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

Volume 1, Issue 42

By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      I've always hated the saying "Those who can, do, those who can't, teach" in regard to bowling. Let's face it, there are plenty of good coaches that don't average what their pupils do. The reason that phrase really bugs me, though, is I've always been able to set my mind to something, and by sheer will and enough practice, made it happen. After all, I managed to learn German in school. But after thirteen years, it's pretty safe to say, it's not going to happen with my bowling.

      I spent this weekend watching a couple of friends bowl a Western Women's Professional Bowler's event. It's a regional bowling tournament club, just below the regional PWBA ranks. It's something akin to triple A baseball. And many of the bowlers make the sport look deceptively easy. When I'm coaching the juniors, I encourage them to watch the women's tour telecasts, and rarely bring up the men. The reason isn't that I have anything against the PBA, but there's just something about an 8-year-old attempting a Pete Weber backswing that terrifies me.

      Sure, there were a few on the first day of the tournament that were one-house wonders, who thought they would shoe up and join the ranks of Southern California's elite, but after the cut to matchplay, the bowlers left definitely have this game down. These women will no doubt be among the who's who of bowling's Hall of Fame. There were national touring players who were home between swings and regional bowlers with titles and honors to match.

      When I watch them bowl, however, it magnifies my flaws. It's taken me a long time to accept the fact that no matter how many of these events I attend, no matter how long I watch, no matter how long I bowl, I'm never going to BE one of them. Sure, my average qualifies above the minimum for membership, but that'd be about as wise as a 200-house-average guy entering a PBA tour stop because he meets the minimum requirements of the PBA. I have recurring nightmares that the tournament director would introduce me as Fluffy the Wonder Bowler to pointed fingers and eye rolls.

      On the hour-long drive home I realized though, there are other sayings that applied to bowling too. "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians" for one. With all the elite bowlers that live and bowl in Southern California, there's definitely a place for a friendly face in the crowd. It was worth the drive down and back both days, partly because of clear freeways, but seriously because I could take the time to support the people bowling in the tournament. My son's interest was mainly on the video games the first day, but apparently he's learning as well. He chose to come back on Sunday, even if it meant getting up at 7 AM on a weekend. He spent the day watching his idols and he kept checking the leader boards after each game.

      The one thing this sport needs is more support, and I can give it my time and attention. I will sit there and cheer, and tell everyone I can about the sport, and shed light on whatever event I attend each weekend. With luck, I can persuade a few others to stop by. So I spent the entire weekend at a tournament, and I didn't bowl. To tweak that saying: "Those who can, bowl, and the rest of us can be there to support the ones who do."

Gotta Split,


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