Grip The Ball Like A Pro
Practice holding the ball at a 45 degree angle. Your bowling hand should be a little to the side of the ball and the little fingers of each hand will be touching. Your elbows should be in close to the body and relaxed. Relax your shoulders also. Correct hand position is one of the marks of a skillful bowler and will give you more control over the ball.
***Angle your Arm Swing Close to The Body Practice keeping your arm and elbow close to your body during your entire arm swing. Feel the ball ‘swoosh’ by your leg just before you release it.
On single pin spares, throw a straight ball rather than a hook. Practice a straight shot if you don’t have one and use it for those single pin spares. Hooking requires you to cover more boards so there’s more room for error.
Picking up Spares
If you’re consistently leaving certain pin combinations, you can lower or raise the position of your ball in you stance. This increases or diminishes your swing slightly.
SPECIAL MENTAL GAME TIPS & ADVANCED INSTRUCTION
***Trigger your skills automatically and subconsciously. One of the single finest mental game practices you can make is to pick a few key words and say them to your self to trigger yourself to bowl ‘intuitively.’ Examples are ‘Trust’, ‘Let Go’, ‘now’, ‘It all comes together now’. As you say your phrase concentrate on your breathing or your heart beat. in effect, you are conditioning yourself to enter a meditative state on cue, whereupon your skills and training from the past will simply come to the forefront automatically.
Increase Your Mental Concentration
Increased concentration is one of the singular marks of an extraordinary bowler. Determine to have extraordinary (master level) concentration when you bowl. Set this as your goal! Exceptional concentration takes some work, but it’s easier to accomplish than you might think.
The key is to remember that concentration is not holding your mind on one thing. It is directing your attention within a determined sphere of things. Thus…choose 3 to 5 to 7 things you wish to have your attention on when you bowl. You can write them on a list and keep them in your pocket if you wish. Practice bowling for longer and longer periods of time with your attention moving from one of those things on your list to another.
You can condition your consciousness to remain within a predetermined set of criteria. This is the true secret to concentration. Don’t make the mistake of trying to hold your mind in one place. It is not possible.
The mind’s tendency is to move. Control the movement within the sphere (list) of things you choose! When you notice your mind has wondered from your predetermined list of things, gently and uneventfully bring it back to one of the things on your list and simply put it back into motion on the list.
The key here is GENTLY and UNEVENTFULLY.
Practice this, and before long, if they are not already doing so, people will comment on your extraordinary level of concentration. Guaranteed! Always remember that bowling is a mental game. Make this your mantra. Your own skill level will astonish you once you truly focus on the mental side of the game and decide to get really good at it.
How to create a ‘flow’ state and use it to bowl better
In the previous section, I showed you how to significantly increase your concentration level whenever you bowl. Now, I want to give you what I consider to be one of the finest secrets of peak performance I have ever learned.
I began teaching this technique to my students and coaching clients several years ago. It was so effective that it became one of the handful of core techniques I use when someone asks me to help them quantum leap to ‘world class performance’.
The technique I’m going to show you is a process for entering into one of the finest peak performance states imaginable. It’s called ‘flow’. Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi originally created it. Yes that’s really his name!
If you’d like to learn more about the core techniques I use to create quantum leaps in performance, you can find several of them in my Mental Game Mastery Course. I also use conscious autosuggestion with many of my clients and find it to be highly effective.
The power of a flow state is that it allows you to:
a. Achieve an extraordinary level of concentration.
b. Prolong and extend that concentration.
c. Focus on any skill in such a way that you get better and better at it. d. Enjoy the entire process!
I’m certain that if all you do is really learn this one technique you’re average will shoot thru the roof! That’s because it will change the way you practice and the speed at which you improve.
Ok. Here are the main steps of the flow technique to get you started.
- Set a goal and several sub-goals.
Remember to set a big goal and several smaller goals that are part of the big one.
As an example, lets pick as our goal “having awesome approach timing”. Your goal is to create the ideal timing for you. Timing that ‘clicks’ every time you do it. One sub goal might be to synchronize your breathing with your approach timing perfectly.
Another sub goal might be to have your approach timing speed up so that your release seems to fire the ball right out of your hand.
So now you have a main goal, approach timing. And you also have some sub goals related to your main goal of better approach timing. Now you begin your practice session.
Imagine actually doing a practice session like this for a minute. Notice how very different it would be from how you usually practice!
- Make certain you can measure your progress.
Use the feedback of your ongoing experience to know how you are doing. This is the key to enjoying the feeling that comes from making progress in small ways.
For example, you might measure your over all progress for ‘incredible approach timing’ by how high your arm swing is or by how consistent your rev’s are, or how comfortable your follow through feels or how many strikes you bowl with your new and better timing.
You could measure how well your breathing is timed with your approach by noticing how well your approach and your breathing start and end together and seem to match up throughout your entire approach. This is an example of measuring how you’re doing AS YOU ARE PRACTICING.
- Keep concentrating on what you’re doing.
Without any challenge, attention tends to wonder. Practice keeping your attention on your subject for longer and longer periods of time. Each time your attention wonders, gently bring it back to the subject or another aspect of your subject.
As you concentrate on your approach timing, let everything else fade out. Just let your timing consume your attention.
- Make finer and finer distinctions.
Notice more and more subtle differences and distinctions in what you’re doing. Become attentive to the details of your experience.
In our example, you would begin to notice finer and finer things about your timing. How do you speed it up? Are you on your heels or your toes? How quickly does it increase as you step through it? How does your breathing go when you’re timing is awesome? And so on.
- Develop the skills involved.
Ongoing skill building is part of the flow state. Skill building causes a feeling of excitement at getting better and better. What are the skills related to your goal? How will you get better? How will you know you’re getting better?
What are the skills you need to create better approach timing? Consider your ability to speed up, to slow down, to get your arm swing up high at just the right time, to vary your breathing and movement and so on.
- Keep raising the level of what you are striving for, especially when the activity becomes boring. It is the challenge of an opportunity that causes us to concentrate.
Cultivate the habit of setting a more challenging goal whenever your subject gets boring or isn’t holding your attention. This builds in the element of challenge and will cause you to continually make your subject compelling and interesting.
In our example, as you practice your approach timing, set a higher challenge if you get bored. When you get overwhelmed, back off on how hard you’re striving. In other words, stay in that zone between too much challenge and too little challenge. This is the real secret to prolonging that state in which you are refining distinctions and getting better.
This should be enough to really get you started on this incredible technique.
The Best 10 Visualization Techniques and How to Apply Them To Your Game
- Always visualize yourself making perfect shots, and using exquisite form. Make your visualizations ‘ideal’. This is an essential key in all visualization. Condition your mind to see perfect, ideal, glorious shots and to see them over and over and over.
- Visualize when you’re bowling and when you’re not bowling. This creates a spaced repetition that has the effect of creating congruency. It conditions the mind to constantly see you bowling well. Also, you are in one emotional state when you’re bowling and a different emotional state when you’re not bowling. To visualize in both emotional states bridges your internal images across your neurology.
- To visualize effectively, first see your self from someone else’s point of view, bowling a perfect strike. Then, imagine bowling a perfect strike from your own point of view…that is looking out your eyes.
- Before every single shot, visualize making it first. This is one of the finest ways to visualize when you’re bowling. Simply form the habit of seeing the shot made first, before you bowl it. Once you do this, and condition your neurology to ‘follow’ the picture, you’ll improve dramatically.
- Correct your shots with visualization. Every time you miss a shot, immediately visualize what it would have looked like had you made the shot perfectly. I E.. Correct the image in your mind with your imagination. Do the same thing, imagining yourself picking up various spare combinations.
- Increase the number of times you actually visualize yourself making perfect shots, including spares you want to make more often. Most people don’t do enough visualizations ‘in a row’ to imprint the message on their subconscious mind.
A couple images aren’t enough. It the same principle you’d use with doing sit ups. Doing 3 or 4 sit-ups is ridiculous. You only consider doing, say, 25 or so. Do at least 10 visualizations of your perfect shot! Never less. Get into the habit of imagining a perfect shot 10 times in a row and watch what happens to your game!
- Visualize just before falling asleep. We actually enter into what hypnotists call the ‘hypnologic zone’ right before we fall asleep. It’s simply a time when our subconscious is more receptive and responsive to images and ideas. It’s a perfect time to plant the images you want.
- Have a feeling of ‘expectation’ when you visualize. When you’re seeing yourself bowl those perfect shots, allow a smile to form at the corner of your lips, from the feeling of knowing that this is what’s coming. Create the feeling that you’re seeing a ‘preview of coming attractions’ feeling.
This is the single best way to apply the principle of belief and expectation to your images. Simply practice this until your mind automatically adds the feeling of expecting it to happen. Then it will!
- One extremely effective way to visualize is to imagine 10 to 20 perfect strikes and perfect spares in your mind about an hour or so before you go bowling. This is like saying to your body…’like this’.
- After you visualize, say to your subconscious… “Continue to imagine me bowling better and better, and keep seeing me bowling strike after strike.” This will cause your subconscious mind to continue visualizing for you!
Well, there you have it; two awesome techniques for bowling better. The flow state and the 10 best visualization methods.
3 of my favorite mental game practices.
Start using them right away and you’ll see your game improve dramatically! I know I say it often, because it’s so important, but always remember that bowling is 90% a mental game. Just adding a few ‘mental game’ habits to your bowling routine will work wonders.
Here are three of the best. And by the way, one way to know if you really DO practice the mental side of the game is to notice if you’re doing these three things.
- Visualize BEFORE you go bowling – 20 reps! Visualize yourself bowling a perfect strike at least 20 times before you bowl. This works wonders. The key is repetition. Most people won’t do 20. They’ll only do one or two. Your neurology will respond to the repetition with amazing accuracy. Remember, 20 repetitions!
See yourself bowling perfect strikes. See perfect approach timing. Ummmmm, feels good doesn’t it? Looks good too!
- Visualize AFTER every shot. After every single shot you bowl, unless you bowl a strike or pick up your spare, you should visualize yourself doing so. See the shot you wanted to make. This programs your subconscious to make the ‘better shot’ the next time.
- Use an affirmation to trigger you. Part of your pre-shot routine should be to say a phrase to yourself. ALWAYS say your phrase as you get up to bowl. It’s an auditory trigger that will automatically put you into the zone. Saying something as simple as “perfect strike” every time you get up to bowl can raise your average significantly in a short time.
There you have it. Do these 3 things consistently and you’ll be amazed at what just a few simple mental game habits will do for you. By the way, I only have two products I offer to bowlers. One reason I give these lessons away for free is that before asking you to consider buying either one of them, I wanted you to see that I really do know my stuff. I have many more mental game tips in my Mental Game Mastery Course And my Bowl Better CD is the only one of it’s kind. It has a 20 minute visualization and autogenic conditioning session on it that will help you program your subconscious mind to put you into your optimum zone every time you bowl. I’m really proud of both of them.