Risks By Alan Brizee © July 2, 2014, rev. Mar. 2020
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they can't learn, feel, change, grow, love & live.
Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave, they have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.
After reading this, should we think about taking a risk? This shows that every day, we’re taking risks. All your decisions therefore put you or others at risk. But most decisions are based on facts and normally in the best interest of those involved, which can be effected by the decision. Today, you risk your life just walking on the sidewalk. Do you even think about any risks when you wake up or leave the house? There are probably double the risks today than even 20 years ago. Today, the coronavirus has closed bowling centers and we stay home hoping we don’t get it from that quick trip to the market, just to get food. How many more new risks will we see in the future? You actually risking your life by getting up in the morning. But, if you stay in bed, you risk your health by not doing some exercise. So when you get up, it’s about accepting certain risks.
Even reading, actually comes with risk. It depends on the where, who and why. Where you read it can determine how truthful and factual the story is. Much of what is on the internet is personal opinion and is meant to invoke your thoughts to what they’re writing about. Very little truth and facts. Some stories can actual cause panic for the reader. It’s the same as when the paper first went to press, don’t believe everything you read. You’re even at risk reading this. It can be mind altering or what some would say, brain washing. Yes, sports is a sort of brain washing activity. If you’re not mentally prepared for competition, how can you expect to see consistent positive results? Motivation and inspiration is a form of brain washing. It gets you thinking, what if? It is the what if, that can put you at risk. Trying to do something that no one has done before you, could put your career because of injury or even your life at stake. Is it then, still worth the risk? Who wrote it and what they wrote about, can actually change people’s life. Some people are info crazy and will read almost everything on subjects that they’re interested in. But also beware of where the info came from. Even some emails can’t be taken too seriously. With the scams that happen daily, you must remain on the side of caution for whatever you read. Just because an author’s name is attached, doesn’t mean they actually wrote it. Why they wrote it can be the question of the year. Sometimes it’s to change your way of thinking or to get you on their side of the fence. And if you read anything that I wrote, it is to change your thinking and hopefully prepare you for bigger and better experiences. But I don’t expect everyone to believe that what I have wrote, will help them. I also don’t expect everyone to apply everything I wrote about to their game. Everyone is different. Skill levels, experiences, weekly routines, practice sessions, coaches and goals. What I have wrote about, should help most athletes learn at least something that should help their game. I have tried to include actually experiences, so athletes can more insight as to why it helped my game, and why it just might help their game as well. With everything I have wrote, I feel even pros could learn at least one or two things to incorporate into their game.
Sports is all about risks and showing others you have the ability to compete. Competition and even during practice, athletes risk injuries and even their life. If you enjoy the completion, you’ll won’t think about the risks. But whatever the risk, you should live life like there are no risks. Worrying about any risk, isn’t going to make you a better athlete. It can cloud your judgement and keep you from success. You need to focus on doing the best you can and not on what may happen. This article is to wake you up a little and expose the dark side of sports in a different way. Sports are great when everything is moving forward and you and your team is winning. But the wheels, unfortunately can fall off tonight. It happens all the time in sports. I put that saying on the league’s website for a reason. You’ll never even know, if the season won’t be cancelled because of health concerns, for everyone on the planet. All I’m saying is, go out there and have fun doing the best you can. That’s all I can ask from my teammates. As far as the risks in my sports, I truly enjoy the competition and I’m willing to take the risk.
Failures are learning for success. By Alan Brizee © June 2, 2001, rev. Jul. 2014 & Mar. 2020
Failures are really just speed bumps for success. Analyzing the failures keeps you from repeating them. It is what you do after a failure that shows who you are. You can’t be afraid to fail. Every great athlete in a Hall of Fame has failed at some point in their career. They have just been more successful than others, because of their accomplishments and what they have experienced. It’s up to you to get back up after each fall. If sports were easy, everyone would win. But sports is not just physical as some thought early in their career. Your mental game plays the biggest part for success in any sport. Bowling as well as golf, puts your brain in overload for certain situations. Sports is about victories and failures. You have to accept them both to raise your level of play. No matter what occurs during any situation, you must keep your head in the game for those chances to win. It’s rare when their handed to you. Sports is about learning from different situations and using that experience to achieve your goals.
You have to forget past failures. They’re in the past and you decide what to do next. Some failures may make you look foolish. Remember that’s what sports do when competing in front others. Not all mistakes will turn into failures. You may throw a bad shot and get rewarded with a strike. This is another learning experience. Having a positive attitude will reduce some failures. Waiting for success, can sometime seem like your beating your head against the wall. Success rarely comes the first time around. Intensify during competition, no matter how or who the opponent is. Focus on every shot, this means those 7 seconds before you release the ball. Learn from your mistakes, so you will not repeat them. Put the blame on yourself if it was you, not on the lanes. Understand what happened. Why and how did it happen? Respond to the breakdowns and less than positive results on the lanes, by make good decisions for appropriate adjustments. It’s the sum of many experiences that turn into positive results that will build your confidence. Confidence over periods of time leads to having more successes. And your consistent successes, will help you to relax, throw more quality shots and be able to be in the zone not only more times, but stay there longer. This will help you virtually eliminate all pressure on yourself. After all, a relaxed free motion arm swing that isn’t forced will help you shoot higher scores. But all this starts with your per-shot routine for the shot you’re about to make. Your pre-shot routine is vital for your focus on the shot.
A positive attitude, focus, paying attention to what is happening in the match and the ability to get to the zone can almost eliminate failures. And now for the ugly truth, what do call a failure? The answer will be different depending on the level you compete at. Is second place really a failure? Is cashing, but missing the finals a failure? Is getting back 80% of your weekly fees in league and missing the Roll-Offs by one point a failure? Is a 799 set or a 299 game, a failure? Some of these questions could be that there was no failure. All these questions actually lead to more questions. How many times have you won? How many times out of the last five tournaments have you cash in? Did you team make the Roll-Offs the last two years? Have you ever shot 800 or a 300 in completion? A failure isn’t usually a one day event. One bad day doesn’t equate being a failure in any sport. It only happens over time. Failures are very similar to slumps. Slumps are no good results over a period of four to six weeks. Failures are negative occurrences that lead to a missed opportunity. If you apply what I suggest to minimize failure, you should never be in a slump and have more positive results in the future.
For more positive results, preparation must be taken. This means both your physical and mental games. Preparation may not be all that fun, but success is. And I’m going to say it, even though you may have heard it 100 times before, it may now sink in on this101st time. “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” Practice and what you practice will determine how good you can become. Before the automatic scorers, I’d spend at least an hour just throwing at strikes. I’d press the reset to get a full rack for the next shot. You probably never heard of practicing your confidence. If your longest string is a four bagger in practice, how do you expect to carry all twelve for your first 300 in league or a tournament, when almost everyone in the center is watching during competition? The hardest part is doing it once. It can even be harder the second time. That’s because you have done it once and now know you’re capable of repeating it. But you fail to prepare by rushing the shot hitting light, or slightly lose focus and your ball takes off for a high hit. WELL sports fans, we call them as we see them, and all know that what happened, you chocked. You were so wrapped up in the score you could have shot, that you failed your mission to accomplish the task of your second 300 by shooting a 297 game. To me, this isn’t failure. I’d never consider the first eleven strikes in any game a failure, even if two were Brooklyn strikes. Taken advantage good breaks happen is what all good bowlers will do. What I’m try to show you is that, you can’t always beat yourself up over what I would call a short-coming. Any failure you think happened, isn’t fatal and you should live to compete again.
Keep your mental game in high gear. Don’t let any failures crumble your confidence. Keeping your head in the game is what champions do. Even champions do not win all the time. They became champions because they kept trying after failures and learned from them and used it as motivation to not let it happen the next time.
No matter what has happened the past month, you should accept all challenges, as this is the only way you’ll get better. The outcomes of these challenges, shouldn’t determine your future. On those challenges that didn’t turn out the way we would have liked, remember what did go right as all competitors need to do a post-game analysis. Have you ever heard, there is a champion inside everyone? This tells me that champions are born. This also tells me that working hard to improve your game, you could follow in the footsteps of other champions. Think and act like a champion even during failures so that when that time comes, you’ll respond like a champion and maybe finally be a champion. It is after all is said and done, that your actions will determine your destination and you’ll have to accept what the outcome is. One last thought, I feel that any failure is partly due to lack of focus. You can now face the future, hopefully with a new perspective after reading these couple of pages, eliminate future failures and truly enjoy the sport. And then when you fall in love with bowling, and having the most fun just by competing, you’ll realize that practice will bring possibly more positive results than you’d thought.
And now I bring you back to earth as some of are wondering why I wrote this. Some of you know that I’m a positive attitude person, so writing this, which is negative thinking was hard. But what I seen from a few teammates and bowlers on other teams makes me wonder why they show up every week to bowl. Some hate losing worst that I do. I felt it was time to show sports ugly side and explain why you put it out of your mind and focus on the next match, one frame at a time. I’ve learned that it won’t help to get mad about what already happened. If you get mad, you stop learning and you may learn nothing from the loss. A loss that you thought you won and you start thinking, what if? Well that what if, is just you need to sleep for work the next day. You’re still let it eat at you as you lay down and can’t sleep. Now you go to work tired from lack of sleep because of losing that maybe shouldn’t have happened. You’re now letting losing and failure interfere with work. Work is the reason why you’re able to enjoy this great game. So if you get fired because of lack of sleep, and have to quit the league, was it worth get so wrapped up in it? My answer is no. Forget about it and during the next day, while it’s still fresh in your mind, figure out what could have been done differently for a win. Why it didn’t happen as well as what went right. Was it the team missing three or four single pins? Was it the team had two opens in the 10th frame? Was it that three bowlers missed the pocket and you lost by three pins? Was it due to transition that the team might know happen? OR if you’re honest with yourself, was it that the other team had three more doubles than your team in the 10th, to win by eight pins? Did the team have a good 10th frame and you just simply lost, but want to point your finger, because it makes you feel better? Were all your teammates over their average and you just never bowled good enough for the win? All these situations, I’ve been involved in. Discuss with your teammates how it could have gone better, so they’re learn what mistakes need to be eliminated in the future. You’re not yelling at me are you J? Better not be. I have feelings too. No matter how calm you remain and don’t yell, one or two team members may think you’re directing your dissatisfaction about losing at the. Some time it’s the way you said it, which upsets people.
So who wants to be crowned champion? To get to the top and be champions, failures and negative situations will happen and I can only hope that you learn from them. You don’t want to it to be a weekly thing. So don’t let it get to you, turn a negative into a positive by remembering what went right so the positives will not be a one in a lifetime event. A team’s success is driven by all the members on the team, regardless of their average, to achieve great things working together.
Good luck on your trip to success!!
Pg. 17: 7/3/20
NEXT: Have fun.