Many bowlers never take a close look at the beginning of their delivery. While many are working hard on the mechanics of rolling a bowl we often forget to take a good look at everything that happens before and right up to the point you release the bowl.
Ever wonder why you throw narrow? or wide? or even toss the occasional wrong bias? Everything can be improved or even eliminated by really taking a look at your pre-delivery routine.
When I started bowls I was more concerned with actually getting the bowl down the green and close to my target. I never thought about what I did before I rolled the bowl and I never considered that it may make a difference in my performance.
Everything I do has had an improvement thanks to a simple, repeatable pre-delivery. I have many things integrated into a simple 8-10 second routine that help me prepare a bowl, check my bowl and set up to deliver the bowl.
The routine makes sure I have a proper grip on the bowl as well as checking the bias. I then set up my target point to deliver to, take a deliberate step on the mat with my stationary foot lined up to the target. I then bring myself forward to balance myself in my final set up. I then have a real quick reminder to myself using my off-hand to square my shoulders to my target, then I crouch into my bowling stance and prepare to roll the bowl.
All the above takes roughly 8 seconds, but can differ if I need to reset or if it is raining (towel off bowls), etc. I strongly suggest everyone takes a look at their own routine and see if it really suits their game or if they can improve it to help them be a better bowler.
Here is a simple routine handed down from our Coach, Lachlan Tighe, for consideration when building or modifying your own routine.
(a sample to consider)
1. Project a line from a chosen bank mark (peg).
2. Visualize the turn of your bowl to the jack.
3. Recall the flight path of your bowl.
4. Take one step onto the mat with your right foot aligned to the middle mat line and your left foot slightly in front of the right. Aim both feet out along the draw line.
5. Use your cloth to rub the bowl and then move it from your left hand to your right hand, checking the bias and correctly gripped.
6. Decide on the weight and pendulum height for this delivery.
7. Breathe easily.
8. Execute a slow, easy delivery.
9. Bend your knees to ensure you take your body low and through.
10. Deliver the bowl with the focus of eyes, mind and body on that ‘spot’.
11. Know how many seconds it takes to do your routine.
…know exactly your personal delivery routine, every time!!!