Are you balanced?
At the foundation of every good bowls delivery, is good balance. Maintain your balance and you can deliver the bowl to the jack with both consistency and accuracy. Lose your balance and your delivery loses its rhythm/tempo.
Having stability in your lower body through good balance encourages a more synchronized movement between the moving of the body and the swinging of the pendulum arm and the result is a more consistent bowl.
A balanced swing/delivery looks graceful – almost effortless.
It is important to know where your weight is when on the mat. Can you feel three places on your feet – toes; balls; heels? (Almost always on two of these). At address, your weight should be balanced equally over the insteps of both feet – not toward the heels or the toes. This puts you in an athletic, ready position, like a tennis player awaiting serve. From this dynamic position, your body is ready to move in any direction. Relax knees slightly ‘sinking’ into the mat. (To check your balance at address, simply jump straight up in the air. If you’re in balance, you should land comfortably on both feet without falling forward or backward.)
Try bowling blind: When your vision is taken away, you begin to sense balance internally. Try bowling with ones’ eyes closed, concentrating on maintaining balance. Once you become proficient bowling in the ‘dark’, try to maintain the same tempo with your eyes open. (This is an excellent exercise, whenever one is practising, to encourage awareness – able to be feel shoulder movement; arm swing and speed; smoothness of weight transfer; if difference on backhand / forehand etc etc)
Step: Too large or too small a step will affect balance. Ideal is for there to be only a small gap between the front heel and the back knee on delivery and for ones body weight to be over both feet evenly.
Sink into knees and feet as you push through.
Your finish helps dictate your swing. Finish in balance and it’s a good bet your entire swing was in balance. If you’re stumbling at the finish the shot is less than satisfying. Chances are your rhythm and timing are off and / or your pendulum arm is not following a straight line back and forward. To develop a more balanced finish, practice holding your finish position for three or four seconds.
Increased tension can affect balance. Bowlers can lose their balance because of tension in their legs. Relax, breathe, enjoy every delivery!
Additional Resources: YouTube