Pro versus Amatuer?

Posted by: Thinker

Pro versus Amatuer? - 08/23/01 04:17 PM

Any ideas how to determine when it is time to turn pro?

Chris is 24 and bowls 700's frequently and has place well in several amatuer events, even against some ex-pros. He's saved enough to support himself about 4 months on tour. He doesn't wish to blow his money by turning pro too soon and being one of those who never ave. above a 200 and doesn't place.

Some tell him make the money in the amauter events don't make the big step. When is it time to move on????

Did you ever regret moving on? Do you regret not moving on?
Posted by: Bob

Re: Pro versus Amatuer? - 08/23/01 05:10 PM

Don't take this the wrong way...but when it's time to go up to pro you'll know it and won't have any doubts.

...You'll be placing in all the major tournaments. Industry people will be seeking you out and offering sponsorship deals. In other words sponsors will be approaching you. That's when you made it and you know it's time to do this professionally.
Posted by: Thinker

Re: Pro versus Amatuer? - 08/24/01 09:42 AM

Thanks Bob!

Excellent advice. That will help my son a lot. As a junior bowler 2 people mentioned sponsoring him when he was ready, they felt he was a natural.

He was considering trying a regional to see how he'd make out. We got the form and they have a new rule, if you cash they sign you as pro unless you sign a form stating you're bowling for fun or something.

The Pro-Ams he bowled weren't what he'd expected. He didn't like being given strikes. He wanted to bowl the whole game to see how he'd make out.

He bowled with Walter Ray Williams twice, and Bob Learn once. Even they had their low games.
Posted by: Sheldon

Re: Pro versus Amatuer? - 08/26/01 01:28 PM

Before you jump to compete as a pro. Bowl in everything you can: leagues at different centers with obvious different condition; tournements in different cities, states etc.
Bowl in sweepers, tournements, nine pin etc.
Gain experience in judging lanes conditions and applying yourself in order to conquer those conditions. Maitain 200 plus averages in several centers. Build your cofidence to the point where it will not come apart hen you attempt to bowl against pros. Test yourself and test yourself to the point when
you have the skills and attitude that will allow you compete on a pro level. Then you may go for it, remebering that you must porform unless you are being sposored as your resources are limited. Good Luck...
Posted by: Anakin Skywalker

Re: Pro versus Amatuer? - 08/27/01 04:23 PM

I have some various comments to add.

1) Some people will always say stay amateur and make more money. Your son has to make a decision. Most of those big amateur tournaments have a very high luck factor involved as to how much money you can come away with. If you find a shot for two days and hope nobody shoots 250 on you in any one game, you've got a shot. On the pro tour, consistency is a key and you need to stay at a very high and disciplined mental level for 6 months, not 6 days.

2) When I was growing up, I always watched the PBA on TV and dreamed to be a touring pro. I still do. I never dreamed to be "high roller winner" or "super hoinke champ" so those tournaments, although good for money, mean practically nothing to me. I'd rather make $50,000 on tour than $100,000 as an amateur because money isn't my number one priority. Bowling against the best in the world would be. But then again, throwing a bowling ball isn't how I make my living.

3) I would recommend that if your son wants to go out on tour, he bowl some regionals. How can you judge how you match up against the best in the world if you never bowl against the best in the world? Answer: you can't. Sure, it costs $200 a pop and if you cash, you'll have to turn down the money to keep your amateur status. But remember, if he bowls, say, 5 regionals, isn't $1,000 a small investment to make to decide whether or not to make bowling a full-time career? I'd say that if a bowler bowls 5 regionals and doesn't cash in at least 4 of them, and doesn't make the match play cut at least 2 or 3 of those 5 times, that bowler probably shoulnd't be going out on tour just yet. I've bowled 8-9 regionals, cashed in 4-5 and made the cut once (this was about 4 years ago for the most part, so I can't remember the exact numbers). I'm pretty **** sure that's not good enough to survive on tour so I'm not even considering going on tour right now.

4) Go with the gut. If you really want to go out on tour, and have the financial capabilities to sustain yourself over the year without having to worry about losing everything, go for it. Sometimes it's worth it so you don't have to say "What if?" later on in life. For instance, I did not bowl in college because I chose to go to a school that had no team. I went to a grad school that did have a team, mostly beause I didn't want to say "what if?" and see how I could have done in college bowling. 3 years later I was number one in the country. To me, that was worth the shot.