- 1. Equipment
- 2. Team play and strategy
- 3. Mental approach
- 4. Spare shooting
- 5. See you next year!
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As a coach or as a bowler, it’s easy to think you have all the answers when things are going well. We’ve all been in that special place where executing shots feels easy, decision-making is like simple math, and the pins fall down like so many popsicle sticks. Unfortunately, this was not my experience in Baton Rouge this year.
At the time of writing this article, I’m two days removed from my worst experience ever at the USBC Open Championships. Having already committed to writing this article, I did consider coming up with something else to write – not because I’m ashamed to discuss my scores (although I’m not proud of them), but because as a coach, it’s my job to remove emotion from evaluation and decision-making. When it comes to doing that for yourself, the challenge is extra difficult.
We learn more from our defeats than from our victories and I definitely felt defeated after completing my 9th and final game in Baton Rouge. There are several reasons for this, and I’ll discuss them all as honestly and objectively as I can.
Equipment selection going to this event is difficult for me and for many others who have to travel a long way to compete. It’s already an expensive weekend and extra baggage fees are not pleasant. I only brought two balls plus a spare ball. There are two big questions here: Why did I only bring two ”strike” balls and which ones will it be?
First, why did I only bring two bowling balls? If I’ve got plenty of bowling balls at my disposal and understand the importance of using the right equipment to create shapes and angles for optimum scoring. So, why would I only bring two balls? I touched on one reason briefly (transport costs). The other reason comes down to my competitiveness and confidence in my ability.
I don’t travel with a competitive team. I am or was a pretty competitive player (depending on ...