Article Contents

  • 1. Causes of angry bowling
    • 1.1. Before you shoe up…
  • 2. When the wheels fall off
    • 2.1. Anger as distraction: the team ripple effect
  • 3. Bowling anger management
    • 3.1. Dealing with a teammate’s anger
    • 3.2. Increasing self-awareness
    • 3.3. Challenging expectations
    • 3.4. Just throw the ball!
    • 3.5. Take note
    • 3.6. Pre-shot routine: are you using it correctly?
    • 3.7. One shot at a time
    • 3.8. Emotional healing and rebuilding
  • 4. An end to angry thoughts

Have you had times when you seemed to be unable to hit your target, even if it was the size of an elephant? How about those nights when you have cycled through every possible adjustment you know or can execute, and no matter what you do, you have no carry or leave splits wide enough to drive a truck through?

Do these situations put you into a slow burn, leading to volcanic feelings of emotional eruption? Would you like to be the boss of your emotions, rather than a slave to them? Is there something intrinsic to our sport that creates the angry bowler? Let us discuss these questions!

Causes of angry bowling

We talk a great deal about focusing on executing quality shots rather than on score outcome, yet it is that very outcome—the final score—that determines who wins the match point, high game, total wood, and—most importantly—the actual game! So, while we intellectually understand that we need to focus on each shot, to the exclusion of all else, this is often easier said than done.

This is true firstly because those big score monitors are right in front of our faces. We know that scoreboard-watching does not help our bowling, but we do it anyway, don’t we? Even when we tell ourselves that we are only looking to see what frame we are up to, whether it is our turn, and what lane we need to bowl on, our brains are still recording the outcome—the score—during that brief glance.

Secondly, during that brief break between games, when you’re filling out the scoresheet, you and your teammates are likely discussing things like, “We are up/down by X pins,” ...

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Joe Hoenig

About Joe Hoenig

Joe Hoenig is a USBC Silver coach and a graduate of the Dick Ritger Bowling Camps. A Licensed Master Social Worker by profession, Joe works full-time as a Clinical Trainer and Educator for a health insurance plan and takes his love of teaching and bowling onto the lanes, coaching both youth and adult students of all ages and skill levels. Additionally, Joe is a volunteer coach for the Suffolk County, NY Bowlympics youth travel league, which calls South Levittown Lanes its home.