Article Contents

  • 1. You or the lane: how to know instantly
  • 2. If you can’t hit what you’re looking at, look at what you’re hitting
  • 3. Water
  • 4. Be awake

You’ve probably heard it said that you will compete like you train. If you train poorly or not at all, you’ll likely find your competitive juices all clogged. Your competitive strategy is a direct reflection of your training strategy. If you are sloppy or indifferent about your training, it will be difficult to have a competent blankie on which to rely when the pressure’s on.

Your training time is a time to focus on the individual components of your game like experimenting with different hand positions or target lines, shooting the corner spares ten times in a row, creating early roll or late roll, working on your speed control, etc. The strategy for any training session should always be to discover or improve. In competition, however, these individual components can be a welcome mat for Mildred, your evil non-bowling twin.

Competitive strategies are different than training strategies. You know how it is when you compete. Sometimes you’re razor sharp and sometimes you think tiddly winks would be a better choice of competitive challenge. When you are competing, sometimes you’ll see the whole lane as well as your target and breakpoint. Other times your ball path through the target area to the pins is all you see. It’s as though nothing else is visible to you.

It is, of course, quite visible. It just doesn’t matter. There is no appreciable imprint of the surrounding data on your brain. Your execution is a smooth, free-flowing approach and delivery. You don’t focus on how it happened; you focus on the overall FEEL of the shot, not its parts – sort of like seeing the whole tree, not each ...

Already a premium member? Click here to log in.

Susie Minshew

About Susie Minshew

Susie Minshew is a USBC Gold Coach, Master Silver Instructor, a regional PWBA champion, and past president of IBPSIA. She has authored two new books, Whoever Finds It First, Wins and Bowling Whisperer. Visit her online at