Article Contents

  • 1. Level 1: Field awareness
  • 2. Level 2: Your mental instruments
  • 3. Level 3: The core of your engine
  • 4. Level 4: Playing from your true self
    • 4.1. Feel amazing
    • 4.2. Deep satisfaction
    • 4.3. Remove yourself

Athletes and coaches often say that the one who wants to win the most, wins. We know that is not true, because if wanting it bad enough brought a title home, virtually all of you would have more trophies, more money, and perhaps some PBA Tour titles as well. Yes, desire is important, most certainly essential. But the formula for life success has ingredients. They are clear, simple, and lawful.

“The key is not the will to win…everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.”
—Bobby Knight, basketball coach

As of this writing, Coach Ernesto Avila and I are just completing the competitions at the Youth Pan Am Games in Cali, Colombia. The practical applications of the following four mental game levels of awareness were in clear evidence as we observed bowlers advancing. It was always the most powerful players who advanced, but we are not measuring power based on ball speed and revs alone. We are measuring it in terms of the supreme application of all the principles that work in this game.

We will start easy, and then get more involved. Let’s open the universe for you. Here is how you do it.

Level 1: Field awareness

First, you have to know how to win in any given field of play. Athletic intelligence at its most basic level is that capacity to understand the context of your environment, knowing what is needed to thrive in that environment, and having the resources to bring those factors into action. In sum, I know where I am. I know what is needed to win. I can do it. This definition is the same whether someone is in math class, lost in the wilderness, ...

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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.