The Kegel Cornerstone, Volume 79, July 2006
(* Used with Permission *)
Bowling is an activity that appeals to the masses for several reasons. One of those reasons is that it can be played for (basically) your entire life. It is a game that a grand-parent can play with his/her grand-child. It can be viewed as a “recreation” by those who merely play it for fun. It can also be played as a major “Sport” for those who are talented enough to take it to that level.
In order to improve your game to whatever level you are seeking, you must develop some basic fundamentals that are necessary and allow you to be able to be consistent and repeat good shots. Each fundamental that you develop will help you to improve your average. A quick review of any top Professional (male or female) will reveal strong “Physical Game” fundamentals.
If an individual possesses the proper fundamentals (in any sport), this is the part that is commonly called: “The Physical Game”. If an individuals Physical Game fundamentals are elevated to a level that shows a potential for success, then the only thing that could possibly hold that person back from success is himself/herself by the way that they think.
How an athlete thinks is what separates the GREATS from those that are VERY GOOD. It is easy to judge someone’s performance because you can see their technique and execution. The hard part for one to recognize is the thinking part, for you (the coach) can NOT see that. All sports require certain physical fundamentals that are easily defined just by watching that athlete perform. You can actually see how good someone is, based on their execution. Those fundamentals are a result of achieving certain facets of a particular sport which is generally the result of extreme hard work on the athlete’s part.
We have all heard of: “The Mental Game”. Exactly what is this mysterious, inanimate “thing” that all of the GREATS in all sports AND all walks-of-life possess? There is also a formula for achieving success with your “MIND”. Just as an athlete trains his/her body, the “mind” can also be trained. Training your body for total success is very hard, and so is training your mind. The GREATS in all sports have done just that. Simply put, there is a very “fine line” that separates the GREAT athletes (in any sport) from those that are VERY GOOD. That “fine line” is also known as: “The Mental Game”.
“Formula for Success” Achieving success has a “FORMULA”. ALL “formulas” have ingredients. As an example, if you were to bake a pie, you would have to follow the directions that are on the box. IF you followed those directions precisely you would (more than likely) end up with a perfect pie. However, if you failed to put just one of the ingredients called for into the mixture, then that ‘formula’ would not produce the desired result. The very same thing holds true when determining success, whether it is in athletics or any other endeavor. The ingredients of preparing your mind for success are listed below. They are in no particular order as they are equal in importance.
Those basic Mental fundamentals are:
Positive Thinking Self Confidence Concentration Self Image Determination Self Control
Self Esteem Priorities Enthusiasm Visualization Desire Motivation
To most people “those” are just words. They are BIG WORDS, and unfortunately, most of YOU (about 97%) will just read them and only see “some” of the logic to all of them. However, IF you intend on strengthening your MENTAL GAME, I urge ALL of you to look-up in the dictionary the exact meaning(s) of all of them. Some of those BIG words like ‘desire’ and ‘determination’ are similar, but they do have completely different meanings.
If you are truly serious about obtaining a stronger Mental Game, then I suggest that you read as many ‘self-help’ books as possible. There are literally thousands of these types of books available at bookstores and libraries everywhere. Once you are familiar with what they all actually mean, then you can judge yourself on a scale of: 1-10 with each of them. WORK on your WEAKNESSES. However, it really isn’t “that” simple, for if it were, achieving success would be easy for everyone. In all sports (as in life itself), there are many, many aspects and deciding factors that go into being successful. Naturally, one must have a certain god-given talent to be able to perform on a very high level that can lead to success. That being said (and assuming you, or any other individual) has that talent, we can then go forward with a plan.
The bottom line is that one must work hard on both, the Physical AND Mental games. It can be done. It has been done. YOU can do it, but remember, it is all up to you.