Unofficial Angaston Bowls Site

Unofficial Angaston Bowls Site



Introduction: In lawn bowls creating a club culture to win relates to providing an inducement which relates to improving the club supporting atmosphere and bowling performance of its playing members. It is a course of action that changes the way everyone thinks about the past and present culture; a way which brings together the competitive enthusiasm of its members and players alike, a reason for a club culture change and how to accomplish it.

The Achilles Heel: To determine the competitive club culture one must first look at the surrounding club atmosphere, “the Achilles Heel that may be the club’s weakness”. If there are signs of weakness as described in the paragraphs below, then preparation and planning should be instigated as soon as possible. Without preparation and planning in these areas; competitive enthusiasm of its members and teams become lethargic from the top to the bottom, the sporting administration and competition standards fall into a club atmosphere of gloom and doom. Looking at the state your club is in; you must also realise that it would be in a far worse state, if not for interested bowlers like yourself. In your analysis on the surface there may be much to find fault with but looking deeper into the past there may be much to praise and you could be amazed by what others have done before. A significant proportion of all that’s good can be traced back to perhaps the influence of others or even yourself if you exert your expertise. In other words; where others shrug their shoulders, you roll up your sleeves, where others give up, you rise up. You don’t have to make a fuss but your effort will make a difference.

Passion: The first thing that is usually associated with clubs is passion. Passion, the common thread that unites players and club members, its craze and devotion need not be explained. Everyone needs inspiration in life; some take it from books, some from personal life, and some like us from our competitive teams. Everyone has ideals and for us it is our competitive players. Our efforts should be to bring the teams to the pinnacle and the sweet smell of victory. It may be difficult to understand the emotions but I don’t think the term passion or devotion is new to anyone. We have all experienced some form of club or team passion in our lives. Club wise, improvement is the effort of creating an environment that balances between a little hard work, fun, trust in each other and mateship and a passion for everyone; it’s like the captain of a ship saying “steady as she goes”; encouraging members, making sure everyone’s ready to participate without much change, an enticement of sticking together and organising spectators for events and players working to a training program. “You must have the will to do it!” “You must want to do it!” If you have the will and want, the will to find a way! It’s a matter of everyone being on the same wavelength, its building and maintaining the competitive future of the club.

Energy and emotion: Before any game the prospects of winning or losing should not be on everyone’s mind. Instead; their focus should be on the amount of energy and emotion they can put into the game; such as support from its members, support during the game form each team member as to whether or not the player that plays before him/her and the player following is going to do his/her job. No matter what you do, do it with energy, enthusiasm and commitment. Even when you are doing nothing, you should put your heart and soul into it. You don’t for example, just wait for a taxi cab or your fellow team member to pick you up, you psychically summon it. You peer into the distance about your training and scour the horizon to win, so that when the opposition turns up, you can make quite sure you are ready for it. All this means with preparation and planning you don’t miss a trick.

The ability: Club members must realise that competition is a step up from the social player, “the best of the best”. Every team member must have the ability to play the grade level he/she has been appointed to. They must not be seen as a liability or a passenger; they must deserve to be there, if they don’t do their job, they might probably be headlines and discussion the following day for all the wrong reasons. If they do their jobs they will be headlines or discussion for the right reasons. We will know them as talented players selected for the right reason. This all means to be part of a team each member must play his or her part in the position they have been appointed e.g. lead, second, third or skip. During the performance of the game one cannot think about him/her self but as stated before, think about supporting the team member that plays before them and the one that has to play after them, and that means performing at their responsible level and above.

The culture: This is about the correct cultural performance, if the required culture is not within the club, then indoctrination should start right here and now; it’s the way in which the club and bowlers should react under all situations how they should fulfil the supportive and tactical purpose for which his or her appointed playing position was intended. The sum total of ways with which behavioural club culture is built up by; single’s players, sides, teams or groups, which in turn is transmitted from one player or generation to another. There is something to be said about club culture. It is the motivation that makes a bowler lift his or her game performance when the tactical deployment goes against the run of play or at the time the poor ability of their own players. It all amounts to being cool, calm and collective to play the required shot, such as; the draw-shot, on-shot, running-shot or drive-shot that involve the tactical employment of attack, defence and recovery. Tactically it’s filling the gaps, removing the danger, backing up the team’s break-down and raising the performance level. It goes against the screaming in the team’s mind for somebody else to fix the problem, when all inside their head tells them they’re possibly going down the drain. Yet, if the resilience is there, they’ll find a way because they don’t want to let their team members down. Competitive culture within the game is about making it easier for your own team members who precede you and follows you, even if it means it will be tougher mentally and physically for yourself. Remember this short proverb “Do for others what you do better for yourself”. In reality on the green many bowlers experience the following dilemma’s, a feeling of being stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, perhaps these utterances will remind you; “Oops sorry!” “It’s up to you skip!” “You can fix it!” Believe it or not, bowlers who use such utterances have not perfected their playing skills and need to be indoctrinated or reindoctrinated into the correct playing culture. The following paragraphs are some vital areas of tutoring that competitive players should mentally do week in, week out, at a competitive level. Lessons which will consolidate the mental and physical aspects required to improve the club atmosphere and competitive players.

Self-analysis: The power of psychological self-analysis should never be underestimated. Once we understand why we feel a certain way, once we grasp what shapes our mood and attitude, it becomes far easier to break a habit and alter an entrenched pattern. It’s only when we refuse to look at what lies behind a situation, or when we deny that a problem exists, that we stay stuck. Look to share honesty from your heart under the magical influence of the club culture, then all that’s wrong will start to right itself.

Overcome your prejudices: Sometimes the prejudices of our team members manage to do us more damage during a game than the opposition. Sometimes too, our opposition engineer’s development from our prejudices that proves immensely unsavoury or beneficial. We should be wary of perceiving a team relationship between intention and achievement. Don’t dismiss an opportunity of winning, just because it comes from a source about which you have misgivings. Overcome your prejudices by improving together the skill standards within the training program. When, this is done as one its well worth being part of a team.

Compatibility: This eludes too; being capable of existing together in game harmony, Capable of orderly, efficient integration with other elements in a club cultured system of resilience power, elasticity and vital action. It’s a state or quality of being serene, calm, tranquil and clear headed. Often, when we are in the midst of an intense experience within the club or on the green, we should remain surprisingly calm to solve the problem. No matter how peculiar things get, we must refuse to feel daunted or dismayed. We must stick together and know how to keep on going till things calm down. Adopting this attitude we leave behind the uncomfortable feelings and reactions that sometimes come within the club and the competitive field of play.

Gumption and mentality: Competitive players should realise; that poor shots happen in competition, just accept it and get on with it instead of gritting your teeth and clinching the fists, make the next shot work for the team. Never respond badly, this allows the opposition to dominate the end. There should be no one out there trying harder and playing tougher than you as part of the team. Games are not won on tactics alone but having the gumption (heart) and the mentality to win. If you go into the game not prepared to give everything you’ve got, then it’s not going to happen for your team. That’s how selectors determine whether or not you’re a competitive player. Competition is not playing social bowls or taking part in a beauty contest.

Team harmony: One of the most satisfying experiences for a bowler or coach is to be part of or a member of a team that gets along well and works as a cohesive unit. Unfortunately, harmony among selectors, coaches and team members is not a trademark of a great number of clubs. Sometimes members or players do not feel appreciated, respected, or accepted and do not get along well together because of false rumours and dobbing that leads to feelings of resentment, interpersonal conflict, playing performance problems, and withdrawal from the club or even the sport. For harmony to develop, bowlers must be linked in some interdependent way so that they rely on one another and help one another. Harmony grows when you really listen to others and when they listen to you, when you are considerate of their feelings and they are considerate of yours, when you accept their differences and they accept yours, when you help them and they help you. The answer is, get it out in the open now, clear the air, and solve problems when they are small rather than waiting until they have grown out of proportion. Open communication such as preparing a game plan, briefing before the game, debriefing after the game and problem solving at training are an important first step in preventing and solving the following problems e.g.

  • It is difficult to be responsive to another’s needs or feelings when you do not know what they are,
  • It is difficult to respect another’s perspective if you do not understand what it is or where it came from.

Motivation: There are two types of motivation positive and negative. Both types work to get bowlers to do things, but the opinion of most experts in this area will tell you that for excelling in lawn bowls, nurturing positive motivation in the self is paramount. It provides players with a motive or motives to play their best throughout the entire game. The difference between positive and negative is that positive motivation comes from within the individual as a natural response to desire and it is optimistic. Negative motivation is generally imposed from without and is usually associated with sanctions of some kind and is also pessimistic (see – Motivation).

Attitude: Bowlers with the most optimistic attitude will win more often, generally because they try harder; handle pressure situations better, and come back from a defeat more strongly. The same is true of teams that have a higher average level of optimism among its players is more likely to succeed. Bowlers with a pessimistic attitude can be taught to change and develop a more optimistic one (see – Attitudes).

Sleepers: These are bowlers who utter I don’t care who wins, I just play for the enjoyment of the game, or one who express how well you played with their support. They hold positions in the team because they flatter you, or they are your friend or because of their popularity. These sleepers are borne out during debriefings when lack of support is exposed in certain areas of the game.

Training: Training begins by the orientation towards the development in oneself or another of certain playing skills; habits and attitudes, resulting in such conditions as undergoing disciplines, as being physically and mentally fit as a result of training as follows;

  • Fitness: This involves the perfection of the three types of fitness, you can’t have one without the other, and they are; mental, game and physical fitness as follows;
  • Mental fitness involves your thoughts and feelings that affect your performance,
    • Game fitness involves muscular and tendon atonement to play the various shots,
    • Physical fitness is the strengthening of body muscles and expanding the respiratory system to withstand the endurance of standing that is required for the time period of the game or series of games.

  Playing skills: This is the perfection of the draw shot to within 50 centre metres of the head or designated position, hitting the target with either on-shots, running shots or drive shots when required or requested by the skip,

  Training drills: To operate or cause to operate, speciality continuously or with repeated counter action, to work on feelings, playing weaknesses or game tactical situations etc. for one’s own purpose, to instigate the inevitable defeat of an opponent. To impart knowledge by strict training or discipline. Overall training drills create basic team strategy.

 Team communication: One cannot express enough the importance that teams and coaches must instigate a two-way system of communication that lets every team member know; what is the required within prior training, their duties practically and tactically before, during and after the game. This can be set up by the using the following three cycle routines;

o Game plan: To play one’s part in accordance with the rules. An overall strategy or long term plan, coaching for perfection and counter training drills for defence, attack and recovery for the coming game or series of games e.g. what to do, when to do it,

o Briefings; A short accurate summary of the details of a plan or operation as one given to players before an event such as; singles, triples or fours games,

o Debriefings: To interrogate a player or team members on return from a game in order to assess the conduct and results of the game played e.g. strength and weaknesses. This then rotates back to the game plan for correction and improvement for the next game or event.

Cohesion: This is the results of training; it is the act or state of cohering; uniting, or sticking together the state or process by which the player’s individual playing position and playing skills are effective enough to support the tactical requirements of the game.

Mentality: The selection of any competition team is not a make do endeavour e.g. to get along with the resources available, but a selection of a team of bowlers that have, or can be indoctrinated with, a do or die mentality e.g. bowlers who make a supreme training and playing effort from its initial composition, throughout the game and its conclusion irrespective of the results. Note: throughout and to its conclusion (it’s a fight to the death attitude).

Club Communication: This is where you look outside the square; articles should be written in club news letters or magazines about coming events, games played and the progress of each side or team within each level of competition e.g. naming the performance of player and the supporting elements surrounding the games or events, including wins, draws, losses and their progressive position within the competition. This should also include announcements over club speakers and written notices of invitations for members to attend. Those who fail to hear or see should be personally asked by committee members. If you don’t ask them they won’t attend. ”Every club member should remember this is creating or reinforcing a club culture to win”.

The results of wisdom: When you have read this twice; slowly the mist will part, the fog will clear the smoke will blow away. Then, you will see the club future a long way. You will be able to make sense of whatever you may have found so baffling e.g. will certain people change their tune? No, but you will hear in your head another tune that harmonises, or provides an agreeable counterpoint that will enable you to accept what is currently presented before you, a club culture which will turn it into something perfectly pleasing. Ask yourself what club future do you want? If you exert your effort you can get it; its then you’ll notice the tremendous personal boost is coming your club way.

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