Carla’s Corner – Edition six

by Val Febbo

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

This week on Bowls Australia’s (BA) ‘The Right Line’ podcast we spoke to recently appointed BA High Performance Manger Rebecca Van Asch and Para-Bowls High Performance Manager Ellen Falkner MBE.

I’ve talked a bit about how much I enjoy bowls as a sport at the club level and the social aspect of the club environment, so instead this week I wanted to share how it feels to be part of a high performance environment.

My first introduction to bowls as a high performance sport was playing in the U/25 Trans Tasman series way back when I was 19.

I loved the team building exercises, the fitness component, game planning, recovery, post match reviews and just the elite approach in general. At the time I had never really thought of bowls as an elite sport, it was something I was playing more as a recreational activity.

This experience opened my eyes to what I could achieve as a bowler and it was the turning point for me from going from a player who enjoyed having a go at any event that I entered to setting goals and aiming to compete at the highest level.

Over the past 12 years of being involved in the Australian squad, our approach as a high performance sport has continued to grow and it’s been inspiring and continually motivating to be a part of.

There are definitely a lot more aspects of performance to look at, rather than just the technical and tactical. All those extra one-percenters come from the work we do off green in an array of areas from personal development to team building and culture.

Throughout the past couple of years I have noticed a real focus on individual wellbeing that extends from just looking after the players while they are on tour but also to helping us manage everyday life while being an elite athlete and also a focus on preparing us for life after sport.

The high performance environment has enabled me to take part in some sensational opportunities over the years that have seen me develop not only as a player, but also as a person.

We have done team building exercises that have seen us testing some of our fears, we have been involved in personality reviews that have helped us understand ourselves as individuals and team members, we’ve had opportunities to learn from nutrition and physical preparation experts and I’ve had opportunities to work on personal development such as public speaking and even managing finances.

This is all just scraping the surface of the types of things we have done as a high performance team.

While being a Jackaroo is about bowling for Australia, it’s also so much more.

It is an absolute privilege and honour to have had the opportunities that the high performance environment has provided me with for many years, and with the recent appointment of Rebecca and Ellen into the program, things are only going to get better.

Take care and stay safe,

Carla Krizanic.