Coaches play a vital role in developing athletes through sport.  They provide athletes with the skills and knowledge needed to develop, improve and succeed.  More often than not, coaches have a major influence on participants and their enjoyment of their chosen sport. Coaches who are accredited through the National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) are recognised by BA, their STA and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).  As expectations for safety and ethical behaviour within coaching continue to increase, it has become increasingly important that all coaches are trained and accredited.

It is recommended that all coaches continue their education to ensure the most appropriate and up-to-date knowledge and coaching techniques are being used.

All coaches of junior athletes should be accredited under the NCAS. It is also Bowls Tasmania Policy that all new and reaccrediting coaches must hold a current Tasmanian Working with Vulnerable People Card before their accreditation is processed.  To view the complete Bowls Tasmania Working with Vulnerable People Policy CLICK HERE

The coach accreditation pathway can be entered at a Club Coach Level in Tasmania.  Each level of accreditation is supported by a coaching manual with all the information you need.  The coaching course gives you the opportunity to meet other coaches and share ideas to support the implementation of coaching in your environment.


The following Q & A have been prepared by the Bowls Australia High Performance team following a Clubmap Coaching, Training & Drills webinar held in April 2024:

Coaching Advice

Q – How do you develop resilience in a team? 

A – Communication, expectations in training and commitment, understanding how and who we represent and realising the honour in that, players establish a set of valued behaviours (welcoming opposition to club but still playing hard, attitude towards representing club (the shirt) and support of all club mates on and off green

Q – How do you build a winning Team Spirit/Culture

A – Refer to question one

Q – Are there any simple suggestions on things to practice as some clubs don’t have coaches

A – Training drills, practice weaknesses, train with purpose, BA Training resources (HP activity book)

Q – What is the ONE (i.e. most helpful) hint you have learned to assist newer bowlers get better

A – Be realistic around your performance and progress as a new player to the sport, don’t compare yourself or your progress to others, work on self-first and go from there. Practice creates consistency and a better understanding of how to improve in self, Train competitively and purposefully

Q – Should it be mandatory for new bowlers to have a certain amount of coaching before ACTUALLY PLAYING

A – Not something you can make mandatory, can only encourage, particularly pennant representatives

Q – How do you deal with nerves before a game??

A – Firstly, accept that nerves are ok, generally shows that it means something to you to play well for self and/or others, means you care so that is great. Generally, nerves are created by our concerns over outcomes and pressure we build or pile on ourselves. Learn the art of managing ‘process over outcome’, have trust in the work you have done in training to overcome the nerves (pre-shot routine a good example)

Q – What % impact does the reading of a head have on the result of a game.

A – Not sure of any actual facts-based percentage but from our personal experience it would be very high. Games can be won by effective head reading when not playing well

through maximising attacking and defensive strategy in shot selection. Playing to individual strengths, recognising opposition weaknesses. Occasionally we can play ‘too good’ and set our opposition up so learning how to recognise this and mitigate is also key.

Q – Keeping up the enthusiasm for 14+ weeks.  Many lose that after Christmas.

A – Where would you rather be!! How blessed are we to play the sport we love and represent our club with our mates!! Maybe mid-season get together to re-enforce this after

Xmas break may be beneficial

Q – How do you reset when the game is moving away from you

A – Change something! Change lengths, change hands, change style (defensive/aggressive), rink and green presence

Q – How do you encourage older bowlers that they can still benefit greatly from coaching?

A – Make the offer great, know your stuff, make it individualised, contributes to increased consistency which will in turn increase enjoyment

Q – The value of coaching for reasonably experienced bowlers

A – You are always learning and always can improve

Q – How do players controlling emotions when delivery goes wrong

A – Breathe, take your time, process over outcome, trust in your game and you’re training.

Q – What is the first thing a beginner bowler should learn when first starting out competitive bowls.

A – Know the etiquette, be a student of the game

Q – Do world class players who look at the running line at the point of release initially get their reference from the bank?

A – Not necessarily, all are unique and have varied methods, some look at the bank, some visualise the ‘break’ where the bowl begins to arc, some use spots or blemishes on the green, some use the centreline, some use the jack, some use their feet, some use the mat, all very different.

Q How do you control your weight

A – Your weight is determined by your timing swing and step, this can also be practiced through specific training drills. One tip for example to play a metre of weight to sit a bowl or trail a jack is to visualise the jack or target to the spot where you need to finish.

Q – How important is visualisation for bowls coaching 

A – So important particularly in tough conditions and for weight control, this is a skill that has to be practiced and refined over time through experience in training and


Q – What’s one thing each that you would say or tell the player to do when the player is getting down on themselves during a game

A – Ensure that your body language and presence remain positive at all times, don’t bring your teammates down with you, internally, breathe, reset, one bowl at a time, PROCESS over OUTCOME

Practicing Drills

Q – Pennants drills and strategy. How do you get your team motivated and focused in every bowl?

A – Ensuring Drills/Games incorporate consequence is one way to ensure focus on every bowl. Also ensuring the games/drills are challenging but also fun can increase

motivation of everyone involved.

Q – What are the best ‘simple structure’ for clubs to implement to get game ready training nights instead of just ‘having a roll’?

A – One simple structure is to have a circuit drill of say 6 rinks setup for players to go through. This is also great because not everyone arrives at the same time due to work or other commitments. Once that’s completed and everyone has arrived, then play competitive matches but with a purpose i.e.: scenario-based matches whereby one team is up by 7 with 5 to play and other is therefore behind. After 5 ends, switch teams within the scenario

Q – How can training drills for pennant teams be developed,

A – There are so many available – the key thing is to assess what is going to work best for your players as far as being invested in the drills, as well as what your players need to work upon to ensure the drills match the areas of skill development required

Q – What is the participation rate of bowlers to join in practice drills and keep them doing it.

A – Participation rate can be influenced by so many factors, many which are difficult to control. Ensuring Drills are fun, challenging and emulate match situations as much are most likely to see increased numbers of players participating but more so continuing to do them as possible.

Q – Coaching advice on weight for drawing to get results

A – There are many drills that can be used to assist with building weight control. In saying that, ensuring your delivery is sound is also key to the ability to have good weight control too.

So key elements of a good delivery are that you are balanced, get the bowl away smoothly and that your delivery is repeatable thus limiting inconsistencies.

Q – Why do a lot of people dislike Drills!

A – People who dislike drills generally don’t find them stimulating or sometimes a bit too hard, especially when you train on your own and need to fill out a scoresheet as you go along. One method is set a score target you want to achieve when you are doing the drills thus only requiring the scoreboard to be updated rather than using a scoresheet. This also in turn creates consequences i.e.: the poorer bowls you play, the longer it takes to complete, thus motivates us to focus and play well

Q – What is the one drill for new bowlers that has the most positive effect in your experience?

A – Grouping drill is one that is good for players of any level. It teaches strong discipline within your delivery whilst growing strong weight control and consistency

Q – Are there any drills to help maintain a sound mental approach to practice and matches

A – One method is set a score target you want to achieve when you are doing drills. This type of training creates consequences i.e.: the poorer bowls you play, the longer it takes to complete, thus motivates us to focus and play well. It also creates the barriers that occur when we play bad bowls i.e.: negative emotions/thoughts, frustrations, and then it teaches us to be resilient and trouble shoot our way out when in those situations

Q – How can we improve rolling the Jack with confidence?

A – Complete regular jack rolling drills i.e.: 4 jacks in a row on various lengths. Also some players struggle with jack rolling due to their technique, so seek out a coach if you find you are losing the jack out of bounds regularly


Q – How are other clubs promoting youth involvement

A – Many clubs have created Junior Academy’s whereby regular/consistent times are setup for junior coaching/competition. Connecting with Schools is also a common method too.

Q – Do you have any Ideas for variations in skills training for juniors

A – The key approach is FUN and using games that build skill development. For example, teaching Juniors to play 2 metres through a target, setup 2 cones short of the 2-metre line and then adjust the width of the cones to suit the skill level of the players. Players are required to play through the cones and stay on the green to score a point.  Often call the game Soccer.

Q – How is coaching kids under 12 different to older players,

A – Attention is a key difference. Best approach is to ensure Fun is a big element of the sessions, closely followed by Competition. The more both are a part of the sessions, the more engaged you will find the juniors are more engaged

Q – How many days a week should a junior practice for

A – No specific number here. Every junior is different in what works for them and more so what they want out of the sport. Do your best to facilitate what the junior wants versus say what others want for the junior, their enjoyment is key

Q – Aby tips for coaching juniors

A – Best approach is to ensure Fun is a big element of the sessions, closely followed by Competition. The more both are a part of the sessions, the more engaged you will find the juniors will be.  Their enjoyment is key

Q – What is the best infrastructure to support a development pathway for U18’s+ from club/state/seniors

A – Many clubs have created Junior Academy’s whereby regular/consistent times are setup for junior coaching/competition. From there trying to link with other Junior academies for regular inter-competition is also helpful. Also connecting Juniors into open competition is key in ensuring there is a successful transition once Juniors is

over for them BA High Performance pathway can be found on the BA website

Q – What is the best way to motivate and retain Juniors?

A – Ensuring the right personnel are involved with Juniors is key. Juniors are motivated by many things such as competition, social connection, which is not too dissimilar to all players. Retaining Juniors especially once they turn 18 is always challenging due to normal life factors. Motivating Juniors is all about connection and understanding what they want from the sport, and do your best to facilitate that

Coach Development

Q – How do you get people to accept coaching when they say they don’t need it?!

A – Ultimately for coaching to be successful, the person needs to want to be coached. Working with players who do want to work with you, ensuring they have a positive experience

and achieve success will hopefully then lead to positive word of mouth. The best players are the individuals who are willing and excited to learn, they are very coachable

Q – How do you get experienced bowlers involved in coaching sessions run by younger people?

A – It’s important as a coach that you design sessions based on the needs and motivations of your group and then communicate this. Make sure the offer is good and know your stuff!

I have a member requiring to be accredited to be a Coach. He does not want to travel to the Central Coast. The Introductory Coach award is all online and can be found at For the Club Coach award, the current position is there is an online learning component which is to be completed on Bowls Learn and then a one day in person on the green component. To find out where the nearest on green training component is taking place in NSW, contact

Q – Is there future pathways and mentoring opportunities for coaches who wish to progress further

A – We are currently undertaking an exciting review and refresh of our coaching framework and coach education delivery. To ensure that our coaching workforce can access the most 

up to date, relevant content we are looking at what we deliver and how we deliver it as well as what ongoing support and professional development we can provide for coaches.

Q – Should a club coach be a club selector or best to just provide input if/when requested?

A – There is no right or wrong in this situation. What is important is that if the coach is undertaking both roles that they are consistent in their philosophy and approach and can provide fair, honest feedback to players which is focused on helping them to improve and develop.

Q – Why does preliminary coach course concentrate on interpersonal skills, OH&S etc. not on how to recognise/correct poor technique?

A – We are currently undertaking an exciting review and refresh of our coaching framework and coach education delivery which will also include reviewing the curriculum to ensure

that it’s fit for purpose.

Q – I aim to take the next step in my coaching career after completing the BA Advanced Coaching Accreditation, how should I progress

A – Without knowing what your aspirations are, it’s difficult to give an answer, but in the first instance you may want to contact your State Association to find out what opportunities

there are to gain experience coaching at State level. In addition, we are currently undertaking an exciting review and refresh of our coaching framework and coach education

deliver. This includes what ongoing support and professional development we can provide for coaches.

Q – Will the selection module on Bowls Learn be updated? It is certainly not worth $50. With online learning being so important …

A – We will look to remodel/update this in the near future.

Q – How can small regional clubs get access to coaching on a regular basis.

A – We are looking at what support we can provide from a BA perspective. In addition, it is worth contacting your State Association. For example, if your club is in SA, then Bowls SA have Coach Zone and if in VIC, Bowls VIC have CoachForce.

Q – How can a club get a visit from a HP coach ?

A – This is something we are looking into the feasibility of at the moment. Watch this space.

Q – If competent and enthusiastic club coaches have not won club or major events, how do they gain credibility?

A – The value and importance of a coach is often understated and not often understood to its full amount. Coaches, regardless of what sport, what age group, what ability level, all,

have a critical role in the positive experiences that participants have. The best way to gain credibility is to design and deliver sessions that meet participants needs, do what you say you will do, and keep trying to be the best you can be. Focus on coaching the person, not the sport.

Q – What are the steps to take to become a club coach?

A – For the Club Coach award, there is an online learning component which is to be completed on Bowls Learn  and then a one day in person on the green 


Q – What is/would be the main attribute of Club/Region (Zone) or State Coach?

A – They focus on coaching the person, not the sport and how to create a safe and inclusive environment. They are able to help their players to be more consistent/accurate more 

often and perform when it counts.


Q – How do you use the mat to get under or around bowls

A – We generally don’t need to use the mat in Australia for his reason as our greens are so true, keep it simple and adjust line as needed. If greens are playing inconsistently use of the mat can be beneficial in trying to avoid a narrow hand or a hand that has specific idiosyncrasies

Q – What is the best way to adjust your weight when swapping hands?

A – When swapping hands, we can generally fall short, a general tip can be to add a metre of weight and possibly take a fraction more time

Q – Would you change a bowlers delivery style if they are achieving good results with their current delivery ?

A – No two players deliver the bowl the same, key is to be able to repeat your delivery action, if a player is achieving good results, it is not recommended to change

Q – Where should I focus my sight when delivering my bowl?

A – There is no one correct answer for this, studies have shown that good players look at varying points upon execution of delivery. It is recommended to use the same method for every bowl to allow you to adjust

Q – What should be my position on mat when using shooters stance.

A – Keep it simple, stand/set up in a consistent position on the mat, what feels comfortable for you will enhance your balance/stability/contribute to consistency in result

Q – Any tips on follow through.

The key with having a consistent follow through is to stay down and push through your intended line.

Q – Is the delivery where all our emphasis should be?

A – Your emphasis should be on your process which includes your delivery/technique. The process is your pre shot routine.

Q – What is the best way to keep your hand from turning when delivering the bowl?

A – Stay down and follow through. Try to finish with your palm facing the sky

Bowling Arms

Q – How do I get the length

A – Your weight is determined by your timing swing and step, this is no different to a player without a bowling arm to increase length, increase swing or step to add weight

Q – Can a bowler with a bowling arm compete in the Commonwealth Games if they are good enough?

A – It would depend on the conditions of play/eligibility for the specific Commonwealth Games at that time

Q – I use a bowling arm. How do you control it in heavy wind. I feel the arm acts like a large sail.

A – Stick to doing the basics well, be balanced, ensure you follow through and push through the line, without knowing all details individually there could also be some

benefit in some physical strengthening of arm/wrist/core, through specific exercise.