Setting up your shots

Once you have a handle on your weight and line, it is time to think about shot selection and playing shots that will give you or your team an easier time during the game.

There is nothing worse that getting to the mat as a skip,  being down a bundle and having nothing in the head.  Often, even with a good shot, you are still down and possibly even down the same or more points if you have nothing around you as support.

As an example — How would you feel stepping to the mat with a head like this?  Red (opposition) is holding two,  with a bowl resting on the jack on the right side and a back bowl 3 feet behind on the left.  The top of the green is the ditch and you have none in the head.  The jack is 6 feet from the ditch.

Down two in the head, ditch is the top of the image.  How are you going to save this end??
Down two in the head, ditch is the top of the image. How are you going to save this end??

You are going to have to play a couple good bowls just to do damage control.  Try playing this head to end up shot after your four bowls are played.  How many bowls will you need to play to get shot bowl?  Did you ever get shot bowl?

How do you think you would feel at the end of a game if you had to play like that every end?  Down two shots with no position, having to grind out every point.

Now take this example into consideration:

Same position for Red, but now you have some bowls near the head.  Blue on right is a foot in front and a foot wide, Blue bowl in back is a foot from the ditch.
Same position for Red, but now you have some bowls near the head. Blue on right is a foot in front and a foot wide, Blue bowl in back is a foot from the ditch.

How do you feel now stepping onto the mat?

It is a huge difference in pressure & stress.  It gives you a lot more options in the types of shots you can play to get a result in your favour.  It also gives you some reassurance that you won’t give up a bundle if the jack is moved.

But you aren’t shot, your team wasn’t perfect.  But perfection shouldn’t be the goal, being effective with your bowls should.

Why not be the hero and trail the jack on the backhand  (left side) to take and hold shot?  Try to play that shot and see how successful you are and remember this is without opposition bowls being played.

You or your team need to simply put in some “decent” position bowls and now you have OPTIONS!  You are set up to be successful.

Try this head out and see what happens and how much those two bowls improved your chances.  Try all types of shots and all types of strategy to see what works and what doesn’t.

Being able to set yourself up for success is key in bowls, not just being able to “get shot bowl”.

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