Tournament Prep List

Keep this list close as you prepare for your next tournament.

  1. Make sure your equipment is ready. Inserts are fresh, thumb holes feel good, interchangeable thumbs are operating properly, and that you a backup interchangeable thumb for any emergencies.
  2. An accessory bag filled with grip adjusting products. Some things to include are: thumb insert tape, thumb/finger protection tapes, tape knife/tape tool, scissors, fingernail clippers.
  3. Abralon pads/surface adjusting products are a must for fine tuning ball reaction. These jewels are a tournament bowlers friend.
  4. Shoes. If you do not have high performance shoes with removable heels and soles, get some. Every bowling center is different and proper footing is essential. Get yourself many combinations of heels and soles. Fine tuning here is paramount.
  5. Add a shoe brush for those slick approaches to your accessory bags.
  6. Rosin and/or hand conditioner can come in handy too.
  7. Shoe covers to protect your shoes for trips out of the settee.
  8. Some anti-inflammatory medication as you never know when those little beauties will be needed.
  9. Storm Shammy to wipe your ball off, do this every shot!
  10. If it is an event that requires proper attire, your bowling clothes! I have forgot my “name” shirt on more than one occasion in my career, it can be quite the embarrassment. Storm apparel works very well in this situation! The most important thing is to bring an open mind and a willingness to learn. Every time we step onto the lanes there are lessons to be learned, but only when our mind is right.

Stay In The Moment

The process... to stay within the moment.

BUT, how does one stay “within the moment”?

It seems to come so naturally for some, Weber, Belmonte, Federer, Nicklaus… any great performer, and it really doesn't matter the sport or disciple. Those who have “it” seem to carry some sort of unique power to always succeed.

Throughout my years of competition, the one thing I consistently witnessed from the best was their commitment to their process. To stay “within the moment”. What does this mean? We hear, “stay in the moment,” often, but how is it really accomplished?

Success is the result of proper execution. Proper execution is a result of being committed to staying focused. Our focus lies within your process which often leads to the ability to stay in the moment. This is accomplished by not allowing outside interference affect your performance and not allowing distraction to interrupt your flow. Distractions come in many forms. The #1 distraction is to be focused on the results. Humans are competitive. We are constantly measuring ourselves against society and against our peers. We want newer cars, bigger houses, nicer clothes, larger bank accounts, the list is endless. Why do we have these desires? The ability to understand this leads to the ability to understand why some can perform “within the moment” and why others can’t.

To be properly focused on the task at hand (the process), one must stay in the moment.

Not the past, no matter how far or immediate, nor the future. It takes great discipline to not be results oriented when we are competing. We can’t look ahead. It also takes great discipline to let go of the negative past results we have experienced. We can’t look behind either. This balancing act is exactly what the greats do to remain in the process. The mind is clear and quiet, the thoughts are purely on the action. It is a form of passive aggressiveness, to get exactly what you want to have and to “let” it happen. You must “allow” yourself to perform, you cannot “make” it happen. It doesn't work that way. It never has and it never will.

A drill that I have used with many of the players I coach is to learn to not watch the scores. This is much easier said than done, but if implemented fully, it will pay immediate dividends. In your next league/tournament, do not look at your score, nor recap, nor results, nor your opponent’s score, nor your friend's scores, nor your rivals scores. What does this drill achieve? Well, it teaches the mind and muscles to stay in the process.

The only shot of any importance is the next one. Nothing else matters.

Our mind knows when we are bowling well, we can feel it. Our mind knows when we are bowling bad, we feel that too. We do not need a number on a piece of paper to tell us what we already feel. Once you feel your body speaking to you and you learn to listen to it, you will then learn to be more honest with yourself. Honest with what you feel, and how to improve on that. The smallest of errors can be felt, things you would have never felt before. Removing the scores from being the dominant factor in how one self-assesses their performance teaches you that you are trying 100% EVERY shot. You are not allowing distraction or the fear of results to affect your performance. You are living in the moment. You are leaving it all out there. No matter what your results are, you tried your best, and that is all we can truly ask of ourselves.