Bowling News

Common Issues for Elite Bowlers


Article Contents

  • 1. A note on “average”
  • 2. Unique traits
    • 2.1. Balance at the line
    • 2.2. The importance of video
  • 3. Mental game characteristics
    • 3.1. Losing your love of the game
    • 3.2. Putting the cart before the horse
  • 4. Tactical bias and chameleon play
    • 4.1. Your bias is showing
    • 4.2. Trying to be a chameleon
    • 4.3. Getting back to yourself
  • 5. Conclusion

Let me start by saying that there is nothing too common about elite players. There can be various definitions of the word elite, but for the purpose of this article, I simply want to differentiate them from the advanced bowlers I discussed in the last article. I don’t want to narrow this down so much that it only includes the top handful of bowlers in the world.

For this article, we’ll define elite bowlers as those with the following attributes:

  • generally at least 10 years of competitive experience, including youth bowling;
  • regularly make cuts in scratch events; and
  • an average of at least 200 on sport shots or 225 on house shots.

While this doesn’t quite equate to what many people would refer to as “elite,” the idea here is simply to differentiate between advanced players and those beyond that level. For bowlers who aren’t quite ready for the pro tour but who are able to average at least 200 on sport shots fairly regularly, this article is for you.

A note on “average”

The reason the sport shot average is so low relative to what we see among the world’s best on the PBA Tour is that an average can often reflect the strength of the field as much as the skills of the bowler.

To use myself as an example, bowling in a sport shot league many years ago, I led the league in average in the first year with 202. The league didn’t have many bowlers, and most were not elite-level players. The following year, more strong bowlers joined, and we had an extra bowler or two on each pair. As a result, the patterns saw more transition and were broken down more systematically. I averaged 224 that year, and I didn’t lead the league. Same bowler, same basic skill …

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