Today I joined some colleagues for a spot of 10 pin bowling, which is something I haven’t done in a long time.
Naturally, my game was very hit and miss, which is to be expected given the very limited practice I’ve had over the years.
My aim was all over the shop, making it difficult to build on any consistency. And my technique, or lack thereof, meant that there were zero efficiency gains.
In all, it was basically; chuck the ball towards the pins and hope for the best.
As you would expect this all combined to give me an average score, which I wasn’t incredibly proud of. I’m very competitive, but try to not show it, so I wasn’t happy to be outside to top three.
Nevertheless, there was a few positive takeaways from the activity that I’d thought a share in a hope to prompt further thought and consideration.
Eyes on the prize.
A long time ago, while doing my Motorbike riders course in Darwin, our instructor wisely pointed out that if we look at something that’s where we are going to and enviably hit.
The same advice rings true for shooting on a range. The thing you are looking at the instant you pull the trigger is what you’re going to hit (for me that was mainly grass or sky and not the target).
In bowling, it is the same. I found myself constantly saying over and over in my head: “Look at what you want to hit”. And it worked….. most of the time. Obviously there a bit of technique in that as well.
But as general rule:
“Where you’re looking is where you’re going to go”
And, if you’re in control of something that your using to hit a target (or riding a motorbike):
“Where you’re looking is where you’re going to hit!”
The odd thing about bowling is that when its your turn, everyone is watching you, it’s just a natural side effect of the game.
So, you need to be able to block out the distractions and focus on the task at hand. For me, this was simply to not get a gutter ball……again!
I really do think that a bowling alley is the best place to test your focus. It’s full of distractions and noise. The lighting is always weird and there’s the added potential of falling on your arse in front of everybody.
If you can focus in a blowing alley, you could focus almost anywhere.
Everyone can see.
There no hiding behind anything when bowling. Your performance and score are visible for all to see.
Everything from, how you go about preparing to bowl, to how you react to yet another gutter ball, is visible to all. Your humility, competitiveness, support and interaction with other players are all things that are very visible
This means, for me at least, that I put extra effort into how I respond and interact. Not to portray something that I’m not, but to show that you can be competitive and supportive and humble all at the same time.
As an activity bowling is pretty good. It will teach you things about yourself that most other sports (I don’t class it as a sport, but I guess other do) cannot, simply because your performance is all you.
There is no weather to interfere, there’s no one at the other end trying to block you. Your performance is entirely your own doing.
Sure, your performance might be crap, but its entirely your own doing.
Not that it should matter that much, its only for fun, so everyone should expect the odd gutter ball!
‘til next time….. Cheers!