Grand Final 2016: What we have learned about visible and invisible teams

The ‘INVISIBLE’ team, bowls circa 2016


Players are the visible team. For our bowls club, our bowls association at state, provincial or national level.

My view is the INVISIBLE team is of equal importance to the success of the players.


One only has to look at the Western Bulldogs football club (Doggies, or the ‘scraggers as we used know them) and the victory secured this weekend in our AFL grand final.

In front of millions either at the MCG ground or watching live on television, the coach and his magical non playing captain demonstrated the sheer weight of strength in character on that podium highlighting the significance of the contribution to the playing team by such members of an INVISIBLE team.


It was spine tingling to watch that moment of sheer character.

An overwhelming emotional post-game experience.

The game, and then that momentous podium experience signifying the value of INVISIBLE team members, has been the topic of conversation in papers, on television, and even out and about in conversations in the community.


In bowls I would identify club executive, selectors and coaches as the INVISIBLE team members.

In Canada whilst coaching recently, and in the 5 weeks since back home, members of the INVISIBLE team at various clubs suggest to me the lacklustre commitment of their players to the success of their clubs, or in Canada, their provincial / state teams.


I ask, so why choose these players!

In fact to me these players with flaws in commitment are little different to the flawed commitment of the INVISIBLE team, just different flaws.


As some of you know with my style, I am forever challenging the players commitment for them to aspire to be as good as they can be. However if players are doing all the slog to commit, how sure are we that our INVISIBLE team members are concurrently raising their level of commitment to take responsibility, to perform as well as possible in their chosen role in the organisation.

Selector, coach, committee member, it is not enough to have the title as a member of the INVISIBLE team.

You expect players to commit, do likewise being equally accountable and responsible as a vital cog in the INVISIBLE team.


And if not, why not!

Get up (to speed) or get out for the good of the combined teams, visible and INVISIBLE ones.

Let’s all in sport, heed the lesson writ large for all to see from the Doggies/ ‘scraggers

i.e. let’s set our collaborative sights goals and standards as a dual team;

let’s revel in our players successes, their journey;

let’s create a mood around the place of mutual respect whichever team we are in, playing or INVISIBLE;

let’s have the highest commitment from every member of each of our two teams;

let’s value what we saw with the Doggies, ultimate winners, and borrow from the best out west;


Lachlan Tighe, 2016

About lachlan tighe

long work & voluntary history in sport; ran around many fields and trudged up and down numerous lawn greens as a player; coach lawn bowls with experiences locally & overseas; wrote a book & write columns in bowls magazines, websites;


  1. Spot on Lachlan. For a tree to grow strong it needs good soil and a good climate. I have often thought we overrate what happens in the footy season because we see the game mostly though the public lens of media. I reckon teams and seasons are made between October and March when recruiting, strategy and player and game plan development all take place. But largely out of the public and media gaze.

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