Article Contents

  • 1. Ignition
  • 2. Grit and the rage to master
  • 3. PBA grit
  • 4. Closing thoughts
  • 5. References

There is a reason the best bowlers in the world are the best: they are obsessed with the sport. They have practiced more, competed more, learned more, had more coaching, and spent more time with a ball in their hand out on the lanes than other bowlers. Most have been doing it all their lives and their passion to be the best still burns deeply inside them.

You want to one day compete against these elite bowlers? You better be prepared to get tunnel vision and put in the massive amounts of time and effort required to hard-wire your brain to advance your skill.

Q: Why are passion and persistence key ingredients of talent?
A: Because wrapping myelin around a big circuit requires immense energy and time. If you don’t love it, you’ll never work hard enough to be great.
-Daniel Coyle, The Talent Code

Part 2 in this series of articles focuses on the concepts of ignition, grit, and the rage to master. These are the inner forces that compel someone to first be drawn to a particular interest and then to obsessively practice to improve their level of skill.

(Editor’s note:  to read Part 1, please click here.)


At some point during an elite bowler’s life, they became fixated on the sport of tenpin bowling. They may have been watching PBA telecasts on the TV and had a favorite bowler, or seen someone at their local center throw a hook ball, or had their own unique story where they had the initial thought, “I want to do that,” or maybe more importantly felt that “I can do that too.” Many professional bowlers excelled at other sports as juniors, but ultimately tenpin bowling was the sport they had the greatest passion for, and the one to which they dedicated their sporting life.

In The Talent Code (2009), author Daniel Coyle uses the term “ignition” to describe the moment where something sparks an intense response that reveals itself as the idea, “I want to be like them.” Where deep practice is all about developing skill through trial and error, ignition is about the ...

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Dean Champ

About Dean Champ

Dean Champ is a USBC-certified Silver coach who has been coaching bowlers of all levels and styles for 10 years. He is also the creator of the popular Analysis of Modern 10-Pin Bowling YouTube videos. Dean is the former Head Coach of the Australian Adult Women's team.