Article Contents

  • 1. Bowling landscape
  • 2. The Garden of Eden
  • 3. Seven deadly sins
    • 3.1. Approval seeking
    • 3.2. Perfectionism
    • 3.3. Being unprepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly
    • 3.4. Distraction
    • 3.5. Getting psyched out before the game
    • 3.6. Playing not to lose, instead of playing to win
    • 3.7. Focusing on winning
  • 4. Feed the right wolf

There is an old story about a Cherokee Indian chief who was teaching his grandchild about succeeding in life. “A fight often goes on inside people,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil—he represents fear, doubt, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego. The other wolf represents good—he is confident, self-assured, joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Which one do you feed before you bowl?!!

Bowling landscape

The bowling landscape is littered with the names of bowlers, some unknown, some famous, who never seemed to reach their potential as players or competitors. People might say, “Yeah, he was talented, but he just couldn’t make it out on tour.” Or “Sure, he has 15 titles, but imagine how many he could have had if…”

Sometimes the reasons for not reaching one’s potential are obvious or even public. Drugs, alcohol, injury, or even motivational let down are disappointing factors in an incomplete career. There can be a myriad of other reasons too. Life changes and losses, financial limitations for training and competing, or simply having a game that is rooted in the style of some other era, e.g. from decades past, have been causes for downfalls and incomplete careers.

Beyond all of those reasons, there are mental game hindrances, “deadly sins” if you will, that have accounted for more pressure, more choking, and more competition wreckage than could probably ever be accounted for. This month we will look at seven of the worst ...

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Dean Hinitz

About Dean Hinitz

Dr. Dean Hinitz is a clinical sports psychologist in Reno, Nevada, a bowler, a former competitive gymnast, and a black belt in Japanese-style Karate.