Yet again there are some interesting articles in Bowls International. One this month is by John Rednall, as he reviews the World Bowls Indoor Tournament.
Do all those equal a 6th C – Champion?
It’s best to read the the article yourselves but it talks of having confidence – when you’re playing well, you go for shots you wouldn’t attempt if you were playing an ‘ok’ game. When Bob, Frances, Ray & Carole reached the semi-finals of the Potters Tournament a couple of years ago, we watched Bob play some brilliant shots. His confidence grew as the week went on and it was wonderful to see them come off. That confidence rubbed off on the rest of the team too.
You know yourself if you play more, you play better. Co-ordination – They talked of ‘muscle memory’ during the championships. I’ve never thought about that. Some days you’ll be on song on one side of the green and you draw continuously. Your brain and arm work in harmony and, consequently, your confidence grows. It’s good when it happens on forehands and backhands together!
Developing a constant delivery pattern so you know that just minor tweaks in backswing,/follow through will allow you to make adjustments as you move to different club greens indoors and out. You achieve control.
Courage – having the confidence to play a shot to turn the head/game around. Take a deep breath and go for it. If it pays off, it will increase your confidence again. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again. That running bowl that you need to play with the weight the first time, but the green of the second time, hopefully being on target on the third time. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes playing a courageous shot which pays off gives you a real high!
Finally,, John Rednall refers to Control. Control of your actions – mentally and physically. Slinging the mat over the edge of the green when you’ve gone from 5 up to one down by your opponent’s shot is maddening. It’s hard to take a deep breath, step back and focus on the next end. Throwing your arms in the air in frustration (we’ve all done it) just gives our opponent a massive boost of confidence! On the other hand, playing a final shot which could give you the match also requires control. Control over your nerves, keeping your shoulders relaxed to deliver a bowl in the same way you have all match. To visualise the bowl leaving your hand to land exactly where you want it does help. It may not be perfect but you won’t know until you try!
Penalty shoot outs in football require Confidence, Co-ordination, Control, Courage and Composure. Although the article is aimed at bowlers, it applies to all sports.
Look at a day when you play well and see if the 5 C’s applied to you on that occasion.
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