It's funny because so many people have to be drug to the bowling alley, only to quickly become bowling addicts. This is because there is so much more to bowling than it appears.
The Mental Bowling Game
One of the mental bowling aspects of the sport that can be witnessed at the bowling alley is that of coaching. Players who are seriously working on their bowling games will often seek out a more experienced bowler or professional coach to tutor them in their bowling skills.
Not only will a coach teach the bowler proper bowling techniques, but they can also help the bowler develop the mental focus and skills that are necessary to be successful at the sport.
The most mentally challenging part of bowling for many people is the fact that they get nervous and get stage fright. Going up for a bowling shot can literally feel to the bowler as if they were up on stage. They suddenly find they break into a sweat and cannot concentrate on anything but their anxiety. Breakpoints and oil patterns are impossible to keep in mind under these conditions. This inability to perform under pressure most definitely should be addressed.
Another mental aspect that affects some bowlers is when they are unable to accept anything less than a perfect shot. These bowlers may find that their biggest challenge is to maintain their motivation in the face of adversity. They will need to adjust their frame of mind. It takes a great deal of pratice to become a great bowler. Most bowlers have to improve their bowling game gradually.
A game of bowling can quickly and easily change a player’s frame of mind, which is why mastering the mental bowling game is really important. Advanced players are aware of this and will try to use it to their advantage. They may try to intimidate a less experienced player and ruin their concentration. A player must learn to focus and keep calm, no matter what comes up during the game.
There are a few tips bowlers commonly use for keeping their control and focus:
- Taking a brief time out to do deep breathing.
- Practice visualization techniques. To visualize a great roll, the bowler must close their eyes and picture every aspect of the most successful shot. The perfect form, tempo and release are all things to focus on, while drowning out all distractions. Once the player opens their eyes, they focus only on the pins and the aspects they just visualized, not on anything else that is going on in the bowling alley.
If these techniques to not work, hiring a bowling coach (as mentioned above) should be considered. They usually have some tips and tricks of their own. If coaching does not work, it may be beneficial to see a professional sports psychologist, in order to get the mental aspects of bowling under control.
These are professionals that train for years in order to help all types of both amateur and professional athletes overcome mental blocks that are interfering with their performance. Many athletes have had to seek this type of help in order to excel at their chosen sport; there is no shame in finding help. So, be sure to spend some time focusing of the mental bowling components when you're working to improve you game.