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The Steps for Control and Consistency in Bowling

Aug 17, 2007
Control of your feet, body, right arm, your arm swing, your release, and of the ball itself. And consistency is the ability to do the same thing, time after time after time. These two things are very important to be champion not only in the game of bowling but in most of the physical as well as mental games.

CONTROL AND CONSISTENCY

Control and consistency are the keys to bowling fame and for- tune. If you have them, you can become a champion. If you have not well, you simply will have to develop them. You may become a fair kegler and occasionally shoot a good game or even a good series, but you will never reach the top without developing these two skills. What do I mean by control? I mean control of your feet, body, right arm, your arm swing, your release, and of the ball itself. Sounds like a pretty big order, doesn't it? Well, it is.

And consistency? Consistency is the ability to do the same thing, time after time after time. It's as simple as that. To illustrate the meaning of control and consistency, let me take a moment here to describe what to me is the most amazing example of these two virtues that has ever occurred or may ever happen again in the bowling game?

In Lockport, New York, on October 25, 1939, a little fellow named Allie Brandt, just five feet, one inch tall, and weighing 122 pounds sopping wet, was bowling in a league series. As you know, in five-man league competition, you bowl once and then sit on the bench while your four teammates bowl. There is no chance to "get hot and keep shooting" as there is in doubles or singles play. But tiny little Allie, bowling against men up to twice his size and taking his prescribed waits between turns, delivered his medium- speed ball down the lanes that evening for three successive games of 297-289-300 for the towering and almost incredible total of 886, a score never matched before or since in sanctioned play.

On that evening in 1939, little Allie Brandt possessed control and consistency to the ultimate degree, and was as close to a machine as any bowler has ever been. You can imagine my reaction when I hear bowlers say, "Oh, I can never bowl well in league play. Getting up there every fifth time instead of every other time throws me off my game." With the example of Brandt and that amazing series at hand, it is fairly easy to impress upon these bowlers that league bowling is largely a state of mind. I know some top bowlers who bowl much better in five-man events than they do in individual matches. They have learned to adapt their control and consistency to the game as it is played. They remember the peculiarities of the lanes, and their game is so grooved that they can make their approach and delivery almost identical every time. They do not make the mistake of many bowlers who feel that their game is better when bowling fast. The story of Allie Brandt epitomizes practically everything I know to be true about bowling. To begin with, it is obvious that if the game required brawn and muscle, no little man could ever hope to succeed at it. If it demanded a "powerhouse" ball that practically drove the pins through the back wall, weight lifters and wrestlers would completely dominate the sport.

The little man from Lockport refutes all these ideas, and in an unmistakable manner. But even Brandt has no monopoly on the laurels of the small competitor in bowling. Outstanding performers like Hank Marino, Tony Sparando, Ray Schanen and many others, all of whose deeds are legend, are positive proof that control and consistency breed topnotch performance. In order to acquire control, footwork is most important. The bowler must practice and practice some more to perfect the rhythm of his steps so that he can put his feet in practically the same identical place every time even if he is blindfolded. Now, placing the feet in the same spot time after time cannot be accomplished overnight. Don't expect it to be. Practice your run to the foul line whenever you happen to have a few minutes of spare time. Practice in front of a mirror whenever possible, and practice with all the concentration you possess. Footwork, of course, is timed with the movements of the body and right arm to produce a smooth swing.

The more correct your foot- work and the more smoothly your body and arm move in relation to it, the more effortless and effective will be your swing. Accuracy comes naturally when your delivery slips into this grooved state. You can bowl well and you can bowl for long periods of time without tiring, for you are repeating the same process until it becomes almost second nature. I am not going to try to tell you that control comes easily. It takes time everything good takes time.

But meanwhile, you will experience the real thrill that comes with the knowledge that you are succeeding at a sport that is very difficult to master. Some bowlers, however, are never satisfied. They get a poor hit, get eight or nine pins on it, and still complain that they should have had a strike. Even though splits are a part of the game and everyone can figure on one or more over a period of three games, these players are loud in their wails every time they encounter one. Which brings to mind a statement attributed to one of these perpetual crybabies? This particular fellow, a star bowler by the way, was hitting strikes one after another until he had finally tallied twelve in a row for a perfect 300 game, the dream of every bowler. One of the first to congratulate him was the proud and beaming proprietor, who was astounded to hear the star reply, "Say, you'd better get that alley in better shape. I almost got tapped on that seventh strike!"

Many star bowlers are made because of their controlling power and their consistency level. So you may now know why it is important to be in control of your body as well as your mind and consistently perform well to be a champion.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.1-scuba-diving-gear.com/ , http://www.budgetholidaymadeeasy.info/ , http://www.budgetholidaymadeez.info/
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