This is the occasion when I report on our performance over the past year, which I will do briefly. It wasn’t the easiest year with a number of our more experienced players not rejoining and others leaving during the year, however it has not been all one way, with some good talent joining us and new members showing enthusiasm and promise. I would like to thank everyone for their commitment to the club and for helping me field a team for virtually every fixture.
So how did we do? Well in our programme of friendly matches we had a roughly even number of wins and losses. We didn’t fare well in either the Bucks Plate or the Bletchley and District League competitions but did manage one success by winning back the Jim Lewis Trophy from Winslow. So really our performance can be described as no more than adequate.
So where do we go looking forward? A successful club is a winning club and to win we need to play better, and that means every one of us striving to improve our game. Bowls is a game of skill, we don’t need particular strength or athleticism to play it. So if we are going to play better we need to improve our skill, and that is something that everyone can do.
Skill in any activity is developed by learning the basics and practicing them. We all think we know how to bowl, it is pretty simple after all. But I would like to encourage everyone of you to spend a bit of time with one of our coaches, let them remind you of the benefits of a good delivery action, alert you to any bad habits you may have slipped in to and start you on a path towards consistency. Remember that even elite sportsmen and women continue to use a coach right through their playing career.
And then you need to practice. Come to the club any afternoon or evening, practice drills that your coach has suggested to you so that you develop the confidence to make every bowl count. The two things you need to get right are line and length but of course there is another “L”, luck. You can’t practice luck, but you can remember a quote from the great golfer Gary Player, “The more I practice, the luckier I get”.
There isn’t any short cut to improving your game, but with some coaching, some targeted practice and of course playing in as many matches and roll ups as you can, you will improve and move off your plateau.
I look forward to the coming season with the hope that working together we can enable the club to grow in stature and be a significant force amongst the clubs in the locality.