Article Contents

  • 1. Where am I? Your self-evaluation
  • 2. On-lane training
    • 2.1. Training focus
    • 2.2. Release variation (speed, axis rotation, rev rate)
    • 2.3. Spare shooting strategy
    • 2.4. Weekly training
    • 2.5. Calculating your on-lane training score
  • 3. Preparation and maintenance
    • 3.1. Finger inserts
    • 3.2. Thumb tape
    • 3.3. Coverstock preparation
    • 3.4. Coverstock cleaning
    • 3.5. Coverstock deep-cleaning
    • 3.6. Calculating your preparation and maintenance score
  • 4. Tactical evaluation
    • 4.1. Knowledge
    • 4.2. Arsenal variation
    • 4.3. Lane pattern and environment review
    • 4.4. Game planning
    • 4.5. Lane oil manipulation plan
    • 4.6. Arsenal sequence plan
    • 4.7. Gaining competitive experience
    • 4.8. Calculating your tactical evaluation score
  • 5. Competition enhancement
    • 5.1. Sport psychology
    • 5.2. Fitness and nutrition
    • 5.3. Coaching
    • 5.4. Calculating your competition enhancement score
  • 6. Next steps: align your goals with your commitment level
  • 7. Concluding remarks

As the end of 2021 fast approaches and the hope of 2022 looms on the horizon, it is a great opportunity to evaluate your current strengths and weaknesses, review your habits, and develop goals for 2022. It is not uncommon for me to say “control the controllable” with individuals and teams I work with. Specifically, the areas you have control over should be the domains you dedicate time to in an effort to be your best.

The best bowlers in the world are versatile. Two decades ago, the much-touted World Tenpin Bowling Association report in 2000 listed five components to measure the best bowlers in the world. These five domains were: versatility, accuracy, power, repeatability, and knowledge. In a Bowling This Month article from 15 years ago, when asked about what has made them successful on tour, some of the best bowlers in the world echoed that need for versatility. Norm Duke mentioned the ability to manipulate ball speed and tilt, whereas Walter Ray Williams, Jr. highlighted the ability to play different parts of the lane. Finally, Parking Bohn III mentioned both lane play knowledge and versatility. In short, to be successful, a bowler must pair knowledge with skill versatility to reach their full potential. Removing mental game impediments that disrupt the knowledge-skill formula is another important element as an individual continues the journey to becoming their best.

As you move into 2022, how committed are you to improving in these areas? Find out by taking this self-assessment. Specifically, I present a self-assessment to help you reveal where you are at with respect to what you have control over as a bowler. From the results, you can plan your goals to improve in areas you may have committed to less than others. At best, this can help you take your game to a higher level. At least, you will increase your awareness.

Where am I? Your self-evaluation

This is not an exhaustive list, but it is an extensive one. This self-evaluation assessment will provide insight into your commitment to training, competition preparations, versatility, the mental game, nutrition, and fitness. This assessment will reveal what you are doing and also present additional areas in which you can commit more effort.

Specifically, my intent is for you to evaluate your commitment and reflect on how well your commitment is aligned with achieving your goals. All too often, bowlers ...

Already a premium member? Click here to log in.

Joe Slowinski

About Joe Slowinski

Joe Slowinski, a USBC Gold Coach, is a freelance bowling coach who works with bowlers around the globe. He is the former Director of Bowling at Lincoln Memorial University, where he served as Program Administrator and Head USBC Collegiate Men’s and NCAA Women’s Coach. The Portland, Maine native has served as the Administrative and Men's Head Coach at Webber International University and served for four years as a Master Teaching Professional at the Kegel Training Center. Slowinski is also the former Director of Coaching and Coach Certification for the National Sports Council of Malaysia. He has coached international teams at the World Championships, Pan American Games, South American Games, and European Championships. He was the 2018 NTCA DII/III Coach of the Year and the 2010 NCBCA Men’s College Coach of the Year.