Article Contents

  • 1. The big five
  • 2. Physical
  • 3. Technical
  • 4. Mental
  • 5. Emotional
  • 6. Social
  • 7. Breaking 900
  • 8. References

We live in a world of numbers and statistics. The first thing that non-bowlers ask of serious bowlers (you) is whether or not you have bowled a 300 and “What is your average?” Players trot out title records like that is the ultimate measure of an athlete. (It is not). For goodness sake, people are even wedded to the number attached to their weight, as if that is relevant to anything.

At the end of the day, this obsession with score-based results ends up creating tension and anxiety. It kills the joy of the game. Ultimately this obsession has players focus more on immediate scoring than on developing their potential. So, if you want to break personal high marks or established records, how do you do it without developing the kind of obsession usually reserved for bank balances and body weight?

Let’s clear up one thing right off. This is not really an article about shooting big numbers, although doing so really is kind of fun. So far, with today’s scoring system, we can’t break 900. But if you wanted to really see what you are capable of, this article is a check-in. This check-in is about whether you are athlete enough to create magic numbers, titles, and consistently high play.

The truth of it is that you don’t really have to become an elite human being to win titles. It’s just that your chances for success in just about everything increase dramatically when you take care of the fundamentals.

If you check with most players, the thought of developing their own full potential does not even enter their minds. They may want to do better and score better, but it takes an extremely dedicated bowler, often with a wiser coach who stresses what it really takes to get to the top of your particular mountain.

Improvement as a bowler is not just about fixing something in your swing. It is about taking on everything about you as an athlete. Bowling is about more than the approach, your ball fit, and your release. If you are really into this sport, you take on every aspect of yourself as an athlete. You have to take your uniqueness into account and make it work for you, i.e. your build, your athleticism, your psychology, and your resources.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.”
–Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President

The purpose of this month’s article is to hone in on what will make you a better player. Of course, we can’t analyze your game from this magazine. Yet, every player knows that there is bowling, and then there is tournament bowling. There ...

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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.