There's much to learn to keep your confidence high. Practice and experience will pay dividends later.
It's about having fun while reaching for your goals.
Mental toughness isn't an accident or magic. You must commit to improving your game. If you're late for class, you can catch up to still receive your diploma.
Recipe for confidence By Alan Brizee © May 2020
"What you do today matters! Once you're willing to improve your game today, can you learn what's needed to become better!"
There are 27 ingredients or factors in my recipe for confidence. This recipe is for athletes who are bowlers, but maybe not so obviously, could be used for any sport. I’ll try to equate it for any athlete, but some explanations and examples will be bowling related. This will complement my book, The Path to Excellence, 31 Days to the Zone. My book goes into some details, but of the 345 factors that affect the mental game, there could be a book for each factor. This recipe is to help that bought my book and understand certain factors better as I’ve went into more detail in this article. Champions in any sport are confident athletes that are competitive. Confidence isn’t just for professionals. Amateurs can possess confidence while lacking a few skills to compete at the professional level. Experience plays a huge part as each event you participate in is another session to learn more about yourself and your sport. Experience is normally what separates pros from amateurs. The varied conditions, pressure and knowledge are the three biggest factors for the separation. Those of you that golf, know that the pros play on a course that is normally in great shape. Very few bad lies in the fairway, enough sand in the bunkers and the greens are faster. Very few city courses compare to what the pros compete on. The pro tennis players compete on grass, concrete and clay with each condition affecting the tennis ball a little different. I’ve played on concrete, so playing on grass and clay would be just a guess as what adjustment would be needed.
These 27 are listed in order with the next factor building on the total combination of all the previous factors. Once you have experienced and applied the entire group of 27 factors, your confidence level should have been raised at least one level. So your mission, should you chose to accept it, will be to read each factor and analyze how it can make your game better. You’ll not only be doing homework, but for a change of pace for those of you that know me, you’ll be tested at the end, and you will get a passing grade J. The passing grade isn’t for knowing me, it’s for putting up with me for your thirst to become a better athlete.
Since this will be like writing another book, I will be uploading each section after each section is complete so you can apply it to your game, and not be over whelmed with all 27 factors at once. If you email me at email@example.com, I can let you know when my next section is complete and ready to give others more info on the mental game. Also I may have examples that will be for right handers, and left handers will have to reverse for them.
All this knowledge on being confident is what the pros experience each and every week when competing. Some of this very helpful info, you’ll already know about. There may be a few things you’ll learn and use after reading the entire article. Some parts will include tips to help you think about certain factors, so when you need to roll another great shot, you’ll step up and deliver it. After all is said and done, and when you’re asked if you thought it was possible, you’ll respond by saying, “I’ve worked on my game and anything is possible. If the door to victory isn’t locked, this was my time to open the door and walk through.” No matter how high your confidence is, positive events won’t happen every time. But with confidence, you’ll throw another great shot as you’ve done so many times in the past. With confidence, you’ll won’t hesitate handling any situation. You’ll already know if any adjustments are needed, you’ll step up with in a relaxed state of mind, knowing that around 90% of these situations will be positive experiences. More positive experiences make it more fun and the reason to continue on your adventure for more great accomplishments. If you truly love your sport, you’ll want to improve to get the most enjoyment from competing in leagues as well as tournaments.
Confidence can’t be bought in a bottle. It won’t happen overnight and it will take some work. Some of the work will cost money and of course, work takes time. Each factor has some detail as to why it’s needed to help your confidence. The more knowledgeable you are about these factors, the easier it is to excel. Once the excellence bug bites you, your confidence level should be fairly high. After getting the info on all these factors, your confidence level should be in the clouds J. And it should be at this time where success starts to happen. I’ve have said over one thousand times, success makes it fun. Success from your confidence, should help in cashing more weeks in brackets, when bowling league. Reality check. If you have had some success and your confidence level is at 2/3rds full because your scores are lower than normal, I’ll tell you where to get back some of your confidence later in this article. And yes, there are several other ways to top off your confidence starting with the first ingredient.
After you finish all 27 sections, you can print up your diploma, to show you endured my writing skills and and finished a mental game class.
Class 1. Practice. (May 13, 2020) Practice and more practice. Note: Practice may not be free. There may be a fee to practice and you may be watching your spending. So this section will include limited practice time for those with limited finances and time. I realize time may be a factor because of jobs or family, but if you’re reading this, you must want to improve and therefore will make an hour work per week. This first ingredient is often overlooked when it comes to your confidence level. Those of you who say, “The lanes are so easy that I don’t need practice”, are fooling yourself. Unless you’re shooting 700 every week, then the lanes aren’t as easy as you think they are. The main reason for practice is to continue to throw great shots during competition. Great shots are those that kick out that 10 pin, trip pins to carry and of course, flush in the pocket to put all ten in the pit. For those that are younger and just took up a sport, practice is needed for muscle memory. Most will say it takes 1000 repetitions for your body to tell your brain that this is the way you need to throw it. If you just took a lesson, you’ll need more practice sessions for those 1000 repetitions to make them feel natural. With 50 swings each session, that’s comes to 20 practice sessions till you will be able to fully rely on a swing change. And of course, that’s only if it’s the new swing and not converting back to the old swing. And the older you are, the more your body is going to reject your new swing as you already performed your old swing many thousands times in the past.
There are two types of practice, practice sessions and competition practice. Competition practice are those ten minutes, just before the actual match starts. Can you really practice too much? Of course you can and some do practice until they get too tired to repeat good shots. Some practice throwing eight games when six games were enough. The last two games of being tired could be telling your brain, that this is how you want to throw it, which won’t help you to throw great shots. Then during competition, you’re wondering why you’re not throwing the ball well. A few things with that question of too much practice is your age, your physical ability, your skill level and most important is what do you want to accomplish?
Since I’m not a certified physical coach, I can only explain what you may be experiencing, but I may not be able to watch and tell you how to correct your problem. This is where a qualified coach can help you personally, comes in. They have gone to school and know what to look for and offer instruction to correct problems. Even if you’re still able to score once in a while and have knowledge of the game, don’t ever think that coaches won’t help. Even the pros see a coach from time to time. My last bowling lesson was maybe the best lesson I’ve ever had. I went to Phoenix to see Andrew Cain. He showed me why my ball wasn’t getting to the pocket like it did several months ago. It was just a simple fix. None of the other five coaches that helped me in the past showed me the footwork I needed to make great shots. I shot close to 700, three of my next four time before the centers closed for the coronavirus in March 2020. In golf, I learned the proper swing path which help me hit the ball straighter and hit more fairways. Another coach taught me the best putting stroke to almost eliminate three putts. For your mental to be functioning at a high level, your physical game and timing needs to functioning so continued quality shots will happen without being forced. So if those practice sessions aren’t paying dividends, it may be time to seek a coach that will get your game back on the track. Most coaches charge around $50 to $60 an hour but do vary. For the $50 you just spent, you could get actually win what you spent over the next two weeks of league by getting in two brackets a week and winning three of them! For me to spend $50 these three times boosted my confidence level up to the next level. Now that I’m a super senior, I love showing the “kids” that I can still out score them at times! Never be too proud to seek out quality help.
There are many reasons to practice. Would you believe there are at least 12 reasons and I have done all 12 at one time in my 50 year career. 1. Work on new skills. 2. Work on your timing. 3. Work to increase your comfort level. 4. Increase stamina level for ten game tournament. 5. Rehab your body after an injury. 6. Try new or different equipment. 7. Practice what a coach just taught. 8. Practice on a sport shot. 9. Loosen your arm swing during off weeks. 10. You’re on vacation and don’t want to lose your touch. 11. Work on your weaknesses. 12. Work on your rhythm.
1. New skills include hand positions, cupped wrist, position of the ball at the start, height of the back swing or two handed release for bowlers. In golf, it could be working with wedges with different back swings and different strokes for putting. Tennis could be trying the lob shot and moving to the net for a drop shot. 2. There may be times your mechanics are slightly off and you have early or late timing. 3. Adjustments are required for every sport and not all adjustments will feel natural. If you’re not comfortable making a certain adjustment in practice, how are you going to be comfortable during competition? Even bowling on a typical house shot, adjustments are required with today’s equipment. You’ll need to email me if you want a bowling related article on how to carry 10 pins for right handers and how to pick up the 10 should you leave it. Adjustments will come down to your experience and your style. I have helped many teammates throw six baggers due to having them make a small adjustment. 4. For those that that are throwing more games in a tournament in a single day, you should at least throw six games a week before the event if you’re going to bowl six games in doubles and singles. And you should throw at least four to five games for one day each week, the previous two weeks before. You don’t want to feel tired when you’re competing. For those bowling in ten game tournaments, you should bowl at least eight games a couple of times a few weeks before. If you tired after the eight games three weeks before, then a week before, you should bowl ten games, to get your legs ready for the grind of ten games. You should also be walking a couple of miles at least twice a week, as a steady base makes for a steady head. For those who golf and may have to walk the course, you should be used to walking at least four miles twice a week. A city course I walked was around five miles. 5. If you’re just recovering from an injury, start slow as your muscles you use haven’t been used in a while. No matter what your age is, over doing practice because you want to get back to the competition, may create a situation for another injury. At first, it’s about getting your body ready for your sport, it’s not about peak performance. Once you wake up the next morning and your muscles aren’t sore, then you can practice with a purpose to achieve competition ready. 6. In bowling, your equipment can and will determine how well you score. It may seem like a new ball is answer as after all, it is new and has no oil soaked in it. Depending on the age of existing equipment, taking the balls to the pro shop and have the oil baked out of it can bring it almost back to out of the box condition. But you need to find out how your equipment matches up to the lane conditions and to find out the variance between each ball for when changing equipment is necessary during competition. Trying to find out how much more that brand new ball hooks over an oil soaked ball may mislead you after baking your old equipment. I have my balls baked about every two to three months depending on its use or after it loses some of its hook potential. 7. With taking a lesson about three months ago, the quick fix to my footwork still needed practice before bowling league. I wasn’t worried about how well I was throwing it, just wanted the footwork to feel natural. I had two practice sessions before the coronavirus and now haven’t thrown a ball for over two months. Both leagues ended early and now summer is almost here. I hear only one team on a pair of lanes will make it different. Until the vaccine, this may be the norm. I also tweaked my knee on a walk, so I rehabbing my knee now which is better with six weeks of lockdown. I’ll still to practice at some point and have a tournament coming up. At least the coach gave me a reason to continue to have fun once bowling leagues start back up. 8. For those of you who bowl a sport shot league, sport shot tournaments, PBA regionals or nationals, practicing on a sport shot will show parts of your game that need more attention. Your focus and concentration is tested to the max. For some, your comfort level will also be put to the test. Sport shots require more accuracy and the ability to open up the lanes. Also the lanes transition different than the typical house shot. One center put the national shot on a pair of lanes and I practiced a couple times on both the team and doubles conditions. I asked someone who was bowling nationals if he was going to practice. His answer was the practice lanes are never like the actual tournament conditions. Well, the team condition was different, but the shot for doubles and singles was identical. I shot 1246 in doubles and singles. I took advantage of the practice by wining quite a bit of money in brackets, doubling my entry fees. I told him he missed the opportunity to find out how to play the lanes. Even if the shot will be different, you’re bowling on a condition that will test your mental game. Opportunities lost could mean less prize fund winnings. At least this year, I took advantage of the practice. 9. There may times where your league will take a week off for holidays of maybe for a tournament. You’ve been bowling good and don’t want to lose that sweet roll with your morning coffee. Your league could even take a couple of weeks off for New Year’s Day, so get some practice in to remain sharp. 10.Another reason why you might miss the competition is taking a vacation. Of course, it maybe a place where taking equipment isn’t the ideal situation and the time gone would also be factored in. Of course, they have house balls and you could at least bring your bowling shoes. If you’re not going to bowl, at least walk several days to keep your legs in shape. 11. How many right handers out there have trouble picking up your 10 pins? One center in Germany when I was stationed there, had a way to set up just the 10 pin for practice. With the reverse block because of the way the lanes were oiled, bowling was a learning experience. Another way to practice at corner pins is to shoot at them on the first ball and then you should have the pocket for throwing at a strike on the second shot. I average around one open per game and of the three opens in a series, one is usually due to a split. There are times when I shoot at spares, but my main objective for practice is to throw strikes. The score will show many missed spares if I’m working on my strike shot. 12. Finally we get to the last and biggest reason why I practice. Bowling is a game of rhythm and repeating great shots. You can’t practice rhythm and throw at pins for your spare. Years ago before automatic scorers, I would throw six games of just throwing at full racks. My goal was to throw 12 in a row. The more strings of strikes you throw in practice, the better chance you’ll do it in league. Even today, several pairs on both sides of someone shooting a 300, will stop to watch them. If you have done it several times in practice, it will definite be easier when everyone stops to watch you for your chance at a 300 game. I have three 300’s in practice of the 15 total I have shot. When I shot them in practice, kids gathered to watch me and I didn’t want to disappoint the kids. The 300 games in practice were more fun because some would say, I was just showing off. But that is what practice is for, to gain confidence in your ability to duplicate great shots without pressure. If you have done it once, it is by far easier to repeat the feat a second time. Two of my last 300s, I just stepped on the approach and threw three great shots. The other was where I felt a little pressure on the 11th shot as lanes changed slightly and I tripped the 10 out. For you golfers, putting is more about rhythm. Phil Michelson will practice putting six foot from the cup from eight different locations. After he makes eight in a row, he moves to 12 feet from the cup and continues. I have done this many times and gets you into a one putt mind set.
Making practice a more mental game activity will make you a more complete athlete. Depending on what you’re working on, you should still have a goal in mind. My goal for bowling is usually a six bagger. One practice session before league to loosen up, I started with a split and then threw my six bagger. Now my goal was to go off the sheet with eleven in a row. That’s what I did to shoot 268. I shot over 700 that night and be over 60 years of age and be able to shoot 700’s, is satisfying. It was also satisfying to win both my brackets leave to go back home with more money after paying the league fee. If I’m not quite loosened up, I’ll leave some spares I may not leave in league. Since my reason to practice is to loosen up, I’ll throw at the spares. I’ll leave the 10 pin every once in a while. Sometimes even with tight muscles, I’ll still pick up that 10 pin. Practice can seem like work at times, so make practice more like a game, to keep it fun. If it’s fun, you’re more likely to continue it. Well I covered a lot on the physical practice for a sport, and maybe more that you thought possible, but I think I got my point across as to why you should practice no matter your skill level and the available time you should take to make your sport even more fun by going after your goals. Practicing your physical game will also help practice your mental game as adjustments are normally needed. I will cover practicing your mental game later in the article.
Each segment will have a test for you to take to find out how knowledgeable you are that I just covered and to keep your brain involved for each factor. I hope that you learned one thing from what I wrote and can use during your next practice session.
Now, answer these two questions: A: What is the biggest reason to practice?
B: Why is practice so important to your confidence?
Your answers may be slightly different from mine. For my answers, click here.
Class 2. Know your equipment. (May 21, 2020) “Let your ball speak for you.” (Some can talk like they know everything, but talk is cheap. Showing you have game in competition will speak volumes.)
This is more bowling and golf related than other sports, but in almost every sport, a certain type of shoe is needed. In some sports, shoes may be the only equipment you’ll need. Bowling and golf are the two biggest equipment required sports, you can participate in. Bowling balls, wrist supports and gloves gives you options. Golf clubs and balls are designed for both the pros and the weekend golfer. If your sport uses any equipment including shoes, then you also should prepare, as any equipment can actually be obsolete due to the technology advances in most sport. Where you store your equipment could be another disaster waiting to happen. Inspecting your equipment after use and the day before your match should be one of your routines as well. If you lend your equipment to anyone, there are a few things to consider as well. Or if you borrow someone else’s equipment, you have a few responsibilities. There are also some equipment that has interchangeable parts, which can break or not work at the worst possible time. Who said that all the technical advances are good things? Updating equipment is a must from time to time, but is it time? Depending on your sport, your equipment could make you money using it. In certain sports, your equipment may make you money in the future by way of a contract. So checking and taking care of equipment should be a weekly occurrence.
The shoes you compete in can and will break down over time. If you compete outdoors and your shoes got wet from the rain, you’ll need to check them more often. Even shoes that are water resistant may get a little stiff after getting wet. Where you store your shoes between competitions could make a huge difference. Where you live can also play a part, in how often you’ll need to buy a new pair. Golf shoes no longer requires metal spikes, but the plastic spikes can break and the spikes need replacing after several months. Checking your golf spikes should be done after you play a round and clean the soles. It’s easier to remove grass and dirt before it hardens. NOTE: I had a pair of spike less golf shoes, and was in my Saturday club when I went to hit a ball on a hill. I slipped and hit my ball 50 yards instead of the 150 I needed to make the green. It was the last round in those shoes. Even with the slightly wet grass from the morning rain, it was the first time I ever slipped in spike less shoes. Spiked shoes for football, baseball and other field events have different size and type of spikes, with some for wet conditions. Basketball shoes even has variety, with high tops to support your ankles. Bowling shoes have interchangeable heels and soles for the different and varies type of approaches. Bowling shoes may also need a steel brush if they slide more than normal. Also use your “diapers” when you go to the restroom or change to your street shoes to avoid water. Always check your shoes before you throw any shot as you still might have stepped somewhere that changed your sliding foot. I also have an alignment arrow on my sliding shoe. You may not think much about this, but I’m checking where my shoe is even in practice because of ball movement. This also helps to know I have taken off my “diaper”, so I won’t injure myself.
Branding can play a part of what manufacturer makes your shoes. Heels have air and gel pockets for comfort while walking or running. Don’t forget about inserts for comfort and for the seniors, arch supports if needed. And of course, branding and other innovations come with a higher price tag. The question is, is it worth the extra money? I bought a pair of top name walking shoes and after just three times wearing them, they were digging into my ankle bone and weren’t comfortable. They were at least on sale, but it was a waste of $120 that should have lasted a year. Anything for sports today seems to come with a higher price tag. One reason for this is the top athletes making 10 million dollars a season. And just this year, the coronavirus has closed some manufacturers because of social distancing which could push prices up. The price for shoes will depend on the type of athlete you are and how often you participate in your sport. Even bowling shoes have interchangeable soles and heals with some shoes having interchangeable dots. I have shoes with dots and I have noticed that I won’t have to change them from wood to synthetic approaches as much, as I did when I had pads for the entire sole. A few of the dots are plastic and help when synthetic approaches are sticky. If you bowl on different approaches or more than a couple of tournaments a season, interchangeable soles and heels are an investment you’ll be happy with. The extra cost will pay off the first time you’ll change the pads due to sticky approaches.
If you play a team sport, you’ll still be responsible for purchasing your own shoe. I don’t think the equipment manager checks your shoes, but you need to inspect your shoes for cracks and broken spikes. Even new shoes gave out as we’ve seen in college basketball and his run for playing for a national championship team never happened. Now that he wasn’t able to finish the season, this impacted his team, and did his shoes show signs of stress before the game started and wasn’t noticed? You wouldn’t expect new shoes to be defective, but it obviously happened. Crazy things happen in sports, but getting an injury after not checking your shoes, shouldn’t be on the day’s top 10 highlights. Just when you think you pretty much seen everything, you haven’t.
For those of you that don’t need equipment, like in playing basketball or soccer, you could go to the next factor. You still could finish this section, as if you also play other sports even if it’s just for fun, you may learn something if you change sports, or if you want to keep the fun going in certain sports. Keeping your equipment in top shape, helps you achieve more goals and helps you to perform at your best.
Since equipment will wear out after many uses, inspection and cleaning should happen between uses. Don’t get the attitude of doing it later, as your busy schedule might keep you from actually doing it. Make the time, as your equipment costs money and the price tags keep going up. Obviously, any equipment will need to be replaced or updated depending on your sport, but inspection and cleaning will make it last longer and less out of the pocket expenses are a good thing. A piece of equipment may be your favorite, until you forgot to check on condition and find out that you can’t use it for whatever reason. Successful athletes prepare for competition and this includes making sure every piece of equipment is clean and ready for your next match or practice session. Don’t ever think, it’s just a practice session. Practice is to help simulate actual conditions and your equipment needs to be in top shape as adjustments usually happen. Of course, conditions may be slightly different during practice, but using equipment that isn’t clean can give you a false sense of security. It may have worked in practice, but now you need to depend on it during competition and it’s a different story because conditions are different.
If you’re a bowler, cleaning your bowling balls after each time you use it will save on a lot of headaches. The reaction will depend on how clean the surface of the ball is and having the ball baked to drain the excess oil will help to keep it reacting like new. I’m seeing a few more bowlers clean their equipment after league than I’ve seen in past seasons. With balls costing as much as $200, why wouldn’t you take care of them? The bowlers that forget to take care of their equipment that can help them shoot higher scores, might as well use a house ball when they bowl. An oil soaked ball may seem to only hook a board more than a plastic house ball. I know that baking balls cost money, but the result can be huge. The hook potential between an oil soaked ball and a baked ball that has no oil in its pours, can be close to three boards. The potential for more hook creates a few more opportunities to carry strikes. If you’re not carrying as many strikes, your ball may have lost the power to carry strikes with the oil it has absorbed, since being new or from baking it. Leaving 10 pins for right handers also may indicate that your ball needs cleaning or baking. Baking should happen every two to three months depending on the number of games. Don’t put your ball in the oven or microwave oven to bake it. Because of the chemicals that make up the ball and oil is still somewhat flammable, you could be creating a fire. The “oven” at the pro shop spins the ball around so it doesn’t get any hotspots and the oil drips into a cloth pad. The save a little money, you could drop your ball into hot water in a five gallon bucket with soap, but even this may not get all the oil out. If you use hot water, just make sure your ball is dry before putting it back in your bag. Also resurfacing may be needed between draining the oil and also should be done after baking. Not only does the surface soak up some oil on every shot, but the surface will become smoother and lose some hook potential. Bowling is definitely a more intensive equipment cleaning sport with reactive balls. Taking care of your equipment in bowling should be a routine on a monthly basis. Every month, get your ball resurfaced and every other month, getting the oil baked out. You shouldn’t have to buy a new ball every season unless you compete in a lot of tournaments or bowl in PBA regionals. With a three ball arsenal, changing at least one ball every other season should happen. If you sell a ball for about half price to someone, than go ahead and change out equipment more often. Those new balls out of the box always seems to work the best. Some will swear by it and spend the extra money.
Since I writing about bowling and crazy things happen from time to time. I’ve told you about storing your equipment. Well bowling balls need more consistent temperatures, or the ball can crack and a $200 ball is now garbage. The same goes for the shoes as they can crack from the cold weather. Only leave them in your car if you absolutely have to. I will always take them to the room when I’m traveling even if it will be just overnight. You don’t want to have to buy equipment for a stupid mistake. I also have my drill sheet with me should I ever need to drill a new ball up for whatever reason. If you fly to the tournament, have all your equipment you’re taking, tournament ready. You should put your shoes in your carryon bag so they can’t get lost by the airlines, as well as your log book, tape, interchangeable soles and other accessories. You should also have extra finger grips and glue in case one flies out of the ball and needs to be replaced. Also check and clean your grips so if they need to be replaced, they can be done before you leave on your trip. I have heard of bowlers who had their ball bag lost by the airline and had to drill up two balls for the tournament. The airlines may lose your luggage and my suggestion is to have your slacks, one bowling shirt and underwear in you carryon as well. Also remember that the airlines now charge for extra bags and have bag size restrictions. You can find out this info on their website. The more prepared you are when traveling, the less stress after getting to the tournament city you’ll have. Make sure you can also put the cost of a new ball on one of your credit cards. If you bowl many tournaments that are two hours away, you could have a check list for everything you need. There have been a couple of trips, where I forgot something, but they didn’t cost much to replace. The only thing about leaving something behind is the time to leave your hotel room to buy it. Time could be an issue depending on your squad time and when you arrived in the city. I hope I covered enough in this paragraph. It’s about being prepared and being aware. I have included a ckecklist for you.
Check list for traveling (1 week)
Some items may not be needed.
This checklist is for flying and can be used for car travel.
There may be other personal items you'll need.
Carry on bag:
___ 1 Bowling shirt ___ Extra shirt
___ Slacks ___ Underwear
___ Laptop/ Ipad w/ charging cord ___ Bowling shoes & accessories
___ Personal items (Toothbrush, etc.) ___ Meds
___ Golf glove and 6 golf balls ___ GPS for rental car
___ Books/ magazines ___ Snacks for flying
___ Sirius XM radio
Folder in carry on bag:
___ Copy of flight schedule ___ List of side tournaments/ golf courses
___ Copy of car rental ___ List of places of interest
___ Copy of hotel reservations ___ Copy of important phone numbers
___ Copy of squad times ___ maps (for major streets & highways)
___ Daily itinerary ___ Addresses of restaurants
___ $80 cash ___ Credit card(s)/ debit card
___ Health cards ___ Auto emergency card
Phone w/ charging cord
Bowling bag w/ balls
___ 1 bowling shirt ___ Slacks
___ Extra pants ___ 6 shirts
___ 7 socks ___ 7 underwear
___ Bag for dirty clothes ___ Hat
___ Gym shoes & or dress shoes ___ Gym shorts
Water/ food (Car travel)
“Persistence with confidence are attributes of champions. These two keys unlock many doors.” (It's about never quitting on your team or yourself.)
Too many moving parts is also something waiting to go wrong. Do I have your attention now? Well actually one interchangeable part may not be as great as you may think. Bowling balls can get interchangeable thumb slugs for when the thumb shrinks or swells from the humidity. Bowling is a “feel” sport. It has to feel good for you to throw great shots. Some pros are always taping their ball or removing tape to get that right feel. There are about four different systems out there and I tried three of them. These systems will not be offered by every pro shop and require extra work to install them. The technician that installs any of these systems needs to understand how to install them correctly. They are great when they work.
The problem is: A. The first system used a hex key that made the thumb hole smaller. The driller needed to drill the thumb hole at least one size larger in case you thumb swelled. Then while bowling league one summer, the plastic half round attached to the arm that opens and closes the hole came off. I had to change balls and have it fixed before the following week. About three weeks later, it happened again. The technician changed the adjustable insert and I didn’t have any more problems the rest of the summer. Then about four weeks into winter league, it gave out again. I had him take out the system and just drill a thumb hole. I would use tape if my thumb shrunk. B. The second system had slugs that screwed into an insert. You would have at least three sizes for your thumb. I was living in Las Vegas when I saw this system advertised. Well the system has no moving parts so I thought I would give it a try in a new ball I had them drill up. Just before leaving Vegas to come back to Tucson, I threw a shot in a have a ball league and after throwing the ball, the slug was still on my thumb. A bowling pin somehow hit the slug and destroyed the insert that holds the slug in place. I would have thought that the ball would have felt differently, but it didn’t. I was bowling well with this ball so I put a piece of tape between the insert and slug to finish the league. The only good thing about it happening at this time was there was no money on the line when it broke. I had the pro shop change the insert before moving and this was the only problem with this system. C. This last system I tried is because the pro shop after moving didn’t have the system the Vegas pro shop installed. This system had nubs that lock into place after turning the thumb slug. On one ball, the insert was glued 180 degrees different and the ball felt different because of it. The pro shop changed the insert at no cost to me. I had the pro shop make two of the same size thumbs that I usually use so I wouldn’t have to change inserts for those times that I would throw a different ball on each lane. Plastic parts will wear down and may break after constant changing for each lane. This would also apply if I had a spare ball, which I have never needed, but I wanted you to be aware of it. The Senior Masters of 2012 is where the first time this system broke. I made the finals and in my first match, the ball kind of grabbed my thumb and the slug falls out after I released it and it ends up on the lane. I had to have someone retrieve my slug. I couldn’t believe it, the insert broke and I had to throw another ball at the spare until I made a temporary fix. I used tape like in the other system, except this time, it didn’t quite hold the slug in place and I couldn’t get out of the ball. So I threw the other ball which didn’t match the condition and would lose a close match because of these two frames. I put in another piece of tape and dropped it on the floor to make sure it wouldn’t come out again. Losing the first match in a double elimination tournament makes for a long day and a lot more bowling. At least it happened in the finals after guaranteed to make some money back. The very next year in the Senior Masters, would you believe at about the same time, in the first match again, the insert broke in a different ball because of a bowling pin hitting it. When I picked up the ball, I could tell the insert got smashed as the slug was pushed in from being hit. Two years in a row in one of the biggest tournaments for seniors and the same results, not getting to the third round. I took the system out of all my balls and decided that I would just use tape if needed.
And now for the rest of the story. The very next year being 2014, the Senior Masters tournament was at Camino Seco where I bowled on Wednesday nights. I can put past problems behind me as no interchangeable parts this year. A lot of good things were happing at the right time. Well I’m just going to tell you that I won the Senior Masters after qualifying second for the finals. When you’re throwing the ball great at the start of the season, know what adjustments work better at that center and eliminated the chance of parts breaking, you can focus better on your goal. To read about persistence and overcoming adversity, the article is in the mental section of my website.
Going to the gym is always a good thing. Keeping in shape and burning calories so you can still compete when in your 70’s will help you stay younger longer. Well losing even 15 pounds as I have just done, can have an impact on your sport. I never really thought it would be a factor in bowling. Since I took some weight off, my thumb actually shrunk. Since I use ovals for my thumb, it was really a quick fix. Drill out the old oval and insert the next size smaller. The pro shop might have to make an oval, so you’ll have to contact them, so they will have one ready when you show up to change it out. It took me a while to use ovals, but they have a better feel and I hardly ever need tape. Maybe getting older is a good thing.
And now for the golfers out there. Cleaning clubs and your grips should be done after every time you use it in your club’s weekly or monthly tournament or when playing 18 for practice. Make sure the grooves are clean as this helps with the spin as it lands on the green. There is a tool to sharpen the edge of the grooves to keep the reaction off the club face the same. Depending on how often you play, sharpening the grooves can be done once a month or every eight rounds. Sharpening wedges and your 9 iron should be enough unless you’re a scratch golfer. Also don’t forget to replace your grips every other year. I go to The Golf Stop in Tucson on Broadway near Wilmot. They have done a great job and replaced a shaft for my sand wedge that broke while tossing it to finish the hole as I would using my putter. They can also help you fit your clubs to help you score better. My first book covered club fitting. You’ll also be checking your golf bag as straps will break after repeated use and the loop the strap attaches to can break after time. It happened to me and used eye bolts to fix it. Another thing I’ve seen is that some club members will use balls they found in the desert. The problem with that is that the plastic cover will get dry rotted sitting in the sun for several days or maybe weeks. I remember my dad dropping golf balls he found to see how much they bounce, 50 years ago. The balls that didn’t bounce that high were thrown in the garbage. Since I’m not a scratch golfer, I won’t spend top dollar golf balls, but I will still buy quality golf balls. I will sometimes buy golf balls at Costco because they have 24 Callaway balls for about the same price of Pro v1’s. I will admit that I still have to learn even after winning the club championship, but I don’t feel that the extra expense of the best-selling golf ball will automatically make me a scratch golfer. When my game does improve to that level, I’ll spend the money because the balls are designed to get more spin after they’re hit. But at 65 and a few injuries, I’d have to practice at least 20 hours a week to reach the next level. I’m now on a fixed income so just getting out and play twice a week keeps golf fun and less like work.
I have played a little tennis and had a tennis racket 40 years ago. It was more for exercise than playing in tournaments. The pros put different tensions on their rackets and bring at least 10 rackets with them in case the strings break. I never had a string break and I never changed the strings. It lasted the two or so years when I did play, but I also wasn’t that good playing just one a week for a couple of hours and never took lessons to perfect my serve. I won some matches, but it was mainly to have fun on the court, no matter the result.
I think I covered most of the sports that you need your own equipment to compete, except for darts. But this section is about getting a routine to check and clean your equipment, so you can depend on it during your competitions. Since you’ll be the one using it, it’s up to you. Warning: Damaged and even new equipment can cause injury. Take care of your equipment so you should have one less thing to worry about. Showing up early for your match, will give you a little time to quickly inspect it, so any adjustments or replacements can be made. You don’t want to waste practice time because some adjustments needed to be done. I hope some of the tips I gave in this section, are something that will help you in the future or something you just learned. If you have another tip, I’ll be happy to add it and give you the credit. Contact Alan.
Now, answer these two questions: A: What are the two main reasons to check your shoes? B: Why is your checklist important to help build your confidence?
For my answers, click here.
Class #3. Remain positive (July 5, 2020)
“A positive attitude and persistence keeps champions coming back for more.” (Champions that have a positive attitude will put less pressure on them.)
Positive is having the mindset, confident by Webster’s definition. A positive attitude should bring more positive results if you have a good mental game. Just thinking that good things will happen is just the beginning. You’ll have to back up your positive approach, by using your brain to make quality decisions during competition, for less pressure during critical situations to see more positive results. Athletes that experience competition and life in a positive way live longer according to one study that was done. After all, being positive usually means more fun, and having fun reduces stress.
There have been several times on TV where an athlete finally gets their chance to win their first tournament. It didn’t matter who their opponents would be because they were having the best time of their life. They were just so happy to make the final show after a solid performance to qualify them to get to action packed finals. Noting bothered them, the fans or the cameras. They couldn’t stop smiling that day. Some results happen for a reason. You know the old saying, that every dog has their day. What day is it? It’s not about hump day or any other day of the week, but how you start the day and use that start to continue into competition. It’s also how you think and know what must happen for a more favorable outcome to your match. Wanting to win is just a small step in the right direction, knowing you can win is a different story.
While writing this class, I happened to get some help online as to a routine to use every day. Obviously, it’s really about creating an illusion for your brain for more positive results. After winning a second time, your brain will recall the thrill of victories and the pressure for the moment will be extremely reduced. It can be hard to tell yourself to relax and let your solid mental game determine who will win. After losing some close matches, it maybe next to impossible to remain positive. But with determination and persistence, outcomes in the future may be different. You can’t think about the conclusion until after the match is over. Every competition is determined by each play or shot and is the only way prepare for any match. Winning is the result of how prepared you were and the correct adjustments made during the battle. I’ll give you a routine which I never used until a few weeks ago. It should make difference in the way you think about future matches.
Your attitude can determine how successful you’ll be, not just in sports, but also life. Choices need to be made almost every day and the decisions can affect other activities and other people you interact with. If you compete in sports, I’m sure you want a chance to win. So if you want to win and enjoy your sport, your attitude should match your desire to win, and that means having a positive attitude. You may be surprised at how having a more positive approach to sports and life can transform events in both. It’s not about expecting good things to come your way, it’s about using opportunities that unfold in front of you knowing that good things can happen and then focus to make those good things a reality.
I will tell you a short story of my positive attitude 40 years ago. I was in the parking lot getting my balls from my van to go bowl a tournament. A friend saw me and asked me how it was going. I told him, “I’m shooting 700 today.” I had lately been bowling pretty good and couldn’t believe I actually said this to him. You know the old story of opening your month and inserting your foot. This should tell you how focused I was at shooting some good scores. He replied back to me, “I hope you do.” I just shot my first 700 ever, about a month ago. My average at the time was in the 180’s. What made me think I could should shoot 140 pins over my average for three games? This is about a dream and making it happen because of having fun and not pressuring myself on what I still have to shoot. The following nine reasons are evidence that having a positive attitude can be a magnet for positive outcomes.
1. A positive attitude. (Notice, I listed this first!) 2. My confidence was at a high level since shooting my first 700 a month ago. 3. I wanted to accomplish my new goal of shooting two 700’s in a season. 4.I was bowling doubles with a partner who liked to have a good time while bowling. 5. My dedication to excellence as I practiced two days before and threw the ball well for five games. 6. I was going to be challenged, as I was on the same pair of two Hall of Fame bowlers and didn’t want to embarrass myself. I didn’t have many opportunities to bowl with some of the best bowlers in Tucson because it was just the start of adult bowling. 7. I just received my 700 patch for my first ever and I wanted to win another patch because the first patch was lonely. The reward of an award was what made bowling a great sport. 8. I dreamed I rolled a 300 game about three nights before the tournament. (My first 300 would come ten years later.) This is actually visualization when you’re sleeping and it can also be done when you’re awake to strengthen your mental game. And 9. I was having so much fun throwing more strikes than I usually throw, that I didn’t worry so much about my score. Well needless to say, I did shoot 704 with games of 248, 236 and 220. I then shot 598 for singles. My friend wasn’t surprised as he knew I was getting better and more consistent with scoring. Having fun and staying positive almost eliminates stress and pressure. This was the start of having a solid mental game, throwing some great scores and winning leagues as well as tournaments in my career. If you believe it will happen, you’re 2/3rds of the way there to make it happen.
Better awareness, comprehension, analysis and wisdom happens being positive. A positive attitude isn’t a routine where you do it only when competing. It’s something that should happen every day and even take it to work. There may be a few of you who have fabricate it because of what life has dealt you. There are plenty of ways to jump start a potential awesome day and several things to keep that positive attitude going strong all day long. Your mission if you decide to take it, is to see how many of the following 21 ideas that you do every day because you take pride in what you do in life and that transfers to positive outcomes during competition. I have done all 21 at some place in time, but because of events that occur from time to time, I won’t accomplish them every single day. For those of you that want to start a positive routine, my suggestion is start slow with maybe 5 items and add another every month. Take 30 minutes to dedicate yourself to being positive and you should see a big difference, or maybe a huge difference. Your positive attitude will reduce much stress in your life and could be a game changer for your health as well.
1. Get your wonderful day off to a good (or maybe a great) start.
A. Start your day a little earlier. Get up when your alarm goes off, don’t hit the snooze button and drag yourself out of bed and be rushed getting ready. This can carry over into competition as your decision making may also be rushed. You want your day to start off with good habits. Do your daily exercises before breakfast to help keep you physically ready and will help prepare for any match that day. It will also help you to handle most situations the day has waiting for you. Pump up the volume! I listen to Phlash Phelps phunny pharm on Sirius XM 60’s on 6 playing the pheel good music along with Plash 54 where are you phor the city of the day and his many hall oph phames, museums, oddities and places to visit phor side trips across the U.S.A., as he has been to all 50 states. If you’re not in your 60’s, then listen to your favorite group or music that you enjoy. It will make the day go by quicker, so you can enjoy life better.
B. Think about something positive and smile. You should feel happy to be alive and wanting to make today, a great day. If you’re not looking forward for today, you opponent will be and use it to their advantage. A smile does so many good things, like eliminating stress and possibly the flu. It will help you be grateful for the day and looking forward to any situation that occurs.
C. Get your bed made. This little thing will help you get more big things right and give you satisfaction of pride. Once this first task is accomplished, it will be easier to tackle other tasks for the day. At the end of the day no matter what happened during the day, when you’re ready for bed, this will remind you that you at least completed one task for the day and that tomorrow can be better.
D. Brush your teeth. It’s supposed to be healthier to do it as soon as you wake up. You’ll remove plaque buildup, the fluoride will guard you against sugars and acids from breakfast, it help you with fresh breath, scraping tongue for better tasting food, it will boost immunity and promote healthier teeth. Rinse with mouthwash after breakfast.
E. Have a stretching routine. It will loosen your muscles after sleeping and increase blood flow. Just five minutes will connect mind and body for exercise and the day ahead.
F. A three minute meditation. It starts the day improving your focus, reducing stress and improve emotional stability. Sit in comfortable position without distractions. Close eyes and focus on breathing. Inhale for four counts, hold for four, and exhale for eight.
G. Make sure you have a healthy breakfast.You’ll be less hungry during the day, have more energy and better focus and concentration. Not having breakfast can lead to being overweight and can cause physical problems. This morning routine should help during competition.
2. Don’t worry, be happy!! This attitude will influence things going on around you. Being happy isn’t about a situation that will make you happy. Be happy that you’re able to enjoy situations, no matter the results, because not everyone can. Just the thrill to compete can reduce stress and pressure.
3. Say cheese! Smiling will give athletes an instant attitude amplification and releases the feel good hormones. It should also bring a memory of a happy moment that should reduce the pressure of the match. Note: Smiles can be contagious and can show that you’re not feeling the pressure. Never underestimate a smile when an athlete is having fun!
4. Enjoy all small accomplishments. This is celebrating your short term goals. Your long term goals and other big achievements won’t happen that often. It’s your time for jubilation. Reward yourself so the event will have more significance. Write down these accomplishments in your journal as a reminder of all the good things that happened.
5. Take responsibilities for your actions. After a night of not sleeping well or getting in late due to a party you went to, could set you back for the day as you may run out of gas later. Realize that stuff happens from the decisions you make and you have to deal with it. Remaining positive will help you get through the day better and remind you why routines are important, especially on game days.
6. Optimize your brain. Upload anything positive into your brain. Do some puzzles, watch movies that overcome barriers and read books about motivation or have positive messages. Keeping your brain active with activities will help you in your 60’s.
7. Tweak your attitude! Life and sports aren’t easy and are learning experiences. Any challenging situation and event should teach you something. Don’t ever ask, “What happened?” Instead use this time to grow from the results and how to become a better athlete for future matches. Sports can be painful as bad breaks happen. You can’t get down on yourself because your opponent got a lucky break to win. A positive attitude can deal with whatever sports has in store for you.
8. Make some lemonade. If life throws a few lemons at you, relax, you can make your drink. A positive athlete decides how they feel, even when they’re behind in the match. A positive athlete also knows that to compete in sports, work will be required and the work will reap the rewards sometime in the future.
9. Thinking to change the results. Positive thoughts are a must or your game is a bust. They create your positive attitude. Thinking on all the good situations in past matches will keep you focused to accomplish your goals while reducing pressure during the match.
10. Passionate purposed people. Those athletes that truly love their sport will find ways to keep up their enthusiasm going even when things aren’t going as planned. Just being able to compete due to what life has dealt them is a positive. Sports will drain energy from athletes when winning keeps slipping through your fingers. A passionate athlete will know that minor setbacks happen and are just an experience to learn from.
11. Open your eyes and your mind. You must be able to welcome every situation your sport will give you. Every situation is another chance to excel and learn from. The more situations you’re exposed to, will add to your overall experience level and show you parts of your game that need a little more work. Keeping an open mind will let you learn from setbacks and will keep your head in the game.
12. No cheese please! Certain situations will happen and athletes won’t be able to change them. Accept it for what it is, another time to learn. Nobody including your teammates, wants to hear constant whining about anything. They want to be able to focus on the match to help their team win. Having solutions to any problem can change the attitudes of your teammates and create a bond among team members. Think through the situation and present a couple of solutions to move forward.
13. Words of wisdom. Your self-talk can psych you up in all situations and raise your determination. Your self-talk can also help you refocus when distractions occur. It will be your refocusing that will get you back to the zone. It is these positive words that will get your brain to process your thoughts into believing you’ll have more favorable results.
14. Pair up with positive people. One athlete who only cares about themselves or who is constantly negative can bring down a team. Those that know that a positive attitude can overcome adversity, can and will come back to win games that nobody gave them a chance to win. They didn’t give up and kept fighting till the very end of the match. A positive person knows that if it happened once, it can and most likely will happen many more times down the road. Their attitude will bond with you and make competing with them, the most enjoyable moment of the week.
15. Take time for home movies. Between events, look at the goals you set. To accomplish more positive situations, visualize one of your goals and enact it so it feels like you’re actually competing. If you do this several times, during the actual event, you’ll feel like you’ve done before and feel less pressure. The more natural the situation is, the better you’ll be able to perform. Visualize seeing your target and hitting it. Visualize your teammates and crowd after the shot or play. The realism of these “movies” can make reality a possibility.
A positive attitude will keep you from tilt. Those of you that play poker know what tilt is. It’s when you just lost what you that was the nuts, but the river drowned your boat for that four of a kind. Tilt in bowling is similar if your opponent is carrying everything. High hits, through the nose, Brooklyns and tomahawks. Sometimes sports doesn’t seem to be fair, but if you’re prepared for it, you’ll get through it and over it before the next event. Being positive will keep your head in the game longer and will help you make quality decisions that can determine your claim for the championship.
I hope that after reading this class, you’ve learned at least one thing that will help you in the future. The best way to improve your game, is to make a small change, so you brain and body are in sync. Then make another small change until you’re a mental monster. As you keep improving, the fun in your sport will also grow. Like I said before, having fun and staying positive should make great things happen for you.
The one good thing while growing up, was not being pressured into performing to a particular level by my parents. I was able to just have fun and learned from experience. Having fun and keeping a positive attitude is why I was able to steadily improve my game. The accident to my fingertips was probably the reason I was never pressured into being a top athlete earlier in my life. My mom helped in many ways and told me to never quit. She also congratulated me on my accomplishments and didn’t realize my full potential. My dad was a workaholic who never seem to care about my accomplishments.
Now, answer these two questions: A: Why does listening to Phlash Phelps on Sirius XM 60’s on 6 a great thing? B: What makes your positive attitude so great to have?
For my answers, click here.
Next class, #4 goals.
The rings on the right are awards for some great scores. One of these could await you once your confidence level is up in the mountains. Commitment to excellence takes you places you may have thought were only a dream. A little extra work can turn that dream into reality.
Class 4: Goals for winning the gold. By Alan Brizee Sep. 17, 2020
“Achieving a career goal will always be remembered.” When I finally shot 800 in bowling after being close at least ten times, I told myself, “I finally did it”. When I finished the 2014 Senior Masters with a perfect game and 803 for the last three games to win the title, I said to myself, “All the work I did, finally paid off”. I have had a few other career goals that I have accomplished, but these two stand out for my 50 years of competing. I remember these two like they were yesterday. I’ll detail these two goals later and why they happened.
A goal is an end that one strives to attain, according to Webster. It is just one part of your “DREAM” of what you want from your sport. Dare to believe, dare to hope and dare to “DREAM”. Magic can happen for those who DARE TO “DREAM”. You’ll block your “DREAM” when you allow your fear of failure to grow bigger than your faith of your dream becoming a reality. You’ve heard this expression too many times, dream big. That sounds great at first, but it isn’t a goal, it’s really a vision for your future. Who didn’t believe at one point in their life that they could be the number one athlete in their sport? Now that’s dreaming big! The next question is, can you actually accomplish it? Ask all the number ones and they will give different answers. Some will feel they got lucky to be number one. Some will tell you they were hoping for it while many will say, “They knew they would be number one, because of all the work and dedication they put into their game.” Results from dreaming big usually won’t happen overnight or even the next month. Sports are about dreaming of the possibilities and having reliable routines. Below is a routine to “DREAM” to help you achieve more of your goals.
Wake up! It’s not quite time to “DREAM” yet!! No day “DREAM”ing in class or you might miss something important! Surprise! Flash alert!! I’ve added graphics for the first time, so you’ll be less likely to fall asleep. This flowchart will help you understand how to advance your sports career through setting goals.
I know some athletes need pictures to reinforce what I’m trying to help them with to keep them interested. I’m in no way a graphic designer, so you’ll have to excuse the way the four graphics I used looks. I also have two excel sheets to determine if your goal is a “DREAM” goal and if setbacks are keeping you from your “DREAM” goal. The “DREAM” goal flowchart you just witnessed is really for those either just starting their career or want to accomplish more from their sport. You may not need to use all of the graphics I’ve included in class, they are giving athletes a structure for setting and accomplishing their goals. Staying motivated with a few setbacks can be discouraging, and is the main reason that dedicated champions take the extra time to think about where they’re headed and what they want from the sport they love. Taking the time to dream, establish a couple of goals, write them down and post them are why some champions keep winning.
Accomplishing goals are the quickest way to gain more confidence while in competition. The five components of a “D.R.E.A.M.” Goal will help you make realistic career goals that any athlete should be able to grab several times in their career. Once you’ve reached one goal no matter how it was done or how long it took, you’re next career goal could happen next month. Your new goal should be significantly higher than the one you just reached and touched. Some say, its gets easier, once you’ve already done it. Depending on each athlete and their age, you never assume it will ever happen again. You should know what happens when you assume! There are a lot of athletes with just one title and think the next one is just around the corner. To do anything the second time may not require as much work as the first, but you’ll still have to put some work to see the duplicating effect. As you continue to “DREAM”, you’ll keep your head high no matter how many obstacles or setbacks occur. Sports happen and then you come back to earth to live your life. Your experiences from dreaming and competing, will be events for learning and building your confidence so you can start consistently winning. Goals help your “DREAM” become real, because the more real they are, the better chance they will happen. They motivate you to do your best at all times and enhance your career once you obtained a goal. Goals are steps to keep you focused going in the right direction and help you reach out farther for your next goal. You may never be satisfied with everything you wanted to accomplish until you retire.
Setting and accomplishing goals are just steps you take for your overall career “DREAM”. I already have an article on goals on the website and hope you read it. It doesn’t go into a lot of detail and I’ll expand on the few ideas that I wrote about. Every athlete usually has some type of goal and this class will discuss what types of goals should be set, to experience the thrill of reaching a goal, so you can “DREAM” of your next goal. Some of you that have taken business classes, may have heard of “S.M.A.R.T.” goals. Well, that is all fine and dandy when companies need to look towards the future to help stay in business, but athletes need to “DREAM”. They “DREAM” about what will motivate them as their career continues. Once athletes are motivated, their dedication to excel in sports should follow. I have come up with my own “D.R.E.A.M.” goal outline for this class and the future of sports. It’s really a “SMART” goal spelt differently and is in a better order for athletes.
Goal setting can be as unique as the athlete. Your goals must have a purpose and are connected to that ugly word, work. If you don’t do some work, how can you achieve any goal? How do you get to that pot of gold if your career goal is not in our universe? How much is your career goal worth going after it? Will your career goal change your life? How many of your season goals will you reach this season? What will happen when your career goal seems like you’ll never reach it? Will you still remain positive after getting close several times to your career or season goal? How would you respond to these questions? There are several types of goals and depending on the goal, athletes will have a variety of answers. The only wrong answer would be, that you’re not setting goals and going after them. And in today’s busy world, time and money will always be weighed against whatever goal you set. And of course there are team goals that will be discussed later, but the first part will be only individual goals and goal setting. As you seen, I’ve included for your educational experience and enjoyment, how to “D.R.E.A.M.” and also included motivation for each letter.
Anyone can say they have a goal. The hard part is putting in the work to MAKE IT HAPPEN! Depending on your sport, finances may determine how realistic any goal is. Technology, equipment and practice can cost some big bucks. For bowling, if you’re using a ball that is over five years old, it could produce some high scores. But the latest and greatest balls will react better and carry better but costs are around $200. I get at least one ball every other season as this is the best way to still stay competitive. For several athletes, parents and or getting patrons (sponsors) to buy shares for percentages will keep some athletes competing so they aren’t stressed out about finances. Goals are about MAKING YOUR DREAMS HAPPEN! Some goals are broad in description and are not action plans. For any goal to become reality, objectives are action plans to taking steps to achieve your goals. Objectives are specific and measureable and are more like a daily goal. Objectives are your purpose to pursue your dream and the direction you need to take to get there. It may take several objectives just to get close to your goal. This is why you don’t have ten goals for the season, unless you achieved nine goals before the season is over. Of course after all the planning to make your goal happen, you’ll start over when you reach that goal and plan out objectives for your next goal. If your goal for the season is so high that you never get close, it’s time to punt and bring your original goal down a little bit. There will be times in the future where obstacles and setbacks pop up out of nowhere. Sports can be cruel to athletes at times and surviving the downs can only make you stronger. You should be able to reach at least one goal each season, so that you have the feeling of accomplishing something and be able to celebrate the occasion. Your new season could start with something you accomplished last season, maybe your first time ever, like scoring 20 points in basketball. The reason to duplicate a season goal the following season is so it becomes more of a routine. If you did something once, you could and maybe should be able to do many more times. Remember that a season goal isn’t a life altering career goal. These celebrations of your personal goals will add to your confidence level to make future goals easier to obtain. Just because you reached your goal during a match and have a big smile, don’t celebrate too much if your team is still in a close match. You still need to keep your head in the game to help your team. Even for individual competition, save any partying until after competition is complete. I’ve seen athletes get so wrapped up thinking they won the match to lose it on the last shot of the match. GIVE 100% until it is mathematically over as you may still learn something after trying something that is just a little bit different. If the match is over before the final shot, you should experiment with an adjustment that could win a title in the future. Just being satisfied you won, won’t get you in a Hall of Fame. Champions find a way to win and making adjustments to gain more knowledge even after the match has been won, are reasons why they continue to win.
Intensify your intent to complete the mission and reach your goal. Strengthen, increase, purpose, mission, dream, persistence, confidence, determination, plan and ambition. These are the words that Webster has for goals. You see that confidence is listed as it will increase your chances of any goal happening. Confidence is really the biggest factor when champions or winning is involved. These are the same words when it comes to sports and competing. These words mean nothing if you don’t dedicate yourself to improve. Only you can determine what you want from sports and you’ll live your life based on what your decisions are. Seeking goals is about the inner drive of an athlete. How badly do you really want to win? What if I keep coming in second or third place? I keep making the finals but fall apart when the finals start. Obviously these last three are by someone who hasn’t won. The question of the universe is: What does it take to win? Why do some seem to win a lot more often? Persistence and determination are what come up for those still waiting to win. Persistence is continuing to battle in search of a win while determination shows a NEVER QUIT attitude. Why does all this relate to you and your goals? It’s about experience and being able to dream, so your dream becomes real. Experience trumps almost all other factors in sports and the street that leads to confidence. There are few shortcuts for experience. Knowledge and decision making during defeats makes you more competent. Defeats should add fuel to the fire to compete at a higher level. Defeats for some are minor setbacks and learning experiences. Even if you chocked, you should have learned something. Remember, it’s not always the final shot or play that decided the match. You emotions and thinking can be your worst enemy. Making goals and putting in the work will eliminate many outside influences, which keep some athletes from accomplishing their goals. Daily objectives should involve positive motivation and seeing goals where you’ll notice them every day and especially before your match. If you’re committed to your goal, the more your mind sees it, the better chance of it happening during competition. Post motivation in your car, so you’ll see it just before practice.
I’ll tell you that no matter what your sport is, how long you been competing, what your age is, why you compete, how good you are, how good your competition is, even if turning pro isn’t in your future, you should have at least two individual goals. One of them being a career goal and the other being a season goal. Goals are something to write down and refer to from time to time. A goal should inspire you to do your best, but it can self-defeating if you let your goals eat at you because you’re not reaching them. Goals are really motivation for better performance. Once you get that taste for better performance at the next level, you’ll want to continue to the next level. Your goals should be pushing you to climb out of the level you’re at, to go after bigger and better things for your sport.
I just thought I’d remind you that every athlete has their very own experience. What happened as a kid playing games could determine how successful you’ll be later in life. Injuries, operations, illnesses and yes just living, will definitely play a part of your success. Success will be different for each athlete as goals they shoot for will be determined on their experience and ability. Coaches and teachers can make a huge difference. Your parents can help your career due to their emotional support. The friends you hang with along with teammates can give you advice that is priceless, even more so if it works for you. Your family and significant other will add to the equation each and every week. Where you work, and of course school, can put stress on you and effect your performance. How you prepare and when you show up are a few factors on your performance. Your physical and mental ability, experience and confidence will determine what goals you set. And now for the deep down ugly part for some, how you handled that loss, the bad scoring night, coming back from an injury or how others treated you after competition. All this shows why the mental game is a must or your game is a bust! Every idea here shows why confidence is really second to none. There will be several times when it seems that sports isn’t fair. Bad breaks keep happening or you had a brain fart and lost the match to compound the problem. So you fell down. It’s that time to get up and start over to change the result. My saying is, don’t get mad, get even. Because, once you’re mad, you can’t think straight. You need to put it behind you so you can focus on what has to change. You can make it happen because you set your sights on a few goals and now have a stronger mental game after reading some of what’s on my website and what you’ve experienced in past competition. Since I’m a bowler and golfer, I’ll be using these two sports for most examples to setting and achieving your goals. The following shows your vision for your career and the steps to get started. After answering the questions, use the D.R.E.A.M. Goal planning template to have an accurate goal based on your experience.
The D.R.E.A.M. Goal Pyramid that you just saw is your start to creating goals for your career in sports. Start at the top and determine where you see yourself in five years. Why five years you might ask? Depending on your sport, you may only compete for 15 years. Breaking your sports career up into segments, will keep you looking forward and more focused on your goals to climb up to where you want to be five years down the road. Look at career goals as assessments or a measurement of your achievements to where you feel you should be in your career. Your vision will change as your experience continues with every match and positive outcomes happen. Five seasons or years can seem like an eternity. After the five years, you’ll reevaluate where you are and determine your next five years. Your vision will give competing insight, for the purpose of becoming a better athlete and raise your level of confidence. Based on your vision, you’ll set a career and season goal to keep you aimed for the future. Now you see three objectives which are basically monthly goals or training to achieve your season’s goal. It is possible to that you reached your career goal and would have to redo your vision statement. After your vision and goals are written down, to complete your objectives which will help accomplish your goals, planning needs to be done. Your four plans could be 1. Practice, 2. Prepare, 3. Exercise and 4. Coaching. 1. An extra practice session to work on some skills. 2. Prepare by watching video, reading a mental book or making sure you show up early for every match. 3. Exercise by getting to the gym so you’re physically ready to compete. 4. Get mental game coaching or coaching to refine your physical game to keep you ready for when the battle begins. I used these as examples and of course, you may have different needs to accomplish your goals and seek the high road of your vision.
I hope I haven’t put you to sleep by all the prep work of why you set goals. I was showing why some athletes may set goals that are totally unrealistic and others may never set goals because of their busy schedule. Setting some time to work on the sport you love, should be a no-brainer. One hour every week could show some great results. It comes down to how badly you want to perform better every time out. Writing down goals takes the least amount of time. Post them where you’ll see them before heading to your event. You could also post them in your car so they will be reminders when you arrived to compete for your match. I’ve even wrote down my trigger word as I will change it from time to time. Even a once a week league bowler, should have at least two goals, one for the season and the other for their career. Having too many goals can dilute any achievement. Having multiple scores isn’t really having a serious goal. A bowler who has a high score of 660 and setting goals for the season at 675, 700 and 750, is just trying to shoot anything better than 660. For them, setting a goal for 750 which is 90 pins over their highest series is somewhat unrealistic for the season because they have never had a 700, but it probably has been done by someone. This goal is more of a career goal because of their highest series and experience. They should set their season goal for 675, and then after shooting above that, make their next goal higher depending on their new high score. Achieving goals after putting in the work should make you career more rewarding and want to see how you matchup against better competition. Some athletes will just show up and give their best every time, but an athlete who taken the time to write down their goals shows motivation to improve, wants to challenge themselves against better competitors, won’t let a few obstacles or setbacks get in their way and will probably learn more from their experience of competing.
So before you start writing down 5 goals for your career and season and think that you set your goals, you’re forgetting the purpose of goal setting. Goals are made to focus on your individual vision and keep your aim on track, instead of a hit and miss method for goals. Go back to the goal pyramid and start looking where you could be in at least five years into the future. Your vision isn’t a goal, it’s just a realization of what you should accomplish to get there. Let’s say you’re in High School and want to become a professional athlete. Your vision should include being a top athlete in college to be a draft pick. Your vision should take you to the next level, not several levels. Visions also need to be realistic and in line with your experience. Having a vision of being a G.O.A.T. when still in High School is not seeing 20/20. Dreams are made where some athletes will chase them even if they know, that their dream may never materialize. Remember that a G.O.A.T. didn’t get named that for what they did in High School or even college, it’s what they accomplished as a pro and usually has several championship seasons. Your vision should change as you step up to more difficult challenges and accomplish more each and every season. Review your vision after every season to see if you’re still headed in the right direction and getting closer to where you think you should be. Your vision will also change due to any injury as rehab needs to happen before your 100% again. There is also a possibility that being 100% healthy may never happen depending on your age and the severity of your injury. Other than the injury to my fingers at age five, my injuries over my lifetime have been minor. But even minor injuries can disrupt your vision for the future or at least postpone part of a season till you’re able to get back to the enjoyment of competition. Should you have an injury and need to refocus on your vision for the future, once you’re back competing, your goal for the season may also have to be adjusted. Sports is about adjustments, both physical and mental. Accept any adjustment, so you can start to refocus on what needs to be accomplished and work on obtaining your goals.
A.Now break time’s over and it’s time to do a little work. Determine your career goal by answering the questions on the “DREAM” Goal pyramid for goals, objectives and plans based on you five year vision. After writing down your answers, see if your “D.R.E.A.M.” Goal is realistic by using the “DREAM” Goal Planning template and analyze the five components. Each component asks questions and have statements so your goal is clear on what needs to happen. It will help you develop as an athlete and what you expect from yourself so all future challenges will be welcomed and you won’t be afraid to fail. Most goals occur due to proper planning and being motivated for the direction you’re headed. The physical training you put in will be work, but setting goals, planning so you can achieve them and accomplishing your goal is the fun part. Depending on your sport, accomplishments may include prize money if you did well, so why would wouldn’t you want to make goals to go after? Athletes who have put in more work than you, maybe the athletes you meet in competition.
After using the template to plan your career goal, you’ll now know what to expect when using it for your season’s goal. The five components, D, R, E, A and M, creates a more realistic chance of any goal to happen. Your final goal may change after your five component evaluation. If you had a “DREAM” Goal, that’s great. It’s probably not your first rodeo, and it shouldn’t be your last. What you wrote for your career, could be what’s holding you back. I’ll explain. If you wrote that you wanted to win the Triple Crown, but you haven’t even won a major yet, you set a complex goal. These are several goals combined into one. It can’t be a “DREAM” Goal because it won’t pass the relevant analysis. Goals should be stepping stones for improvement and not two or three goals wrapped in one. Your career goal should first be, to win a major title. Than after winning a major, your next career goal is to win another major or a different major. After you have won two different majors, then set your sights on the Triple Crown, but only then. Your career goal should be something that isn’t so easy that you set and reached your goal three or four times. Of course, there will be athletes that have career seasons, and this is the exception.
I already told you about two of my bowling career goals to start this class. Starting out, I had quite a few 700’s as you can see in my photo collection on the website. They are the patches at the top of the wall between several plaques. After having a 799 in 1994 and missing the ultimate score of 800, I didn’t have any goals at that time. The reason was that I loved the sport of bowling, and having fun competing. I had several games above 280 with a high game for league being 289. I did have a perfect 300 in pot games against John Cook and Dewey Yoho who are both in the Tucson and Arizona State Hall of Fames. I started to shoot several 750 or better sets after that 799. In 1996, I shot my highest score in league with a 297. Some of you realize that my highest scores, 297 and 799 are one pin short of receiving an honor award from A.B.C. It was my 297 that I felt I could be shooting even better. In 1992, I had the first 10 strikes twice in the same night. Dewey who was bowling in the league, walked over to me and said, “Don’t worry, you’ll shoot your 300.” I’m now shooting some great scores in competition without a sanctioned 300 or 800, I realized that at times small mistakes and not being fully focused kept me from an honor score and the ring that goes with it. So in the year 1997, I went to the book store to try to understand what I needed to do better. The Inner Game of Tennis by Galloway which was first published in 1982 was on a shelf with other sports books. Pirozzolo & Pate wrote the Mental Game Companion for Golf in 1996 and a cassette tape in 1997 of Bruce Jenner’s Finding the Champion Within make up three of the first mental game guidance in my library. These three books, that were not about bowling, taught me to relax while still having fun bowling. People say that certain things happen for a reason and being close so many times, was my reason to seek advice and get to the next level. It was these three books that got me started in setting goals. It was less than two years later when I recorded my first sanctioned 300. For 3 and 1/3 year, I held the unpublished A. B.C. record for the highest sanctioned scores without an honor score ring. It took some mental game information to unlock my potential to get even better and achieve greater accomplishments. But I still felt that an 800 series should have been checked off my to do list. It was 2003 and I found out about a mental game coach. “The name of the game is focus” and performance enhancement caught my eye in the brochure. Beth Haggerty, my mental coach asked me if I kept a journal when I competed. At that time, I wasn’t and she said I should start again and grade each shot based on how focused I was for the shot.
Would you believe within two weeks later after just my first session, I started league shooting 268 and 269? My final game started with a spare, strike and another spare. For my career goal of 800 to materialize, I need to throw the next eight strikes to make it happen. Eight in a row is something I don’t do every month. Well, I threw the next five and it was in the 9th frame that I told myself, I need a turkey. I punched out for a 270 and a stair step 268, 269 and 270 for 807. The ultimate award as A.B.C. puts it, stands as my only sanctioned 800 for the first three games. I finally achieved success as most would say who bowl. It took some time and without getting help for my mental game, it may never have happened. I didn’t give up and my drive to accomplish even better things is why my “DREAM” of 800 came into existence. The expression of how badly you want it, is the reason why I accomplished it. It is one reason for writing my book and these lessons. I want more athletes like me to have fun competing in the sport they love. Not knowing about the mental game and not setting a goal until my 297, I felt kept me from accomplishing more, but I’m satisfied with my achievements.
An 800 series can be a lifetime achievement for many bowlers and some good bowlers may not ever get there. My career goal to shoot 800 didn’t happen until I was 48 years old. But experience, hard work both physically and mentally and my persistence to keep improving finally became a reality. The 800, being a career goal is for league play as you receive a ring for the accomplishment. My other career goal is for bowling tournaments and winning a title, the Tucson City Masters. In 2010, due to my age of being 55, I was now able to just bowl against other seniors in the Tucson City Senior Masters. In my fifth Senior Masters, I finally won the Senior Masters trophy. My mom taught me right with never giving up and she was able to see me accomplish a perfect 300 game with the title just before she passed away. Her inspiration and being there to see me achieve a lifelong goal was the greatest experience of my life. I still believe things happen for a reason, and my positive attitude and her being there to watch made it very special.
Anytime you accomplished something special, you need to treat yourself so it feels special and so that you’ll want to duplicate this experience again. With all that is going on now with COVID-19, being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being able to compete may be a thing of the past. As you get closer to my 65 years old, injuries can keep you from repeating remembrances just ten years ago. Just because you set a career goal and certain situations happen, changing your goal could be your best decision of the season. Your sport should give you better direction after schedule changes and the amount of practice you can participate in safely. Because of several concerns later in life, you’ll have to make tough choices about how to handle each situation that comes along. Others that make decisions best for them may alter your decision. And of course, your decision may affect other athletes making their choice about the situation. You should always feel that your decision is best for your career and life. If all your friends were jumping off a bridge into a river or lake, that that mean you should as well? Your decision will be based on whatever the situation dictates.
I’ve covered individual career goals and included two of my greatest days competing. I’ve told that you can still do good things without setting goals. I’ve also told that you can do great things once you’re more dedicated because of the goals you’re going after. The power your mind has in trying to become better is no match to someone who just thinks they can be better. The graphics I’ve used in this lesson are really for those thinking of turning pro, and for those not interested in turning pro, goals should still happen.
B.Now it’s time to plan your work with your season goals. You’ll do the same goal setting as you did for your career goal with the paragraph starting with A. The season goal you decide on should help you get closer to your career goal. The season goal you start with the first week of the season should require a little work, but should happen before the season ends. You need to reach two season goals so you feel the season had meaning for your career. A season where no goals happened and you may start questioning your vision for your career. If you’re not having fun, are you sure you want to continue? If you question your ability to win, can winning even happen? Doubt is why quitters quit before being successful. If you’re still reading my lesson, you’re not a quitter and you want improve you game. Only after you know which direction you’re headed in, can you begin your destination. Make sure you have the auto pilot to enjoy the adventure and learn from all experiences! Motivation is all around us if we just look and I’m trying to break up some of your short assignments to keep you interested so great accomplishments can happen.
C. But each and every week, whether you are scheduled for one or two matches for the week, you should have an objective written in your journal or log book. Objectives are really weekly goals to help you focus for your match and the situation surrounding the event, so your season and career goals will be closer to reaching. One of my objectives for bowling will be to stay clean for the night and is harder these days because of the equipment. I’ll usually have only one or two opens, and then after an open, change my goal to have a five bagger. Determining your objective is something you have done about every month. Celebrating after you’ve completed your objective is up to you. Since most objectives should be obtained, shooting just over your average isn’t a reason to celebrate. I’ll change my objective every week and write it in my log book so it will be fresh and energizing. At times, I’ll wait until practice is over to determine my objective for that night. With injuries and other activities, I never know how well physically I’ll be ready each day. Knees and shoulders that pop from time to time can and will have an impact on performance. TIME OUT.
Here’s the reason I go to Dr. “Steve” Watson who gave testimonial for my book. He is a chiropractor who keeps me in battle ready shape, but because of age, the wrong twist or turn and pain may reoccur right before a match. If I was a pro athlete with a contract, I’d see him twice a week. But since I’m retired, I can only afford every other week. Those pinched nerves can lead to serious problems if you don’t get adjustments on a timely schedule. I want to warn you that chiropractors have different ways to do the same job. Ever since my accident and totaled my van, I have been seeing them almost every month. My job as a carpenter and electrician required twisting, turning and pulling. I was thrown on my back in the service 30 years ago. As you get older, arthritis sets in and limits some mobility. Even if you have never been involved in a bad accident, you should seek a chiropractor who can help you feel years younger by their adjustments. I have seen seven since my accident and three that were very good retired. Three of them had a different way with tables that had no adjustment spring sections. Dr. Steve was the first chiropractor to adjust my feet as I developed plantus and got arch supports. It might take two or three chiropractors until you find a good one to keep you competition ready. They help with migraines and other occasional pain. If you can compete in any sport or you’re in your 60’s, you really want to be pain free. Talk to friends who go to chiropractors as most know the advantages of getting help from them. They are a big help for golf with twisting to hit the ball. TIME IN.
As you try to decide your goal for the upcoming session, go grab a glass of water and drink it. Athletes being dehydrated lead to muscle cramps even during the day, and isn’t the ideal situation when performing. If you’re tired, coffee may not be the best drink as it promotes dehydration, as does sodas loaded with sugar. To go after your goals, you need to watch your health closer so you can perform at your best. Also as you age, your health will be more important. Your balance may determine how much longer you compete. I’ve seen some retire where it came too late. An accident at work and now sports will be now be watching instead of competing and enjoying the thrills of victory. Staying active as you grow old isn’t a goal. It’s a requirement for a healthy athlete who enjoys sports. Even if you’re past 50, you should have goals to shoot for. There isn’t anything better than being competitive after retirement as it helps you not only keep your weight down, but also makes you feel alive. Having goals will psyche you up and keeps your head in the match for a better chance of winning. Don’t make your weekly goal so easy that you achieve it every week. Reaching you career or season’s goal can actually make you let up and lose the game or the match. When bowling 35 weeks in a league, completing your objective six times is what you should be aiming at. That’s one for every six weeks or month and a half. Your objectives for any match, is to get you more committed when you perform. If on a team, you can change up your individual objectives with team goals for the match. If your team needs a win to make the playoffs, then you should put more weight into what is best for the team, rather than your own agenda. After all, you still have your individual season and career goals you can accomplish and go after if the situation occurs. But don’t let any opportunity slip away because you were so focused on your individual goal that you didn’t let your team help win the match. Another player may have had a better opportunity to score, but in the heat of the battle, you didn’t realize how open they were. Experience plays a part of goals and where you are headed. Ask 100 amateur athletes of their goals and you’ll get 100 different answers. Some of them will not be turning pro and just want to compete with other good amateurs. Most seniors just want to have fun and have a shot to win the championship. When I won the club championship in golf, my final round objective was making nine fairways out of 14 to have the best shot at the greens on a windy and cold day in December. I had a four stroke lead after the two rounds used. Because I completed my objective, I had just two double bogeys and achieved my goal to win the club championship by one stroke. Determining goals keep you focused and make it fun when you reach one.
Well it’s up to you now as you plan your work to work your plan and achieve great things from your sport. With the coronavirus, one goal accomplished for this upcoming season would be huge. But sports will have bad bounces and the breaks will not go your way every time. The following worksheet is overcome obstacles and setbacks to help you understand the corrections to get back on the road headed for your destination. It can also be used when you didn’t reach your original season goal when the season started. To keep your “DREAM” alive, reassess where you are half way through the season. No matter what happens, you have less than 12 months to start a fresh new season full of opportunities if no major incidents happen.
For those of you who golf, are you pro bound? What, you say? The one part of my game that is closest to being a pro is putting. Of course, we don’t normally don’t have razor fast greens and amateurs like myself, are happier to use the flat stick than to chip it to the dance floor. So, us amateurs most of the time, are putting from farther distances away from the cup. Laura Beahring, a PGA coach at Sewailo Golf Club taught me the best system for dialing in on distances. After her session for the group lesson, my putting vastly improved. Before, I was around 35 putts per round, one under par. I’m now down to 32 putts a round, four under par. Three strokes under par better, is one reason why I won the Club Championship. I had 31 putts in the final round. Four under par for putting makes for a better day on the course and takes some pressure off on approach shots. There are days that even pros wished they had only 32 putts in their round. My best was 27 putts for nine under par. If only the rest of my game was that good. Since Laura gave me lessons on the short game, my ability to chip in from off the green has also happened more and of course, zero putts for that hole. Every round in the men’s club, for my objective, I decide on the number of putts for the round based on the practice green. I’ll try to be six under putting and usually be off by one stroke. Even though the actual greens may vary slightly, putting requires speed and accuracy. For me, if I can dial in on the speed of the putts, I’ll have a good day on the greens. Lagging putts for amateurs is a usual occurrence as we’re not as close to the pin on most holes. Eliminating three putts is what she taught us and it will happen once in a while. Being 50 feet away are what cause of most my three putts. Another objective for a different week, will be to chip to within four feet of the stick twice in the round. So you can see, I change things up to not only have fun, but to focus on achieving my objective for that round. These objectives I mentioned, are why I was able to bring to bring home the hardware after the final round.
Well I think I gave some of you, more than you wanted going after any “DREAM”. Once you know your destination, there are several ways to get there. All my “DREAM”s happened because of having a positive attitude, tried my best all the time, wrote my dreams down, wrote my objectives in my log book to help focus on what I wanted to accomplish to give my “DREAM”s a chance to happen, enjoyed competing no matter the outcome because I learned from almost every experience, got help with both my physical and mental games (the double whammy for competition), having teammates who enjoyed competing as much as winning and always having as much fun as possible. Doing 360’s and running shots out not only help to keep stress and pressure away, it helps me involved and helps psyches me up. Should I say it again? If you’re not having fun, it may be time to quit. Well too late, I just wanted everyone to know that sports is supposed to be fun and what’s more fun than seeing your “DREAM” come true.
And now, I’ll give you, the rest of the story. As promised, I’ll let you in on the bigger picture, sports where you’ll be a team member. There are no one rule that apply to all sports. Golf is about having the lowest score. Racing and track events is seeing who can complete laps in the fastest time. Bowling, golf, archery and you could throw in darts, has no defense, at least not now. Bowling, golf and tennis, just to name three, are considered individual sports, even though there are doubles and team events. Some field events require the longest distance. Some positions in sports aren’t custom to scoring points, such as a defensive player in football, the goalie in both soccer and hockey and the player holding the broom in curling. Not everyone on a team will have a chance to score. Some players will see limited playing time and therefore less scoring opportunities. Every baseball stadium is different including the first and third base lines. Some sports is about strategy, while others is about matching up to your opponent. Basketball, baseball and tennis are the three biggest sports where players are on both offense and defense. Most team sports have a head coach who determines playing time. And tiddlywinks isn’t a sport, it’s a game. So as far as team goals, there really is only season goals. Most coaches determine where their team should be halfway through the season. Team chemistry plays a huge part in how the team responds to any situation and what the team goal may be. Not always is the team goal going to be to win the championship.
Not always is the best team going to win the championship. The team members and how they contribute to the overall concept of the team will determine how successful the team will be. Individual accomplishments can be diluted because the team is trying to make the playoffs. All players should be focused on the big picture if you compete as a team. In bowling, I’ve seen a lot of teams lose by a few pins when a bowler throws a 300 game. The other team members are more focused on his 300 and somehow forget the game is close and can’t close the door. Depending on your sport, they may pause the game for someone who just reached a goal so the fans can show their appreciation and the player handed the game ball. Any individual career goal could be somewhat passed over if your team lost the championship. More distractions because of the fans, will happen during team situations and you need to prepare for them. When you’re on a new team, you’ll need to understand how you’ll benefit the team and what is expected from you. The team goal may be simple, to make the playoffs or win a specific number of games. You may even sit on the bench more than you ever thought. Going from high school to college will be an adjustment and most will have a handle on the new situation. Adapt and conquer makes athletes stronger and is what makes most sports fun to watch.
Planning to succeed by choosing which goals you’re going after, will help raise your level of confidence after accomplishing several goals. It’s your “DREAM”, now go out there and shoot for it!!
Now, answer these three questions: A: What should you do if halfway through the season when you haven’t attained your individual season goal you made at the start of the season? B:How often should your goals change during your career? C: How often will you use the “DREAM” worksheet during the season?
For my answers, Click here.
NEXT: Class 5 - Executing shots (To repeat great shots)
Pg. 9, NEXT: Mr. 900 9/17/20
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NEXT: Class 10, Confidence 101