?
· Have you looked along the line at delivery?
· Have you followed through?
· Have you kept your arm straight on the follow through?
· Have you transferred weight to the front foot on delivery?
· Have you stayed down for a couple of seconds after the bowl is released?