Coaching Skills for Pennant
Skills for Pennant Preparation
Pennant competitions are to start soon, so now is the time to start training sessions to develop skills and become more consistent.
Training sessions are about building a team/rink by identifying strengths and weaknesses, improving personal skills, commitment and bonding with your team mates.
Once you have identified weaknesses in your game the next step should be to talk with a club coach to set about improving the situation. This will not only give you self-satisfaction but will also help your side in game situations. Teams and players cannot just sit back and hope to do better than last season, but need to make results happen, hence the need for a schedule or practice system in place to build a solid performance.
There are four key areas to consider:
The technical area is all about bowling skills. Do we have the skills to perform each week or do we train with a purpose on the green? Training drills, set by the players or the club coaches, will help players and pennant sides to improve their ability to perform consistently and stay at their desired level each week. Drills can include drawing, conversion shots, driving, weight control, drawing to the ditch or any modified game drill and will challenge players and sides so they will know to play the shot that is best for the team, e.g. Project 7% Pre pennant exercises.
The tactical part of the game is about players knowing their role and responsibilities within the team and also the overall game plan for the team or the individual rink. During the game this relates to reading a head, shot selection, weight required, awareness and strategy. When the match is not going your way on the scorecard there is a need to change something or control the deficit, tactics such as the length of jack, the leader changing the side he/she is bowling on or some other area previously worked out, come into play.
Mental toughness, compatibility, commitment, body language, mind set and attitudes are all psychological tools that on most occasions we are not fully aware of during play. If opposition players pick up on negative body language and attitude of players they can use established tactics against your team to take advantage of the situation. Members of your own team can also pick up on these indicators and if they interpret them the wrong way they can spell disaster for the team.
Mental toughness is up to each individual and it’s your decision whether you are willing to let your club, team and yourself down. Compatibility in any team is crucial and, to maximize performance. If you are unhappy with your selection look at the big picture and remember that you are playing for the club and your team mates; not for yourself.
Measuring performance can be done in several ways. One is keeping score when doing drills in training sessions so benchmarks for each drill can be set. After completing the drill a number of times do a score assessment against the accepted benchmarks for the drills to assess your individual skill improvement. Strengthening individual skills will not only provide personal satisfaction but will also translate into an improvement in overall team results.
Another helpful method to measure performance that can contribute to team success is to set achievable goals for the team or a team goal. This could include winning a number of ends or keeping the opposition to a minimum score and if achieved will contribute to the team obtaining the results that they are looking for.
For your own performance, the easiest measure is record the number of your effective bowls, e.g. within 1ML or 1metre