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George Freeman's Expert Bowling Tips

-Through A Child's Eyes
02/27/2002 - By George Freeman
      A few weeks ago, I was practicing on a Saturday afternoon like I do every week. While I was there a mother brought her son, who was about 9 or 10 years old, to the lanes to bowl, and they got a lane a couple lanes down from my pair. Being as kids are, when he saw all my bowling bags laying around he walked over and looked inside, and then came all the questions, "Why do you got more than one ball?", "How do you make it curve like that?", "You ever do all strikes?", things like that. I tried to answer the questions so a 10 year old could understand them, which wasn't very easy since the inevitable "Why?" question kept popping up. The kid was a ball of energy, and while I kept practicing I watched him bowl. They had the bumpers set out for him, and he was throwing ball after ball, smiling no matter what happened.

      Then, around his second game, he threw a shot that bounced about 4 times off of the bumpers, and went slowly through the heart of the pins, and they all went down. The kid went nuts, jumping up and down and running back to Mom to tell her how it happened, just in case she missed it while she was sitting at the scorer's table. I suppose that kind of thing happens a lot in bowling centers around the country, but for some reason it reminded me about another young kid a long time ago, probably a year or so younger, that went bowling with his mom. Back then they didn't have bumpers, so he threw an awful lot of zeros and three counts, but it didn't really matter to him, he was having fun. Then on one shot, he threw it pretty much down the middle of the lane. When it finally got to the end of the lane, it hit the head pin pretty much dead on, and the pins did a domino fall, until they all pretty much went down. This kid threw a strike.

      In that one moment, the course of one child's life had been altered forever.

      For all the nonsense that goes on in the sport, and for all the controversy and the politics that envelope the industry, we sometimes forget what makes the sport what it is. What makes it special to us all, and why we do any of it in the first place. Neither this kid nor the one 20+ years ago cared about the righty/lefty issue, or the impact of technology on equipment, or the scandals that involve the various bowling organizations. All these 2 kids ever cared about...EVER cared about, was seeing the last pin fall down. I suppose adults can learn alot from children.

      I'm not sure whether the kid I saw a few weeks ago will grow up to be a PBA member, but the kid I saw that day reminded me too much of the kid 20 years ago to dismiss it. Even if he never picks up another ball, I took it as a reminder that no matter how frustrated I get with the industry, I do it for the love of the game.


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We're here to help!

At BowlingCommunity.com you can get FREE advice from bowling coaches and league bowlers who thrive on helping other bowlers!
Post questions about your game, your technique or find how to overcome difficult lane conditions. You can even post videos of yourself bowling for critique and constructive criticism.

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