Pin Perspectives: Practice Makes Perfect?

Practice Makes Perfect?

In an old 1950s joke, a violinist lost in New York City stops a fellow carrying a violin case and asks, “Can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” to which the second guy smiles and answers, “Practice, practice, practice!”

As a Bowling This Month reader, you understand the importance of regular and focused practice sessions, and you’ve no doubt read several of our excellent articles concerning how to make the most of your practice time.

Allow me, however, to pose the following questions:

  • Have you ever found that, despite regular practice sessions, your competition scores aren’t as high as expected?
  • Have you ever wondered why, if you put in so much time for focused and intentional practice, you are still struggling during leagues or tournaments?
  • Have you ever noticed that you work so hard at your game with negligible improvement, while others—perhaps even your teammates—either don’t practice or barely practice and bowl really well?

If any of these scenarios ring true for you, read on, because there are good reasons for this, and equally good solutions!

Differences between practice and competition

Before we delve into why practice doesn’t make perfect and what we can do to change that, let’s consider what differentiates practice from competition.

These are a few of the potential mental differences between practice and competition.

Now let’s take a deeper look at some of the consequences of these competition feelings.

Outcome focus

The bowler is focusing on something that they cannot control. How many times have you executed exactly the way you desired, hit your target, watched your ball do exactly what you expected, and still didn’t strike?

Focusing on the uncontrollable leads to ...

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