• Training Drills

      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Rob Huddle is one of Melbourne's top coaches and his previous article from Bowlsworld has been copied here


      PRACTICE is: "The repeated exercise in an activity requiring the development of skill"

      CONCENTRATION is: "The application of mind and body to a particular endeavor to the complete exclusion of everything not relevant to that endeavor:

      1. Practice mental as well as physical skills
      2. Practice must be both meaningful and goal oriented
      3. Set ultimate goal and devise overall plan
      4. Break overall plan into individual sessions - each with minor goal

      Players to know what is required
      Practice to be uninterrupted
      Assistants if needed
      Ensure rinks available
      Training aids ready
      Session information summaries
      System of records
      Result appraisals
      Maximise your time
      (everyone doing something)

      Regular practice
      All weather conditions
      Ditch hands
      All lengths and both hands
      Jack rolling (unless preset heads)
      Off-centre jacks
      Present practice heads
      Leads 0-3 bowls, Seconds 4-7,
      Thirds 8-11, Skips 12-15.
      Team practice and individual practice
      Competitive practice


      1. The goal is to win more of 12 practice ends than the opponent.
      2. The lead who wins the toss lays the mat, rolls the jack and delivers the first bowl to the centred jack.
      3. The remaining 3 bowls are delivered in the normal order of play. The first lead delivers the 2nd bowl on the same side of the rink, and the opposing lead delivers both bowls on the opposite.
      4. The winner of the 1st end begins play in the 2nd end, during which each player uses the side of the rink opposite to that used in the first end.
      5. The remaining ends proceed like a game of 2 bowl singles.
      6. Record the results on a score sheet similar to the one below.

      Name Bowl 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
      1 1
      2 1
      End Length

      Standard Marking Notation (Any delivery)

      Type of Delivery Hand of Play Result of Delivery Distances
      10 F = Forehand S = Short 1,2,3 etc Feet or Tenths of Metre
      T = Trail B = Backhand L = Long n = Distance bowl to jack
      W = Wide nT = Required trail distance
      N = Narrow Tn = Trailed distance
      M = Missed (Trial Shot) Mn = Missed target by margin of n
      T = (On) Target

      1. Set up one end of 2 adjacent rinks with fabric tapes and 4 jacks
      2. One player delivers a forehand draw to jack 1, then a backhand trail shot to trail jack 3 by 0.3metres, then a backhand draw to jack 4 and then a forehand to trail jack 2 by 0.3 metres.
      3. The opposing second records the result of these deliveries and then performs the same drill on the adjoining rink with the 1st player recording results.
      4. Continue for 6 ends at varying lengths. Use a score sheet.
      Jack No /End No 1 2 3 4 5 6


      1. Start each drill with a short end and increase for each repetition.

      1. Score each of training partner's deliveries as follows

      Shot/Score (Pts) -1 1 2 3 5
      Draw Yard short Yard long Second shot Got shot
      Rest Yard short Just missed On target
      Run Yard wide Just missed On target
      Position Short Within 0.3m On target
      Trail Short Moved jack On target

      3. Record the total score for each repetition on a sheet similar to that below.
      Forehand Draw
      Backhand Draw
      Forehand Rest
      Backhand Rest
      Forehand Run
      Backhand Run
      Forehand Position
      Backhand Position
      Forehand Trail
      Backhand Trail


      1. Set up head with 8 bowls (Skip 12)
      2. Draw to jack on forehand
      3. Place 10th bowl in head
      4. Draw 2 more to jack on forehand
      5. Remove 4 bowls and repeat steps 1 to 4 on backhand
      6. Repeat 6 times on each hand alternating with partner.

      Repeat the drill for the draw but with the object of resting a bowl instead of drawing to the jack. Essential to nominate the bowl to be rested.


      1. Set up head with 8 bowls (Skip 12)
      2. Draw 4 bowls to positions nominated by your partner.
      3. Repeat 8 times, 4 on each hand


      1. Set up head with 8 bowls (Skip 12)
      2. Execute 4 deliveries with controlled weight to remove a nominated bowl
      3. If successful, draw to the jack with subsequent bowls.
      4. Do 8 repetitions, 4 each hand.


      1. Set up head with 8 bowls (12 for Skip), ensuring jack is accessible
      2. Execute 4 deliveries to trail the jack a distance nominated by your partner.
      3. Replace jack after each success. Do 8 repetitions, 4 on each hand.


      FIGURE 1
      Set out cotton wool to the distances shown and practice jack rolling to the different lengths.

      FIGURE 2
      Using fabric tapes set up 3 crosses. Roll 1st bowl to quadrant 1 on the forehand and then a 2nd bowl to quadrant 2 without crossing the centre line. Repeat drill using the backhand. Keep score sheet of success.

      FIGURE 3
      The 2 black bowls are "in your eye". A slight repositioning of foot position on mat will allow a draw either under or around the impeding bowl. Practice 2 forehand and 2 backhand at different lengths.

      FIGURE 4
      An opponent's bowl in front of and touching the jack. Do NOT use force but use sufficient weight to jar the jack 1 metre and then draw to the open jack with remaining bowls.

      FIGURE 5
      Without using a jack draw a bowl to the centre line (1). The remaining 3 deliveries to be delicately reduced in weight, to finish on the centre line 20cms short of the preceding bowl. Process could be reversed - each 20cms longer.

      FIGURE 6
      Weight and length variation. Place 3 jacks at distances shown and draw a bowl to the various distances. Alternate hands and distances. ie. 1st bowl forehand to 28m, next to 22m jack. Then backhand to 25m and then to the 28m etc etc.

      FIGURE 7
      Place jacks close to the rink boundaries and draw one bowl forehand and one bowl back hand to each jack. Allow for different green speeds.

      FIGURE 8
      Deliver ditch weighted bowl to pass between the 2 black bowls. Two deliveries each hand. Aim is to help control accuracy of line and weight.

      FIGURE 9
      For driving or weighted shot accuracy. Set up 4 jacks about 20cms apart and endeavor to remove each jack in turn. Practice both hands and varied distances.

      FIGURE 10
      Trail the jack 1/2 metre on the forehand and then draw to the moved jack on the backhand. Vary distances and adjust head so that the drill may be executed on the reverse hand.

      FIGURE 11
      Draw to a read tactical position on each hand.

      FIGURE 12
      Trail the jack into the ditch or to the read bowl. Adjust the head to suit both hands, and use various lengths.

      FIGURE 13
      A tactical draw to a covering position at opponent's rear bowls. Vary the head to suit opposite hand, and vary lengths.

      FIGURE 14
      Accuracy and weight control. Using controlled weight endeavour to split the black bowls and remain as shot. This is not driving practice.

      FIGURE 15
      Draw to the plinth for a ditched jack. Use each hand and vary distance. Bear in mind that the green will be a little faster near the ditch.

      FIGURE 16
      Remove opponent's bowl with a weighted swinging shot. NOT a full blooded drive, but a precisely weighted shot running away from the head. Reset head and practice on other hand.

      FIGURE 17
      A simple drill to rest the shot from your opponent.

      FIGURE 18
      Trail one metre to your rear bowls. Two each hand at varied distances.

      The practice heads illustrated are purely schematic. Set practice heads should contain bowl numbers pertinent to the position played.

      • Leads 0 - 3 bowls
      • Seconds 4 - 7 bowls
      • Thirds 8 - 11 bowls
      • Skips 12 - 15 bowls
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