Article Contents

  • 1. Attentional fields
    • 1.1. Inside field
    • 1.2. Outside field
  • 2. It plays like this
  • 3. On the other hand…
  • 4. Are you broad or narrow?
  • 5. Lasering

Check out the following scenario drawn from the December 2012 PBA tournament scene in Las Vegas. Right away you can see some of the focus problems that present themselves in big time tournament situations.

“Experiencing the bowling live was eye opening. Boy, these guys are certainly under pressure in this environment and the distractions are enormous. The pinsetters were really noisy, people moving around on the sidelines, TV booms moving about, noise from the practice on the stub lane, interviews being conducted off to the side, and for some reason strange music would pipe in occasionally, and I’ve concluded that this was essentially a signal to the bowler whose turn it was to chill until the music stopped. On top of that, the breaks after the 6th frame in the preliminary matches have to be a momentum factor (good or bad). If you ever wonder why TV rookies often struggle, this probably is a big part of it.”
—David Whitten, commenting on the World Series of Bowling on, cited on blog by Jeff Richgels

Reading the above descriptive scenario, it is easy to picture the breadth of distractions that can pull a player away from pinpointing his focus on pure shot delivery. By the time you get to play for anything that matters, there will almost always be a kaleidoscope of input grabbing at your center.

Focus and concentration are skills that serious athletes really have to master. Developing the capacity to focus effectively is one of the most important skills to have as an athlete. It is also among the least understood.

Most bowlers think focus is concentrating on some part of their game for a long time. It is as if a player stared long enough at their mark or the ball or something, they would improve their game. You have to give the sport of bowling credit for being more ...

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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.