Hidden Jack Draw

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!

Hide the jack with one signel bowl in front, draw around it to be within 2 feet of the jack as second shot or getting shot bowl.
Hide the jack with one single bowl in front, draw around it to be within 2 feet of the jack as second shot or getting shot bowl. Try both hands and repeat until you get tight heads and feel comfortable.
This adds on to the hidden jack issue by adding a couple extra bowls all in line with about a bowl space in between.  Same drill applies where you are attempting to drawn second shot or shot itself within 2 feet of the jack.  See how it plays out and how the head changes as you make shots.  You should not be concerned with bowls in the way, only trying to bowl within 2 feet of the jack.
This adds on to the hidden jack issue by adding a couple extra bowls all in line with about a bowl space in between. Same drill applies where you are attempting to drawn second shot or shot itself within 2 feet of the jack. See how it plays out and how the head changes as you make shots. You should not be concerned with bowls in the way, only trying to bowl within 2 feet of the jack.

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.

Now try this draw, keeping the one bowl right in front of the jack to hide it while placing two bowls halfway up the green around your line.  The idea is to get used to ignoring those close bowls and working outside or inside of them to get your draw.  In some cases you cannot get the "prefect" line to the jack due to the obstacle, but within 2 feet is a fantastic result.
Now try this draw, keeping the one bowl right in front of the jack to hide it while placing two bowls halfway up the green around your line. The idea is to get used to ignoring those close bowls and working outside or inside of them to get your draw. In some cases you cannot get the “prefect” line to the jack due to the obstacle, but within 2 feet is a fantastic result.

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!

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