Winners win with leadership

March 2014 column edition titled    ‘…Winners win with leadership’

Over the weekend, I ventured to various metropolitan pennant finals. What I took most from those who won and lost was

  • The level of planning to win
  • The positive thinking to (want to) win
  • Act to win
  • Lack of collective focus from individuals in losing teams, and
  • Leadership within teams.

I want to dwell on leadership for this column and cover the other aspects next month.

What I saw in one team was the inner (and vocal) strength of two team members in one side who literally dragged their fellow team mates across the winning line by dint of the tide of will to win these two players emitted across the four rinks.

This was a club side/team that was 19 shots behind with 20 ends to play. A club that got to even the score after the required 84 ends to force a sudden death play off for all 32 players on the green. A club that was victorious after 3 such required extra ends.

What I kept seeing, from that period of adversity until the final delivery ensuring victory, was the leadership character from these two players above the deeds of any other of the 30 players competing. They demonstrably led their outfit to a collective effort, talking up everything, setting the tempo to suit their club mates, encouraging an improved level of performance from all within the team, prancing around the green letting everyone know (opposition included, and we spectators) there was fight within and it was not hollow bellowing.

No one, no one was going to beat these two guys.

Being technically sound is all well and good as a bowler. Being skip in too many cases is simply an ego thing as you need to feel important. Taking on the leadership shows a sense of authority, character, responsibility, strength.

Of the 12 teams viewed over the weekend, the club I learnt most from was that one which had these two blokes display leadership and victory for the team.

I coach the women’s region side this week in readiness for the state championships later this month, and boy, will I be hitting home on the need for and value of leadership in the team.

Note: my bowls book ‘Winning becomes you’ is now available from Henselite and other bowls shops.

Lachlan Tighe, March 2014