Article Contents

  • 1. Been there before
  • 2. It must be real to get the feel
  • 3. Street fighting
  • 4. Taking a shot to the mouth

Before the Women’s U.S. Open last June in Reno, I had a conversation with one of the top named competitors before the tournament started. This former champion was doing some last minute preparation for the competition and I asked her, “Can you win this thing?” There was a pause, some thought, a bit more pause, and I answered for her, “Not right now you can’t.”

If it takes that long to consider whether or not you might succeed at any mission, you may well have a significant problem. Change frames of reference for a moment and consider asking your airline pilot any of the following questions:

  1. Do you think you can fly this thing?
  2. Do you think we can get to our destination?
  3. Do you think you can handle any inclement weather along the way?

If your pilot flinches, hesitates, or balks in any way, you might want to consider changing flights. If you cannot fly your vehicle with authority and assurance, your destination becomes increasingly questionable. In bowling, you are the vehicle. Hence, we could ask you before a tournament:

  1. Can you play the game?
  2. Can you win?
  3. If things don’t go your way, can you persevere, stay centered, and continue to bowl greatly?

Your unrehearsed authentic answers to these questions will tell you whether you are prepared to win ...

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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.