ASK BOB 3-01-14



Q. I have a bowler on my team that takes forever to throw his shot. I have asked him why do you take so much

time? His answer is I am going through my checklist. I think taking that much time is rude. How can I get

him to change?

A. I agree with you this is rude and while you can’t order him to change there are some things you can point out

that might help him to see why taking this much time is hurting his game. Tell him that you read an article,

Taking too much time on the approach and the mistakes it causes. 1st. The longer you stand there the longer

you have to over-think your shot. 2. Taking too much time makes the muscles tighter and makes timing

more difficult. 3. Taking too much time allows the conscious mind to take over the shot. The best shots are

made when the subconscious mind is doing the most work. Check lists and thinking should be done in the

settee area not on the approach. Taking less time will improve your game and the attitudes of your fellow


Q. I have never shot a 300 game but last month I did get the first nine strikes in a row. Then I got so nervous

I missed the headpin and left the one, two, four. Can you give me some hints on how to stay calm under


A. Everybody handles pressure differently. So there is no set way to answer this question but I will give you

a few things to try. Pick one or two and use them the next time you are under pressure and see if it works

for you. I use distraction for myself. I count in my head before taking my first step to the line. I use one

thousand one, one thousand two, and one thousand three all while looking at my mark. Then go to the line,

this for me takes my mind off the consequences of the shot and allows me to relax and just hit my target.

You can use mental imaging, in your mind see yourself throwing the shot and the shot being successful.

For some minimizing the value of making the shot can work. Like remembering a 300 game is not 12

strikes in a row. A 300 game is one strike in a row 12 times. Each shot is a separate game.

Q. I bowl in a mixed league but it has many top bowlers in it. We take the game seriously. Our problem is this

the center we bowl at has open lanes next to our league and they put people with kids and beginners on

the open pair next to us. We have asked them to leave a buffer pair dark but they don’t listen. Can we get

help from the USBC on this matter?

A. I feel your pain but this is not a problem that the USBC can help you with. They can’t tell the lanes to leave

a pair open between you and the rest of the lanes. You will have to figure out a way to handle this with the

center. Most centers will leave a buffer pair dark but they need to make money, so if they are getting full

you can’t blame them for wanting to use the lanes. Here is my suggestion go to the manager or owner and

ask them first to leave the buffer pair dark until they absolutely need it, this not an unreasonable request.

Then if they do need it if they could at least make sure the people they put on that pair are league bowlers.

League bowlers at least know the etiquette of the game. They may have to move some bowlers on to that

pair from another pair, if you explain your concerns to them in a nice way most businesses will oblige.

To ask a question email [email protected] I answer all questions by email.