This month I would like to discuss the importance of practice. There are many people out there who either don’t practice enough or are not practicing the right things. In week 1 of my challenge, I would like for you to increase the amount of days you bowl or at least add a few extra games in when you do practice.
I have had students in the past who would pay for a weekly lesson and then bowl only one other day in the week, and it was league. Let me start off with league is NOT practice. Let me say that again, league is NOT practice!! If you were in school and you had a big test coming up. Would you study during your exam?? The answer is no you wouldn’t. Think about league and tournaments as a test. A test to see how well your practice is paying off. When you bowl competitively it is time to bowl and see what your body remembers. I’m not saying you can’t have a few key thoughts, but its important that you turn your brain off and just bowl. Back to my student who only bowled lessons and league, unfortunately she wasn’t getting any better. She wasn’t taking the time to work on what she had learned from me and as a result she could’t get it down. Why spend the money and the time if you aren’t going to practice properly?
I feel like people think that I have the magic cure that will immediately make them better. It simply doesn’t work like that. Learning something new can be challenging. First off, it is uncomfortable to do because its different. Secondly, you are constantly fighting an old habit. One shot may be the old way and the next will be the new way, as a result your scores go down because you’re bouncing back and forth. Lets face it old habits die hard! Finally, it takes over a thousand shots of doing the new technique before it is in your muscle memory.
Another student that I coached was a young girl. She is very talented but didn’t practice much either. She was getting better but not at the pace that I was expecting. That changed when she went to high school. The high school coach would make all the kids practice for 2 hours at least 3 times a week. It was amazing how much better she got in the matter of a month. She didn’t work on anything new just getting down what she was already taught. When I did a video comparison of a before and after, you could definitely tell. In the first video, her approach looked very choppy. Her head bounced up and down, and it looked like she had to think about where to put her feet. In her most recent video, I saw was how much smoother her approach got. Her head no longer bobbed, her push away wasn’t jerky, and here feet looked lighter. You could tell that she no longer had to think about her movements, and that they came naturally. Seeing this video really opened my eyes to how much people are missing out because they aren’t willing to put the time in.
2 thoughts on “Week 1 of 30 Day Challenge – APRIL 2019 – PRACTICE MORE!!”
Ashly – I totally agree with you. Practice is important in our sport like other sports. The difference is there is a scheduled time to practice with the team. In bowling, since it is more individualized, less practice. We often have clinics on a Friday from 3 to 6 PM and we work on drills. 30 to 45 minutes on 4-7. 30 to 45 minutes on 6-10. Then we work on strike shots and move their feet and target every so often. We find that the youth bowlers that participate in our clinics develop faster but are also practicing on their own. Practice, practice, and more practice but practice with a purpose.
I agree with you, Ashly. People need to put the time and effort in if they want to bowl better and improve their games. Using myself as an example, ever since I started learning to hook the ball, I have been practicing twice per week plus home practice. Also, I go to the gym 2-3 times per week. Yeah, learning to hook the ball was frustrating at first and there were times I wanted to quit. But, I knew I had to keep at it because that is how my mind works and it was what I wanted to do. Through time my hook got better. I am striking and sparing more. My scores and average have gone up significantly. My hook is much better now than it was a year ago. In fact, I have been practicing at the lanes and at home so much so much that I have been finding myself practicing bowling moves anywhere else I go (work, parents’ house, etc.). My body is that bowling trained which for me is a good thing. I love bowling so much and plan to continue it. I have learned so much more stuff about bowling that I never knew before and I have an awesome teacher. Thank you so much, Ashly for taking the time to teach me how to bowl better. I really appreciate it. 😊