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Thread: general fitness

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    How important is general fitness in the game of bowls? Why?

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    The same as every other sport/game and also life in general!

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    As a still-new bowler, I would say that it is less important than in many sports I have played - especially at a lower level of competence. Bowlers can continue to bowl for longer than players can realistically compete (or even play) many other sports. That said, a degree of fitness is still required as you are 'out there' for a long time, especially if it is hot; good balance is also required, which is helped by general fitness. Concentration is also required to a decent extent and I know that top chess-players need good overall fitness to be able to withstand the rigours of a long match/tournament (Spassky was a good tennis player and would pay a lot before a match to increase his overall fitness - he would regularly lose a lot of weight during a top chess match, especially when extended, such as in the world championships). The higher-up you get, I would expect that fitness would come into it more.

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    In my club there is more fatness than fitness! Seriously though, a degree of physical and mental fitness is required to achieve success. I am a senior and sometimes have to play 2 competitive matches in one day - I couldn't do this if I wasn't reasonably fit

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    Quote Originally Posted by corptaxman View Post
    As a still-new bowler, I would say that it is less important than in many sports I have played - especially at a lower level of competence. Bowlers can continue to bowl for longer than players can realistically compete (or even play) many other sports. That said, a degree of fitness is still required as you are 'out there' for a long time, especially if it is hot; good balance is also required, which is helped by general fitness. Concentration is also required to a decent extent and I know that top chess-players need good overall fitness to be able to withstand the rigours of a long match/tournament (Spassky was a good tennis player and would pay a lot before a match to increase his overall fitness - he would regularly lose a lot of weight during a top chess match, especially when extended, such as in the world championships). The higher-up you get, I would expect that fitness would come into it more.
    Those bowlers continuing to bowl in later .ife were often those who played other sports, many have new hips and knees etc caused by playing the other sports which most thought would keep them fit, many are still playing golf tennis etc, many are limping too.The fitness maybe important but most of the better players are of an age when specific fitness training is not on the agenda.my guess would be 85% of club members rarely. Play a game of more than say 2hours duration,
    No Grey Areas

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    You're right, John, about the joint replacements - especially knees: I know of several golfers who are on their second replacements and have been 'advised' to stop playing, as they won't be able to get another - as there;s little left to attach the replacement onto! I played golf over a c.50yr period, and was lucky enough to suffer no injuries - my knees were fine, too, although I must say I do get the odd twinge playing bowls - usually the evening after a singles/pairs match! Different muscles/actions. I'm not advocating super-fitness, however - that brings its own problems unless carefully managed - , just that a modest level of regular activity and relative fitness will help you in all walks of life until later in life. Any sport, at whatever level, will place stresses on the body; modest fitness levels helps strengthen bones etc and can better endure such stresses. If you've ever spent even a short period in bed with flu or whatever, you'll know how quickly the body weakens and is less able to cope with things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by corptaxman View Post
    You're right, John, about the joint replacements - especially knees: I know of several golfers who are on their second replacements and have been 'advised' to stop playing, as they won't be able to get another - as there;s little left to attach the replacement onto! I played golf over a c.50yr period, and was lucky enough to suffer no injuries - my knees were fine, too, although I must say I do get the odd twinge playing bowls - usually the evening after a singles/pairs match! Different muscles/actions. I'm not advocating super-fitness, however - that brings its own problems unless carefully managed - , just that a modest level of regular activity and relative fitness will help you in all walks of life until later in life. Any sport, at whatever level, will place stresses on the body; modest fitness levels helps strengthen bones etc and can better endure such stresses. If you've ever spent even a short period in bed with flu or whatever, you'll know how quickly the body weakens and is less able to cope with things.
    My golf career spanned 63years, but i never suffered knee problems, but had 2hip replacements And an ankle fusion,i tend to blame my squash career for most of the problems,however non of them effect by bowls playing,i did however give up umpiring after my Heart bypass 3 years ago,ifound standing for about 4hours a bit too much
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    I started to ease off deliberate 'training' at the age of 35ish, it was a calculated decision after over 20 years of various activities.
    Over 40 years later I am down to 30 mins of Tai Chi daily which will see me out!
    Luckily I have never had any replacement parts just a few repairs.
    PS. The state of one or two of the top pros in the game seems to indicate that natural ability will always show through in such a sedate game as ours!
    Last edited by EJB; 20-09-2018 at 04:00 PM.

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    Even though bowls is less fitness orientated you still have to be standing and walking for 2+ hours depending on the competition. Also the ability to get low enough to deliver a smooth wood is important in my eyes, I've seen a few over weight players who cant get low enough to deliver consistent woods and that can be a problem if you are striving for higher levels of play.

    I've also seen players with poor flexibility who just literally stand up straight and lob there woods...bit like a bouncing bomb lol. I'm overweight, but can go for 3+ hours if needed and also consistently deliver a smooth bowl. After a while my right ankle starts aching a bit and im hoping to lose some weight to alleviate this.

    But yeah. It depends how far you want to take your game really. There aren't that many top level players who are overweight or unfit, I can think of about two.
    You can always out-bowl your bad luck in every game!

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    I think that clarity of mind comes from good overall fitness. Eye sight, clear decision making comes from good health/fitness. I don't think that bowlers need to be out jogging every night. But to perform at the the top level I think it may add a little edge to someones game (in my opinion). Agreed with the above, there are not too many pros who are overweight by a lot.
    Darren P
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