Quick Coaching Tips
Just move slower and reduce the speed of your delivery; speed comes from velocity, so reduce it and the bowl won’t travel so far.
Move your arm quicker, simply increase the speed of your delivery. Practise this before you try it in a match. The height that you hold the bowl and the length of your step can also influence the distance which a bowl travels.
Ensure that your whole body is committed down the line you are trying to play.
Have you picked the shoulder (the point at which the bowl begins to turn)?
Are your eyes, feet, whole body including arm and bowl pointing at the shoulder?
You may be holding the bowl in the centre of the body so that the natural angle is to be narrow (tight). This relates to a forehand delivery.
Bet you’re looking at the jack!
Simply turn your whole body to the line, not a half turn with your feet pointing elsewhere. Stop looking at the jack (jackitis). Look and aim at the shoulder.
Playing too Wide
Again, ensure that you are addressing the line – to the shoulder.
Ensure that you step down this line.
You may be stepping out too far to the side.
You may be holding your bowl in the centre of your body so that the natural angle is to take the bowl out wider (backhand).
You may be “throwing your arm out”. Your delivery should be a smooth pendulum action down the side of your body.
Again it could be that you are turning your body too far.
Observe other bowlers’ successful bowls. Try their lines (you may be over adjusting for the characteristics of your bowls).
Be careful that the person you are observing is not left handed if you are right handed; or the reverse of course. Different handed players take completely differing lines.
Delivering the Jack
Too many people “cast the jack” in order to get on with the match. This is a bowling disaster waiting to happen.
The control of the match often rests with the team that controls the jack.
This is undoubtedly the most important delivery in every end, and should be treated with even more care than the delivery of a wood.
Great care should be taken with the grip and delivery of the jack.
On very fast greens it is possible to deliver the jack to one of the corners of the rink the greater distance will “take some of the weight off”. Scientifically sound but not a great base on which to build a game plan.
Don’t treat the symptoms, tackle the reasons and learn to control the jack on all types of greens.
Purposeful practice is the aim (not consolidation of faults).
The last aims which are in my opinion the most important are relaxation and enjoyment
Check List for self correction
Comfortable, relaxed stance, body weight evenly distributed.
Shoulders square to delivery line, shoulder of delivery arm not dropping.
Feet facing line of delivery.
Bowl not held in “middle of body”.
Eyes focused on THE LINE OF DELIVERY.
Check thumb is not in a strained position and that the bowl is not held too tightly.
Check that the bowling arm stays close to the body.
Check non bowling arm is not causing you to be unbalanced.
Forward step straight along the delivery line.
Check step is a comfortable length.
Delivery straight down the delivery line.
Follow through with palm upwards fingers pointing downwards, finishing along the delivery line.
Check if overstretching/over reaching.
Check speed of delivery is not too fast – slow step
Smooth, smooth smooth. Check you are not lurching or stabbing.
Acknowledgements to Wellington Bowling Club Somerset.