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Week #3 Handout

Taking our Game to the Next Level

Team Management – Communication

Some players talk way too much, while others are silent and don’t say anything.  The trick to say the right things – it’s surprising how just the right word from a team-mate can pick you right up (and how the wrong one can crush you).

  • Before the game, talk, if only for a couple of minutes, about the team’s game plan (end length, player roles, opponents, green, etc.)

  • Be positive! (part 1)  When calling a shot just what you want, don’t say what you don’t want.

    • “push this bowl out”  GOOD

    • “don’t move the jack”  BAD

  • Be positive (part 2)  Give only positive feed-back; don’t point out the mistake.

    • YES            “good bowl”  “great bowl”  “good position”

    • NO             “you’re four feet short”  “you need to take more green”

  • Don’t say too much; don’t say if the bowl is in the count, what the count is, what the distance is; to indicate the distance, simply show fingers; all the information you give is going to the opponents.  When the player comes to the mat to play their next bowl, THEN is the time for more detail.

  • It’s usually better to focus on the process (just put one here) rather than the result (we need one here – they’ve got four bowls).

  • When in doubt, stop and discuss; if you have a critical shot to play, or you just had a huge miss, take moment to talk the shot out, especially in a big game;

  • If you’ve just scored a big (5+) end, stop chat for a moment – your adrenalin needs to come down.

  • The better you know your team-mates, the better you can accommodate how you communicate; some people need/like more talk, others play better with less.

  • Stop at the 1/3 and 2/3 marks of the game to assess progress and make any necessary changes.  This might involve changing length, changing tactics, or just saying ‘it’s going well, let’s keep it up.’

  • Have a post-game debrief (that’s why God invented beer).  Go over what worked and what didn’t, both as a team AND as individuals.  Pointing out where a team-mate struggled isn’t mean, you’re helping them get better.

  • Body language is also communicating!

  • Pump you team-mates tires.  People like to get praise for good play.


Some examples of Communication (good and bad, you spot which is which)

  1.  The skip has the last shot and the team is lying 7.  The vice says, “just draw to here for another.”

  2. “Oh, good, I’m glad you put it in the ditch before I had to ask!”

  3. “We’re 5 down; you’ve got to get something in here to cut it down!”

  4.  Player puts a bowl right beside the opponent’s bowl which lying inches from the jack “Great shot!”

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