Carla’s Corner – Edition Four

by Bowls Australia

Dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist and world champion Carla Krizanic continues to share her insights in her fourth column for bowls.com.au, as she lives through Victorian lockdown restrictions while eagerly awaiting the arrival of her second child.

This week Victorians finally got to see the roadmap out of lockdown, whilst we still don’t really know when we can get on the greens, at least it seems like bit will efore we put up our Christmas tree. This got me thinking about getting back into training, so I wanted to share how I plan my training.

The majority of bowlers head down for training, find some teammates and roll up and down whilst having a bit of a chin wag. If you manage an hour, you are happy, and two even better. Don’t get me wrong I do this as well and if I’m being truly honest my absolute favourite part is enjoying the beverage and banter afterwards. At the end of the day bowls is a social sport and its one of the things I most love about it.

But to improve my game I know I need to do more than this and work on specific areas of my game. Typically, when we are just rolling up and down the green we are simply going through the motions, practicing what we are already good at and potentially even reinforcing some bad habits

It might be a well-used saying in most sports but that’s for good reason; ‘purposeful practice’ is a philosophy I have always based my training around and something I directly think about when planning my practice session.

To ensure I have time for purposeful practice, I will often get on the green during quieter times or half an hour before having a roll up with teammates at pennant practice. It’s a time that I train on my own, with a coach or training partner that has the same goal as me.

To make my training purposeful I set my goal for the session beforehand. It may be that at pennant last Saturday I really struggled on ditch to ditch ends so I plan to practice long ends, or I missed a lot of backhand runners, so I spend some time with the coach looking at how to improve that area.  Sometimes I’m preparing for a specific event and position that I will be playing, or it might be that I want to improve my consistency, so I utilise some of the many drills out there and work on trying to beat my previous score.

There are so many aspects of our game when you break it down, so have a look at your game and think about areas you can improve on. Pick something specific and focus on that skill for your session rather than just bowling in general.

The best part of purposeful practice is that it doesn’t need to be hours’ worth on the green. I’ll chuck in another well used saying here, ‘quality over quantity’. I truly believe that half an hour of focusing on a specific skill is going to help you a lot more in your next competition than spending hours just rolling up and down.

Take care and stay safe.

Carla Krizanic.