Lawn Bowls – 3 Ways To Reign Playing Pairs
THE ROLL UP - INTRO
Behind playing fours, pairs as a discipline is one of the most played formats of the game of lawn bowls. Many variations of pairs exist including; 2x2x2x2, 3×3, 4×4 and also a quickfire 2×2. Even though there are various formats which can be played the same fundamentals can apply in order for you and your partner to excel and dominate at the format you prefer or play most often.
Thinking and focusing on the following three ‘aspects’ could propel you and your partner to performance levels unseen or explore other aspects of your game you may never have thought about improving previously. Lawn bowls game development is not just about achieving a good delivery.
ASPECTS TO REIGN PLAYING PAIRS
1 – BE A VERSITILE LEAD – SHOTS & STRATEGY
The key to a strong pairs partnership is vastly dependent on the ability of the lead, but not just for their traditional ‘Lead’ traits but for their ability to be versatile in their shot making ability. Tactically they must be astute and strong in their ability to read a head and select shots for their partner to play. These qualities are imperative as the lead will dictate strategy and shot making in most formats of pairs as the skip does not follow every bowl played to assess the situation and must rely on the leads decision-making.
Look out for our online courses coming soon which will delve deeper into strategy and shot making
2 – BOTH PLAYERS MUST CONTRIBUTE
Being portrayed as a unified partnership can be just as powerful against an opposition as having all the shot making ability in your locker. Approaching the game with similar tactics (ie. One player not being more aggressive in approach than the other) and showing unification can be disturbing to opposition and provide a positive energy between partners, leading to both players being more relaxed and playing to their highest ability possible.
Both partners must have a mutual respect of each other and communicate clearly and openly. This communication in the form of small discussions, positive feedback, encouragement and collectively weighing up the risks and rewards of certain shots will ultimately be viewed as a strong pair to contend with.
3 – KNOW YOUR TEAM & INDIVIDUAL STRENGTHS
Playing with the same pairs partner on a regular basis can pay off huge dividends when you find yourselves battling hard to play the winning shots. Having that intimate knowledge of each other’s strengths and weaknesses can help to guide a strategy or tactic during a difficult game.
Eg. Your skip is struggling with maximum length jacks, but you are winning the battle of the leads and building good heads. The opposition skip is playing good at long jack lengths and winning the battle of the skips. Being able to acknowledge that potentially playing short jacks might drop your level of performance but could ultimately increase your skips level of performance (as they love to play shorter jack lengths), increase your competitiveness as a pair and potentially turn the tide of the game.
TIP – Both players write down each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Compare what you both have wrote – see a theme and you have your ‘default’ strength to resort to or weaknesses to work on together during purposeful practice sessions
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A good pairs combination is not about the two best technical players playing together, but more so about two players combining with the same aspirations, attitude, style of play and versatility in playing a number of shots.
Working on other non-technical aspects of your game will certainly set you apart from the vast majority of lawn bowlers, hopefully developing your winning edge and ability to form winning partnerships.
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