Thursday, May 4, 2017

Bowling Improvements One Thing At A Time

Do you have a tendency to try to concentrate on "everything" at once in order to bowl good? When you're on the approach, are you making sure that your starting stance and position is "just so;" are you mentally counting your steps to keep a smooth tempo; are you thinking about keeping your armswing free; do you make sure you're walking straight, are you thinking about keeping your eyes on your target; uhmmm, where was I? … I lost my concentration just writing that!

If you're attempting to do this when you bowl, I'm pretty sure that you're having some 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 appearing to others) as if you're 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? Goals and improvements are best accomplished by going them step-by-step, one thing at a time. I contend that it would be best to focus on one aspect of your game, completing each task separately until it is completed, then moving on to the next one at hand.

Here's a suggestion for how to figure out which things you should work on first in order to improve yourself.
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, and follow-through.

Analyze your degree of confidence with each and make 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 say, "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 will tackle first
- usually, you would pick the highest number as something to tackle first. If there's a tie, flip a coin and take the winner of the toss first.

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 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, when it improves, you may find that your balance at the foul line has improved at the same time.

Throughout your bowling career, you may find you'll have to run through this rating checklist regularly. 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. One way they'll be able to fix their problem, or problems, is to concentrate on them one at a time, just the same as you'll have to.

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