What's wrong Coach?

This will be a page for your bowling problems or niggles that are costing you to suffer on the green.

Common faults and corrective exercises for all to see and try.

If you need further help, get in touch with a local Coach for assistance.

Bowling across yourself.
A number of players ''bowl across themselves'' this is to say that after they release their bowl, their delivery arm follows through across their body. Often to finish inline with their non bowling shoulder or their own face. This is a bad practice, which can lead to bowlers getting very frustrated. The point being, when they release their bowl, will depend where it will finish. If they release it to early, their bowl will 'stay wide' of the jack land. If they release to late, they will end up 'pulling' their bowl inside of the land. Yet if they let go of their bowl at the correct time, they are very likely to bowl a great bowl and finish near to the jack. So, here's the frustrating part. How many times have you come off the green and said ''I bowled really awful for most of that game, and yet I bowled a couple of really good bowls. Hence your problem.

The answer is to allow your bowling arm to deliver the bowl and 'follow through with your delivery arm' allowing it to travel until your fingertips touch your bowling arm shoulder.

Feet in correct position.
Some players stance before and after causes their problems. Make sure your feet and shoulders are 'square' to where you are intending to play. Start with your feet spaced comfortably apart, and level to the direction you wish to bowl. When you finish, your leading foot should go forward a distance ( that is not too far or short) straight in front. being careful NOT to bring it 'across' ( known as tight rope walking, by the Coaches) in front of your standing foot that should be on the footer (mat). The result should be that you have kept your balance perfectly on the footer. Hence no 'falling off' the mat.

Non Bowling Arm position.
It's important to use your non bowling arm for balance. It helps you produce a perfect delivery on the line you desire. By not allowing your body to twist, it ensures you will not 'pull across your body'. This is particularly noticeable on longer lengths, maybe corners, where you can always reach but are not on land often. Many a good Coach will use the term ' Hand on thigh, palm to sky '. Meaning you have not just the balance , but the correct follow through delivery to achieve the best results.

Playing too narrow
Ensure your whole body is committed down the line you're trying to play.
Have you picked the correct line? (on which the bowl should start to turn)
Are your eyes, feet, whole body pointing at the line?
Bet you're looking at the Jack!
Simply turn your whole body more, not a half turn with your feet pointing elsewhere.   
Stop looking at that Jack. Look and aim at the line before the jack starts to turn.

Playing Too Wide
Again, ensure you are addressing the line, where further along, the jack will start to turn. Ensure you "Stand square to this Line"
You may be stepping out too far to the side.
You may be "throwing your arm out"
 It should be a smooth pendulum action down the side of your body.
Again it could be as simple as turning your body less.
Also, watch what line your opponents' successful bowls are turning on.
You may be over compensating for your bowls. Try their line.
(Be careful that they're not left handed and you're right handed, different line altogether)


Delivering the Jack 
Too many people just "Cast the Jack'' to get on with the match. This is a disaster waiting to happen .
The control of the match rests with the person who controls the Jack.
This is undoubtedly the most important delivery in every single end and should be treated with more care and effort than any bowl.
Great care should be taken with the grip and delivery of the Jack.
On very fast greens it's possible to bowl the Jack across the green to one of the corners of the green, the principle being that the greater distance will take some of the weight out.  Scientifically sound but not a great base to build your long term game on.
Don't treat the symptom but tackle the reason for the disease by learning how to control the Jack on all types of greens.


Get to know the away green and opponents.
The learning about the green and your opponent, starts from the first bowl. You should be learning with every bowl that is delivered.
You may also have the information gained from watching your opponents' practice.
Not only will you have green information but may have started to formulate views on strengths and weaknesses in each of your opponents. That you may confirm early in the match and exploit to your advantage.


Bumping your bowl
Can be very embarrassing, particularly if you mark the green or even worse "take a divot" on a green.
The reason is very simple, you are releasing your bowl too high up.
You need to get closer to the green and release it so that it simply runs off the ends of your fingers along the green like it was on silk.
Easy to say but not always easy to achieve because many a time it's caused by physical conditions which make it difficult to get down low enough.
Why bother if it's successful?
The problem is that when you bump, it takes "weight" out due to the result of the impact on the velocity of the bowl.
You may have learned to compensate for it.
But, there should be no discernable space between the bowl and the green.
If there is then watch it skip like a flat stone across water.

Playing Heavy ( my opinion )

Firstly don't change your delivery. Just reduce your speed of delivery. Many people around greens will say ''don't take your arm back'' personally, I think you should always have the same delivery at a slower speed.

Others say take a much shorter swing, or just push it with your wrist.


Playing Short ( my opinion)
Move quicker.  Simply increase the speed of your delivery.
Some people will say ''get your arm back''. But as I have said above, you should try to keep the same delivery action if possible.

Others say take a longer swing, a longer stride forward and finally 'push' or 'flick' with your finger tips.

Your Delivery ( my opinion)
By keeping the same delivery and only increasing or decreasing the speed of delivery. You are keeping your action the same, all the time with less to go wrong. If you were to ''get your arm back'' bowling up hill and then ''don't take your arm back'' bowling down hill. During your match on greens like Chetwode Arms, Red Lion or Castle Park, to name a few, you would struggle to change your delivery every other end.

I hope some of the information has been of some use to you.

Any comments are welcome to ...  allbutacross@talktalk.net

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