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#40495 - 02/07/07 01:45 PM Self Doubt Setting In
Scott Gannon Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 10/30/06
Posts: 967
A/S/L: 51/M/California
Hi Everyone. I am hoping I have got some of the physical part of my game that has caused my recent slump figured out but I need some help more on the mental part of my game.

As many of you know I took an extended time off from bowling for the last 14 years. I came back last summer in a no-tap league and am now in the 20th week of the Winter league.

This is the first rough patch I have hit since coming back and to be honest, I know i used to have slumps and rough periods but I really do not remember how I dealt with them.

I have always been very confident and competetive and that is part of what drives me. I have generally been proud of how during this 6 week period even if I have a bad game I have been able to pull myself up and wind up with a decent series. One night I even topped my high game with 236 after starting off horrible. Two weeks ago when I got a 118 in the second game I pulled myself together and got a 191.

Last week for the 2nd time in 3 weeks I started out with 4 out of the first 5 frames open. It was even worse this time because at least the other time I was getting good pocket hits. I still pulled out a 145 after having 49 in the 5th but I think all the having to fight back the last month had wore me out. I couldn't even get a game above my average and finished with a 465 series, tied for my low for the year which I had got way back in the 3rd week.

This has got me doubting myself big time. I was so excited last week and was sure I was going to snap out of my slump and then when I opened in 4 of the first 5 I was sitting there stunned again just thinking about how hard I was going to have to work to just get to a halfway decent series. Then you have your teammates, although they have good intentions, asking "What's wrong with you?" making it even worse.

Anyone who has any tips or suggestions on how to deal with this I would appreciate it because self doubt is setting in and while every week so far I have looked forward to bowling in many ways I am dreading tomorrow night. I know I am a fighter so I am sure I will work my way through this but any tips would sure help me.
_________________________
Summer 2012-League Average-179, HG-224, HS-595
Fall 2012-2013-League Average-181, HG-237, HS-624
Summer 2013-League Average-189, HG-245, HS-653
Fall 2013-14-League Average-178, HG-228, HS-631

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Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#40498 - 02/07/07 01:53 PM Re: Self Doubt Setting In [Re: Scott Gannon]
Brian Longo Offline
Legend

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 1393
A/S/L: 37/M/Jacksonville, NC
The best thing I can say to you, Scott, is go to the lanes without expectations. Don't expect to beat your low series. Don't expect to beat your high series. Just walk in the door, put your ball on the rack, put your shoes on, and go through your usual habits. Let your body take control of the game and shut your mind off. Only use it when you have to make adjustments. Once you push away the ball tune yourself out and let your body make the shot for you.

Sometimes if you go in with an "I don't give a rat's [censored]" attitude you usually come out better. You give up thinking and let your body take over. When I shot my 800 I can tell you I wasn't thinking about anything. My body took over and all I had to do was be there. Years of practice funneled itself into one night; one very good night. The same can happen to you if you just tell your mind to take a hike.

Honestly, that's about the only way you're going to beat your slump is to stop thinking about it. Give it a try and see what happens. It's not easy, and even the most optimistic of people begin to wonder, but there's an end in sight. You'll come out of it a better bowler.
_________________________
"There are no magical balls, just magical bowlers"

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#40502 - 02/07/07 02:11 PM Re: Self Doubt Setting In [Re: Brian Longo]
Scott Gannon Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 10/30/06
Posts: 967
A/S/L: 51/M/California
Thanks Brian. I am going to give it my best shot.

You are right about not thinking about it but like you said that can be very hard. When I almost shot a 600 series i wasn't even thinking about it. I have been thinking about how I almost did it and I haven't come close since.

_________________________
Summer 2012-League Average-179, HG-224, HS-595
Fall 2012-2013-League Average-181, HG-237, HS-624
Summer 2013-League Average-189, HG-245, HS-653
Fall 2013-14-League Average-178, HG-228, HS-631

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#40522 - 02/07/07 03:58 PM Re: Self Doubt Setting In [Re: Scott Gannon]
MrBowler Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 298
A/S/L: CA, USA
Scott, this is why we bowl. To overcome the bad times.

There was a period last summer for me where I couldn't hit 200 (I booked 210 last year). I just relaxed and went out and let my body do what I knew it could and more importantly, I didn't look at the scoreboard, I just threw each ball the best I could, and, guess what, the 200s came back. This was the quickest recovery from a slump I have ever had.

Once I decided to let my body do what it had been doing correctly for the last 33 weeks (winter league), my game came back and my confidence grew. I ended up averaging 211 in that league. It was frustrating when it started and I was definitely intimidated by the other bowlers (it was a one man team league with 39 bowlers on it and several of the bowlers were averaging in the 240s). I started the league out with a 182 avg after 3 weeks, arghhh.... But, like I said, I finally let myself go and began to believe in myself (even though I had no reason to based on how I was bowling) and threw the best ball I could each frame and... it was like magic, slump gone.

I am not saying that yours will work this way, but you need to relax, pick up your spares and make the adjustments that got you to where you were and where you expect to be.

Mike
_________________________
Keep bowling and having fun!

For everything bowling, see http://www.BowlersEverything.com

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#40536 - 02/07/07 05:20 PM Re: Self Doubt Setting In [Re: MrBowler]
Scott Gannon Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 10/30/06
Posts: 967
A/S/L: 51/M/California
I think because everything was going so well is the biggest reason why this is hitting me hard.

I had started at 162 and steadily built my average up to 174 in 14 weeks. It seemed so easy but I knew in my mind there would be struggles as just about everyone has off weeks.

You are right, you have to overcome bad times to get better.
_________________________
Summer 2012-League Average-179, HG-224, HS-595
Fall 2012-2013-League Average-181, HG-237, HS-624
Summer 2013-League Average-189, HG-245, HS-653
Fall 2013-14-League Average-178, HG-228, HS-631

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#40542 - 02/07/07 06:32 PM Re: Self Doubt Setting In [Re: Scott Gannon]
Brandon510 Offline
Legend

Registered: 08/05/06
Posts: 1990
A/S/L: 28/Male/California/Philippines
Scott,
Dont Dread tommorrow. DOnt go down there with negitive out look. In my 3 month slump i had some real bad series and some series to too keep my average. There one thing that someone told me is if you make a bad shot dont dwell on it. Take each frame as it is your first frame. Dont look at the scoreboard sometime it can make things worse cause you think too much i need a strike to get my average and so forth.

Just go in there with postivie outlook, dont look at score board, and relax and take brian and mike advise and let your body take over. I remeber once i came out of slump everything was relaxed i was enjoying the game and not even looking at the score.
_________________________
Current Arsenal:
LM Terminator - Roto Grip Cell - Roto Grip Illision - - Storm Team Spare Ball
ball .......................Brandon
BowlSk: Stats


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#40547 - 02/07/07 06:47 PM Re: Self Doubt Setting In [Re: Scott Gannon]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9820
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
Scott, When I quit, 27 years ago, I averaged 215 on wooden lanes with a rubber ball. When I came back, nothing I owned even worked on synthetic lanes. Timing, speed, coordination, everything physical didn't work. I can only visualize what I looked like. It certainly would not have been what I expected. I struggled through a disaster of a year to a 175 average, and was totally dissatisfied with the outcome and myself.

I almost quit right there, and said to myself that bowling is over. I had tried, and it didn't work. But, I did something right at the end of the year that caused me to rethink. I had just spent $200 bucks for a new ball. And, being the cheap SOB that I am, I wanted my money's worth.

So, I made a decision that if I was going to go through with this bowling thing, I couldn't do it alone. I found a Coach (after going thru 3) that listened and was interested enough in me to give me time. He was very honest with me, and said right up front, he saw previous training in what I was attempting to do, But, how I was going about trying to regain it would do nothing to help. He asked what my objective was in bowling, and I told him to get back to where I used to be, 215. He said, it would take work, dedication and a lot of practice, and asked if I was willing to make the committment. It was then that I decided that I was going to do it. Realizing that neither he nor I were myracle men.

So, I gave myself 3 years. Last year was full of ups and downs. Just what you are going through. But, I was lucky. I had a couple of teammates who were very supportive and patient. I would take a lesson, and screw myself up for a week or so. But then, something would work. And this went on for the entire year. Ups and Downs, until I had a semblance of what I was supposed to be doing. Somehow, about 2/3 through the year I bowled a 300 in practice, and followed up with a 298 in league. That hooked me, because I CAN do it. The odd thing about my 298 in league was that it came immediately after one of the most discouraging and ugly 138 games I ever shot. In fact, I didn't shoot 600 with that 298. But, that one game told me there was hope. I did finish over 190, so there was improvement.

This year, I started with 2, 440 series, and had a 147 average after 3 weeks. What happened? I took a few more lessons, got some encouragement, and am now over 200 in 2 leagues, and 195 in the league I started so badly in.

I have one more year in my 3 year committment. I have every reason that I will make my goal. But the effort that goes into doing this is only worth it to me. Why, because I set a goal, and I work til I get there. And you know what? Even if I don't make that 215 again, I still am going to bowl. Because I proved I can overcome the pitfalls, and the horrible games and come back next week and shine.

If I had bowled another 138 after the first, I would have had second thoughts. But, just as you bowled a 236 after a bad game, both of us know we can do it.

It's like the golfer said to me, It's that 1 shot out of 100 that makes you come back. Yep, it's that one double, or difficult spare or split that makes me come back. And, you know, maybe I didn't get that double. I will still come back next week and get it.

You can't have a good week unless you have had a bad one.
_________________________
LM - Black Diamond 15#
Lord Field - Exodus Pearl 15#
Legends - L/M New Terminator 15#
Legends - L/M Xtreme Damage 15# Strong pearl




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#40551 - 02/07/07 07:22 PM Re: Self Doubt Setting In [Re: Dennis Michael]
Scott Gannon Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 10/30/06
Posts: 967
A/S/L: 51/M/California
Thanks Dennis.

I think sometimes I need to realize I have probably overachieved in a lot of ways. Not having picked up a bowling ball in 12 years and getting very little practice and still going out bowling 3 games once a week and carrying a 172 average is pretty decent. I am probably "coming back down to earth" in a sense. Even when I stopped bowling in 1992 I was on two leagues and only carrying a 183 and 187 average.

Thanks to you and everyone here I realize that improving and then slipping back some is natural and then once I get past it I will come back stronger because I will have learned from the experience.

I am glad you let me know about your goals because I do need to sit down and figure out what my goals are. If I cannot make a more of a committment I will have to learn to accept my bowling at about the level it is. If I want to improve and get to the level you are working towards like you said I will need a lot of practice and a coach.

Either way I am very happy I have rediscovered bowling and I really do enjoy it. I will never take off that long again just because I move, even if it means having to do down and get on a team that just needs another person.
_________________________
Summer 2012-League Average-179, HG-224, HS-595
Fall 2012-2013-League Average-181, HG-237, HS-624
Summer 2013-League Average-189, HG-245, HS-653
Fall 2013-14-League Average-178, HG-228, HS-631

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#40555 - 02/07/07 09:25 PM Re: Self Doubt Setting In [Re: Scott Gannon]
MADDOG` Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 114
A/S/L: Oregon
Brian makes some very good points. I used to think about bowling all day prior to that evening's leagues. I'd think about what I'd do, how I'd deliver the ball, imagine the line to the pocket, etc...and even fantasize (down, down there...not that kind of fantasy! <G>) about high scores. Invariably, I'd get impatient too early when things weren't how I imagined it would be. Too abrupt with changes, too large of a speed, rotation, or mark change followed by a ball change, followed by...well, you get my point.

I've learned to not think about it too much, whether while at the alley or before I even get there. When I picked up regular league bowling again in 1999 after a 14 year layoff, I averaged around the low 150's. Seven years later I've improved my average by 50 pins, have learned soooo much more about the mechanics of bowling, have learned to read lane conditions and have developed the mental skills necessary that allow me to be aware of what I am doing without obsessing over it.

Let it flow. Be easy. Relax.

And above all, despite a competitive nature, I have fun.

Good luck and give us an update on how things progress.

Failing all that, a psychiatrist may be able to help. <G> Just kidding...just kidding.
_________________________
--Michael--

In The Bag:
Storm XTreme
Columbia 300 Messenger Titanium
Columbia 300 ActionMax

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#40558 - 02/07/07 10:33 PM Re: Self Doubt Setting In [Re: MADDOG`]
Lefty Offline
Legend

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 2356
A/S/L: 37 / M / Rochester, NY
I feel your pain. For the last couple of months, I've been throwing the ball so bad that I haven't even wanted to bowl. My patients are so short because things are going so wrong, that I honestly want to walk out of the center while I'm bowling.

Last night started out the same way any my blood started to boil again. I've had to repeatidly tell myself that I just don't care what I shoot. It could be 99 and I just don't care. Otherwise, honestly, I think I'd scream at the top of my lungs and break things.

Now obviously I can't do that, so I've really dreaded bowling. And on top of that I've had absolutely no desire to practice because I'm just so fed up.

But as luck would have it, I think I fixed some things last night. I'm not 100%, but I feel like I'm at least in the ballpark now.

I have the benifit of going through things like this before, and I know that you always come out the other side. And when you do, you're usually better off because when you finally do fix what was wrong, you're not likely to forget it. Well, at least for a while. smile

You'll get through it and you'll be better off for it. If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger, right? wink

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