"We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once."
-Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the US-
Do you have a tendency to try to concentrate on "everything" at once in order to bowl good?
That is, when on the approach, are you are making sure that your starting stance and position is "just so," are you mentally counting your steps to keep a smooth tempo, are you are thinking about keeping your armswing free, do you make sure you are walking straight, are you thinking about keeping your eyes on your target, WHOA! … I lost my concentration just writing that!
If you 're attempting to do this when you bowl, it's a pretty sure bet that you're having trouble with your game.
You're wanting to master every detail all at once, therefore, you really aren't mastering anything.
You're probably feeling (or looking to others) as if you are tight and mechanical.
You're also not seeing any improvement in your scores and average.
How can anyone improve if they're trying to concentrate on so many things at once?
In every facet of our lives, things get done by going step-by-step, one thing at a time.
Let's say that the lawn needs to be mowed, the hedge needs to be trimmed, and the weeds need to be pulled.
Would you get better results by:
1) Doing to all three jobs at the same time, that is, alternating between them - mow a little, trim a little, pull a little; or,
2) Doing each one until it is completed before moving on to the next task?
I contend that you'll get a higher quality result doing each one until it is completed before moving on to the next one.
Here's a suggestion for how to figure out which things you should work on first in order to improve your bowling.
Make a list of the different aspects of your game - starting stance, pushaway, armswing, walking straight, balance at the foul line, ball release, hitting the target, follow-through, and anything else you can think of for your personal game.
Analyze your degree of competence with each. (Invent yourself a scale so that you can rate them accordingly.)
Here's a suggested scale: 1 - comfortable, 2- so-so, 3 - uncoordinated, 4 - not sure what I'm doing, 5 - totally lost. (I said, "suggested scale," so feel free to make up your own.)
When rating the items on your list, you can use each rating number more than once.
It's okay to have "starting stance" and "armswing" with a "1," or "walking straight" and "ball release" as "3."
After you've rated each item, make your decision as to what you'll tackle first - usually, you'd pick the highest number as something to tackle first, but not necessarily so.
If there's a tie, flip a coin. Once your decision is made, don't change your mind.
Commit to the fact that you'll concentrate and work on that facet of your game until it's mastered and you feel totally comfortable with it.
Once you feel that way about what you're working on, take your list and evaluate yourself again.
The reason for this is that by concentrating and fixing one part of your game, you may find that another part has "seemed to fix itself."
This is the beauty of concentrating on only one thing at a time rather than trying to do everything at once.
For example, while working and focusing on your armswing, you may find that your balance at the foul line has improved at the same time.
Throughout your bowling career, you'll have to run through this rating list periodically just to keep yourself "tuned up."
Even the best professional bowlers in the world have slumps where they have to go back to the drawing board in order to fix bad habits they've picked up seemingly "overnight."
The easiest way for any bowler to fix the problems with their fundamentals is to concentrate on them one at a time.
I'm certain you'll find that your game will improve at a more steady pace instead of being stalled at a plateau, not seeming to get better at all.