In this new recurring feature, I’ll be answering questions from Bowling This Month readers, or questions I’ve received from bowlers I work with, that might not require the depth of a full-length article, but that can definitely benefit more than just the person who happened to ask. Think of it as a Dear Abby column for bowlers.
If you have questions, please leave them in the comment section below so that I can address them in a future article.
What makes that bowler so great?
This is a doozy of a question that I get asked a lot by bowlers who want to improve and who try to look at the “top dog” in their area as a model. In most cases, this is a question posed with genuine, open-hearted desire to improve, but more than once I’ve experienced this question tinged with jealousy, which is a whole different problem. I’ll try to address both.
First, let’s deal with some of the negative feelings that sometimes come with looking at a bowler and wondering why they’re so good. The first thing to do is examine your relationship with that person and your own beliefs:
- Is there a personal conflict with that bowler, affecting your objectivity?
- Do you feel the need to compare yourself to others for validation?
- Is your motivation for improvement external or internal?
For competitive personalities, it is very important to limit comparisons to others and keep them as objective as possible when you do make them. It’s one thing to look at a bowler and hold them up as an example for yourself, but it is another matter entirely to compare yourself to them and to be motivated purely by that external comparison. Rather than the goal being self-improvement, the goal is to be better than them, which are two very different things. Before going any further, be sure that you are approaching this comparison as a learning exercise to find your ...
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