Carla’s Corner – Edition 11
Dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist and world champion Carla Krizanic continues to share her insights in her eleventh column for bowls.com.au, as she eagerly awaits the arrival of her second child.
With Victorians heading into their first round of pennant this weekend and the forecast looking extremely wet, it got me thinking about playing bowls in extreme conditions.
Nothing beats playing outdoors on a perfect Aussie day but let’s be honest, Mother Nature doesn’t always play her part in this.
When the rain starts falling, the first thing to do is put whatever type of gripping product you use away in your bag, I’m happy to be proven wrong but I’m yet to hear of a magical product that can make your bowls easier to grip in the rain.
While a good old cloth can work wonders in a bit of drizzle to dry both your hand and the bowl, if the rain gets heavy it is generally best to chuck your cloth in the bag as well.
Excessive wiping and trying to apply gripping products just makes thing more frustrating and I’m yet to see it actually help anyone.
In a good downpour, you best to have a wet bowl and a wet hand, and if you don’t believe me the next time you go down for practice get a bucket of water and dunk your hand and bowl in it and have a go, you will be surprised at how easy it is to grip a wet bowl with a wet hand.
If you’re still struggling, I often find I will spread my fingers a bit to enable me to clasp onto the bowl a little more.
While this isn’t a text book grip it at least gives me a bit of confidence that I’m not going to drop the bowl. Better to get it away a bit rough than not at all.
I’ve left wind for last because I can tell you I’ve played some shockers in the wind.
I wish I had the answer of how to combat it but I’m still looking for the key ingredient, all I’ve come up with so far is that sometimes you do just have to accept that the wind was the winner and concentrate on your next bowl.
Generally, what beats me in the wind is not necessarily my opposition but myself getting frustrated and annoyed. If it’s a super windy day for you, it’s the same for your opposition, so put your head down, get your bum up and produce the best bowls you can.
I’ve slowing gotten better at accepting that on a windy day, a great shot may be a metre away rather than on the jack, and that it might be a bit of an ugly game but to be the winner all you have to do is get closer than your opponent.
If it’s a cross wind I generally choose to play wider, because at least the wind is pushing my bowl towards the jack rather than away from it.
If it’s a head wind I always try and focus on drawing past the jack rather than to it so that if a gust comes up I’m not a mile short and in the way for my next bowl.
I’m no expert at playing in extreme conditions and I really don’t think anyone out there really is, but I have often gone down for practice on these days to experiment with what works best for me.
So next time the weather isn’t so crash hot and you think of bypassing training, maybe just get out for a short time and have a little experiment with what might work best for you.