Bowling Mental Game Articles

Like many other sports, bowling is as much a mental game as it is a physical game. Particularly at the higher levels of our sport, a faulty mental game can really be a liability.

The list of sub-topics that are critical to an effective mental game is huge: the pre-shot routine, concentration, confidence, focus, mental toughness, handling adversity, decision making, visualization, handling pressure, and the post-shot routine are all essential elements that bowlers should consider as they elevate their games to higher and higher levels.

Bowling This Month is fortunate to count among its past and present contributors some of the absolute best bowling sports psychologists and mental game coaches in the history of the game. Check out their articles below and make sure your head isn't what's keeping you out of the winner's circle!

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"I often get ask when participating in Pro Am events what is the place to go for coaching, technical bowling information, or generally how to improve knowledge of the game. I always point them towards BTM, as the knowledge I have learned from BTM's authors and coaches have helped me improve and take my game to a much higher level, including a PBA regional title! Topics from the physical game, to lane play, to ball motion and the mental approach are all covered. It is a must for all serious bowlers who want to improve and continue learning more about the sport we love."

- Stephen Haas (bowler, PBA regional champion, and Bowling This Month subscriber)

Featured Bowling Mental Game Articles


In this recurring feature, I answer questions from Bowling This Month readers. If you have questions, please leave them in the comment section below so I can address them in a future installment of Coach, I’ve Got a Question! I'm comfortable bowling...

Knowledge, simulation, and anticipation

The Applied Mental Game Pyramid - Part 1

As a coach, I strongly advocate a holistic approach to our sport. To ensure optimal performance—achieving success when it matters most—an all-inclusive approach ensures that you control each domain of training and preparation. From on-lane skill and strategy development to...


In this recurring feature, I answer questions from Bowling This Month readers. If you have questions, please leave them in the comment section below so I can address them in a future installment of Coach, I’ve Got a Question! I keep hearing...

Practice and mindset strategies to get to the next level

Small Changes, Big Results

If you want to become good at this sport, you must understand that improving is a long and ongoing process that requires a lot of work and commitment. With this in mind, I wanted to introduce some of the key...

Tips to maximize your performance today

Bowling in the Green

Coaches have two basic jobs: helping bowlers be their best and continuing to make their best even better. If this sounds a bit confusing, it's because it is. "Your best" is essentially a reflection of your skill level at a moment...

Bowling Mental Game Article Directory

The table below lists all of our bowling mental game articles.

You can sort this table by clicking on the header row of any column. Also, you can filter the data in the table by entering a search term in the search box below.

IssueArticle TitleAuthor
Coach, I've Got a Question! - May 2024
The Applied Mental Game Pyramid - Part 1
Coach, I've Got a Question! - April 2024
Small Changes, Big Results
Bowling in the Green
Pin Perspectives: Improving Your Focus
10 Keys to Finding Success - Part 2
Bowling's Mental Game
10 Keys to Finding Success - Part 1
Pin Perspectives: Practice Makes Perfect?
Common Issues for Elite Bowlers
Everything Is Connected
Five Steps for Returning to Competition
Coach, I've Got a Question! - August 2023
Common Issues for Advanced Bowlers
Common Issues for Beginner Bowlers
Coach, I've Got a Question! - March 2023
The BTM Interview: Rebecca Whiting
Coach, I've Got a Question! - November 2022
Bowl Like a Pro - Part 5
A Champion's Emotional Map
Increasing Your Training Commitment - Part 2
The Way to Win
Improving Your Bowling Through Self-Reflection
Troubleshooting Your League Night
Tips for Improving Your Mental Game - Part 2
Superstar Goals
Tips for Improving Your Mental Game - Part 1
Anger Management
Recovering Mentally After Injury
Five Simple Steps to Mastering Lane Play - Part 4
Managing Your Expectations
The BTM Book Report: 'Ninety Percent Mental'
Focused for Flow
Bowling Angry
Making Luck Work for You
Applying Bowling's Golden Rules
Breaking Down Barriers: Plotting a Course for 220
Breaking Down Barriers: Joining the 200 Average Club
The Bowling Trinity Revisited - Part 4
Bowlers Behaving Badly - Part 3
Shifting to a Mindset of Control
Bowlers Behaving Badly - Part 2
The Bowling Trinity Revisited
Making the Leap From Recreational to Competitive Bowling - Part 1
Big Picture Bowling
Building Mental Toughness
Improving Your Bowling With Off-Lane Training - Part 2
Overthinking - Part 2
No "I" in Team
Overthinking - Part 1
Taking Your Best Shot
De-Cluttering Your Bowling Mind
Improving Your Bowling Outlook
The PWBA Round Table: Strengths, Pre-Shot Routines, and Best Advice
The Three P's of Bowling Success - Part 3
The Three P's of Bowling Success - Part 2
The Three P's of Bowling Success - Part 1
Three Keys to Bowling's Mental Game
Mind Your Bowling - Part 2
Mind Your Bowling - Part 1
The Basics of Improving Your Bowling Game - Part 3
Exploring the Effect of New Equipment on Bowler Confidence
The Bowling Flow Channel
Bowling in the Zone
Managing Your Intensity for Improved Performance
The PWBA Round Table: Conquering the Challenges of the 2017 Season
Improving Your Mental Game
Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn
The PWBA Round Table: Tackling the PWBA Off-Season
Feeling Anxious? Squeeze Your Way to Success!
The PWBA Round Table: Physical and Mental Toughness
The Seven Common Problems That Can Hurt Your Bowling Scores
Closing Out the Game
Steps to the Learning and Coaching Process
The Decision to Change Your Game
Your Competition Personality
Training Your "Don't Give Up" Muscle
Choking Under Pressure - Part 2
Can Monkeys and Ballet Dancers Help Us Improve Bowling Performance?
Curing the Choke
A Case of "the Yips"
Choking Under Pressure - Part 1
Going for the Gold
Teams That Play Together Well Win
Gamesmanship, Mental Toughness, and Impeccable Concentration
The Bowler's Shot Cycle
Breaking 900
New Research on Self-Talk, Visualization, and Perception
Achieving Tunnel Vision
Get Your Mental Game Fitness in Shape
Tough Enough
Your Popoff Valve
Getting Back in the Saddle
Taming Your Dragonflies
Is Social Media Use Affecting Your Bowling?
Effective Decision Making
Is It Time to Call It Quits?
Bowling Under Pressure
Being Superman
One for the Money
Getting Lucky
Exorcising Your Mental Ghosts
How to Become a World Class Player
Can You Fly This Thing?
"Wired In" to the Competitive Bowler
The Thinker, the Squirrel, and the Volcano - Part 2
The Thinker, the Squirrel, and the Volcano - Part 1
The Seven Deadly Sins of the Mental Game
Your Bag of Tricks
A Mind as Tough as Steel
Tackling Your Weaknesses - Part 3
Tackling Your Weaknesses - Part 2
Tackling Your Weaknesses - Part 1
Laser Focus
Testing Pre-Shot and Post-Shot Routine Effectiveness – Part 2
Where is Your Next Level?
Slump Busting
How Perception Impacts Performance
Working Through a Slump
Are You Prepared to Be at Your Best?
A Game of Risk
Is the Bowling Season Really Over?
Testing Pre-Shot and Post-Shot Routine Effectiveness - Part 1
Reaching a Higher Level
Handling Adversity
Yee-Ha Sports Psychology