Friday, February 23, 2024

Jet Lag and a Athletic's Performance

 Reading a SPORTS (Science Periodical on Research and Technology in Sport)  pamplete title "Timing Travel and Athletic Performance (Oct 1984) written by Charles M Winget PhD who explains how performance is affected by Jet-Lag when involved in International Competitions.


 Mr. Winget, who died in July 2013, was involved with NASA's biomedical research in Space travel.(Biomedical Research Div of NASA ) and their research on speed with Astronauts health.

At the end of  Mr. Winget article which  was published by the Coaching Association of Canada  in October 1984; we find the following advice.

"As general advice "For the athlete who has not pre-adapted to destination time clues, if possible , avoid important athletic competitions in the morning hours during the initial days after long eastbound flights and last afternoon hours after a west bound flight."

Your internal clock, called a circadian clock, cycles about every 24 hours and "Circadian rhythm disorders", also known as sleep-wake cycle disorders, are problems that occur when your body's internal clock, which tells you when it's time to sleep or  to wake, is out of sync with your environment. (US NHLBI) 

There are several aspect of this science involved in a Coach's intervention in the performance of their athletics. From schedule practice after a competition with the intention to allow for a stressful competition to be surpressed and the athletic rest; to the development of Practice and Preparation to allow the athletic to reach his Performance Peak at the actual time of competition. Or as per the Jet-lag research the influence on a athletic at Peak Performance due to lack of successful recovery.

The Canadian Coaching Association article  by Charles M Winget stated the following 

"Jet lag, the disruption of circadian (daily) rhythms, is a recognized air travel syndrome that athletes, tourists and business executives alike must confront when flying across more than a few time zones.

 The most familiar daily rhythm is sleep and wakefulness. But the body has many biological clocks, some daily, some on other schedules.  Most biological functions are rhythmic in character, increasing and decreasing at constant rates. Under normal conditions, all of these rhythms operate in specific phase relationships to one another. The smooth functioning of the body , as a system depending on the maintenance of these timing relationships. So the physiological rhythms noticeably lower at night are heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Kidney functions is also low at night but high during the day.  Metabolism is highest at noon. Adrenal rhythms are highest during the early sleeping hours and during peaks in the last evenings."

"Disturbing physiological rhythm relationships, jet lag can have far-reaching effects on performance. These effects can range from fatigue and irritability to serious sleep disorders, headache, and acute intestinal upset.  The particular symptoms experienced and their severity vary from individual to individual. If you add these internal troubles to the external stress of facing a tough opponent and the stage is set for ineffective performance"

"Thus the competitive athlete who understands circadian 


(from the Latin circa and dien - about a day) rhythms will be able to perform more effectively. The coach will also be in a better position to improve team performance because relatively small, individual decrements in performance can add up to larger team performance decrements."

Further, after a short history on jet lag the articles states

"The very speed of travel is, however, accompanied by exposure to certain transent distrubances in physiological functions. These changes occur whenever we quickly move from the time zone in which we normally live to a new time zone where local time is several hours different. Thus , we experience disorientation in time when we fly west or east but no disorientation in flying north or south."

"The symptoms of Jet lag, usually felt soon after disembarking from a long Jet flight are disorientation, confusion, distortion of the senses of time and distance, fatigue, upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea, decrements of physical and mental efficiency, and disturbances in sleep habits. The nature of this malady is actually a state of disarray in the body's physiological cycles or biological clocks. Body cycles either out of synchrony with each other or with environmental cycles are in a condition scientist call dysrhythmia. The symptoms of dysrhythmia, following transmeridian flights, are commonly referred to as jet lag. The body cannot reset its biological clock with the same ease that we adjust our watches to a new time zone. In fact, it has been suggested the peak decline in psychomotor performance to to jet lag alone corresponds in young humans to the decline in performance which results from the 0.1 percent blood level." 

Virtually unknown 30 years ago dysrhythmia today is perhaps the most frequently experienced peril of the jet travelling athlete." The article gave an example of "a Boston based runner who planned to go to a race in Hawaii", but was called to Paris on Business.  "After 10 days in Europe, he returnedafter eating breakfast in Paris, With another breakfast in New York (Paris time 5pm), then Lunch in San Francisco with friends; he then, the next day, flew to Hawaii. Only to find that he was tired, irritable, mentally disoriented and suffering acute indigestion"

"Biological or circadian rhythms are not to be confused with the discredited, so called biorhythms of 23-days physical cycle, a 28 day emotional cycle and a 33 day intellectual cycle"

Dr. Daniel C Holley, professor of physiology at San Jose State University reviewed with his colleagues the literature dealing with internal and external factors which induce modification of performance rhythms. Among the factors investigated were motivation and sleep deprivation. Motivation or extra effort is able to improve physical performance for a limited time. Extended sleep (e.g. 12 hours) following a long jet flight can make up for sleep lost. However, a night's rest is not enough to bring the physiologic clock into phase with local time. This adjustment is gradual and usually takes one day for each time zone crossed."

After discussion the sleeping problems like "Micro-sleep episodes" which can cause car accidents because of short micro second falling asleep; Dr. Winget explains how the electroencephalogram brain waves frequency change (alpha waves) and their micro voltage (delta waves). Dr Winget went on to explain how during sleep, the body shuts down all muscles while activating organs like kidneys.  This was summized as

 " It is important for the athlete to keep in mind the significance of the circadian variation in circulatory system dynamics, which influences delivery of oxygen, glucose and hormones to the various organs , including the brain."

"There are circadian rhythms in a variety of neuromuscular functions which affect athletic performance. These include reaction time, grip strength and Achilles tendon reflex, elbow flexion strength, nerve condition velocity and resting forearm blood flow. 


The Achilles tendon reflex is highly correlated with a person's metabolic state and thus is an indication of the general state of activity." The function state of skeletal muscle is an important measure of the overall strength and efficiency of a trained athlete during the course of a day. Maximal voluntary contractions have been observed to change with a circadian pattern. Unfortunately, the physiological measurement of maximal strength is almost complicated by psychological factors such as motivation and emotional state."

In Conclusion - " An athlete's hours of peak performance on tasks requiring muscle coordination, will coincide with the time of highest body temperature in the late afternoon and early evening" (time zone corrected). The worst performance period for both males and females will occur at the time of lowest body temperature in the early morning."

"Concerning the Body's cycle and performance, the presence of circadian rhythm in performance has been well documented. In general, the range of circadian oscillation is greatest in physiological tasks than for psychological tasks. However, the circadian rhythm is a major source of variability in performance (e.g. 10-30 percent of the 24-hour mean) and the range of oscillation (amplitude) increases with increasing task complexity."

"Research has been conducted to determine the specific effects of Jet lag and circadian rhythmicity on athletic performance and significant results have been found . The findings of Keneko suggest athletic events depends upon short duration physical power (e.g. weightlifting and some gymnastics events) are significant affected by the timing (i.e. the circadian rhythm) of blood flow to the muscle. Any disruption of this timing by Jet lag or desynchronosis would subsequently affect an athlete's performance.

Some strange facts are also explained in the article like "Significant performance declines are found only in the eastbound Direction" or "The athlete should reset his or her physiological clock to be in correct environmental timing with the place of destination".  

The International "Competition" Athletic's Coach there is much research published such as "The role of circadian rhythm on sports performance, hormonal regulation, immune system function, and injury prevention in athletes" (Heliyon, 9 2023 e19636) of which the Objectives is defined as: "This study was a narrative review of the importance of circadian rhythm (CR), describes the underlying mechanisms of CR in sports performance".

For the Profession athletics Medical Staff the reader might find interest from. Chronobiology  International which writes on recent research  in it Online Journal. which suggests:

 " Strength coaches and medical staff of professional teams should strongly consider actigraphy as a practical and powerful tool to monitor RARs,( rest-activity circadian rhythms), sleep behavior, and the activity levels of their athletes; highlighting potential circadian disruptions through actigraphy could be helpful to prevent musculoskeletal (involving both musculature and skeleton) injuries".

Monday, December 11, 2023

Communication Counts

How do I start to explain the importance of communication. Skips don’t realize their teams is only as good as the skip's communication. A team can not do what is expected of them if they don't understand or know what is being told of expected of them.


Tonight I was playing with a very good player in pairs and she was making shots that four and five year experience players are still not able to make. She said that she had been playing for about a year and I was impressed. To see such beautiful shots.

The first game of three, we were leading by 10 days points with the game nearly over.  We were playing Petanque, the french game of balls to the jack. The game is over when a team reaches 13 points and we were now 10 to 3.

However, at one point, I noticed that my pointer had simply abandoned the game. No longer was she making it sincere effort and doing fantastic shots, but she would now be occupied with things happening outside of her own game. Her  level of confidence and excitement about a great shot was no longer visable. Her balls were now without effort and no where they should’ve been.

I tried to explain many things to her  that would encourage and improve our game. I was getting through to her. I was playing a game, which is similar to Bowls with one big advantage..  As Skip, I was only 10 m from my pointer and my verbal communication was within earshot of her. But as I suggest a shot she seem to be unaware of my expectation.

The games went good as we often went to almost finished before losing the game. However, this blog is about what happened is in the third game. I was saying to the opponent skip, as I stood at the opposite end of the playing field; that all night I had lost my games, and it was not because of my Poinger (lead), who was a very very good pointer, but because I was not communicating efficiently with her. The opponent Skip said to me, "tell her that...  she deserves to know it". Often we skips are talking together about how our game are going or not going..

At the end of the game, the opponent skip said to my lead that he wants to  her something. He said " that I had something  important to tell her and he turned to me and said tell her what you told me.  so I told her that she had played an exceptional game, and that the reason we were losing is that I was a bad communicator. But, what I was discovering as we talked was SHE WAS ENGLISH.  We are all french playing a french game and I am English trying to speak French and I do not know my partner is better in English than french.. she is not local but an immigant. There is more to communication than what you say.. you do.. it is also whom your partner or team members are.

Often we learn something which was extremely important and we don't work to apply or use that information.. WHY ??

Sometimes, my blogs attact a group of readers which surprise me..  When I enter the Blogger site, tonight  where I write my blogs and saw a  unique volume of readers on a topic of "Respotting the Jack"; This blog was about game strategy and I wonder what was happening to draw these readers.  I knew that this topic I had never discussed before as I explained an idea of breaking the game into 3 parts of peformance and analysis

 I have learned over the years that the best promotion of my blog are often Bowls instructors or teachers who send their students to my site.  I think this idea of 3 part devision of the game plan, is a simple fact unique to skips and how they use their game stratyegy. So, it seem that I am writing about something that has resulted in a coach suggesting that his students "Check out the Blog". 

In the graphic left 12 visitors over a few days show a lot of interest in the blog "Re-spotting the Jack" . This blog  "Re-spotting the jack" on 17 February 2016 was intended for Bowls Fours where each players has a difference data collection responsibility. It suggest to allocate to each player a role of responsibility for collecting information; which is passed through the vice to the team skip. The idea is that each team member of a "Fours" watches the opponent player of the same position. (the leads watch and study as they play against  the opponent leads)
I certainly did not think this blog and it's stats was on communications but it got me realizing it was an example of how we get something new or interesting and questioning how or what we do with that information. 

How do I start to explain the importance of communication. Skips don’t realize they’re teams only as good as they are in their abilities of good communicators.

Tonight the 11 of December (2023) with the Canadian lawn bowls green now closed and covered in snow; I was playing a practice game of another sport with a very good player in pairs. She was making shots that four and five year experience players are still not able to make and she said that she had been playing for about a year and I was really impressed. To see such  difficult but beautiful shots  being made one after another was amazing.

No, this was not " Lawn Bowls" but "Petanque"; the french sport of rolling or throwing a ball to a jack between 6 meters and 10 meters distance.

The first game of the evening's three games was going extremely well as we were in the lead by 10  points with the game nearly over.  In petanque the game ends at 13 and we were 10 to 3 needing only to collect a good head. What was important is that at one point, I noticed that my partner ( pointer) had simply abandoned the game. Yes, You know that sign.  Between balls of the opponent being played and her next delivery, she was occupied with other things or  watch other games in play on a nearby surface.

 No longer was she making a sincere effort to do those hard but fantastic shots.  It was clear her interest was now outside of her own game.  Sort of like, "I will continue to play but not really interested". Tonight's session is a practice and I often only go to the practice with something I wish to practice or improve and which I know that I need help with. But I saw her level of confidence in her shot decrease to a low 10 or 20 percent sucess.  Her balls were not where they should’ve been and when finished her delivery; she walked away from with an attitude of "I did my shot".

In the beginning, I  complement her on the great shots and seeing she was interested in doing these hard shots; I tried to explain the things that would encourage her to improve her game. This is important as a team leader (skip). Some players come to the Practice session as a social event and  others are wanting to improve their abilities. I could see she was interested in self improvement.

 I was not playing Lawn Bowls, but in playing "Petanque" (a game, which is similar to Bowls) I still work on my team leadership and communication. In Petanque the one big advantage of the game is being able to talk with your player (pointer) who is within 30 feet.  In Lawn Bowls with the Jack at between 21 meters and 33 meters the Skip often does hand signals to his player on the mat. In Petanque, I was only 10 m from my partner and my verbal a friendly communication intended to help her understand what we could do on this next delivery.

In the three games of Practice the opponents are choosen by the computer matching up teams which play together. I was lucky as my three games with with three of the best players of the club. Always we started strong and in mid-game the opponent began to catch our lead. Finally I was to see the game end as a lost with a close end game.

What happened, that is interesting, is in the third game I said to the opponent Skip or team leader that that tonight  I had lost my games, and it was not because of my Pointer (lead), who was a very very good pointer, but because I was not communicating efficiently with her. Eric, the opponent Skip said to me, "tell her, she deserves to know that is how you feel".

At the end of the game, Eric, when shaking hands with my partner  said " John wants to tell you something and he turned to me and said; "Tell her what you told me". So the conversation between us two team leaders and my pointer was me telling her  that she had played an exceptional game,  The opponent lead was there but because we were talking English she was not really in the conversation.  I was explaining  that the reason we were losing was that I was a bad communicator.. But now I as we talked I realize  she was not able to understand  my bad french. 

In playing a sport in Quebec, I often don't realize that communication is lost  with french partners and Lawn Bowls in Quebec is almost always in English.  Now, as Eric told her these thihgs in English and I was  realizing that I was playing the French game of Petanque and I thought she was French.  Now I was learning that she was not French she was more confortable in English. She was an immigrant that after moving here to Quebec with her husband had taken up to the sport. I immediately realized that I was forcing to talk French with my very bad French, and she certainly didn’t understand anything I was saying.

This incident indicates the importance of knowing your team members and communicating efficiently. With a practice session like this where the partner may be someone you have never been teamed with before; you can  make this mistake and learn from it.  As I don't socialize during my game I did not take the time to know my partner.


But the important thing is is that it doesn’t matter how good you are how much you know, and understand the game if you do not have a sincere combined effort of Kim mentorship, you won’t win.

One player will be attempting to do one thing for example in Bowls brought to the Jack and the other player. Will it be attempting to do something else like a strategy against the appointment.

I made great shots and I took the game to 10 -11 before the final score finishes at 13. However, no matter how good my shots were I was playing the best captain (skip) that the club had. Because my partner was not involved in the. Game often she would be paying attention to something else and things I said something  went over her head,

What is important is that your team, is a team with you as the leader. If you can’t lead, then you don’t deserve to be skip or Captain without regards to what sport you play.

You can have the best player but if you do not have the " Ability to use those player constructively" you will not win. You will simply play a hard game and look at your own great performance and be surprised that you lost.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

ToolBox.. Mind Set as Team Harmony

 (Being Builded ) In the previous Blog I wrote "The most important thing of learning Bowls is not the basic but how to develop your Mind Set." and explained the continual thinking when playing Singles or Pairs where you are doing 3 or 4 bowl Delivery immediately after each time that the opponent has just finish one of theirs. The ABC of Mind-Set is Attitude, Betterment and Concentration. These 3 mental exercises should be the foundation of Mind-set as your Attitude is always positive and any Basic skill can  always  have a better success percentage. Concentration is a matter of keeping the objective of your game front and center of your thoughts. and  seeking the very best performance.

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If you have a tight Mind-Set when on the mat or preparing for your delivery, one would think there is not that much more to concentrate on or improve. But to be always Positive toward success or failure is hard to keep over the 2 hours of game time. A schedule of Mental relaxation is also necessary else we burn out.  Myself in a competition find that 3rd game about 30 to 40 percent of the mental activity of the first game.  Too much can lead to errors.

Where in Single and Pairs, we seem to be in a continual cycle of mental preparativeness, we often find therefore that  in Triples and Fours play we are spending time waiting for 2 or 3  other players to do a delivery. Yes, you can't be in full power mode all those long minutes waiting,  because unlike in Singles where you just get finished analysis and thinking of the past delivery and are immediately planning your next visit to the mat. We really don't have time to analysis the opponent's last bowl or the raison for your skips requested Delivery. Well this is where "Team Work" becomes a part of the  larger game. Each member of the team should be helping you better read or understand the game.

Often we hear comments like "The forehand is wider" or Green seems to have increased in speed" which are intended to remaind us of change we may not have noticed. But as Mind-set of a team advances we hear more comments on game analysis like "skip is attempting to have the opponent go to the Backhand" or "That was a good bowl, we needed a Back Bowl".  All comments in maintaining a Team Harmony.  Positive remark may be that turn-key a member need to forgot that bad bowl and go on to make a beautiful "near Perfect" shot.

In Game Strategy we say the 12 or 14 ends of play are divided into three parts. First 4 ends to analysis the greens, the opponent and your team harmony. The middle 4 ends are to use that information to gain as many points and as large a lead as possible and the Last 4 ends are to go defensive (if leading) and offensive (if trailing in points).  But the big mistake made by a lot of teams of Triples or Fours is thinking it is the Skip who does the think and Game Strategy.

The skip is busy studing a lot of what happens in those three sections of Game Strategy but without his team doing a "Detail Study" in this first section of play;  and collecting the data needed, the decisions he makes will be from the information he is getting only his observations.  Communication of  all the team players should mean that they are allocate different roles of  opponent study or actions, depending upon each position of play before the teamhas  even hits the green for play.

How often when you get finished at the other End of the Rink and back, having returned to the beginning  (1st) end of play to start the 3rd end, have you forgotten your previous play in that direction?. And it has been just one end of play past. Actually, from those beginning days of learning the basic of how to bowl, players are expecting that the Skip will remaind them of their line or their   previously delivered bowls..  You should have two basic Mind Sets.. "Your Delivery" and the Skips allocation of need information or Study; and be total thought to the collection of that Information.

In the first 4 ends of Play , The "Study Period" time of the Team Play the Lead and other front end players should each have a task of learning and communicating that information to the Vice. Why do you think a lot of winning teams has the Skip and Vice in the head for the last half of the game.  The vice is the "Recorder"  and "Data collector" for the Skip. A common question from the Skip to Vice is "what happen there?" and being in the head with the skip during the 2nd and 3rd part of game Division (ends 5 to12) it is important that the Vice can explain it. This will help the skip make  a wise decisions or foresee any necessary Strategy changes.

The Mind Set is maybe defined as.. "your concentration of play or performance during your game".

 During  the beginning  of delivery of your bowls; your time should be 100 percent on preparing to go to the mat (Pre-Mat),  doing a Perfect Delivery. and then some serious Analysis your performance (Post-Mat). A  complete agenda of thinking to be done before the opponent has finished doing their Delivery.

Your information collected and the  Analysis of their performance is a 2nd part of your Mind-set. But this data is "Collected and Dropped" as you must again go to the mat and do your Delivery Routine. (Pre-Mat, Delivery and Post-Mat). But never lost because when the time come to share that data it is fresh in your mind.

Previously, in an earlier Blog I wrote. " Example of (your) Delivery .. Finished your delivery. off mat... Post Mat analysis.., Study opponent's Delivery.., Pre-mat Analysis.. of your ressults.., Pre-mat Routine as preparing for next bowl to be delivered (as Opponent leaves mat.) Your Skip Communication. Pre-Mat Routine finish (as per Skip request)... To mat.., Line Position.., Delivery Routine.., Post Delivery Routine.., Bowl roll Analysis.., Resul..t and off the mat.. only to again repeat the complete cycle. (Cycle a C of CCC of the Tool Box ABC)"  and this is a lot of thinking which will take years to do more than once or twice a game. Certainly not just the few seconds between stepping to the mat and rolling the bowl from your hand to the green.  as per those first years of learn to Bowl.

But, now is Triples and Fours you are standing back watching others do their delivery. And doing a lot of thinking as requested by the Skip.  Here I will attempt to remember what was my Fours Instructioon to me as a players in a winning Inter-Provincal Major competition as given by a skip who was on a UK international team. The truth is a lot of Game Play and you meet a lot of people with good advice.

The Lead -  Your job is to build the game head. Like in Chess the first moves define how the rest of the game will go. A difficult task in each of the three Division of Game Play; which with always require concentration and the same self-centered goal. Communication between the skip and Lead should be not just while the lead is on the mat but when practice and discussion of preparing for the game. In fours, the Lead and Second is like a team of 4 bowls in a Pairs competition. The second will have to pickup where the lead misses the Game building  which the Skip was requesting. And the skip will also have to forgot his disappointment with his lead and move on to letting the second do this important building. In triples the 3 bowls of the Lead must do the building "Game Head". as the Second (Vice) will also be helping the Skip with shots which are probably more often by a skip. Game is still a Draw game.

What is the lead doing in  his own Mind-set  during these first 4 ends of play when the other team members are taking their turn on the mat. First, because the lead must be able to draw to where the Skip wants the bowl; their major study is of the Green. ( Speed, Unique performance or difficulties), and even how the speed changes as the game progress. (Speed changes with bowls rolled, Sun warmth or lack  of it, and even the sun direction). The Lead is also playing a "Opponent Single Game" as they study their opponent. Often this view of the opponent will mean personal decision to achieve the request shot  that the Skip has requested.

 Example: Skip asks for a ForeHand to the Jack ( A "draw") but the opponent's bowl seems in your line. Did you watch how the bowl rolled to it present location ?. Do you have confidence in your skip's decision that it is not in your line of delivery. Maybe it is only a "Mental Blocking Bowl" and not a "Real Block". Maybe you did not notice the opponent lead was left handed or has a delivery with an error and that  your "Bowl Roll" or "Bowl Bias" is not the same. All these things are what the Lead is studing about the opponent Lead because they are just one bowl away from the same head configuration.

All these study of performance of the opponent Lead and the Green is a full Mind-set for the Lead and a part of the Vice's responsible is to see how his Lead and the Opponent lead compares with the Jack Length of that end. No better critic of a Lead than another team player.  Never critize the lead. Yes there will be bad bowls, but study why or know what to do yourself to not have that same problem. Usually it is not the lead's performance but something else.

The Second - If the game is Fours then the Second is a partner with the Lead in getting a good head for the start of that end. Yes when the lead is on the mat the Second is busy (Mind-set occupied) collecting data from the lead's bowls, the green and the opponent's bowls. The second should in fours keep this data for the skip (by way of the vice) or for after game study or training to help the team and lead better perform

If in Triples the Second is of two roles. A Pick-up Player to finish what the Lead should have done and a Vice which has many task from Jack lenght study or legal to the change in strategy of the team or the Opponent. Many seconds are previous Skips because the Vice is always there to help the skip. Often the bowls of the Vice would be that over draw or take-out which normally they would do as a Skip. When in Pairs the Lead has 4 bowls and can use one to verify line or green speed; in Triples Second now needs to have all the information as with 3 bowls there is not "Trial Bowl".

Where the Lead was busy building the head and studing the opponent Lead, the Second is more interested in repairing hole in the Strategy. Balance the Head is a Bowl for Bowl so the worst is a 1 point lost for that end. Remember if there is no Back ball to balance the opponent's several bowls then maybe the Skip has to use one of his (valueable) bowls or gamble that nothing happens. A vice on the mat may also be more incline to question the Skip but I would suggest that this be a non-verbal question. Too much verbal ask of game strategy will destroy the Vice-Skip communication.. the "I ask you explain why not Chat" from the mat to the head is never good.

All this has been just about the task of the team mate during the first 4 ends of play. But without the information and data of what is happening it is a roll of the dice to wait and see what happens. We are either prepared and doing a game Strategy which is a foundation toward an end of Winning or we are being pushed into the opponent's Game Strategy.  Yes various bad luck roll of the bowls will cause a point change hand but only a point and only with the occational end of play.. All good and we go back to the Team Harmony.

ToolBox ABC's (AAA BBB CCC)

A couple of days ago, this blog was "Toolbox, Accessories, "Walking the Mat" and I wrote I was surprise to see Tryslan in the 1st end of play use his "Walk the mat".

However, I was impressed with his development because a lot of clubs don't have 2nd Year Coaching which usually covers the 'Toolbox ABC". These teachings are not tricks or different delivery or placements but an expansion of the Bowls Basic. For example; one of the C's of CCC is concentration which is important but can't be taught to new bowlers in the first year.  New bowlers get the Basics and bowl for a year or two before advancing to a few ToolBox possibilities. As on Twitter I post invitation to my Blogs and because I follow so many great Players often the twitter insert of my next blog follows another Bowl twitter posting. ( I am now following nearly 1,000 world wide bowlers)

A few minutes after posting I went back to my list of Twitter post and discovered that my

 post was deleted by twitter. Since I posted (photo left) in this blog and Twitter sees it as a

 reposting of a twitter post it deleted my post. Ofcourse, I had 9 visitor\views of this blog

 and thinking it was probably from UK, ( near time zone to Canada). However, I now think

 that my post was deleted because of the above photo. (9 visitor are twitter staff doing a

 control of content. (no Problem but mention it here as information of Censorship) HaHa...

 I will again post after deleting the photo for the near 200 lawn bowls followers.


When teaching a new bowler entering the club we put an important of always placing your feet the same on the mat and always rolling the bowl on to the green at the "Center Line" and all the basic to get that new member out on the green and participating in Club Games.

Over the years we learn to use the Toolbox's ABC more and more and now today, in reality, I have four different methods of  " Walking the Mat" beside this one which Tryslan has showed. His action is a  basic of Lawn bowls. The others methods of Walking the mat I call ToolBox Xcessories.  For example, I was expected to skip a Club Competition for the Seasonal Play (Cash) and I was just out of the hospital after a Gall Bladder operation. I could not do the "Bend to the Green" delivery and had been for a couple of years been developing a "Double Mat" delivery. (my knees are finished).  Double mat because instead of standing upright on the mat on center Line; I have one foot on the mat and I am standing spread leg with the Bowl Arm leg about 2 feet or more to the left of the mat. (as if that foot is also on a mat). This allows quite a different angle of delivery.  (The two other ToolBox Xcessories method maybe I will have time this year to cover them.)  

You may ask "Just out of the Hospital, why not just not play and let someone take your place" ? We all have our perks and my replacement would have been the next on the list of Qualification; a individual who is a good bowler but whom I find "Cash Cheap" and I would not encourage such a replaciement. Also the organization of this Cash Competition did not pay a 3rd Place Amount to a non-playing 2nd Place person who won the game against the 3rd place.  ( The replacement would win the total 2nd place money not the difference of 3rd to 2nd place or 3rd to 1st if they won first) . Anyway, the double mat  Delivery takes a lot to learn and although I had perfected it as well as my "Center of the Mat" Delivery: I found a lack of control and concentration as the two and half hour game approached its end. (beaten by a few points)

When a new club member becomes a Coached Lawn Bowl student there is a lot to learns. The Basics such as " How to delivery the bowl", and ofcourse the teacher should show the  many basics  even if they don't use them. 

There are three basic grips which should be explained to a student (Claw Grip. Cradle and Dimple )  Had to ask the Internet ChatBot the 3rd Grip as I am off the old school when bowls had dimples on them and we used the dimples for grip alignment.
Likewise as there are various Delivery Stances which should all  be explained. Actually the old "Coaching Guide" from our Federal Association (Bowls Canada) at one time required that we put a lot of history of Bowls and International information in our coaching sessions. In recent years, probably because of CoVid, our Club Coaching for new members has been trimmed to a 4 week (2 - 2hrs a week) Course.  (Previously, a new members received 10 weeks and playing after 4 sessions - 2 wks)


Here in Canada the senior School students in high school  take either "Shop" or "Home Ecominic" and  if you do "Shop work" you must learn about how to use the tools  You learn a lot of extra information like, how to grip the tool, how to best use the tool, and even how to sharpen the tool.  This experience followed me into my Sports (bowls is the 3rd I have perfected and do competition at top level) and so with the ToolBox of Bowls" I took it to learn how to chose the accessories or tool.

The most important thing of learning Bowls is not the basic but how to develop your Mind Set. If you were using a Power tool you are at all times concentrating on security, proper usage to get the wanted result and never let your mind wander. This is a Mind Set of proper usage.  However, in Bowls we teach new bowlers the basic and as they began to bowl they have only a 15 second Mind-set when they are on the mat doing their delivery. 

 In reality an athletic should be total "Mind Set" all the time except when walking up the green which become a break from the continual Concentration.  Example of Delivery .. Finished . off mat... Post Mat analysis, Study opponent Delivery, Pre-mat Analysis, Pre-mat Routine (as Opponent leaves mat.) Skip Communication. Pre-Mat Routine finish. To mat, Line Position, Delivery Routine, Post Delivery Routine, Bowl roll Analysis, Result and off the mat.. only to again repeat the complete cycle. (Cycle a "C" of "CCC" of the Tool Box ABCs)

How many times have you done this complete 4 or 5 minute Cycle in total thought and Analysis?  Yes, maybe once during a 4 bowls end of Play... Even two time this cycle is tiresome.  I actually had a Skip whom I mention something as we passed in Mid-Green and he later told me "Don't talk to me when passing on the green, you break my thought"

I question if he had an "Analysis Cycle" (as mention above) because he would know the value of something to think  about as one walks up the green from the mat .  Also some Skips start their "Mat Cycle" as they are walking to the mat from the Head, but the problem is that then you have two Mat Cycles.. one for the first Bowl and another for the other Bowls. Ofcourse, maybe he was tell me he had his next shot already decided and my suggestion only confused him.  Communication is another "C" of the Toolbox ABC (AAA BBB CCC) both of the Skip with his team and the players with the Skip or Vice.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Lawn Bowls and Chatbot AI ??

As a blogger, I am trying to give the reader/visitor another insight into "Learning Lawn Bowls" which I have received from over 20 years of experience on the greens. A couple of mornings ago, as I open my Desktop computer with Windows 10, I got an invitiation by Microsoft (Bing AI) to ask a question so I ask "What is the purpose of the Trial End of Plays in Lawn Bowls ?"; not expecting much from the Bing AI, I am thinking how stupid I am in asking this question. 

 How "Surprise" I was when the reply I got from Bing Chat with GPT-4 was.

123(the 1 2  here refers to the Source that AI got the reply to the Question) Listed here



To North Americian Lawn Bowlers this present ChatBot has shown a common error.  For those who have been following the Court cases of Previous Americian President Donald Trump, and other similar news,  sometimes the only excitement on the US news: we had a Judge throw out a contested arguement because the Law Firm used an ChatBot to compose the Arguement. 

This appears to have also happen here as Bowls.co.uk does a very good "Beginner's Guide Manual on Lawn Bowls which can be PDF downloaded but a search for "Trial Ends" give a reply of no "Search Results".  Don't believe everything you read and of course yesterday I published a blogs where  I mention Trial ends many times and the Chatbot did not use in it answer.  (Even I can be wrong !! original search was "trial end" and the Bowls.co.uk search was "Trial Ends")

A twitter comment was
 "
Bonymaen bowls club
How long before "they'll" be playing the trial ends for us?!"

Good Question.. But guess my blogs indicate that we have to do the work ourself.. Actually Today, US President Biden just passed an AI Control Bill following what the UK has been doing for the past month.
But I am sure that if we have an AI on a iphone camera which follows the Bowl as it rolls up the green on a Trial End can easly create a map of the Green's Dips and Highs. Even speed variations.
At the 2023 Canadian National, this year in British Columbia, the greens had non-grass spots which meant a slower grass roll and a fast (sort of artifical surface) non-grass spot. Strange to watch and hard for the skips to judge. (when a full length Jack resulted in 4 of 8 bowls (pairs) in the ditch)