Check out Coach Lachlan Tighe's latest column "Going Going Gone," on breaking the losing pattern from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Going Going Gone

Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014, two teams, two sports (one being bowls), two examples of teams being thrashed, two very different approaches to that position, two different outcomes.

Rugby 7s – Australia 0-19 against the Welsh; go in at halftime, re-adjust, return in the second half to win 20-19;
Bowls – Malaysia down 0-8 after 3 ends, 0-17 down after about 9 ends and the team looking like startled rabbits in the headlights; no apparent change, no break, no result difference, 3-22.

So what!

Let’s stay with bowls.

Place yourself in that losing team situation; you are playing for a gold medal so your team is obviously an in-form team.

However, 0-8 after 3 ends; change your behavior, now; get together mid green and quickly sort out another strategy to alter this losing pattern. If 0-8 down apply TCUP – think carefully under pressure. So what to do.

Consider these options as a start to apply any one of them as suits from end 4.

Lead – change hands from previous pattern; follow the hand of the successful opposition lead; play bowls 2 & 3 a metre through or behind the head; or have 1 of 3 deliveries as a firm weighted delivery; we do not have the mat yet so length choice is yet to be ours but once we have the choice of length, use to our advantage.

Skip – think and act to WIN an end not simply choosing to keep the losing score reasonable as we are in the final, we need to alter things now; play attacking and firm shots; widen the head with bowl 4 to enable deliveries 5 & 6 to be used to wick off your delivery; change hands; play the opposing skip hand too; set the tempo and walk to the head before delivery of bowl 6 to ensure you have some margin of control though losing (to date) on the scoreboard.

Whatever you do, team, do something, something different to that pattern which is losing you the game, and, plan to alter these options every 2 ends until one works as surely the pattern will stop as your team strives to alter the trend.

All the ball skill in the world is of little value if the mental and tactical skill is not equally applied in these losing situations. Winning is easy when it is ‘all happening’. We players need to be coached to cope and adjust when the losing pattern continues to drag us under.

P.S….my book “Winning becomes you, in lawn bowls’ is now available from December, 2013. If interested in purchase, contact me direct on email or check the Henselite website for details of availability. Or refer to my own website

Lachlan Tighe, 2014