This drill I typically use in early season practice or when training to play lead. I’ve posted a couple of variations, but it is essentially the same drill.
This is a great tool to build and/or maintain confidence in your draw when you cannot see the jack. Far too often bowlers have issues of drawing to a spot that they cannot clearly see. Once the jack gets hidden, they lose the ability to judge weight and line and get completely flustered with the situation.
This drill allows you to work on your draw weight and line, but also works on your ability to judge weight and line when drawing to target you cannot see. You can do this easily by placing one bowl directly in front of the jack, roughly 1.5 feet in front. You can play with the distance to make it a little easier or harder by moving the bowl closer or farther away. The idea is to be able to draw around the front bowl to be at least within a 2 foot circle around the jack (mat length). You can also do this be placing another obstacle (a sign, a person, etc.) in front of you that blocks your sight of the jack and even makes you more uncomfortable.
The two main outcomes of this drill are:
- Stop focusing on the jack and start focusing on your line (the target you are bowling to). When delivering, you should be concentrating on the line you are bowling on and not looking at the place you are trying to end up.
- Reduce stress or frustration when you cannot see the target or jack. Having confidence in your line and weight to draw around bowls to the target and forgetting about what is in your way.
Give the drills a try and see how it works!
You can also change this up by adding/moving the bowls to make up awkward situations. All you are trying to do is drawn the jack. This should give you a good idea of how a simple draw can change the issues you have with bowls blocking your shots and make the situation a great deal better.
The true outcome of this is confidence and consistency. Having the confidence to bowl with things blocking your view and possibly being in your way. In the end, the worst thing that can happen is you crash into a close bowl and move it out of your way to make a clear draw (or move it out of the way for your skip to make a clear draw) which is still a positive result.
Let me know if you try this and how it works for you!