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Jeff Piroozshad's Expert Bowling Tips

-Work On Teamwork

05/01/2001 - By Jeff Piroozshad
     I just spent a week at the Intercollegiate Bowling Championships. Most of the top bowlers in the collegiate ranks were there, however the tournament does not focus on individual achievements and talents. Since the IBCs are decided entirely by Baker competition, no bowler has any game to him or herself. This makes teamwork very important, and it is usually the team that works best together that walks away with the win.

     I will use as my first example the winning team on the men's side, Western Illinois University. The lanes were difficult, and Western has 5 players in their starting lineup that throw the ball completely differently (for this article I will not consider the lefty, bringing the total down to 4). You would think that on difficult lanes, with 4 bowlers who are so different in style, they would all be looking around in different parts of the lane trying to find something that suits each of them. WIU did not have the 4 best bowlers in the tournament, but they had the ones that worked best together. In fact, even though they all throw the ball differently, they were still able to play the same part of the lane with great success. When one of them knows where the shot is, they help each other try to get lined up in the same part of the lane. Some speed changes or release changes may need to be made, but they are not major adjustments.

     On the other hand, let me use Saginaw Valley State University as another example. Although this was the number one ranked team in the country going into the IBC tournament, they did not make it to the final four as they did last year. Another team with 5 talented players, most of them can play practically any part of the lane if they want to. However you had 3 of them playing on the gutter, one lofting the left gutter, and two in various parts of the middle of the lane. There was very little discussion between them as to which part of the lane was the best to be in, or as to equipment choices and changes. Their communication was not as good as WIU's, as evidenced by a couple of their bowlers staying in parts of the lane too long and teammates not helping each other out. Sometimes, if a teammate did help, a bowler would just shrug it off, thinking that he was in the right part of the lane even though he wasn't even close to the pocket.

     Remember, if you are part of a team and have bowled with your teammates for a while, those teammates will know your game as well as you know theirs. Sometimes you need to put your personal ego aside and trust your teammates because they're the only ones there who will want to help you. Your opponents certainly won't.

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