The 2022 PWBA Tour seasons kicks off this week with the PWBA Rockford Open in Rockford, Illinois.  The 2022 season will feature 12 events, 7 of which will have the finals airing on CBS Sports Network. This will be an exciting season for the PWBA athletes as they will be competing for larger prize funds including a $60,000.00 first place prize for both the USBC Queens and U.S. Women’s Open.  The season ending PWBA Tour Championship is also a Major title and will close out the 2022 season in Dallas, Texas in August.

The 2021 season ended in October so the 900 Global ladies’ pro staff are eager to hit the lanes after their 6 month break.  The SPI players took home 14 of the 20 tour titles last year and there are many great story lines to look forward to this season.  36 National staff players represent the Storm, Roto Grip, and 900 Global brands with a mix of rookies to veterans and we predict an exciting season.  We chatted with the players who are heading out to the first stop this week to ask them about being a professional bowler, what they are looking forward to, and their goals for the season.

Stephanie Zavala – You won 3 titles in your rookie season and were nearly Player of the Year.  How do you follow that up this season? I hope to follow last season by simply continuing to put myself in a position to win. With a shorter season, I don’t want to add unnecessary pressure to “beat” my accomplishments from last year. I just need to stay true to myself and the good weeks will come.

What did you learn from your first year as a professional bowler? I learned how important having a strong mental game is. It helped me to know the difference between needing to stay patient and when to be aggressive on the lanes in crucial moments.

What are your goals for the season? My goals this season are to win a major and claim Player of the Year.

Favorite new balls – My favorite new ball in my arsenal is the 900 global Zen Soul. 

Daria Pajak – You had an off-season injury.  How is the injury and are you ready for the season? I have been dealing with chronic pain in my elbow since I can remember however it has always been under control till November 2021. After taking 3 weeks off bowling, when I got back on the lanes, I realized something felt seriously wrong. I was experiencing sharp pain in the push away away and unlike in the past, I couldn’t find a way to get rid of it.

Ever since November 2021 I have had countless rehab sessions physiotherapists, I had plasma injected twice, few acupuncture sessions, dry needling, I have barely bowled.

Even though injury is strictly a physical pain, I have had a hard time dealing with it mentally. With the pressure of tour being around the corner and my rehabs and everything not paying off in the ways I wished and was promised by the doctors, I have experienced waves of anxiety and uncertainty coming to this PWBA 2022 season.

What are you most looking forward to? I am looking forward to competition itself. The adrenaline, the need to strike, the laughs with the girls between the games, the late nights spent at the PWBA truck figuring out what ball may strike the next day. I am looking forward to interacting with the fans as for the first time since COVID19 we will have Pro Ams again. PWBA is an environment hard to describe. When the season starts, I feel like I am closed in this certain bubble when everything spins around bowling and the performance and this is something that no other tournaments have ever given me. For that reason, the PWBA tour is special.

Goals for the season? I have started preparation for 2022 PWBA tour was soon as PWBA 2021 season came to an end. I have put together a practice plan and a goal list with my coach – Costas Mitsingas. However, the injury got in the way and I was unable to follow through on the regime I first was so excited to follow.

My goal for this season unlike the goals I have established in the late 2021 is to listen to my body and don’t let the mental side of being injured get in my head.

Favorite new balls – I have drilled a few balls in the past month and my favorite ball from the newer ones would be NOVA and my all-time favorite which I drilled again would be IQ Tour.

Taylor Bulthuis – What have you learned from your time on the PWBA Tour? I learned that my mental game is more important than equipment, reps, or my ability to bowl. EVERYTHING is between the ears and if I do not have my mental game with me everything else is going to fail. I have worked a lot over the last few months and have done a lot of reading and journaling so I feel like I am giving myself the best opportunity for success since I have been working on my mental game very hard.

What are you most looking forward to this season? I am looking forward to competing again. There is something special about competing on tour and nothing else really can relate to or give that feeling. I am excited to be back and ready to take on what we got!

Goals for the season? My goals are to start by making the best quality shots I can, give myself the best chance at making every cut, and eventually getting over that hump to make a show. I feel like I keep getting close but just not getting over that making the cut and cashing hump. This season I want to keep making strides and really stay within myself at each stop and work harder and harder until I make a show and WIN!

Favorite new balls – Zen Soul

Alexis Neuer – What did you learn from your rookie season in 2021?  As with any sport, when making the jump into the professional realm there were so many learning experiences from my 2021 rookie season. The most notable experience was honestly learning who I was as an individual bowler. With the exception of a few individual tournaments, for the most part my entire competitive bowling career has been team oriented. I never truly realized how consumed I was within my teams until I was there at my first PWBA stop with all my thoughts to myself. When competing on a team there was always something I could be doing to help my teammates. Now all my thoughts are focused on myself. But with every stop I learned something new about myself and my game. Learning how to be confident as an individual bowler will always be something I need to work on, but I am excited to start the 2022 tour season with an improved frame of mind.

Goals for 2022 season? My top goal for the 2022 season is to make my first tv appearance, and cash in all the events.

Favorite new balls in your arsenal?  Reality and Zen will always hold a special place in my arsenal. But I’m super excited to see the Rubicon UC3 and Idol Helios go down the lane this tour season!

Cassandra Leuthold – What have you learned most from being on Tour? Mindset is everything. Over the last couple of years, I have worked closely with a mental sports performance coach at Mindset 180 Academy. I have learned that your core beliefs drive your thoughts, behaviors, and actions. You always have a choice in how you respond to an event, your response to that event will influence the outcome. You have the choice to respond with positive self-talk/thoughts or negative self-talk/thoughts. The biggest thing that I have learned from that principle is to shut down negative self-talk. Negative self-talk won’t help you reach your goal. My mental coach once said to me, “There is no room for negativity in the space you want to become great in.” As a professional bowler that space is 80 feet. In that 80 feet there is 60ft of lane, 15ft approach, and 5ft for the settee area and in this space is where I am learning to cultivate greatness. That quote led me to my positive mental mindset reminder “80ft of Greatness.” This reminder helps me stay focused on what I want to achieve.

Goals for the season? My goals are to make a TV Show, win a title, and continue growing in the “80ft of Greatness.”

Favorite new balls – The Reality, Zen Master, Nova, and the Helios are my newest favorites.

For more info about the 2022 PWBA season, click here.