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A conundrum               from Howard Jarrold

To drive or not to drive: that is the question. Whether 'tis for the greater glory that you crave, despite the risk of a cruel wick. Or take the safer more boring draw. And by greater skill defeat them? ( Apologies to William Shakespeare. Hamlet Act 111 scene 1 )

Is it just me that feels the drive shot is over used ?

Am I alone in thinking that the full drive is like the snowball on a downhill run. It gets more difficult to control the more it travels?
Is it the better option ?
Why do good players fail so often when executing this shot?
Does it ruin the game and favour the less skilful ?
Should it be banned ?

Like so many players I have attempted to alter the head with a drive when a draw would probably have been the better shot. Why ? I am well aware how difficult a shot it is to execute and how lucky you have to be to get the result you want.
Overused ? Yes I think it is , but it is part of the game and in the right hands is a powerful tool. So perhaps judicious use of the back wood to guard against the drive is how we should deal with the ' drive boys '
The better option ? 90% of the time the drive fails and it follows that wasting a bowl when you only have two is not the best tactic.
Why does it fail ? Lots of reasons for this. Number one is that it is rarely practised . There is a lack of understanding of the difference between the forehand and backhand and the relationship of speed and bias and how and when they interact with each other. Perhaps the biggest fault when executing this shot is the failure to be rock solid and balanced at set up and delivering a smooth jerk free delivery that follows through. There is no substitute for practise.
Ruin the game ? No I don't think it does, but it is a shot that is disliked when it is used at almost every end. I was recently asked what I would have done in a game where exactly that happened. The skip has to recognise the problem and has to build the head to negate the effect of the drive. Do not build a large target. Consider keeping your woods away from the head if you have one very close. It is fine to win every game by one shot every time.
Ban it ? No. Develop a good drive yourself and learn to read a head and how to build one to defend against all tactics.
Submitted date - Friday, 25 May 2018
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Danny Brown