Article Contents

  • 1. The big four
    • 1.1. Type 1:  the General
    • 1.2. Type 2:  the Energizer
    • 1.3. Type 3:  the Analyzer
    • 1.4. Type 4:  the Relater
  • 2. We are all of them
  • 3. References

Everyone can draw up a mental picture of what a champion bowler looks like when he/she is on their game. However, if you ask what this picture looks like, the answer is that it varies from player to player. For some, it is the quiet intensity of a Doug Kent, for others it is the brash New York style play of Patrick Allen. It varies quite a bit.

Every bowler has a winning style of play. We are going to look at the person and personality you bring to match play and other competitions. By the time you have read this you have undoubtedly looked at many ways to improve your game. You are up to speed on ball selection. You have reviewed dozens, if not hundreds, of coaching articles. You have a grab bag of mental game tools.

Yet, even having all of these things in your arsenal will not always translate into higher scores…and into improved match play. In virtually every bowling school and clinic, students are seeking ways to maximize their ability to bring their best game to competition situations. Likewise, every bowler wants to identify and deal with their mental game vulnerabilities.

It is pretty well recognized that there is no perfect way to bowl. Great champions have lots of different body types, styles, and forms. Similarly, there is no identifiable champion personality style. Some bowlers are loud and demonstrative. Some are quietly focused and intense. Other champions are friendly and look like they are bowling doubles or team, even when in individual competition.

This month, we are going to take a look at the most common personality traits of athletes, and to give you a chance to identify your personal strengths and weaknesses. It should be noted that there are many ways to assess personality characteristics. This is an overview of the four most common tendencies. Also, very few individuals are “pure types”. What you will tend to see are blends, with a pull to a more favored style.

The big four

When we look at competition personality styles we have a different kind of “big four.” It is important once again to recognize that great champions evolve out of each style, and that you should keep an eye on which types you tend to favor.

Type 1:  the General

Bowlers with this personality style step up to the approach with a commanding air. They will give their opponents a quick, brief firm handshake and then get to work. Generals give off the impression that they are ...

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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.