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The Right Approach...Views on the world of bowling.

Volume 1, Issue 31

By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      It's the end of another calendar year, and here I am wondering where did 1998 go? I've been busy with holiday preparations--from cookies to presents, who has time for bowling? Yet, even though the bowling year seems to run from September to June, this time of year lends itself to personal reflections, so now seems as good a time as any to put together a mid-bowling-season attitude adjustment. So for lack of a better word, here are my bowling New Year's resolutions.

I, Angel Zobel-Rodriguez, being of dubious mind and questionable body, do hereby resolve:

      To accept televised bowling in any format. Hey, it's on TV. I won't complain about my forgetting about the time difference, or an hour-long format. I promise to write letters to the sponsors and say thank you and show up to events that are near my home.

      To practice more. Subbing is nice to get games in, but nothing takes the place of serious practice. Oh, and since I'm aiming for really serious, I promise to practice without the scorers on.

      To place the blame for a poor performance where it belongs, on me. It's not the ball (or the lack of the right one), it's not the lanes, it's me. It may only be that something is new to me, but I will admit that "I do not know," and keep my mouth shut after that.

      To accept responsibility for my behavior and acknowledge those who might see it. Forget about athletes in other sports, I am a role model. I only have to watch a telecast and then watch the juniors to see where they get the idea kicking the foul lights or swearing is OK.

      To take my equipment out of the car after every use. You'd think the horror stories of cracked coverstocks or separated cores would be enough for me, but I'll admit I'm lazy. If it's too hot/cold for me to be out in the car for days on end, it's probably not a good idea to leave upwards of $500 of equipment in the trunk.

      To actually clean my equipment once a week. Cleaning it every time I bowl would be better, but I'm a realist. But if I can remember to take it out of the car, that's half my battle right there.

      To finally find someone who's willing to explain to me the secrets of ball dynamics. When people toss around terms like PAP, mass bias and various drillings, I'd like to understand the language, even if I'll never be a fluent conversationalist in Bowlese.

      To take the opportunity to convert new bowlers. There's always room in the car, even with all the equipment, so all I have to do is pick up the phone. Or have my son invite along someone to bowl.

      To make our sport more visible. If I can't convert them at least show the nonbowlers who we are. Bowlers don't have a single "look." I will never let an opportunity to promote my affiliations with Team Internet or the San Fernando Valley WBA get wasted. I take "Oh, you're a bowler?" as a chance to promote my sport.

      To remember (as a good friend once told me) "It's the Indian, not the arrow." While I might want another $200 toy, methinks I can make do with what I have. If I want to invest in my game, I will invest in lessons.

      To dress like I represent my sport. I can bowl comfortably, and still be presentable. And as an athlete, I will refrain from anything that affects my performance, like drinking or smoking.

      To go through our equipment closet and finally get rid of all the stuff that I've been saving "just in case." With 3 bowlers in our family, we're one earthquake away from about 15 bowling balls rolling around all over the downstairs. I'm sure there are junior bowlers who could put some of this stuff to good use.

      And finally, to remember this is just a game. I want to win every time I bowl, but I accept that the friendships are always more important than the game points.

I'll return in 1999, so until then have a great holiday season.

Gotta Split,


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