Article Contents

  • 1. Pre-event practice
  • 2. Understanding the tournament format
  • 3. Managing your practice session
  • 4. Treating each day as a separate event
  • 5. How to determine success

One of the most exciting weeks in bowling happens the first week of the year: Team USA Trials. I have participated in this event almost every year since 2004 and have seen it go through a lot of changes. Even through all of these changes, the keys to having a successful tournament week have remained unchanged.

In this article, I will talk about how I prepare for this event, what I do throughout the tournament, and how I determine what a successful week looks like. Next month, I will write a second article that walks through a day-by-day analysis of my 2019 Team USA Trials event.

Pre-event practice

The first key to any athlete’s success—regardless of sport or level—lies in the preparation before you leave for an event. I start preparing for this tournament two months out. I take time to write down the things that I believe have to improve in order for me to be successful. It is also important to write down the things that you do well and can rely on repeating. This is something I’ve struggled with in the past, but I don’t think you can achieve your goals without it. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I find that it can be hard to give yourself credit, but you have to have positive self-talk in order to achieve consistently positive results.

Quality of practice is more important than quantity of practice. One of the challenging parts about Team USA Trials is that it falls right at the beginning of the year. Finding time and a bowling center that is open or that has available lanes can be nearly impossible. Even more ...

Josie Barnes

About Josie Barnes

Josie is currently the Associate Head Coach of the Vanderbilt University's women's bowling team, the 2018 NCAA National Champions. Prior to taking the job as assistant coach nine years ago, she was a student-athlete and two-time NCAA Player of the Year for the Commodores. Josie is currently in her seventh year on Team USA and has two titles on the PWBA Tour.