The miracle of Greenhead Park

You’ll know Elaine – she’s been a member for quite a few years now and you know that she has a good day and sometimes a bad day but she always turns up and tries hard. Yesterday, a run of the mill Thursday evening, something happened that was quite miraculous. She decided she wanted to shoot so the club captain who was there gave her a few words of advice to assist the process.

No rocket science just simple aphorisms like if you shoot along the ground there are more bumps and lumps and stones to hit so there’s more chance of the boule going off the line. If you shoot you should go to aim to land as near to the boule you’re shooting as possible – ideally hit it without touching the ground but even landing 6 inches in front is probably good enough. Other simple things like raising your arm just a touch to generate the power to reach the target and gradually Elaine picked this up and her shooting got better and better.

Over a three game session she became the ‘go to’ shooter. People volunteered to be pointer for her so she could practise shooting and following the simple techniques that have been outlined she started hitting a high percentage of shots. Her confidence grew and  she was soon shooting a boule from 3 inches away from the coche and leaving her own boule 5 inches away.

At the very end it was pointed out to her that by shooting one particular boule she could raise her existing score of 1 to 4. She didn’t know at the time but her team was on nine points they had one on the ground the opposition had second but her team had third and fourth. It was suggested that if she shot this particular ball out she would score 4 not just one point. It was a long shot – it was approaching 10 m but she just did it and won the game.

It was an astonishing display of rapid learning – she realised a technique would work and she executed it consistently and she won all three games that evening mainly by shooting out opposition boules. She wasn’t on her own so there’s no fix. Alastair and Yvonne were there watching her turn from an inconsistent pointer to someone who could shoot and hit well over 60% of the time.


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