- 1. Understand yourself
- 2. Routines and how to use them
- 2.1. Pre-shot routine
- 2.2. Pre-event routine
- 2.3. In-game routine
- 3. Keeping calm under pressure
- 3.1. I’m OK
- 3.2. Self-talk and selective memory
- 3.3. Enjoy the moment
- 4. Conclusion
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As part of my work with Canada’s national team members, as well as with my private long-distance coaching clients, one of the most essential jobs I have is to assess a player’s mental game. Mental game skills are never applied in a vacuum; they form an important part of physical execution and tactical decision-making.
This month, I’ve decided to cover three of the most common mental game issues that I’ve encountered with amateur and professional bowlers alike and provide information on how to deal with them.
The first place I start when it comes to the mental game is to assess the level of self-understanding that a bowler has. From a mental game perspective, it’s extremely important that you are honest with yourself and understand where your weaknesses are in order to improve them. Even more importantly, if you want to improve your game, having a kind of “inner harmony” of what kind of bowler you are is very important.
In my article from July 2017, Managing Your Intensity for Improved Performance, I discussed the relationship between intensity and focus, and the value of knowing what kind of intensity level best suits your game. But what about your level of calm? Are you better with a few jitters, or complete serenity? Do you sit or do you stand while you bowl? Most bowlers are probably completely unaware of some of these internal mechanisms and unconscious habits, but they dictate performance as surely as physical elements, like your balance ...
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