Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Just Let Them Have Fun As A Youth Bowler

Several years ago, a grandmother and mother brought their two girls to junior bowling for the first time.

The kids were 5 and 6 years old and had never been bowling in their life.

It was immediately obvious that the grandmother and mother were going to be problems when the 5-year old took the bowling ball and threw it in the gutter on her first throw.

Even though there was a junior coach assigned to the pair of lanes, the grandmother went running down to the lane, called the young girl over to her and yelled, "why didn't you hit down any pins?"

The girl immediately stood frozen, her hand to her mouth, and looking at the floor.

The grandmother then yelled at the coach, "What are we paying $8.00 for?" (The cost of Saturday Junior Bowling.)

The adult daughter, meanwhile, stood in the back concourse area complaining to no one in particular about the error of their ways in selecting this junior bowling program to bring their children to.

The adults were immediately yaken aside and talked to and they quieted down somewhat; but, they could be seen fidgeting in their chairs trying to keep from saying something to the children..

They werel having a tough time dealing with the fact that their two girls weren't knocking down pins every time they threw the ball.

Neither of the two adults had ever bowled; but, it didn't stop them from wanting to tell the coaches what their children were doing wrong and to have the coach correct their bowling so they wouldn't throw so many gutter balls.

They quit coming after several weeks and I don't know if they went to another youth bowling program.

I suspect they didn't because the two kids were not having a good time at all.

I hope that at some point in time they will realize that very few children, if any, could average 200+ after one season of bowling.

I sincerely hope they learned to let their children go and have fun with the sport.

Here's my "Choc-List" for you if you decide to enroll your kids in a youth bowling program:

1) Your children are children. They are not mini-adults and neither are they "mature for their age." They are just kids.

2) Don't expect them to be bowling high scores and averaging over 200 in the next few years.

Actually, don't expect them to average anywhere near that point 5 years from when they first start bowling.

3) You CAN expect them to show gradual improvement year-after-year in their scores.

You should also expect them to show continued improvement in their social skills and responsibilities toward other aspects of their life.

4) Let them have FUN! There will be plenty of time for seriousness about bowling when they get into their teens and/or high school years.

(There are now over 80 colleges and universities offering scholarships for bowling.)

In any sport, if the children don't enjoy it from the start, there is a high probability that they won't continue in it.

When they're young and just starting out, just LET THEM HAVE FUN!

If they develop a keen interest in the sport, there will be plenty of time to develop their skills and maintain their interest in the game.

Don't be so tough and hard on them that they won't last even one season because you, their parents, didn't let them enjoy their bowling.

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