Selecting an Arsenal for the USBC Open Championships

If you are heading to Syracuse for the OC’s this year, then you’ve probably already started thinking about what equipment you are toting along. And since ball slots are limited and checked bag fees are high, the gravity in your selection process becomes pretty critical. As with any arsenal, variety is key. Sounds easy, right? Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into it that can become a daunting task for even the most seasoned professional. The boundless options that are available on the market should be used to your advantage, but it all starts with the bowler. Knowing the subtle distinctions in how you roll the ball, such as axis tilt, axis rotation, speed, and rev rate, are most crucial.

Once you’ve determined your stats, next comes the ball selection process. As always, variety is key.

The Open Championships have now abstained from announcing the oil pattern prior to the tournament commencing – which is perfectly fine. You can bet on it not being a cakewalk. Balls that exude control and forgiveness are going to be your best friends with any trip to the OC’s. What kind of balls do this? Well, your favorite benchmark should be the first thing that comes to mind. A low RG, solid, matte finish ball that is smooth and brings the breakpoint closer to the foul line would definitely provide this for the bowler. The !Q Tour is the second longest running ball in Storm’s history for this very reason.

After that, building an arsenal is pretty straightforward. Having a good mix of solids, pearls, hybrids with a combination of surfaces and layouts is important. Typically, you won’t see too many polished balls going down the lanes at the Open Championships. The reason for this all boils down to controlling the breakpoint. Sanded balls maximize your room for error by picking up on the midlane better than polished balls and bringing the breakpoint - the most critical part of the lane - closer to you. It’s not a mystery anymore that surface is the #1 most influential factor that dictates ball motion. The bowlers that perform the best every year will almost always bring a wide array of 500-grit to 4000-grit sanded balls. I’m not saying omit polish completely, so reserve one to two spots in your bag for when they get “toasty” later in the day.

Layouts are the last big thing to discuss. Working with your Storm VIP pro shop professional to establish which layouts are best for your style and the arsenal you’ve chosen is imperative. Some of the most accomplished bowlers will use around three of their favorite layouts and let the inherent properties of the balls be the major difference in what they see. Pete Weber, for example, has only used two layouts for years: one pin up above the bridge and one pin down below the bridge. There are enough factors in bowling that are above and beyond anyone’s control, and, no matter how hard you try, you cannot change them. So keeping the variables in check that you can control, like Pete, isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Below is a sample 6-ball arsenal that would cover all of your bases at the Open Championships this year.


Congratulations Alf Lopez. You earned it!

The 2018 Storm Utah Open was an incredible event! Having just concluded and setting numerous records in several categories including entries, prize money, and total bowler, the tournament continues to draw bowlers from all across the U.S. looking to earn a staff contract!

Alf Lopez of Pocatello, Idaho was this year's highest finisher of those entered in the optional $10 side pot.  Runner-up in the tournament, Alf beat out more than 170 other competitors to help fulfill a personal dream.

Congratulations Alf. You earned it!


Foster wins Uzelac Tourney at Davis Lanes

Former Collegiate standout from William Penn, Cameron Foster won the Uzelac Classic Tournament at Davis Lanes in Layton, Utah this past weekend.

The tournament attracted 123 entries (109 men and 14 women) from across the state. It featured 49 optional scratch entries and paid out more than $4000.

 

Cameron Foster wins Uzelac with the Storm Intense

 

Cameron used the Storm Intense™, a Premier Line™ high-end asymmetrical ball, to earn more than $1000 for first place including the optional progressive pot.

Matt Voeltz was the runner-up and Mike Sagers finished third.

Tournament Director Leon Uzelac would like thank his sponsors Storm, Roto Grip, Master, the Storm Northwest Tour, and the Competitive Edge Pro Shop.

If you would like information on future Uzelac Classic events, please call Leon at 435-630-8762


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.