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  • Glanville

Training Day February 2023

Led by Martin Hughes from Pétanque England, these are notes from the session:

Opening chat

  • Mindset is key and trumps technical expertise

  • What issues do we as a club have? Shooting (Martin advised that should use the same technique as pointing & Being consistent

  • Note that much of the training would be focused on competitive situations

Holding the boule

  • Fingers together - NOT fingers sitting apart in a ‘claw’

  • Thumb resting on the side.

  • The thumb can also rest against the side of the index finger

  • Is the boule too big for your hand?

  • Grooves on the boule are good for spin. The trainer has smooth. Smooth is good for pointing. Not much in it though.

Jack throwing

  • We practiced getting the jack into a hoop

  • Give one person the job of throwing the jack and that will build their expertise in placing it (don’t alternate)

  • If losing, play the jack short and that will make the game far more competitive. If winning, play the jack long.

  • If playing someone who is left handed, consider dropping the jack close to left edge as it makes it harder for them

Basic boule throwing tips

  • At the start, before you throw, you are allowed to smooth one part of the terrain

  • Decide/picture the initial landing point for your boule from where it will roll to the place you want it to end at

  • On a flat pitch (ours) use a lower/faster trajectory with a landing point further from the jack allowing it to roll in

  • Decide the initial landing point from where your boule will roll towards your target. The higher you throw, the slower the roll momentum and the nearer the jack you need to land

  • On a bumpy terrain, lob high/slower with back spin and aim for a landing point closer to the jack

  • Throwing stance: stand upright for longer distances/tougher terrain. Squat for short distances/smooth terrain (but, ultimately, you choose what ever suits you with the aim of being steady with no body twisting as you throw)

  • Throw with no twisting of the body, steady feet with one foot pointing towards your target and an arm that throws straight and doesn’t twist across the body

  • Release the boule before your hand begins to rise above the horizontal/your shoulder

Starting throw - Pointing

  • The basic aim for both teams is to place a boule in before the jack by about 30cm to make it difficult for the opposition

  • We practiced how to get around a good pointer boule and learned the WEIGHT of the shot is key and to be brave about passing the jack and risk hitting it (if the weight is right you have a higher chance of ending in a good position)

  • We should always shoot a good pointer to clear the way for our pointer

Game Tactics after pointing

  • Once the game is underway (a boule is in a good pointing position 30cm before the jack), the tactical options are: beat (get closer to the jack), promote your already-played boule by pushing it closer to the jack with your next throw, punch the opposition’s boule out of contention or shoot to remove the opposition from a strong position

  • Discuss which tactic to adopt with your team as you play

Shooting (check the more detailed report on the training session dedicated to shooting)

  • It’s all about being confident, developing good technique and practice

  • In a competitive situation, choose one person to shoot to allow them to build that expertise and bring that skill in to play when needed

  • Relaxed knees, hold torso still, arm straight and point your right foot (if right handed) towards target boule

  • Use the same mechanics as pointing

  • On our pitch, drop short and allow the shooting boule to roll into the target AND be sure to have checked the ground first and smoothed it (for rough ground you’ll need to drop your boule directly onto the opposition’s boule)

Game tactics discussion

  1. Jack placement: short to allow us to use shooting

  2. Point. Choose a landing spot

  3. If opposition over runs. Still try to point

  4. If opposition is successful in pointing straight away, a close pointer has to be shot

  5. Each player to throw ALL boules as we learn from every throw. Don’t alternate. Step out of the circle after a bad throw to clear your head but get back to it immediately

That’s it folks!

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