- 1. Differences between practice and competition
- 1.1. Outcome focus
- 1.2. Expecting perfection every time you compete
- 1.3. No time for drills or lengthy coaching conversations
- 1.4. Judging and nervousness
- 1.5. Impressing your watchers
- 1.6. Pressure
- 1.7. Anxiety
- 1.8. Fear of failure
- 2. Addressing practice and competition differences
- 2.1. How can we address mental fatigue?
- 2.2. How can we address competition stress?
- 3. Final thoughts
- 4. References
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In an old 1950s joke, a violinist lost in New York City stops a fellow carrying a violin case and asks, “Can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” to which the second guy smiles and answers, “Practice, practice, practice!”
As a Bowling This Month reader, you understand the importance of regular and focused practice sessions, and you’ve no doubt read several of our excellent articles concerning how to make the most of your practice time.
Allow me, however, to pose the following questions:
- Have you ever found that, despite regular practice sessions, your competition scores aren’t as high as expected?
- Have you ever wondered why, if you put in so much time for focused and intentional practice, you are still struggling during leagues or tournaments?
- Have you ever noticed that you work so hard at your game with negligible improvement, while others—perhaps even your teammates—either don’t practice or barely practice and bowl really well?
If any of these scenarios ring true for you, read on, because there are good reasons for this, and equally good solutions!
Differences between practice and competition
Before we delve into why practice doesn’t make perfect and what we can do to change that, let’s consider what differentiates practice from competition.
Now let’s take a deeper look at some of the consequences of these competition feelings.
The bowler is focusing on something that they cannot control. How many times have you executed exactly the way you desired, hit your target, watched your ball do exactly what you expected, and still …