Coach's Corner - Issue 18

A message from the Coach

With Nathan Bush

One Percenters

This week’s coach’s corner discusses the “one percenters” of the game. We have heard the football coach drum into his team about the “one percenters”, the shepherds, smothers, tackles, the second-third efforts all assist the team for the end result. Lawn bowls is probably more important in pennant situations because we only physically bowl for 5% per cent of the game. Therefore communication, tactics and mindset is so important to gain an edge on the opposition team.


Just recently I have seen people practising without bowls shoes or different footwear. Playing barefoot makes you adjust your delivery because of the centimetre or two of sole in the shoe, therefore changes your delivery.

Practise on a Saturday morning before pennant

I believe when playing away or home (especially away) it’s essential to have a practise on the surface before game time. Yes keep an eye on the forecast, if predicted rain or strong winds on that afternoon, limit the time you have on the surface due to a possible change. Also when practising on that Saturday morning makes use of the time, so if you have 8 on a rink- use the time effectively so set up the teams and practise positions. This also helps with correcting from the first bowl; I have seen 8 bowlers on the one rink and take it in turns- so you have about 2 minutes between each bowl, laughable.

Game Time

Team discussions before the game and break time, simply provides a united approach towards the game and a need to highlight different aspects of what the day may bring or aspects of the game. It’s a must at any level I believe to give a united approach into what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it.

Following bowls

I really like players who follow their bowl because it does add pressure on your opponent and also give confidence to the player who played the bowl, in singles you will see good players follow their 3rd bowl to put the pressure on their opponent with their last bowl.

Keep in mind

If the lead follows his bowl and then second follows his bowl, this leaves the third on his own down the other end with all the opponents with him, should never happen so make sure the leader goes down the other end to pick up the thirds bowl.

Communication/ noise

It’s easy, stay positive and keep it simple (hand weight and objective). I’m still not seeing in the top division from the three other rinks and it’s an area we need to improve on. Graham Harrison has adapted well to the changes in communication and is doing a great job of being quick to respond and keeping it simple. It’s really important to help out other rinks, even though you can’t bowl for them you can do other things to assist. A rink that is down on the scoreboard requires an extra hand; therefore you expect the other rinks to get behind that rink with extra voice and support. Picking up the skips bowl for him before he bowls is a nice little assist.

Picking up bowls/ high fives

It’s a must, a sign of unity and support from team mates shows the commitment you have for the team. In a rink situation you should develop routines of who gets whose bowls.

Sticking together as a team

I like when the skip is bowling, that the rest of the rink stands on the green watching the head (involved in the game) if you get a prick of an opposition who asks for the team to stand a metre past the third- just stand behind him when the opposition skip is bowling.

Go Parkers!

Coach Out

Nathan Bush