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 Post subject: mental game
 Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:11 am Post Number: #1 Post
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As I have been recovering from shoulder surgery I have had a lot of time to think about my bowling accomplishments and my failures. One especially keeps coming to mind. Some wouldn't call it a failure for I finished 5th in the only out of state tournament I bowled in. My expectations were low for a felt I would be experiencing a whole new environment bowling against complete strangers with better competition on tougher conditions. Anyways ill get to the point. After 4 games of qualifying +72, I found myself second. I needed to beat only one bowler in match play one game to bowl for 1st place. And 1 win would guarantee at worst 2nd place which was a huge chunk of money better than 5th. Reading lanes has always been a strong part of my game. However in this situation it felt like a curse. While we were both warming up in practice my best look was about 3 boards of area, while the lefty I faced had at least 6-8 boards down lane. It seriously looked like he was on a 6-1 ratio house shot. While I on the other hand had to be much more precise with my shots. I already felt at a disadvantage before the match even started. And looking back now had no chance of winning because I felt defeated before we even started. Needless to say I got crushed in the match and he shot 260 something on a pattern that scored medium to low all day. I found myself getting more upset with each shot I watched him throw. He had the whole lane and carried everything to boot...
With all that said what are some things I can work on or do to avoid this from happening again? Should I not watch my left-handed competition in the future? as I wont have to worry about them affecting my transitions. For those that have been in those pressure situations or coached players in this situation any advice? 260 would have been a tough game to beat on that pattern but I wish I had a better mental approach and had the ability to stay in the moment and give it my all. Now ill never know how good I COULD have performed in that situation and its a tough pill to swallow.

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 Post subject: Re: mental game
 Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:51 am Post Number: #2 Post
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Consider these words of wisdom

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

First rule - Know Thyself. Read your post and you will get some of your answers by your own re-telling of the story.

Always try your best, do the best you can under the circumstances. You can't always win, but you can always try your best. It's a good habit to get into. Promise yourself to finish each race!!

That "pressure" is that feeling athletes get when something is on the line. Consider one of the rewards for getting in a position to win.

Last night the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins felt a lot of pressure as they competed for the Stanley Cup, it comes with competition. Learn how to enjoy the fact that you've gotten to a place where winning matters. Know that no one ever wins all the time and that breaks will happen.

Tell yourself that win or lose, you will learn something today and you will use it to be here again.

Check out the wiki -

Words of Wisdom provided by Angela Wilt (aka MotivGirl)
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... me_Toolbox

Mastering The Competition Cycle
By Dr. Dean Hinitz

http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... tion_Cycle


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 Post subject: Re: mental game
 Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:17 pm Post Number: #3 Post
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One other thing to add . . . . Ultimately you're bowling against the lanes, not another bowler. You put that pressure on yourself to 'beat' them. Your job is to play what the lanes give you to the best that you can - no matter what anyone else does. The second you start playing against another person, you're gonna lose.

In my humble opinion (slightly off topic, but still related) that's why PDW has an 0-8 record vs. WRWjr on television. The second he had a misstep (spare/split/whatever) and WRW didn't - it got in his head, and then it continued to mess with him. WRW, Earl Anthony, Dick Weber - they didn't care who the other bowler was, their opponent was the lanes for that game.

What was the mantra Chris Barnes says each morning? "What do the lanes want from me today?"

Or a quote from Bobby Jones: "You are not playing a human adversary; you are playing a game. You are playing old man par."

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 Post subject: Re: mental game
 Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:43 pm Post Number: #4 Post
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Thank you kajmk for taking your time to read my response and give such a detailed response with 2 wonderful links that I would encourage anyone who stumbles onto this thread to read! A quote that stuck with me was from Peggy Fleming " the ultimate goal should be doing your best and enjoying it." Which I think is a good approach for any sport or game. There is so much good information in both links and it was a nice surprise that I currently do a lot of what was covered. But still a ton more to implement and work on moving forward. Thanks again for the feedback!

Graaille, thank you for your post as well. Good point about playing the lanes instead of the player! I think this is a healthy philosophy that's crucial for success! I think at times even the best players in the world can struggle with this. Which ties me into your astute point about Pete Weber and Walter Ray. Both are highly skilled and accomplished bowlers in their careers. To support your theory and take it one step further I think most would agree that Pete Weber is more physically gifted. Has a better *physical game* then Walter Ray. So why is Weber 0-8 against him? It must be something mentally holding him back? The more I watch bowling from pba on down to the local tournaments I bowl in. I am finding the best physical games or even the best ball reaction doesn't always win. I think that is a tribute to how significant the mental side of the game is!

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 Post subject: Re: mental game
 Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:44 am Post Number: #5 Post
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I forget who I heard this from a while back as I was dealing with the same issue (I think it might have been Belmo). He said when ask about pressure situation something to the effect "I always bowl against the pins. It is me against those 10 pins evey shot." Add to that something else I heard "I have already struck in my mind. It is now just a matter of me showing those watching!"


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 Post subject: Re: mental game
 Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:51 am Post Number: #6 Post
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My mental game: I know I can.

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 Post subject: Re: mental game
 Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:12 pm Post Number: #7 Post
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My mental game is to deliver my next shot based on what I have witnessed in previous shots.

1. I only consider what my personal game allows me to do.
2. I only consider my next shot, whether it is my first or second shot in a frame.
3. I consider what has transpired in the previous frames (and previous weeks) when deciding how to deliver my next shot.
4. I have fun!!

It is important to know the limitations of one's game. This to me is one of the most important aspects of competition. The minute you step outside of your comfort zone, you run the risk of inconsistencies and frustration. Of course, confidence is great, but if all you are doing is standing on X board and delivering the ball over Y board with Z release, and this act is within the limitations of your game, then all is well. You KNOW you can do it because it is within your limitations. You chose those parameters because of knowledge of previous shots whether they happened earlier in the game or series or in previous weeks. The "game" becomes a PROCESSof consecutive deliveries.

Imagine shooting free throws. The act of shooting a ball the distance of a free throw is within most people's ability. You shoot once (based on your normal way of shooting the ball) and based on the result, you either shoot it the same (assuming you made the shot) or you make minor adjustments. The minute you step out of your comfort zone (turning your back to the basket, shooting with the opposite hand or trying to become Rick Barry) you will become inconsistent and make less shots.

Remember, the only thing you can control is you. This is an individual sport where the cliche thing to say is, "It is me against the pins." But it is also very true. Just worry about each delivery in a vacuum (except for the knowledge learned from previous shots) and you will become a much better situational bowler.


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 Post subject: Re: mental game
 Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:26 pm Post Number: #8 Post
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Spmcgirvern, nice on the Rick Barry reference! Lol maybe shaq should have tried that? But seriously good analogy on the free throws. Thanks for the words of wisdom. I feel reading that helped my mental game a bunch!

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Make spares make cut, miss spares miss cut. " Bill O'Neil "


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 Post subject: Re: mental game
 Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:13 pm Post Number: #9 Post
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For me, I've had to learn to at least try to shut the old noodle off before I set foot on the approach.

About a month ago, I shot my first 800. In the 8th frame of game three, I rung a 10 on what felt like one of the best shots I could throw. With that in my mind, on the first shot of the 10th, I grabbed it just a little at the bottom, but pulled it just enough to get the frozen rope to the pocket that luckily carried. After seeing that, I told myself just one thing:

"You've thrown great shots on this lane the last 4 shots before that one. You can do this!"

The rest of the 10th I felt more relaxed than I had the rest of the evening. Almost Zen like. I know that sounds cliche, but it's the truth. I relaxed, turned off the internal chatter and just let my body do what it does. I almost rung a 10 on the 12th shot, but luckily it fell late, but I felt like I threw it as well as I could. If only I could distill and bottle that moment! I would bowl great for the rest of my life if I could! LOL!

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 Post subject: Re: mental game
 Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:57 pm Post Number: #10 Post
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I feel more relaxed after 7 or 8 bagger knowing I can truly enjoy the finish of the game.
rr

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 Post subject: Re: mental game
 Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:33 pm Post Number: #11 Post
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Kellytehuna, Thanks for sharing your experience. Congratulations on your 800 series. I think once I experience more tournament and league pressure type situations. I will learn more about myself, and how to best cope and manage my nerves. If I pay attention To how I manage my emotions regarding success and failure. Hopefully that will help grow my mental game.

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