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

Volume 2, Issue 36, The 88th Edition
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      It's that time of year again. League seasons are ending across the country. Between April first and the end of May, most bowlers' fall leagues will conclude. And in many parts of the country, that means putting the ball in the closet, gathering all kinds of dust until late August. Bowling centers become like ghost towns.

      Before you become one of the statistics, I dare you to do something different this summer. Summer leagues are a wonderful way to try something different. Most range between ten and fourteen weeks, and the options are limitless.

      Now before I hear another "but I don't bowl summer" story, let me tell you that I understand how much warm weather means to you. I understand you only see spring and summer a few weeks each year. But there are 24 hours in a day. I'm only going to ask you for two hours a week or so. And for those of you who are still whining, let me remind you that air conditioning is a sweet way to beat those "lovely" days of summer with 90 degree heat and 90 percent humidity. So take that prize fund envelope and INVEST it in your bowling. Maybe next year, there will be even more money in it.

My suggestions for summer 2000:

      If you sincerely worry about burnout if you bowled year-round, try a fun league. Bowl a no-tap league and see how many 300s you can shoot. If you've never shot a "real" 300 before, this might be a great way to learn to extend those strings without the bundles of nerves that usually set in halfway through the game. Sure, the strikes may be no-tap, but your mind will still see the front 7 and front 8, and give you a case of the nerves anyway.

      Organize a league of nonbowlers. Take them from where you can find them--work, church, PTA moms, neighbors. Set the league fees really low, and just have a smattering of trophies and awards or a buffet table when the league ends. Or turn it into a fundraiser for your charity. You will have fun, and you just may end up converting a few new folks to the sport.

      If you've always wanted to know how you'd stand up against the big guns, try a scratch singles league or join a high-average league you'd never consider in the winter. You may find that you stack up better than you thought, and if you do end up at the bottom of the standings sheet, you won't have as much money invested or for as long. The good news will be that you challenged yourself. Those pressure-filled, tenth-frame, come-from-behind wins will be a lot less terrifying when you go back to your "normal" league in the fall.

      Find an adult/junior league. If you don't have kids, that's no excuse. There are always an abundance of kids looking for adults to bowl with. Talk to the youth director and support the next generation of bowlers. You'll have young people looking up to you, and it's a constant reminder to be a good example for the younger set.

      Take lessons. The ultimate form of bowling self-love: Invest your prize fund in yourself. If you put that money in your wallet, you'll have it frittered away in a month anyhow. During the summer, you'll find your pro shop guy will have plenty of lanes available and plenty of time to work with you one on one. Or if you're really lucky, your pro shop might give seminar/group lessons in the summer. Take them.

      Honestly, there are thousands of excuses not to bowl during the summer, and I've heard them all. And there's only one reason to bowl, but it's the BEST reason: You are a bowler.

Gotta Split,


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