Why Your Bowling Is Not Improving
For you 190 and higher average bowlers, have you been wondering why your bowling is not improving?
Just when you reach the pinnacle, your whole body of hard work and practice seems to drop beneath your feet and you don’t know why your bowling is not improving.
Or you never get to your goal in the first place.
For most bowlers the latter is the problem. You practice and things just don't seem to change.
Before we attempt to figure it out, let's look at a team sport -- soccer.
Let’s first examine which skills are required to be a "good" soccer player, or at least make the starting team.
Mainly running, dribbling, passing, heading the ball and shooting are the skills needed to succeed in the game of soccer. If you were already a soccer player you probably acquired at least some of those skills well enough to make the team. If not, you had to learn these skills through practice with the team.
What went on at practice?
Running and fitness training to build endurance were addressed first. Then you broke into groups to practice different skills like passing, dribbling and shooting. Next you would scrimmage to get real-time feedback. This type of training took place every day during the season. And if you wanted to work up the ranks, you knew practice was necessary during the off-season as well. You had to maintain those skills and try to improve them.
Now let's look at bowling. There are no teammates, no coach (unless you choose to have one), no fitness trainer and no water boy. It's just you.
Here are some reasons why you are not improving:
Lack of knowledge: If you don't know what to do then you can't possibly expect to be able to do it.
Lack of understanding: For those stuck at this point, you may know what to do but just not how to do it correctly.
Lack of coaching: Bowlers might be the most stubborn group of athletes. The belief that you can just figure this out for yourself may be correct, but it usually requires years of trial and error. Without knowledge and feedback, there can certainly be lots of frustration.
Improper practice: Many bowlers who acquire the knowledge end up stuck because they don't know how to practice. It's an unfortunate epidemic in bowling - no structure and no self-organizational skills. Hours are lost on the lanes doing things that have little relevance to increasing performance where it counts - during competition in leagues or tournaments.
Here are two ideas to get you on the path to better bowling performance:
1. Get a coach: Although books, magazines and videos have their place in learning, nothing can replace having a qualified bowling coach. A good coach has spent years studying physical game techniques and methods through instructor-based training and observation of thousands of bowlers.
This experience provides a filter to sort through all of the information and condense it into what you need to know, when to disperse it and how to help you apply it.
Yes it costs money -- so does everything else in the sport such as bowling balls, shoes, bags, accessories, etc. It's an investment in yourself you should consider above all else.
2. Learn the principles of practice: As mentioned before, all the knowledge in the world won't help you unless you know how to apply it. This is also an area that your coach can help you with and save you years of wasted time. A coach can show you what needs to be done and explain how to do it efficiently to get the most benefit.
The bowling physical game is nothing more than a series of essential skills sequenced and blended into one motion. Accept this basic idea and then go out and find a good coach. A good coach, he or she, will help you sort through the information (and misinformation) and teach you what to do and how to do it. It really is that simple.
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