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You Can't Win The Tournament The First Game, Originally Published: 7/6/2015; Updated: 5/8/2022

Knowing how to bowl under pressure in tournaments requires a realistic strategy of knowing you can’t win the tournament the first game.

Stop forcing your shots because you are excited and nervous in the first frames of a tournament.

The heat of competition can adversely affect your shotmaking early in a tournament if you do not take steps to relax, to breathe in and out slowly, and calm your nerves from the onset of the first game.

No matter how much you practice before a tournament, if you lose your head, allow anxiety to make you force shots and hurry your steps beyond your normal tempo, you risk bowling poorly and digging a scoring hole which can be difficult to overcome.

Even if you bowl a perfect game, a 300 game, the first game of your tournament, there is no guarantee you will win.

You must perform well consistently through each game you bowl and get yourself into contention with only a couple of games to go.

Follow a few simple keys to success in your tournament and give yourself a chance to win:

*Calm your nerves before you begin bowling. Use a slow breathing technique to calm your heart rate and relax muscle tension in your arms and legs.

*Think about a good start to your approach and then a good finish which usually means bowling at a familiar tempo and avoid hurrying your shots.

*Do not get ahead of yourself but rather focus on making one good bowling delivery at a time.

*Keep your swing and steps moving with consistent tempo so you get into the groove which helps you bowl your best.

*Commit to hitting your sighting target on the lane and hold your form at the foul line after releasing the bowling ball.

*Maintain good body balance when you release your ball, a vital key to accuracy and good results when bowling under pressure.

*Make your alignment and adjustment decisions before stepping onto the approach. "Plan your work" off of the approach and "work your plan on the approach."

You can’t win the tournament the first game so give yourself a chance to get going in a positive manner by doing the things you practice and have worked well for you in the past.

Keep it simple.

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