In 2013, I was coaching Team Canada at the World Games in Cali, Colombia. At the end of one of our qualifying blocks, as my bowlers were packing up their equipment, I looked over to watch the end of Team USA’s last game and I saw something special. It wasn’t because anyone had bowled particularly well, or badly. I don’t even remember the scores. What I do remember is Kelly Kulick’s ball change.
This ball change wasn’t remarkable because it was one of those magical changes that allowed her to strike out and save a game. It was remarkable because it meant nothing. On her last ball, after six games of competition and with no cut until the next day, when most bowlers simply threw the fill ball while planning lunch, Kelly Kulick went to her bag, thought about what to do, picked up a ball, and tested it out.
She changed balls in the fill ball of the last game of a qualifying block, just to learn something she might be able to use the next day. I remember thinking, “That’s why she is one of the best bowlers in the world.”
High achievers in any discipline simply think differently from the rest of the population. It takes a certain kind of mindset and dedication to put in the countless hours of effort, sacrifice, and training to be that good at anything. It’s true on the lanes as well. Bowling like a pro means thinking like a pro.
Think like a pro
What does it mean to think like a pro? Aside from the more psychological habits, there are some very clear differences between the high-level thinkers on the lanes and the many more who want to develop that level of skill. In general, world-class bowlers will:
- see the reaction they want in their minds, then execute it;
- observe ball motion to apply their strengths; and
- make adjustments faster and more accurately.
Seeing the picture
If you’ve heard bowlers talk about having a “clear picture” or being able to “see it clearly” and wondered what this means, ...
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Image Credits: Bowler images courtesy of PBA LLC.