Article Contents

  • 1. What is motivating me to seek this information?
  • 2. Is the source reliable?
  • 3. Do I understand it? Does it make sense to me?
  • 4. Is the information relevant to me?
  • 5. Is this for right now, or the off-season?
  • 6. Conclusion

Last month, we talked about how to de-clutter your bowling bag. This month, let’s look at de-cluttering an even more important bowling tool: your mind! This isn’t going to be your standard mental game article, though. I’m going to talk to you about the art of critical thinking.

The ability to think critically about information is an extremely valuable bowling skill, particularly when sifting through the advice we often get on the lanes. We’ll discuss some common bowling scenarios where this skill is necessary and share some suggestions for how to best handle these situations.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines critical thinking as, “the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion.” To place this in a bowling context, it means answering the following basic questions:

  • What is motivating me to seek this information?
  • Is the information source reliable?
  • Do I understand the information, and does it make sense to me?
  • Is the information relevant to my game?
  • Is it something I can implement right away, or should it wait until later?

Let’s break these points down and see what shakes loose.

What is motivating me to seek this information?

Every league bowler I know or have known is clear in understanding their motivation to bowl, their skill level, and their desire to improve their game. Before you begin to try to make sense of new bowling knowledge, ask yourself why you are looking for answers. Is there some aspect of your game with which you are struggling? Is your game “OK,” but you’d like to tweak it somehow? Or, are you looking to elevate your game to an entirely new level?

Why are these questions important? Well, depending on your reasons, you will look for answers in different places, which directly leads to the dangers of a cluttered bowling mind.

The level of various bowling technique articles—even those published by Bowling This Month—are not always geared toward ...

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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 Bolympics youth travel league, which calls South Levittown Lanes its home.