Teamwork and stress – Tips for Skips

Winning or losing; having fun or wasting time…

Neuroscientists have shown again and again that positive feedback produces better performance in team efforts. The competitive hormones are all flowing by virtue of the fact that it’s ‘game on’. Negative feedback has the undesirable effect of creating unnecessary tension. It also tenses the very muscles that need to be relaxed to fully utilize the muscle memory we try so hard to develop.

So, the next time your lead is short, take a tip from neuroscience and send some love. It might even help you – the skip – deliver the bowl you need to save the end.


President’s Newsletter for March

A few of the items discussed during the February board meeting were:

1. There is a new mowing schedule. Jose will be mowing the green Tuesdays and Fridays from 2:30 to 4:00. Please do not arrange games which interferes with this schedule.

2. Cathy has completed the 2014 club roster and it is available for pickup at the club. Please review your contact data for accuracy and advise Cathy if there are any errors.

3. The March birthday party is scheduled for the last Sunday in March.  Update: due to greens maintenance , the birthday party scheduled for March has been postponed until April 27th. There are four celebrants: Howard Mackey, Dave McMullen, Bob Schwartz and Des Simpson. The club will provide coffee and dessert. Bring your own lunch at noon to be followed immediately by bowling.

4. The board will put on one of the back tables duplicate and excess books on lawn bowling from our library. They will be left out for a short while available for free to any member who wishes to add them to their personal library. The remainder will be donated to a third party.

5. We will have a booth at the September Solano Stroll in an effort to increase membership. Although this does not happen until September 14th we will need volunteers to man the booth. Do not be surprised if you are approached to volunteer your time for this worthy endeavor.

6. On the subject of volunteering the club functions much better if all the members participate in volunteering their time to the degree possible. Again do not be surprised if a board member respectfully asks that you consider doing some project for the good of the club.

7. Opening day at Rossmoor is this Saturday, the 15th. Be sure and consult the calender in the clubhouse Cathy has prepared so you do not miss any upcoming tournements.


Opening Day 2014

The folks at Rossmoor Lawn Bowling club are hosting this year’s opening day event. They are in the process of growing a brand new green, so the action will be limited to 16 rinks on 2 greens. Thank you Rossmoor – yours truly is looking forward to the event on Saturday, March 15.

Free weekend morning lessons

Sunday morning now joins Saturday morning as the time to get out and learn to lawn bowl. Our coaches will be there at 10:00 am on both days, weather permitting, to show you the ropes. Nothing to buy, just wear flat soled shoes and bring a desire to enjoy some fresh air and have a good time. Better yet, round up a group of 4 to 6 and come as a group.

BLBC is at the corner of Acton and Bancroft.
BLBC is at the corner of Acton and Bancroft.

Farewell to another good friend – John Patrick

It is with sadness we report that long time former member John Patrick died peacefully on November 14. John joined the Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club in 1988 and maintained his membership until recently. During his years with the BLBC John served the club in various roles, including greens keeper and board member. John also served in various functions for the PIMD (including umpire duties) and for the national bowling organizations.

John took his greens keeping duties seriously and worked hard at them. John could be counted on to squeeze a couple of years more use out of any piece of aging mechanical equipment. John admired good work whenever he saw it and, for example, could appreciate a well-constructed piece of metal or a beautiful shot in bowls; and he never hesitated in remarking on his appreciation to the creator of the good work.

For many years John was a very good bowler and enjoyed bowling around the world, from England to Windhoek, Namibia. When he returned he would tell anecdotes about his trips, frequently adding his editorial comments!

When John could bowl no longer, he remained a frequent presence at the club. Though not bowling, he remained a bowler by being present and watching the game take place on greens he had tended for years. John was passionate about lawn bowling and his care for the game came out in many ways that benefited the BLBC. We extend our sympathies to John’s wife, Masako, and the Patrick family.

In Memory of Irving Gershenberg

Our dear friend, Dr. Irving Gershenberg, passed away quietly at home on September 24. Irving was an avid bowler, past President, and current member of the club’s Memorial and Endowment Fund. A celebration of Irving’s bountiful life is being planned. We, at BLBC, share the family’s loss. Irving2

BLBC Had Company Today

Today was a special day at Berkeley LBC! Twenty-seven employees of a prestigious local firm were guests at the bowling club today as part of a team building exercise. They brought a splendid lunch and a desire to have fun.

The real purpose of this news item, though, is to applaud the efforts of one BLBC member who has taken the lead in events such as this one. Ann Gardiner is one amazing person. In the last four days, she has been the primary force for two hosting events at the club and participated in a major club-on-club tournament. This was a larger-than-ordinary task that could not have been pulled off without the right mix of leadership and hard work.

After the guests finished their lunch, the five “coaches” present had to introduce a lot of guests to lawn bowling quickly. But how does one do that? No problem for Ann. She had each person pre-select a bowl of the appropriate size to identify their set of bowls and set up the intro. Then, to my surprise, she had them form two parallel lines on the green facing her. She gave a simplified set of instructions and explanations about the nature of lawn bowling and the mechanics of delivering both the jack and the bowl. Immediately, one person at a time delivered a practice bowl to a waiting coach who then rolled it back. The neophyte bowler picked up the returned bowl and reported to an assigned rink where coaches were ready to direct a game of triples.

The amazingly efficient double line format streamlined the training and underlined just how important people like Ann Gardiner are to this (or any) organization. The next time you see Ann…say thank you.

Now it’s obvious that Ann didn’t do the whole event herself. Lots of other folks chipped in; Susan J., Jim C., Erwin V., John H., Millard L., and Dave R. all help set up, coach, and/or take down.

Now that’s teamwork. Let’s hope our guests did some team building too.

The Meat Axe Tournament

Temperatures in the high 80’s were predicted for Palo Alto on this sunny September morn. So, rise with the sun we thought. Get there early and get the feel of the green. Well, some of us did any way. We pulled into the parking lot by the Gamble House and parked at 8:30 – a bit too early.

Gradually, the clubhouse came to life and we all enjoyed the bagels with lox and tomatoes. Fresh fruit, coffee and OJ; yum! Thank you, Bonnie, for all the hard work.

A few practice bowls gave everyone a feel for the green. It was fast so we Berkeley bowlers would have to turn down the power a little to get full control of our shots. And then, the bell tolled. Front and center, bowlers. First, the Pledge of Allegiance, then it’s time to draw a chip and report to your rink to face the challenge.

In my case, a familiar face stood ready with his team. Eleven other skips faced a similar situation. They and their teams were ready. It was on, this 56th annual match for possession of the Meat Axe. At the end of the first round of six matches, Palo Alto had won four matches to our two. Lunch!

Anxious to proceed, I started rolling a few practice bowls and the afternoon match began. But, alas, it wasn’t to be. Palo Alto repeated the morning’s performance and the day ended with them winning eight of the twelve games. So, we needed to pass the Meat Axe back to the other side once again.

Congratulations, Palo Alto; well played. See you next year on our turf. What fun!
Palo Alto Takes the Axe And we take home the consolation prize.Reluctantly Geoff Accepts the Plaque

Frankie Napoli Wins Two Bowl Singles

There was a little mist in the air when fourteen souls showed up this morning for the annual two-bowls singles tournament. Tournament director Gary Knox arranged for three preliminary twelve end matches to find the top four bowlers for more bowling after lunch. In the end, it was Phil Grattan facing Frankie Napoli in the final match. At the tenth end, victory was out of reach and Phil resigned the match. Congratulations, Frankie on your second tournament win of the 2013 season.

Thanks to Gary for another well run event and to Ann Gardiner for the snacks.

The final tournament of the year will be for our novices in another singles event.

BLBC Honors Howard & Barbara Mackey

The Board of the BLBC voted unanimously earlier this month to revive the Club’s Distinguished Service Award to honor Howard and Barbara Mackey, husband and wife team who have given twenty years of commitment to the Club in a wide range of activities. Barbara, who passed away last December, had served on the Board of the Club in various capacities over the years, had achieved national umpire status, and was an assiduous “social secretary,” working regularly to decorate the clubhouse and lay on a welcoming spread for many tournaments and club social activities. She was also an informal coach to new bowlers, especially, but by no means exclusively, to new women bowlers. Howard has served as President, has been greenskeeper, remains Inter-club Tournament Director organizing popular events like the Berkeley Jamboree and other tournaments on the PIMD calendar, and is one of the Club’s representatives on the PIMD Committee. He is also currently the Club’s Singles Champion! Club President Jim Corr presented the award to Howard at the PIMD Mixed Pairs Tournament held at the Club on May 10, 2013.

From all of us at Berkeley Lawn Bowling, a giant THANK YOU!