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Thread: Building a head

  1. #1
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    Default Building a head


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    Been bowling about 2 years, enjoying it loads and quite addicted. However, although bowling well enough to be bumped up to skip quite regularly, I feel I知 bowling reactively and by instinct rather than having a plan. As a skip I feel I知 struggling to give decent instructions and the wins we achieve could be made easier(note, I get bumped up to skip because we have a lot of new members and a shortage of experienced bowlers).

    I realise the question has any number of answers but what do you look for when building a head?

    Thanks in advance for reading and your replies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Been bowling about 2 years, enjoying it loads and quite addicted. However, although bowling well enough to be bumped up to skip quite regularly, I feel I知 bowling reactively and by instinct rather than having a plan. As a skip I feel I知 struggling to give decent instructions and the wins we achieve could be made easier(note, I get bumped up to skip because we have a lot of new members and a shortage of experienced bowlers).

    I realise the question has any number of answers but what do you look for when building a head?

    Thanks in advance for reading and your replies.
    When we are coaching 途eading the head I try a couple of simple set ups then ask around the group for thoughts,this is not being sexist, but the answers are usually depending on who is answering, the ladies tend to me more defensive, So things to consider. 1 The state of the match, 2 ability of the person playing the shot, 3 match score, 4 what could go wrong, 5 what happens if jack moves,6 what shot will the opponent play, You Should now be getting the idea of what to look for before your player is ready, As you said you are often skip to new bowlers,keep the instructions simple, play a backhand draw, sounds easier than try and get close ,if you want a covering bowl stand approx to where you want it allowing scope. New bowlers often bowl narrow so stand giving an indication of line, anywhere on the line.So why have you selected the shot to play the fact that you have though about it will now help, The choice will now be the bowl which will add to your score or will protect your score, remember you still have bowls to put things right, remember a skip can save a game but a lead can win it!!! It is difficult to cover this topic on line,There must be a coach or even one of your top players to ask good luck
    No Grey Areas

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    We have a very few ladies who are more aggressive - the most so has also been ladies singles champion for the last 4 years.

    Many famous military leaders/strategists are quoted along the lines of 'no plan survives contact with the enemy', and Mike Tyson famously said 'everyone has a plan until they are punched in the mouth', which is largely true. An upfront plan is fine, but can only be fairly general based on things like 'where you stand in the match etc' and you need to be able to quickly read a head and form an 'idea' for the next shot - very much along the lines suggested by John.

    We had a decent 'coach' come to the club a few years ago and she ended up by doing as John said - setting up a few heads and asking everyone in turn what they saw/thought, working through each move, and simply moving the bowls by hand each time with the team consensus and assuming it was achieved: it was very helpful, and certainly did emphasize people's tendencies.

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    For me, there are various levels of ability - and thus various levels of head-building that will apply. The biggest mistake that I see being made is this feeling and target to achieve shot after every bowl has been played. So, I have a player in my team who, if playing lead, or even two in triples, feels that he has to play his bowl, so that it will get us the shot. Whereas, I am constantly trying to get him to understand (and play) that the number of woods close is often crucial in a head. If you only have one wood in the head, but have shot (or even 2nd/3rd), then it may be under threat of removal for a count. The more woods that you have close, compared to the number of woods that your opposition has close may mean that you can be the ones to play for a count. Returning to my team-mate - I am often directing him to draw close to the head - or to play no more than one or two feet of weight (slight overdraw). We have many 'discussions' that go along the way of "I'd like you to play the backhand draw and get in really close"...... "I can see a shot on the other hand..." I know you can see that shot, but I want to build the head, to get another wood close"...... "Yes, but I can take out their bowl if I play it on the other hand with a bit of weight"..... etc etc. Needs firm handling. I always try and explain my reasoning to him either when he comes up to the head, or after the game. He's starting to learn, but it is slow progress. However, I do see quite a few bowlers with similar behaviours. Their understand is that the best shot is almost always the one that will leave them holding shot after they have bowled - and, actually, that they have somehow failed if they haven't been able to do this (or it is a failure of the skip, if they haven't directed them to do such a thing) - and I would argue that this is not a good or useful way of understanding how to build a head. So, for me, the early to mid stages of understanding head-building is mainly to try and get players to get as many bowls as close as possible (i.e. through drawing) - and just put covering woods in if the need arises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happymrjames View Post
    For me, there are various levels of ability - and thus various levels of head-building that will apply. The biggest mistake that I see being made is this feeling and target to achieve shot after every bowl has been played. So, I have a player in my team who, if playing lead, or even two in triples, feels that he has to play his bowl, so that it will get us the shot. Whereas, I am constantly trying to get him to understand (and play) that the number of woods close is often crucial in a head. If you only have one wood in the head, but have shot (or even 2nd/3rd), then it may be under threat of removal for a count. The more woods that you have close, compared to the number of woods that your opposition has close may mean that you can be the ones to play for a count. Returning to my team-mate - I am often directing him to draw close to the head - or to play no more than one or two feet of weight (slight overdraw). We have many 'discussions' that go along the way of "I'd like you to play the backhand draw and get in really close"...... "I can see a shot on the other hand..." I know you can see that shot, but I want to build the head, to get another wood close"...... "Yes, but I can take out their bowl if I play it on the other hand with a bit of weight"..... etc etc. Needs firm handling. I always try and explain my reasoning to him either when he comes up to the head, or after the game. He's starting to learn, but it is slow progress. However, I do see quite a few bowlers with similar behaviours. Their understand is that the best shot is almost always the one that will leave them holding shot after they have bowled - and, actually, that they have somehow failed if they haven't been able to do this (or it is a failure of the skip, if they haven't directed them to do such a thing) - and I would argue that this is not a good or useful way of understanding how to build a head. So, for me, the early to mid stages of understanding head-building is mainly to try and get players to get as many bowls as close as possible (i.e. through drawing) - and just put covering woods in if the need arises.
    Some very good points here,obsession with getting shot, is not a good policy, and confidence in the other players in your team should help you to eliminate the number of times someone thinks they have a better idea of the shot required from the mat end, team building comes to mind
    No Grey Areas

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    Many thanks for the replies everyone. Great point about getting players to bowl strategically rather than always at the jack.

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