Coach's Corner - Issue 28

A message from the Coach

With Nathan Bush

This week I'm going to talk about our wonderful game of bowls and why no one playing it can get ahead of themselves.

First of all let's talk about some real success stories for the Parker's- div 4 had a win with some inexperienced bowlers- Bert Haines has been rewarded for hard work on the track and it's a feel good story about Bert who this time last year was playing div 11- and delivering pineapples. Also Peter Connoley "the better Connoley" also has been up and down from fours to sevens but has also improved a lot from hard work. Div 7- I will point out Len Inderburg who has been the highest scoring player all season, just gets the job done! Dave Wombell doing a terrific job at skipping. The sevens with his mate Brian- Dave has him on a leash!!! But what an effort from Wendy Gibson today, bloody brilliant effort who has worked on her game on the off season and has learnt a great deal in such a short time- skipping and doing great job!! Great weekend for the club with the div 4,7,10s winning.

I want to talk about the game of lawn bowls and how much of a reality check you can get. This game we play is different to others. Let me give you an example - if you got Australia's number one at each sport and a local played them one hundred times. Adam Scott wins 100 times out of a 100. Play bball against Andrew Bogut he wins 100/100, boxing Daniel Geale wins 100/100 the list goes on but if an eastern park player goes against a mark Casey or Aaron Sherrif I will guarantee the count won't be 100/100. There are so many elements of the game that can vary, with weather, greens, bowls and of course luck. The mentality of playing this game is not to be concerned about what or who your opposition are but concentrate on what you can control, your performance, your preparation and game plan.

Don't get me wrong- no excuses on Saturday. Cement where too good on the day. It took a below par standard green, 50 km winds to get the result- what that does is takes the skill out of the game a fraction (skittles) and they skittles really well.

What I took out of the game is that I and others need to be better prepared. I use to have no problems of playing slow surfaces (5year ago) because this time of year you played on these greens every day until November to December! But we are spoilt at eastern park practising on 14 second plus greens every night- almost all clubs going to carpets has reduced the grass greens around. Therefore we might only strike 2 really below par greens for the year- but we need to prepare for them.

My personal game was one of the worst in fifteen years of bowls, I said that at Bundoora as well both 11/10 second greens- it's something I need to work on, I will be rolling up at cement on a monthly basis after hours.
I do want to point out I was disappointed that no one else in the team took the game by the horns to get us over the line- 3 rinks at times where in front and couldn't extend. I wonder if I play in the fours this week and see what leadership come out of the group?????

Just remember that this game is the great leveller, which is brilliant everyone is a chance of beating everyone! We need to focus on how we can control our own game and everything associated with it.

Steve Sullivan was undefeated in the Australian singles playing his last game against Western Australia who had not won a game- he need to score 3 shots to make it into the grand final- he was beaten 25-0!! Wow. I regard Steve as the greatest player Geelong has produced.

Last item to discuss- we are six down on the last end! Mark asked me if he should go for the two points- good question and I believe our situation of winning 25 games in a row I'm not sure I would be concerned about the two points. You go down swinging and try and kill it! I have been involved in five victories in getting a six or higher on the last end to win, it's amazing what nerves can do. Mark elected to draw with his last bowl and that's the right decision if the opposition had put the perfect blocker in then that's fine, but was it? I could see the body language if the rink when I called to kill the end- very disappointing as we play to one board. And it won't happen again under my coaching and let it be a lesson to all if you’re within 8 shots in the last end you try to get eight and if u cannot possibly get it- kill the end. Of course it changes the picture if nearing finals you can assess if 2 points is a more realistic option.

Also I'm seeing a recurring theme with selection- marks of 1,2,1,2 and being very unlucky to be dropped, phone calls of his a better player than him or him, bla, bla, bla, cop it on the chin play better, train and get back up.

Last of all, we belong to a proactive club who is successful. We have so many great people that makes our culture a positive supporting one. Let's make the most of our time together and punish the weak, week after week!!!

Coach Out

Nathan Bush