Friday, February 1, 2013

Bowling In The Zone

A while back, Myron the Muse asked me a question about when a person is on a string of strikes.

"Do you want to be silent and concentrate, or do you want to be relaxed and loose, talking and animated to prevent too much nervousness from stepping in?"

You see, on the one hand, it would seem that you'd want to keep yourself "in The Zone" so you don't lose the string of strikes; while on the other hand, you'd want to be less nervous so you don't lose the string of strikes.

A bit of a quandary, don't you think?

The reason he asked me the question is that on a particular night several months ago, he had just strung up nine strikes in a row and "choked" in the 10th frame.

Last night, he called me again to "complain" that he had strung up 11 strikes and choked on the last ball very badly - a "Greek Church" on the 12th ball.

(For those not familiar with that nickname, that is a five count comprised of the 4-6-7-9-10 most often thrown by right-handers, or the 4-6-7-8-10 most often thrown by left-handers - it really is a poorly thrown ball)

In both situations, I merely told him, "now you know how it feels so you'll just keep getting more and more used to the feeling;  you're on the verge of getting the big one real soon."

What else is there to say, really?

I have often evaluated my own thoughts and feelings trying  to remember how I felt as I went through my own moments of bowling extraordinarily good.

I've also asked other people their feelings as they went through their own superior performance in bowling or other sports.

Also, if you watch interviews on television after any great performance by an athlete, they all say pretty much the same thing in that no one can remember exactly how they felt.

They were just doing it and things just fell into place. I think this is what is called being in "The Zone."

The "Choc-List" for being in "The Zone" are:

1) You are not fully aware of what is going on around you. Conversations are fuzzy.

2) You can see targets, objects, or end goals more clearly. Your vision and thinking make you see small details exceptionally well.

3) You are in the moment. Every time it is your turn to perform, your whole body and mind is absorbed in the task at hand and nothing else.

4) You are not nervous. You are not thinking or concentrating too hard. You are just performing.

Trying to recapture the time that you were in "The Zone" is a futile effort.

Is that why, for a lot of us, there is a letdown period after performing an exceptional feat?

Is the letdown because we are concentrating more on trying to "re-capture the moment" instead of just performing?

You can't practice being in "The Zone." You can only hone your style of bowling so that those times occur more often than the next person.

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