Ellen Ryan’s got the Lawn Bowls world in a trance
She’s the youngest female to reach Australia’s number one ranking, and 20-year-old Ellen Ryan has already been hypnotised by lawn bowls.
She loved the sport instantly, playing her first game at 10 years old, but when GC2018.com met Ryan at the recent Australian team selection camp, she’d been hypnotised in the literal sense too.
The hypnotism session was part of a program that combined physical testing, game simulation, nutrition and sports psychology seminars.
Ryan is set to compete in the Trans-Tasman Test Series, the last international competition before GC2018.
"It was a bit different, more just trying to get into your subconscious and get rid of negative thoughts and stuff like that," Ryan told GC2018.com.
"That was interesting, to have that aspect involved in the camp as well."
Ryan speaks openly about the mental challenges she’s faced during her rapid rise through the ranks.
The Goulburn High School administrative assistant is undoubtedly one of the future stars of the sport, with her historical ranking following an impressive debut year which included being awarded Player of the Tournament at the Australian Open in June.
But Ryan admits she’s struggled to back herself on the world stage.
"We were up [on the Gold Coast] for Trans-Tasman and multi nation events and it was actually my first time playing for the Australian Open team and I got one game against Malaysia and I didn’t play well at all," she said.
"I was second guessing myself. Once I got past that it led into the Australian Open and I was just taking it one game at a time, and made three finals so that was pretty amazing.
"Obviously one of my greatest achievements.
"I had our psychologist here with us and I spoke to him a fair bit during the event to make sure I was at my peak at that stage."
Ryan says the psychological aspect of Lawn Bowls cannot be understated.
"You need confidence on the green and off the green to make sure [you don’t] have negative thoughts involved," she explained.
"If you go in thinking ‘oh I can’t draw this shot’, 80 per cent chance you’re not going to do it."
Ryan has earned selection in the Australian Jackaroos team for November’s Trans-Tasman Test Series, which will be played at GC2018 Lawn Bowls venue Broadbeach Bowls Club.
It’s the next step towards GC2018 nomination, an achievement Ryan’s been working towards during her meteoric rise.
"It would be unreal, it’s been my dream for four years or so," she said.
"It’d be awesome to play in front of your home crowd and have all your family and friends here supporting you."
The final Australian GC2018 Lawn Bowls team will be announced in November. Tickets are still available