Leadership…in bowls

December 2010 Coaching Column

Kate Carriage is highly regarded in Australian bowls, and affectionately called Cartwheel Kate, because she wins BA grand prix events and because she is in the BA silver tier national squad.

Katie is highly regarded by me because she represents a generation of fresh, happy, sharing, honest and intelligent bowlers willing to express themselves for the general benefit of you fellow bowlers. Too often we the older brigade are a petulant lot of punters.

And boy does Kate get into strife with the hierarchy.

And boy does she generate, and openly share, some fabulous insights, views. A true leader despite the age, or perceived ‘age’. She and I have exchanged approaches on bowls and certainly coaching which are like two kids let loose in a lolly shop. Some of the stuff on teams, leadership, selection and communication skills are revealing.

Yet she would most likely not be listened to much by our hierarchy as they think their position bestows on them …leadership. Oops sorry boys and girls, no way. With me being fresh from returning from Wagga Wagga for the NSW Open can I tell you there are quite a few Kate’s up there – young intelligent top flight bowlers with the skills and attributes to be deemed our leadership for the future.

We have more ‘leaders’ in bowls than you could poke a stick at – skips, club officers, coaches, umpires, selectors, delegates, group or zone officers, state boards, then a national body of people. Be interested to know their backgrounds overall as I would not be surprised if their qualities, qualifications and attributes may not pass my definitions of leadership.

Young Kate, and many others of her generation, stands a better chance.

Our hierarchial members are accorded roles or positions but holding such positions do not guarantee the passing on of leadership attributes. They perform as well as can be expected with the assets they have, and good on them for their efforts.

However, what we need, and I am sure in a vast population of bowlers we have them, are people who have leadership qualities.

I refer leadership qualities within an acronym of PIE and such qualities should be evident in our top personnel to steer the sport, rather than a swag of well intentioned people without requisite leadership holding the reins of our sport at levels above their station.

Do you react to these words to describe the attributes of the right types of leaders as I do


P Professional Passionate Patient Planned
Personable Persitent Political Probing Prepared
Profile Powerful Philosophy
Presence Probity People Person

I Intelligent Initiator Innovative Influent
Informed Inspiring Inquisitive Interested


E Enthusiastic Energiser Educator Embraces
Empathetic Enjoys Excellence Encourages
Effective Experiments


Love it if bowls had a fair sprinkling of such people to enable the Kate generation to have a model to follow for the time when they want to steer the good ship, bowls.

Congratulations are in order for Aron Sheriff the mens world champ, Joyce Lindores as runner up in the world singles, and all of the bowlers who took out the NSW Open events at Wagga Wagga last week.

Seems like merry Xmas to everyone again for another year.


Lachlan Tighe.