Francois Lavoie was the PBA’s 2016 Harry Golden Rookie of the Year. He currently holds five PBA titles, including three majors: the 2016 US Open, the 2019 US Open, and the 2021 PBA Tournament of Champions. Francois is also a 10-time member of Team Canada with 12 international medals, including gold.
Bowling This Month sat down with Francois, one of the hottest bowlers on the PBA Tour in 2021, to chat about his evolution as a player, what he views as the keys to success on tour, and to get his advice for players looking to reach the upper echelons of the sport.
(Please note that our questions appear in bold italics and Francois’ answers appear in standard typeface.)
You bowl in events at all different levels: the PBA national events, PBA regionals, and high-level amateur events. What do you see as the biggest difference between these levels of competition?
The biggest difference is between the PBA national tour and the PBA regional tour. All of a sudden, you’re bowling against the best in the world, who have been the best for years. So that jump is significant—not just in terms of physical talent or ability, but because they’re not going to miss spares, and they’re going to see transition the right way. Maybe not everyone, all the time, but there will always be someone that figures it out and bowls really, really well.
Between college and regionals, it’s similar, but it comes down more to experience. The talent level might be a bit higher, but it is often fairly similar. Regionals and higher-end amateur events in the US often have a lot of the same faces, so they’re somewhat similar.
What would your advice be for someone who’s a good regional player and wants to make the jump to the national tour?
Keep bowling regionals and get better at that level. If you’re not really that competitive at the regional level yet, you’re definitely not going to compete at the national level. You need to be able to ...
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