Carla’s Corner – Edition 13
Dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist and world champion Carla Krizanic continues to share her insights in her 13th column for bowls.com.au, as she eagerly awaits the arrival of her second child.
For the past 12 summers I’ve enjoyed my Saturdays on the green playing pennant, but this year with the impending arrival of a baby in the middle of the season I will instead watch my beloved Club Sunbury from the sidelines.
I enjoy playing all positions in the fours format but I have a special love for leading and always enjoy playing this role when I’m asked to.
The lead is where we all tend to start when we first play bowls but there’s no reason you can’t be a master of leading at any stage of your career, from a beginner or a seasoned campaigner.
I have led for Australia in many events and feel a massive responsibility to do my job well for the ladies that follow me.
The lead plays a vital role in setting the end up in favour of their team and of course has the responsibility of rolling the jack.
I personally think of the jack as a third bowl, it is vital for your team that you roll the length that the team is getting the best results on, even if this isn’t necessarily your favourite length.
I love rolling the jack because it gives me a bonus feel for the pace of the green before putting my first bowl down, so take note when you have the jack in your hands.
I often hear lots of leads worrying about beating their opponent, which is great but don’t get caught up in thinking that holding shot is necessarily beating them.
What makes your bowls more effective is having both bowls in a good area for your team, which means close to the jack or just passing.
One on the jack is great but if the other bowl is two metres short and your opponent sits both of their bowls two feet behind the jack, they have actually done the job better.
You don’t get any score for holding shot after the leads finish, you get it after the skips have finished, so setting them up rather than holding shot is the key to being a great lead.
I’ve heard leads get frustrated at times because they feel every time they get close their bowls get knocked away or the jack moves, don’t get frustrated this is just a compliment from the opposition that you are playing too well.
I think what really made me understand the role and importance of a lead bowling good, close position bowls was skipping myself. A skip can also learn a lot from leading themselves and seeing how it feels from the other end.
When you get a chance have a crack at some different positions to see the game from a different perspective.