THE ROLL UP - INTRO
With the 2022 Commonwealth Games in full swing, I’m sure like myself many of you are cheering on your favourite nations battling it out on the greens to bring home silverware. Considering the format of a five person ‘team’ used during the Commonwealth Games I thought it would be appropriate over the coming weeks to highlight game winning strategies and tips for each discipline on display (Singles, Pairs, Triples, Fours). From Commonwealth Games gold medallists to social bowlers, we can all improve on our lawn bowls game, build on our knowledge and implement new strategies to help us achieve our own bowling “Gold Medal”.
Success Playing Singles
1ST BOWL SETS THE TONE
The single most important bowl each end playing singles is not necessarily the last bowl, but concentrating and focusing hard on delivering a good 1st bowl of the end can set the tone for the remaining bowls to follow. Not only will a good 1st bowl give you confidence and provide the upper hand but also increase the pressure on your opponent from the beginning of the end. A really good draw shot with your opening bowl followed by a good draw shot with your second will put you in charge of the end and can lead opponents to ‘chase’ or revert to risky attacking shots. After two good opening bowls and one or two wayward openers from your opponent, the percentage of scoring multiples increases and therefore also your chances of winning the battle.
PRACTICE TIP – Practice with two bowls only or play 2 bowls singles games as preparation trying to replicate strong focus and concentration on the 1st and 2nd bowls
BE HAPPY TO CONCIDE ONE SHOT
Sometimes during a game, the risk of playing a shot does not weigh up to the reward it could provide. Mentally having the ability to take a step back and assess the risk v reward scenario is a great ability and strategy to have in your locker, especially when you are all alone playing singles. Conceding one shot can be just as rewarding as scoring one shot, not falling into the trap of playing risky shots to win the end and providing cheap/easy additional shots to your opponent. Avoiding conceding multiple shots in singles play is an ability and strategy to increase your success rate and become a fierce singles competitor.
Analysing the type of shots played during a singles game uncovers that the vast majority of shots played are draw shots and off-set draw shots (jack off the centreline). This puts a huge importance on becoming an expert at draw shots with the ability to play other types of shots but not having to master them all. Check out our blog post on purposeful practice to implement your own draw specialist training.
While cheering on your favourite lawn bowlers competing at Royal Leamington Spa over the coming weeks, keep in mind these three strategies while watching the singles games. Exploring these strategies will certainly increase your competitive singles game…. and who knows…. you could be winning your own singles ‘gold medal’ game whatever tournament you have your eyes on.
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