Positive Access Point By John Baker Sr.
It’s not the Lane it’s the operator!
We have all heard bowlers complain that “ the lanes suck!” or “ the ball sucks “ . What are we really saying when we say that? What we’re really saying is that we didn’t prepare for that night of bowling. Whether we needed a better nights rest, less coffee, or to realize we needed to change equipment when things started to go wrong. Its always easy to shunt the blame.
Lets take the first and most important factor in having a good nights sleep, don’t bowl tired. Bowling tired does affect the outcome of your game . One by not being able to concentrate on making good shots. We tend to slow down and over compensate, this can and does make us do things we normally would not do, and reenforces bad habbits. Try to get a decent amount of sleep to be at your best and if you have to travel any length of time make sure you have some down time to get the ROAD BUZZ out of your head. Walk around and get something to eat, try not to consume too much caffeinated drinks as that can have a negative effect on your game as well.
“ THE BALL SUCKS” What we are really saying here is that the lanes have changed or “ transitioned “ and its probably time to try a different ball or make a move on the approach. Don’t be afraid to make a BIG move , 3-5 boards can be the difference in finding a new line or if that big of a move is not needed small moves can make the difference in finding the right angle to the pocket but it might take more time. If none of your moves have worked then its probably time to change balls. Depending on what is happening and what you feel comfortable with (yes sometimes comfort in a ball makes all the difference) move to a different ball.
Try to keep an open mind when it comes to your game and the little things that can go wrong. Many times it is not one large problem that is happening but several small things adding up to one aggravating night. Take a deep breath and remember your basics. Go back to your starting points and remember your fundamentals, this can help in finding the small stuff by making you aware of things that are going on with your form, steps on the approach or wrist position. Use your practice time to work out those little problems, having someone that knows your form, in practice can be a great help. If you must, set up a camera and record yourself bowling. Then you can watch where your mistakes might be and correct them the next time you go to practice.
Remember even the PROS have bad days. We all do, so all you can do at times is just GRIND it out. Remember , practice practice, but practice well. Work on what you need to work on and don’t worry about the score. Your score will come .before you know it your scores will be back to the level you want and higher.
Lastly is DON’T try to over think each and every shot. Remember the good shots and put the bad shot or frames behind you. Being aggravated just makes it worse. There will be days when whatever you try and whatever you do, NOTHING seems to go right, just learn from the experience, practice, practice, practice. There will be better days, the longer you dwell on the negative, the longer your slump or problems will hang around. Bowling is 90% mental, if that 90% is negative you can bet that your game will be 90 % negative as well!
Great post, enjoyed it. So much rides on preparation and adjustments, but it’s too easy to cast blame on equipment and conditions. I feel like I can break slumps by doing what you say: adapt, change, concentrate without over-thinking.
Thanks Tim for your comments, glad you enjoyed the post!
Great post John, you hit it right on the head. I’ve fallen in that trap where I wanted to blame everything by myself. At the end of the day though, I’m the one controlling everything so it’s back on me. Love the column!
John, I agree wholeheartedly. Bad attitudes hurt not only the bowlers but the sport as well. Good article. Dustin
Ur so right, maybe I’ll sleep instead you partying onnew years. Na. cant pass up a good new years party. I’ll sleep next week and bowl better then. Thanks 4 the tips.