mental game

Posted by: Doogie

mental game - 12/07/16 11:54 AM

Could watching video of yourself prior to bowling be a good kick start to using visualization the rest of the night?

Has anyone tried this?

How recent of a video should be used?

I am curious to hear some others thoughts.
Posted by: champ

Re: mental game - 12/07/16 12:27 PM

I've done it and it does work.

I took the video of myself when I had been bowling great for about six weeks. I wanted to use it as a reference if I ever went into a slump.

Last night I was watching Xtra frame coverage of the Chameleon Championship, and Marshall Holman was in the booth discussing visualization. He said that was always the key to his game; the ability to visualize exactly what his approach should look like, and let his subconscious take over.

The great book, The Inner Game of Tennis, also discusses such a theory as being very common amongst elite players of any sport. The ability to visualize and execute that visualization without the conscious brain trying to manipulate the body. Its a good read.
Posted by: djp1080

Re: mental game - 12/07/16 01:07 PM

I've been using a stress ball in my non-bowling hand just prior to getting up on the lane. I may squeeze it a bunch of times during other bowlers shots. I've found that it relaxes me and my swing which helps me deliver effort free shots. This is from a recent article from Bowling This Month.
Posted by: Doogie

Re: mental game - 12/07/16 03:18 PM

That sounds like a good idea. I may have to find one of those and give that a try.
Posted by: 82Boat69

Re: mental game - 12/07/16 05:15 PM

On a day to day basis, even the same lanes will react differently based on time of day, humidity, temperature, previous bowlers and on and on.

Timing is everything. Few can throw exactly the same shot at all times and get away with it. What we really are doing is making minute changes in the dynamics of our delivery.

We may change foot speed, step length, ball speed, RPM's, axis tilt, axis rotation or many combinations of all of the above in our delivery. What we did on video from a previous day might work and then again it might not.

I'm all for visualization, but watching myself on video on a shot that may not be the same as the shot I'm going to shoot won't help.

Where a video does come in handy is learning the positions of everything at different points so we have a basic model to begin with when we begin a slump. Ever throw a ball a know it's a strike out of your hand? Ever airmail a shot right, pull a shot left, go over, go around, miss at the bottom and on and on? We seem to know when we do it right based on feel but don't always feel when it goes wrong until the very last moment.

Knowing where everything should be helps to determine where we are making mistakes and a video can help, but if we can't feel it during the delivery, we won't know it's bad until it's too late.

I recommend you break your delivery up into little pieces and become familiar with what you 'feel' when you do it right and the same for when you don't. That can allow you to pull up before throwing a bad shot. It also helps to make small adjustments as the lanes change.

As I've aged, it seems that my recognition of when a delivery is going bad has become later and later. I'm certain that my reflexes are as aged as I am. Still, I'm able to pull a lot of bad shots back together in seemingly the last second.

Visualize before each shot, but feel your way to the line. Think of yourself as a blind person who has to bowl without any visual reference except in your mind. Your arm-swing can't just be about your height or push-away. Can you feel if the ball has gone back slightly outside-in? Can you feel your hand position on the way back? Can you feel your steps and their lengths? Can you feel when the ball pauses at the top? Can you feel your shoulder if you pull from the top instead of waiting on the ball? Can you feel any loop in your swing slot? Can you feel your hand position on the way forward? Can you feel your hand relax at the bottom and your fingers leaving the ball?

Slumps are about depth and duration. If you can 'feel' what's wrong, even though you can't see it, you'll get out sooner.
Posted by: W9JAB

Re: mental game - 12/08/16 11:04 AM

Quote:
On a day to day basis, even the same lanes will react differently based on time of day, humidity, temperature, previous bowlers and on and on.


This is greatly enhanced on wood lanes. livid

Quote:
If you can 'feel' what's wrong


I can feel the difference between a good and bad shot, but not all ways know why the bad went bad. crying

JOE

.
Posted by: 82Boat69

Re: mental game - 12/08/16 11:41 AM

I call them 'age' errors :-) Like all our senses, our sense of touch diminishes. Our muscle memory skips a beat. We don't even know it until we get to the point of release and something's amiss.

I started noticing when I was in my late 30's that I could no longer pull some shots back together at the last second. It's 30 years later now and the only way I can minimize my errors is to be hypersensitive to my whole approach. Even that isn't a guarantee, but it helps.

The one good side effect is my slumps are shallow and short.
Posted by: champ

Re: mental game - 12/10/16 10:33 PM

Originally Posted By: W9JAB
I can feel the difference between a good and bad shot, but not all ways know why the bad went bad. crying


An important lesson I learned is that if it doesn't feel right in the first two or three steps, there's plenty of time to stop.
Posted by: Doogie

Re: mental game - 12/12/16 08:34 AM

I know I should but for some reason I always just try and fix it in motion. It almost seems that in my mind I have hit a point of no return as soon as I start the approach.
Posted by: rrb6699 (RayRay)

Re: mental game - 12/13/16 08:26 PM

ive stayed working on release mostly. since so many things can be different each shot, odds are against duplication. in fact, duplicating each shot exactly would probably be a disadvantage because lanes change and the ball reaction still would change.

I feel if you get your last step/slide started and know where to start your release, you will have 2 things you can rely on. I find if I dont have a firm arm motion thru the shot, I have inconsistent ball reaction. that's 3 things you can be consistent with. the 4th point of consistency is maintaining hand position.

if you solely "feel" your way to the line and something goes awry, I think it's hard to pinpoint because you aren't paying attention to certain keys each shot.

I think when you bowl well there's always an element of luck involved. like if you miss right (or left) a board, but, your hand position is slightly different and it compensates for the error. strike. you threw it "wrong" but got away with it. same thing if you push through a shot but get more leverage and pull it. strike.

you cant repeat these things. really you don't want them to happen again because it wasn't what you wanted to do execution-wise. so, you have to have some keys or "checkpoints" to tell if you executed properly.

Bowling is still a game of area even though you try to repeat. slight errors can be hugely advantageous and keep you in play longer.

I've been through times of throwing a turkey or 4 bagger then cant get past 4. it seems unreal at times where you cant finish a game for 250 and come up with a 4, 10pin or worse a split and lose 20+ pins.

I've had trouble at times working through these "slumps" by practicing. seems like that would be the correct approach to take, but, if nothing else works I take a few days and try not to bowl at all to "forget" something that may be causing the problem.

I do have a video of my 10th frame pf a 300 game (usually don't have video of these right?) that I can watch or I watch pros bowling well to watch their timing and execution. this helps me sometimes.

it would be an interesting thread to discuss how bowlers work thru slumps, maybe what caused them, etc...

rr
Posted by: 82Boat69

Re: mental game - 12/13/16 09:19 PM

Slumps are a great topic, because I've just started one.

In some slumps, I'm all over the place. In this one, I'm hitting the pocket but not carrying the hits. As usual I look at the results of my hits for clues, but I'm not seeing anything obvious.

When this occurs, I simply assume my speed and RPM's are mismatched or maybe axis rotation is off. I only throw 14 pounds, so I don't need to be too far off to lose a hit.

Because I can change balls and lines and get the same result, I've settle on speed/RPM mismatched. The cause is most likely missing my 'timing point' so my leverage isn't what it needs to be.

When my 'timing point' is wrong, I need to adjust my feet and be more patient with my release. Oddly, any physical attempt I make to get synced puts me just a bit too early or just a bit too late.

I'm 69 and the physical adjustment might be to small for my aging coordination. I'm beginning to think for some slumps I just need to ride them out. I'll keep trying though.
Posted by: Doogie

Re: mental game - 12/14/16 09:53 AM

First off I wonder what different people consider a slump. How long does it have to be to be considered a slump or just a couple off nights.

For me I try and look at why I am not scoring. Am I bowling good physically just not carrying or mental game not keeping up? Is my physical game off?

The two things in my opinion that can help to end a slump are to either take a break of 2+ weeks. (not a good option to me) Or I need to try something drastically different for a week or two.
Posted by: 82Boat69

Re: mental game - 12/14/16 10:08 AM

For me it's all about the numbers. I shoot 12 games a week and 4 are in league. If my average for all my games drops off 5-10% for a couple of weeks, I consider myself in a slump. I consider all slumps equal :-) I go back to basics and begin trying to figure out the problem. Even if I know what's wrong, I'm not always able to correct the problem physically.

Over my life I think slumps usually run 2-4 weeks despite all my best efforts. Its like nothing feels right and then one day it does and things go back to normal :-)
Posted by: anegmyt

Re: mental game - 03/28/17 08:37 AM

I've never thought of that, sounds like a good idea that I might try. My mental trick is to ignore the numbers and just focus on the game.
Posted by: 82Boat69

Re: mental game - 03/28/17 09:12 AM

Bowling is actually a pretty simple game. It becomes more complex the higher your average gets. Pros are light years away from the rest of us, but the underlying game is pretty simple.

What causes problems, is what we as individuals bring to our games.

A slight flex in wrist position
A slight rotation of our hand
A thumb that's just a little sticky/loose
A step cadence that's just a little off
A premature pull of our swing
A slight change in body angle/spine tilt

Any of the above can change speed, RPM's, or axis rotation. Now add in the lane pattern and ball we're throwing.

Now, combine all of these and you have a a general idea of the physical dynamics we go through on each shot. None of us are perfect, but we can minimize variation with a disciplined approach to determine what's wrong and how to solve it.

We can't eliminate slumps, but we can minimize their depth and duration. Too many worry about their scores when they practice. In my mind, that's not practice. If we're not careful, it's just as easy to practice bad habits as it is to practice good habits. If we're just aerobic bowling, we may not notice the difference.

I've shot many good games while throwing the ball poorly. I've also shot many lower scores throwing the ball well. Putting it all together when it counts is the trick :-)

When you practice, have a plan!
Posted by: W9JAB

Re: mental game - 03/28/17 02:50 PM

Quote:
Bowling is actually a pretty simple game. It becomes more complex the higher your average gets.

Agreed
Quote:
What causes problems, is what we as individuals bring to our games.
How do you toss a gutter ball on the first shot then pick up the spare (what I call a big spare)on the next shot?
It's all about concentration.
I like to say that there's a million things that can go wrong between your first step and the fowl line.
When your three days older than dirt, it's easy to have a little brain f*rt and screw up the shot.
Quote:
Pros are light years away from the rest of us
Watch the pro's. You do not see them just step up a chuck one out. Every shot is just as important as the last, we get complacent, maybe for you it's the middle of the second game or the tail end of the third but at some time in a three game set, you let one go that you know you shouldn't have, or you make that impossible split and mess up on the very next shot.
As your title is, The mental game, My point is you know what to do, it's just a matter of doing it, and the only way to do it is a concentrated effort of the task at hand.

Well best of luck on getting out of the slump, but remember that it's all about concentration, laser focus. Intensely paying attention to making your shot.
Posted by: mmalsed

Re: mental game - 03/29/17 12:16 PM

Originally Posted By: W9JAB
Quote:
Bowling is actually a pretty simple game. It becomes more complex the higher your average gets.

Agreed
Quote:
What causes problems, is what we as individuals bring to our games.
How do you toss a gutter ball on the first shot then pick up the spare (what I call a big spare)on the next shot?
It's all about concentration.
I like to say that there's a million things that can go wrong between your first step and the fowl line.
When your three days older than dirt, it's easy to have a little brain f*rt and screw up the shot.
Quote:
Pros are light years away from the rest of us
Watch the pro's. You do not see them just step up a chuck one out.


LOL - unless the game is decided and they throw their spare ball right down the middle. . . LOL . . . OR they do a flop. smile

But you're both absolutely correct. smile
Posted by: RGR

Re: mental game - 04/07/17 02:12 PM

I also believe in slumps, and in my case 600phobia, I have managed 1 600 this season so far, sorry 2, carrying about 180 ave. bowl a lot of high 500s but no 600s. I feel like I'm throwing the ball well, its just that last game that does me in. In the last 4 weeks in league play I have managed a 590, with a 227,200,and a 163, a 561 with a 213,210, and a 138, a 203,193, and a 169 for a 565, and a few days ago a hard fought 600 with a 243,198, I had to mark in the tenth to get it, actually had a strike in the 9th, but needed the mark in the tenth to get it, actually struck out in the tenth for a 185, for a 626, those third games are killing me, lack of concentration or what don't know
Posted by: champ

Re: mental game - 04/07/17 03:27 PM

Originally Posted By: RGR
those third games are killing me, lack of concentration or what don't know


I've been there! And I've bowled with a lot of people who have the same issue. We tend to think that suddenly we're bowling bad, or suddenly forgot how to bowl. That's not the case. You're not going from bowling great to suddenly bowling bad.

The lanes changed. A lot more than you think. Next time you start to notice you're losing miss room, or that you have to throw it perfect to strike, make a big change. Most people at an "average plateau" simply aren't making big enough adjustments when they desperately need to.

You can fool yourself into thinking you're close. Miss a little left and you leave a 4. Miss a little right and its a 10. You'll say, "I'm close, I just need to make a small move." Nope. Make a big one.

Dramatic ball change. Zone change. Something. But not one board. Not a tad more speed. It takes confidence, but the more you try it, you'll catch on to what that big adjustment is for your game.

Move to much, miss a frame. Move too little, miss a game.
Posted by: 82Boat69

Re: mental game - 04/07/17 06:12 PM

If you feel like you're choking, you usually are. If you feel like you're throwing your ball well but not scoring, then you're probably not adjusting correctly.

It's rare that the lanes stay the same for 3 games. Based on the number of players on a pair, they can come apart pretty quickly.

Knowing 'when' the lanes begin to breakdown and 'how' they're breaking down gives you an advantage over anyone who doesn't.

Here's a typical scenario;

In game 1 your ball speed and RPM's are matched closely and you carry the way you expect. In game 2, the back-ends begin to go away but your ball isn't hooking anymore than game 1 but you just aren't carrying your hits. Most people won't change. But they should.

With modern balls, the surface of the ball and the surface of the lane create friction. As the lane breaks down, friction goes up. More friction, less RPM's.

Less RPM's with the same speed will have the ball hit the pocket but the amount of deflection causes the hits not to carry. Everything appears to be the same. The only way a bowler would know is by watching where their ball goes off the back of the pin-deck.

Knowing when to adjust and how to adjust is the secret to moving game to game seamlessly. Once you get behind the lane condition, you may lose hits or begin hitting high. Even if you move your feet you may hit the nose again if you haven't adjusted far enough or possibly even adjusted your whole line left.

Adjustments can be where you start, where you target or even a different ball. Having an arsenal and knowing how each ball reacts on changing conditions may be the difference between 590 and 650.
Posted by: spr3wr

Re: mental game - 04/07/17 08:48 PM

Originally Posted By: RGR
I also believe in slumps, and in my case 600phobia, I have managed 1 600 this season so far, sorry 2, carrying about 180 ave. bowl a lot of high 500s but no 600s. I feel like I'm throwing the ball well, its just that last game that does me in. In the last 4 weeks in league play I have managed a 590, with a 227,200,and a 163, a 561 with a 213,210, and a 138, a 203,193, and a 169 for a 565, and a few days ago a hard fought 600 with a 243,198, I had to mark in the tenth to get it, actually had a strike in the 9th, but needed the mark in the tenth to get it, actually struck out in the tenth for a 185, for a 626, those third games are killing me, lack of concentration or what don't know


Adjusting when the heads or mid-lane breaks down is what going on with your game. look at your average the last 4 weeks 1st game ave. 221 ,2nd game ave. 200 and 3rd game ave. 163.
When you have oil you are solid but when they start to dry up and they will that's when you have trouble.You need to ball down (go to a weaker ball) or learn to move in when needed .
Posted by: RGR

Re: mental game - 04/08/17 11:05 AM

You might be on to something there, Noticed a lot in the 2nd game that the ball hooks the same just not carrying any more a lot more 10s 7s and other pocket leaves.
Posted by: 82Boat69

Re: mental game - 04/08/17 12:13 PM

My adjustment for this is to go with a ball with the same surface, but with a wider VAL angle to keep RPM's up. Even though the ball has a weaker drilling, because RPM's are maintained the result in the pocket isn't weaker.
Posted by: rrb6699 (RayRay)

Re: mental game - 04/10/17 11:47 AM

Originally Posted By: 82Boat69
My adjustment for this is to go with a ball with the same surface, but with a wider VAL angle to keep RPM's up. Even though the ball has a weaker drilling, because RPM's are maintained the result in the pocket isn't weaker.


thats contradictory. I'm being sincere. a larger val angle means more aggressive. what you are saying I think is the shape of the shot is different from the first or previous ball.

I usually change the shape of the shot if the mids are beginning to read earlier. for me its a 5 inch, pin up smaller val angle medium cover which is (LT-48 with 75 x 5 x 35) .

it goes longer and finishes strong. hockey stick shape.

Posted by: 82Boat69

Re: mental game - 04/10/17 02:22 PM

What allows a ball to break sharper is the VAL angle. However, to break sharper, a ball uses up whatever hand the bowler put into the ball at release faster. Same with pin to PAP distance.

If a ball with an aggressive surface is already creating too much friction and scrubbing off RPM's, the last thing a bowler should do is use a ball that will cause even more RPM's to be scrubbed off even quicker.

A wider VAL angle will get the ball down lane farther and used up RPM's more gradually.

If you have a source that says different, please provide the URL so I can see what it's saying. Thanks.
Posted by: RGR

Re: mental game - 04/11/17 02:41 PM

Going to throw this out there, what if the person does not have bowling balls with all these different VAL angles. Can the person change lines with the same ball or is he going to have to rely on his spare shooting abilities
Posted by: 82Boat69

Re: mental game - 04/13/17 02:54 PM

We can't always take every ball we own to league or to a tournament.

What makes the best bowlers 'the best' is their ability to adjust no matter what they're faced with.

Over the years many great bowlers dropped from sight as ball technology changed. Others continued on.

Many of the characteristics of our releases limit us to how much we can do with a ball. Modern bowling balls have the ability to take even an average release and give that person the ability to bowl much higher scores if they understand the balls capabilities in combination with their own.

There are tons of articles on the internet to tell bowlers how to generate more speed, axis tilt, axis rotation and RPM's. There are many more to explain entry angle and ways to pick up spares.

Today, too many depend on a ball's characteristics and the way it's drilled than learning all the other things. I really believe older people who have thrown balls without dynamic weights have an advantage over young players because we did learn to shoot spares and make balls hook without dynamic weights.

On tough conditions where dynamic weights play a smaller roll and solid spare shooting and keeping the ball around the pocket are at a premium, even us old timers can be kind of scary to those who have a cannon for their delivery arm.
Posted by: RGR

Re: mental game - 04/13/17 03:17 PM

I'll finish off this mental game with this, bowled my 2nd 600 yesterday, two 600s in two weeks, but what was strange, two weeks ago when I bowled my first, felt good focused and throwing the ball well, yesterday, not so much, mind was not in it, the throw did no feel right, but managed another 600, go figure
Posted by: 82Boat69

Re: mental game - 04/13/17 03:32 PM

When you're hot, you're hot! Good job!

Confidence plays a major role.

Thinking you can do something is better than wondering. Knowing is better than thinking.

You don't define yourself by your last shot, but by your next shot.