At McLaren Vale we have some excellent and dedicated coaches. Contact our Coach Coordinator who will assist you in either allocating a coach to assist or coach you himself.

Club Coach and Co-ordinator:
Assistant Coach: Marie Broadwood – 8323 7464

As a keen bowler, an accredited coach can help you achieve your personal goals. This season make an effort to ask for help and seek advice. You will be the one who benefits. Other players’ performances seems to plateau off, they stop improving and they are not sure why. In collaboration, you and your coach can plan what you are aiming to achieve and how you can go about it.

  1. What a coach can do for you
    Learn and improve performance skills e.g. type of shots.
    To learn the application of the skills involved in bowls requires assistance. You need a coach to help you develop all your strengths and weaknesses. Often it is too easy to avoid working on all parts of your game. Players naturally tend to practice their strengths and spend inadequate time on their weaker skills. A coach can give direction and insist on a disciplined planned approach to practice.
  2. Technique correction
    If a fault creeps into your game you need an extra pair of eyes to regularly check your delivery. Your personal coach can do this for you if they have been observing your style and understand its characteristics. Video analysis is not difficult and is very useful, especially for a player who may not believe that their style has changed.
  3. Fitness
    Regular simple exercise can help you cope with the physical requirements of the game. Walking, jogging, bike riding or swimming can form the basis of a suitable exercise program regardless of age. Additional forms of training can also be beneficial, such as circuit training, stretching and strength training. Your coach and doctor can advise you on suitable exercise for your age and health.
  4. Confidence, motivation goal setting
    All mental skills require practice and usually involve a strategy. Many players are naturally blessed with very good mental performance skills but could benefit from motivational help throughout the year and in particular at practice sessions. Direction is needed to plan and set goals prior to the playing season and also during the season when a special need arises.
  5. Competition preparation
    Each player is different, and particular performance skills need emphasis prior to any important competition.  A personal coach can identify them and plan appropriate practice to assist the player to be totally prepared.
  6. Practice sessions
    Often practice sessions are unstructured and have no particular purpose. This is surely the way to maintain mediocrity. A personal coach can provide ideas, motivation and planning for your practice sessions. This is essential for sequential skill learning.

Team Methodology


A good lead sets control of the head, with a good team built around a good lead.
Must have good communication with the Skip.
Use the ‘roll-up’ to find the truest hand and discuss with the Skip.
Place the mat at the discretion of the Skip.
Deliver the jack as close as possible, to a distance determined by the Skip.
Get two bowls in the ‘keyhole’ – an area no more than 1 mat length around the jack.
Do not lose concentration on the game.


A good second should be a ‘jack of all trades’ to cover all situations that may arise.
Bowl the hand as directed by the Skip.
Draw to the jack or a position as requested by the Skip.
Never anticipate what direction the Skip will give.
Stand behind the mat and await direction.
Be capable of the full variety of shots.
Keep the scorecard – acknowledge the score, record neatly and adjust scoreboard when at the scoreboard end.


Should be a strong bowler, encourage team performance, be diplomatic and loyal to the Skip.
Be capable of the full variety of shots.
Be in full harmony with the Skip.
Accept directions without question.
Be a good judge of a shot, as the Skip will rely on the ability to give an accurate assessment of the head.
Call the Skip to the head if in doubt.
Be a capable measurer and aware of the laws of the game.
Stand back when the Skip is playing, don’t move or say anything unless asked.
Be aware of games next to you to protect the head in case of a wayward bowl.
At completion of each end, give Skip the clear result of the end and then to the second.
If head changes, advise the Skip accordingly.


Should be a motivator, a good psychologist and an analyst.
Must know the team and call shots within their capabilities.
Show leadership and earn the team’s respect.
Be firm with directions, not show public displeasure with bad shots, but quietly talk to players between ends.
Analyse the team plus the opposition for strengths and weaknesses.
Wherever possible, not interfere with the Lead – trust their judgement and give advice if asked.
Take the Third into confidence to show the team and the opposition that they are in complete harmony.
If not happy with the shot called by the Third, go to the head and discuss.
Be loyal to the team to bring out the best in them.
Be aware of games next to you to protect the head in case of a wayward bowl.
Be in tune with the state of the green and call percentage shots when required.
Know and understand the rules of the game.
Always show good etiquette on and off the green.
Have a positive attitude towards the game and the team – be a good loser.
Play with a positive attitude – remember, you represent the Club.

The Team

The performance potential of a team is much greater than the individual talents of a player, especially in lawn bowls.
Mutual respect, good communication, trust and encouragement are traits that will foster team spirit.
Get to know your teammates, be positive and supportive, resolve conflict quickly, adopt a good attitude, communicate and don’t be a loud mouth or show off.
Above all don’t forget to have fun when playing the game.
Play the best game that you can, and remember, enjoyment increases everyone’s success.

Some Tactics for Head Building

Quite often, during play, the head is allowed to build without any real thought being given to the necessity of strategic placement of bowls, to either maximise the number of shots gained or to reduce the score that one’s opponent may achieve.
Obviously, you should not take unnecessary risks in directing your team’s shots, or play into your opponents hands, by underestimating their ability to take advantage of a dangerous situation that you may have created by careless head building.
Perhaps a golden rule to bear in mind when building a head, is that if you cannot win an end, then the main aim is to lose by the least number of shots.
Never be afraid to let your opponent have one shot when your risky ‘saving’ bowl may mean going down four or five.
If you are holding shots don’t be too greedy, but look for adverse positions in the head, where a movement of the jack could result in a big score against you, and play to cover that possibility with a position bowl.


  1. When holding shots – never be narrow
  2. When down – never be wide
  3. Every player’s bowls are part of the head building process

T.E.A.M. – Together Everyone Achieves More