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Tom Blasco's Expert Bowling Tips

-How Did You Practice Today Or This Week?

10/03/2000 - By Tom Blasco
      "I went out a threw nothing but strikes - I don't need to practice. My house shot is so easy and I strike at will." Sound familiar?

      "I went out and worked on learning to walk straight. I also worked on playing angles and hand positions, I even worked on playing rollout. Today, I worked on speed control from hard to soft speeds. Yesterday, I worked with my equipment learning what each ball does and how it reads the lanes. I even put tape on my axis point so I can see the ball more clearly relative to its skid, hook and roll factors. You know last week I was even concerned about the span of my ball since I haven't had it checked in a long time and I lost 35 pounds. A weight gain or loss will change your span -- you should have it checked."

      We all hear about practice and the lack of practice and all the different reasons why we do or do not. We can easily fall in the same trap that is sounding the land, "that there's no need for practice because it is so easy." We even got to the point of blaming the bowling balls for making it easier. And, we point the finger at the proprietors for making easy house shots. We seem to have all the reasons for not practicing.

      However, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. It may not be extremely bright but it is there. I have bowlers and have met bowlers that actually do practice. Asking them why they do practice, most of them reply:
  • to improve what they already know how to do,
  • to learn new skills and methods of approaching the game,
  • some want to increase their skills to become more tournament eligible and competitive,
  • some reply that they want to get better so they can play in their local classic or scratch league, have desires to bowl in high school or college or are thinking about bowling in megabucks tournaments or joining the PBA down the road,
  • some say they are learning more about themselves and how to handle pressure situations.
  • some even believe they are learning more about the mental aspects of the game and throwing bowling balls in pressure situations.

      As an instructor, with only a slight glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, I feel real good. I feel good because there are rays of light, one here and one there, but they are there and that's a comfort too me. At least there are some that still appreciate our game and sport for what it is, "the ultimate challenge -- man against himself," in sport and life. It's comforting to know that some players still believe in:
  • The essence of making a shot, even though the lanes are dead easy.
  • still realize the value of hitting a target,
  • learning new skills and methods to make them more competitive not only in there own environment, but on the road as well,
  • playing to win all the time - no mercy, no free gifts, no dumping games or frames,
  • the mental controlling the physical game and becoming more aware of it,
  • Taking lessons to learn more about the game.

      Now that I can see this light and I have students that are interested in becoming better players, I can continue my quest to build the best players in the world. But more enjoyable is realizing that I have contributed in some manner to not only my players becoming better bowlers, but better young men and women and than grown adults.

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