Zen And Your Bowling Game
bowlingball.com, Originally Posted: 1/2/2014; Updated: 1/6/2023
If you think this article is about “Zen” mastery and the art of bowling, you need to think again. There are many books written about ancient Asian culture and spiritual influences on sports or life’s tasks but this is not one of them.
Let’s just step back a minute and take a look at why you may be pushing yourself perhaps a bit harder during competition than you need to and examine what you can do to overcome negative emotions.
If you find yourself more than a little nervous or anxious when facing pressure bowling situations, there are a few things you can do to reduce tension short of meditation or getting into a trance of some sort.
The old term “dead stroke” used for decades in bowling refers to being in perfect motion throughout a complete session on the lanes. When your spirit and your physical game are working in unison and where your game is on autopilot you need only to relax and let everything happen; get out of your own way.
This state in bowling happens occasionally but most of the time, we have to battle our own competitive demons.
When you get nervous, what can be done to allow yourself to relax and bowl to your capabilities?
Learn to breath slowly in and out and release tension.
Rely on controlled breathing, on inhaling and exhaling slowly, to steady your nerves.
Anxiety can cause you to get out of your proven routine for bowling success.
Know that your brain is the real key to getting your physical motion working effectively.
Regardless of your ability, your mind can instruct the rest of your body to react smoothly and with precision when encountering out-of-the-ordinary emotions.
The concept of “Zen” in bowling suggests you perform with a lack of conscious thought. The problem with shutting out all conscious thought is in making necessary adjustments as lanes change or if you begin to get a poor bowling ball
At some point, you must trust your decisions to make adjustments as needed. Your decisions come from conscious thought, from your brain and its reservoir of knowledge and data.
Good bowling performances are derived from being well practiced and from being mentally focused for competition, but it is not necessary to seek some transcendental state of spirituality and “Zen” out every time you face a pressure bowling situation.
Just remember that your brain commands your physical body motion. Allow yourself to rely and trust in the messages your brain sends to your body.
Take a deep breath or two and exhale slowly and then focus on making one good shot at a time. You will find you have the power within to overcome emotions and bowl well when it counts.