As boring as it can seem, practicing your draw is the life blood of your game. It can save you in key situations, it can protect you from bad results and it can be the dagger you need to crush an opponent.
Training or Coaching to play the draw seems like it should be a no-brainer — like practicing lay ups in basketball or hitting ground balls in batting practice. It is the key, fundamental shot that every player needs to perform.
Sure, a drive shot for 4 points is always exciting and lots of players would rather play a take out than a draw. What happens when you are down multiple shots and you NEED that draw to save your butt? Are you confident that you can make the shot? What if you need to move a bowl or jack inches? Simply playing into the head with weight will surely move it a lot farther…possibly to a larger disadvantage.
Have you heard the phrase “up and in”? Lots of bowlers simply play weight into the head hoping for a result. They roll the dice and hope it comes out in their favour — are you willing to gamble on a medal or a district/provincial/national title? How about gaining skill and being able to play the shot you need when you need it?
There is nothing more exciting or beautiful in the game than seeing a well executed draw shot that gets the shot or wins the game. Finesse and skill over sheer brute force and luck. Watching a lead pepper the jack with bowls or set up a head over and over for their team is amazing to see and a skill that is lacking in the sport.
It also changes the face of the game if you have a team (lead especially) that has excellent draw bowlers. If they continuously draw to the jack it puts pressure on the other team, it keeps pressure off your team and makes the game so much easier to manage.
Every shot (aside from the drive) is an extension of the draw. Adding a little weight to push a bowl out means you are drawing an extra foot or two feet past that bowl, throwing a guard means drawing a couple of feet shorter on your draw line. Having a good draw and practicing it should be a key part to your whole game.
Try a few of the drills I posted under consistency to see how you can control your draw, improve your line and weight and really learn to make those subtle adjustments that will win you games.