Lesson 5 - The Mental Game
Develop a Routine
You don't need a mental game plan if you don't care about your score or doing better than someone else. If you do care, then to be successful you will need to learn how to manage your thoughts.
It's natural to get nervous while bowling especially during league and tournament competition. Unfortunately, being nervous can cause your muscles to tighten, making it difficult to bowl well. Your bowling will be better if both your muscles and mind are relaxed.
Try this trick to get a grip on nerves: As you settle into your stance on the approach, concentrate on a mental checklist of all the components of your approach and delivery. This will help you focus on what you need to do to get the scores rather than on the score itself.
Your checklist can include the following:
- Position your feet on the proper boards for the shot.
- Visualize and then get into the correct stance.
- Choose and focus on a lane target.
- Take a deep breath, exhale and roll the ball through your target.
Having a positive mental attitude is the first step toward developing a good mental game. Negative thoughts only create stress and tension and do not give you the best chance to throw a quality shot. If you think you will bowl poorly, you will bowl poorly.
Instead of dwelling on past experiences, call to mind all the skills and techniques it will take to bowl well this time, then use them. You'll be surprised at the results of having a positive mental attitude and it will probably rub off on your teammates, too.