Article Contents

  • 1. Intensity vs. energy
  • 2. Relationship between intensity and focus
  • 3. What is your ideal intensity?
  • 4. Psyching up vs. calming down
  • 5. Think about it

Have you ever watched a professional bowler bowl 300 and thought, “Wow, they don’t show any emotion?” What is more likely true is that they are feeling the same emotions that all bowlers feel, but at a much lower intensity. Every elite bowler I know gets nervous; they just don’t get as nervous as the rest of us. Similarly, every elite bowler experiences joy at stringing strikes, but, again, they just don’t feel it as intensely.

In terms of mental skills, emotional control is looked at as one of the most important tools we teach young bowlers. Unfortunately, we often forget that managing the intensity of our emotions is just as important—if not more important—than emotional control itself. How intensely we feel our emotions, whether positive or negative, will have a big impact on our ability to manage them.

For example, the frustration a person feels after leaving a solid 10 pin is no different than someone erupting and kicking the ball return after the same 10 pin. Both bowlers are feeling emotion (anger), but one is much more intense than the other.

Looking at it in another way, your intensity level before you start a block or a league night has a big influence on how well you will bowl. It will influence your emotions, your energy levels, and your ability to focus. Because each of us is different, that perfect level of intensity will probably be different for you than some other bowlers. This article will help you learn how important your intensity level is and what you can do to help manage it.

Intensity vs. energy

Each of us only has so much energy. That energy can be used emotionally, mentally, or physically. In this case, mental energy means the energy your brain consumes when it is thinking or processing information. Physical energy is obviously what most people relate to energy. Emotional energy is the tough one: it’s the energy we expend in feeling the way we do.

Expressing emotions will take our energy away, and the more intensely we feel them, the more energy we expend. Granted, positive emotions can keep us energized for a ...

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Tyrel Rose

About Tyrel Rose

Tyrel Rose is Bowling This Month's Director of Content. He is also currently the Head Coach for Team Canada, with over 20 years of experience coaching bowlers of all levels. Tyrel is an NCCP Competition Development level and USBC Bronze Certified coach, and a former Canadian national champion.