Article Contents

  • 1. Who do you think you are?
  • 2. You are what you think about
  • 3. Subliminal suggestions
  • 4. Taking control of your head

Every athlete who has ever faced the hot furnace of competition knows there are days when you know you just have “it”. You feel like Superman. Those are the days when you feel stronger, more energetic, confident, and coordinated. When this happens, if you have any kind of game at all, you become a force. You know what you have and you typically have a great time executing your skills. For a tournament player, this is athletic heaven.

On the other hand, Superman had to deal with kryptonite, that mysterious substance that sapped his strength. Bowlers have kryptonite, too. There are occasions when it feels like someone has let the air out of the balloon. There can be a lot of reasons for a down day. Sleep, food, and stress are obvious culprits. Yet, there are other hidden factors that can account for feeling like you are in the pits or on top of the world. These factors are often disguised.

“I was very bad in sports, so I gave Harry a talent I would really loved to have. Who wouldn’t want to fly?”
—J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter

This month we are going to look at the underbelly of the mental game. There are invisible thoughts, conversations, and messages that can jack you up or tear you down. You may not even be aware that anything is working on your psychological self. We are going to explore some keys that may have a profound impact on how you shoe up and show up. This month is about giving you the mental game armor to go into battle fully armed, shielded, and charged up to compete as a champion.

Who do you think you are?

Most athletes and coaches would correctly argue that how you perform is strongly related to your ability level. However, all things being equal, there is an essential distinction between athletes. Some see themselves as champions who deserve to win. The rest see themselves as also-rans who always have to prove that they get to be on the field of play. More than most bowlers could imagine, who and ...

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Dean Hinitz

About Dean Hinitz

Dr. Dean Hinitz is a clinical sports psychologist in Reno, Nevada, a bowler, a former competitive gymnast, and a black belt in Japanese-style Karate.