If I were to say the names Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams, Jr., or Jason Belmonte, you’d think I was starting a discussion about the greatest of all time (and maybe I am). The same if I mentioned Liz Johnson or Shannon O’Keefe in the same breath. As any bowling fan knows, each one has their own style on the lanes, but this article is more focused on the mental attributes of what it takes to be great. One of the most interesting and seemingly contradictory details about these bowlers is how different each of their personalities is.
Just compare PDW’s infamous crotch chop with Liz Johnson’s stoic intensity. Despite these differences, they’ve achieved almost legendary status in the sport. We could also center the discussion around other stars like Anthony Simonsen, Kyle Troup, Francois Lavoie, Stephanie Zavala, Danielle McEwen, or Dasha Kovalova. They each have their own unique game, as well as their own mental makeup.
When it comes to bowling like a pro, it’s about so much more than the mental tools like a pre-shot routine and positive self-talk. If that was all it took to be great, everyone would reach a world-class level if they could just unlock the perfect way to wipe their ball or find the right affirmation to whisper in their stance.
In this article, I’ll try to go beyond the basics of bowling’s mental game and get into what makes some bowlers so special. It won’t necessarily be the same roadmap for you to achieve greatness, but it will highlight some of the key attributes you’ll need to develop in order to achieve your potential.
It all comes down to knowing yourself and knowing your game. This sounds a bit simplistic, but as we dig into the concepts of faith and belief, the ability to play your game, and how you deal ...
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Image Credits: Bowler images courtesy of PBA LLC.