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Get off to a good start               from Howard Jarrold

Three ends into the match, six points down and you will hear the same comments. You can take your pick of ' Early days yet' Long way to go ' ' It takes me three ends to get going' etc, or my favourite ' It's a game of two halves'.
Why is the above scenario so common and can we do anything about it?
Most of us are in the Autumn of our lives and our bits and pieces do not work as well as they did. Putting aside the slowing down of our brains the big problem is the range of movement of our muscles and, compounded in a lot of cases with a medical condition.
As muscles age they lose their elasticity and as a result it becomes more difficult to walk bend etc. Because of that difficulty there is a tendency to give in to it and this in turn makes the matter worse. The answer is gentle stretching of the muscles.
Stretching does not harm muscles. In fact it is the lack of stretching that in a lot of cases causes pulled muscles. Without the 20 mins stretching I do every morning and have done for the last 20 years I would not be able to play bowls. I want to remain active and so , for me, it is easy. Stretching will prolong my ability to get about. If I don’t the wheelchair is Amazon next day delivery.
We all know the feeling of getting out of bed and the body doesn’t want to work. Putting the kettle on, having a cuppa and a sit down for half an hour certainly helps in waking the brain up, but it does nothing for your body muscles that in another hour are expected to work together and produce a performance of great merit that will elevate you to the rarified world of the elite ! Instead you settle for one of the above statements play out a few ends and as your muscles wake up, your game improves , you win the game and all is well.
Instead why not try some gentle stretching at home ( have your cuppa first ). Finish off with a few practice deliveries of the wood. Please don’t use your Lasers indoors. I have a soft ball of similar size that draws the ‘stupid boy’ looks from the ayatollah but it doesn’t take chunks out of the skirting board. Off down the club and surprise yourself with a toucher in the first end.
For me stretching is essential. It doesn’t cost me anything except about 15 to 20 mins each morning and as and when during the day, depending on whether Mr. Parkinson is having a good or bad day. The difference in the before and after is immense and it allows me a quality of life that a lot of people don’t have. According to my wife I’m at the club more than at home. If I am there please feel free to ask me anything about stretching or indeed Parkinsons. If not then email me at
Current health and safety regulations and blame everyone except yourself culture, means that I must advise you to seek proper advice from your doctor if you have any doubts about any of the above. I am not qualified to instruct you on how to stretch but a quick search of the N H S site will tell you all.
Submitted date - Saturday, 03 Nov 2018
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