- 1. Formal support
- 1.1. Ignition and mastery
- 1.2. Practice versus competition
- 1.3. Mental coaching
- 1.4. Equipment
- 1.5. Fitness and health
- 1.6. Summary
- 2. Informal support
- 2.1. Motivation and accountability
- 2.2. Identity and belief system
- 2.3. Informal debriefs
- 3. Conclusion
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Team competition notwithstanding, bowling is an individual sport. Even during team competition, bowling isn’t like other team sports. When it comes time to make a clutch shot, it’s just you standing up there on the approach. You don’t have someone in center field ready to make a leaping catch at the wall if you leave a curveball hanging over the plate; you don’t have a wide receiver to make a highlight reel grab if you make an errant throw. Yes, a supportive team behind you will help, but it’s really just you, the lane, and the pins.
However, this isn’t to say that you, as a bowler, are solely responsible for your performance. The best bowlers do, in fact, have a team around them to help, and it’s not always who you think it is. In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell discusses the importance and value of environment and culture in skill development. Environment includes your formal and informal support systems and their influence on your attitudes and belief structure.
In this article, I’ll discuss all the elements potentially within your control, what to look for, and what changes you might need to make if you want to pursue a higher level of success in this sport. No matter which level you want to bowl at, you’ll need both some formal support (coaching) and some informal support from an inner circle of friends, family, and rivals.
The type of formal support that all great bowlers need is some form of coaching. In The Talent Code, author Daniel Coyle touches on the importance of coaching and instruction. He explains that while someone might have many coaches in their life, the two most important are the “ignition” and “mastery” coaches. Bowlers will additionally need some help for practice and competition, mental training, equipment, and fitness.
Ignition and mastery
Ignition coaches provide technical correction, but their most important role is inspiring a love of the sport. They might not be as technically knowledgeable as an elite-level coach, but almost every high-level player can point to someone who ignited their passion for ...
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