Article Contents

  • 1. Don’t lose the lesson: questions to help you learn from tournaments
    • 1.1. What went well?
    • 1.2. What could you have done better?
    • 1.3. What did you learn from the tournament?
    • 1.4. What do you need to work on?
  • 2. Conclusions

Because of my work commitments and living arrangements, it has been roughly 10 years since I have bowled in any tournaments. Although I have continued my coaching and sport psychology consulting with bowlers during that time, I have only recently joined a league for the first time in six years.

I have been enjoying my league experience so much that I wanted to gauge my skills in a recent Sport bowling competition. The oil pattern for the tournament was the WTBA London pattern (44 feet in length), which is a challenging but playable pattern. The tournament format involved six games of qualifying. After qualifying, the top half of the field would bowl two additional qualifying games to cut to the top 10 bowlers. Finally, after one additional game, the top five bowlers would compete in a stepladder final.

I believe that—and as I suggest to the athletes I work with—if you are not confident enough to believe that you can win the tournament (or at least get on the podium), then don’t enter the tournament. I believe in this mindset because, ultimately, if you don’t have confidence that you have the ability to win based on the competitors in the field, then you will likely fail before you even enter the tournament.

I also understand, though—based on the quote “sometimes you win, sometimes you learn” (yes, slightly altered from the common quote “sometimes you win, sometimes you lose”)—that if my ultimate goal of winning wasn’t realized, I shouldn’t lose the lesson learned from the tournament experience. Since this was my first tournament in some time, I realized that I lacked competitive practice. So, in this case my goal ...

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Chris Mesagno

About Chris Mesagno

Dr. Chris Mesagno is a senior lecturer in Exercise and Sport Psychology at Federation University Australia and received his Ph.D. from Victoria University (Australia), specializing in Sport Psychology and Motor Learning. Dr. Chris is a competitive bowler of 30 years, he was a member and assistant coach of the University of Florida bowling team from 1998-2001, and he is both a Tenpin Bowling Australia Level 1 Certified Coach and a USBC Bronze Level Coach.