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Tom Blasco's Expert Bowling Tips

-Tuning In to your Mental Game

12/09/2005 - By Tom Blasco
      How attune are you to your mental game? How attune are you to yourself? Yes, we as bowlers periodically need self examination. We need to know if the faculties we operate by are functional or need altering, because we as athletes are affected by numerous factors, conscious and unconscious, internal and external, under the pressure of competition, we always break at our weakest links. This occurs at every level, mechanically, mentally, emotionally and physically. In addition, these factors also affect and determine your mental toughness.

      Look at the list of factors below and rate yourself accordingly with the scale provided: 1 (Extremely Negative); 2 (Mildly Negative); 3 Neutral; 4 (Mildly Positive); and 5 (Extremely Positive). Look at and examine the list honestly.

      Upon examination and your ratings, any factors designated a 2 or below should be viewed by you as an area of concern that can have a direct or indirect affect on your performance. This is true psychologically and physiologically. Faulty patterns of thinking and acting under stress, unhealthy emotional habits, poor physical endurance or strength, and similar weakest links lead to breakdown. Yes, breakdown, when you least expect it and when you want the most Ideal Performance.

      Your pattern of weakness eventually disrupts the flow between your mind and body and your talent and skill. Confidence, fun, positive energy and focus suddenly become fear, doubt, disappointment, and discouragement. Thus without the flow and chemistry underlying it, you lose the battle fast and performance goes the other direction - downhill.

AggressivenessMental Discipline
ArousalPlaying with Pain
Body LanguagePreparation
DedicationTask at Hand
Fear of FailureVisualization
JusticeYes-But Athletes
Kinetic Memory Zeal

      Once you identify your weakest link(s) you should immediately attack it or them. Begin by mapping out new and practical strategies for overcoming your weakness. Focus the weakness on a daily basis, spend about 10-15 seconds each morning and evening viewing the positive aspect of your weakness so you can begin to earn the dividends of mental toughness.

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