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It's easy to blame the Selectors - Men's Captain

Perhaps we should be asking ourselves a few questions. Maybe we should start by looking at our own games, our own presence on the greens, our own performances. How about we start to look at "What is the role we each are playing and how are we playing it".


Let's start by not blaming others and trying to have some positive impact to the "TEAM" game.

If we cannot say anything positive perhaps best not to say anything at all.

If you are concerned about how your Rink /Division is performing then voice that with them openly in a positive way. Just saying "Hey guys we don't seem to be playing long ends well, can we get together and practice to sort this out?" or "We are falling off towards the last 5 ends so I will give a cue during last 5 ends to keep us concentrating."

Stop just going back to selectors and saying  "I am not going to play with this person or that person", "I need a new lead blah blah blah". MAKE things happen, be constructive, proactive.


Here are some excerpts from a publication by John Snell which contains some great advice for different positions. .

Now is the time to start preparing for next season, particularly if you want to play in a different position or a higher grade”





Learn to use the mat to draw around or under a bowl close to the draw line instead of changing hands.

The lead sets the pattern and dictates whether or not the team adopts defensive or aggressive tactics.

The importance of rolling the jack to the length required by the skip cannot be over emphasised

Generally, you should bowl on the kindest (or more predictable) drawing side and don’t bowl “around the clock”

Don’t try anything else other than getting your 2 bowls near the jack. The ONLY exception is to draw about half a metre BEHIND the jack with your second bowl if your first is more than 300mms in front.

Never “niggle” at the head unless instructed to do so by your Skip.

In practice, work on your rhythm and practice drawing around or under a short bowl.



The main qualification for a second is command of the draw shot with no preference for either hand.

Should the lead fail with both his bowls, the Second’s job is to assume the Lead’s role and DRAW.

When drawing to a position, whether it’s on the draw line or offset, imagine a jack on the indicated spot, give it full concentration and draw a “toucher”.



“Good Thirds should be seen and not heard” is not necessarily 100% true. Don’t offer an opinion before the skip has had a chance to speak as he may have decided on the shot to play and any suggestion for something different may erode his confidence

If asked a question by the Skip, the Third should be decisive in his answer leaving the Skip in no doubt.

Underestimate the distance is short or long, particularly short bowls. If you call a short bowl as 1 metre out, the player will try to add AT LEAST another metre and will often be 2 – 3 metres too long.

Should the Third be called on to play a vital draw shot under extreme pressure, either pray or imagine there are no other bowls on the green and draw to the jack.




To be a top Skip demands that you have the following attributes: psychology, self-control, tactics, empathy, leadership, counselling, poise, determination, intestinal fortitude and it will help if you can bowl!

Build the head first before you think about attacking. Your top priority is to get bowls in the head.

Be prepared to accept second shot. Such a decision can mean the difference between winning and losing (not just on your rink) at the end of the day.

Underestimate the distance is short or long, particularly short bowls. If you call a short bowl as 1 metre out, the player will try to add AT LEAST another metre and will often be 2 – 3 metres too long.

To excel as a Skip, you need to develop a reasonable sense of humour and use it not only for your own enjoyment but to put your players at ease, particularly when “the chips are down”


The following guidelines provide a self analysis for skips. If you are putting these principles into effect, chances are you are winning more games than you are losing. The trick here is to brutally honest with yourself and your performance!


 Skippers notes


            What is my game plan?

                                    Have I explained it to my Rink members?

                                    Do my team members understand and agree?

                                    Does it change from home to away games?

                                    Has it achieved desired results, if yes how and if not, why not?


            Do I communicate well?

                                    Are my instructions clear?

                                    Do rink members understand “what bowl result I am requesting”?

                                    Am I concise or do I invoke indecision by giving to many options?

                                    In my communication am I inclusive or closed?

                                    Is my body Language and “tone of voice” acceptable?

                                    Do I acknowledge, encourage and support both rink and other team members?



            What are my expectations of each rink member’s position?




                                    Have I communicated my expectation to each person individually?

                                    Have I communicated my expectation to SELECTORS?


            Do I evaluate?

                                    Not only my own game performance but that of each rink member?

                                    Do I question tactics used and the results?

                                    Am I honest with my evaluations?

                                    Do I provide the necessary feedback to selectors which may assist them in their efforts to evaluate and develop a stronger                                      selection process?


            Am I a Captain?

                                    Am I seen as a strong player?

                                    Do I contribute?

                                    Can I build better relationships with team members?

                                    Do I lead by example?

                                    Do I do the team things, not only for my rink, but also for the entire division?

                                    Do I encourage rink practice?

                                    Do I encourage team members to get coaching to address specific inconsistencies?

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