Control Your Emotions – “One Frame at a Time”

richard-shockleyHave you ever found yourself in a situation where you are having a really bad game? Maybe you are in the sixth frame and it looks like you are on your way to being 20 or 30 pins behind your average? We have all been there. What about the situation where you’ve made great shots off your hand in the first and third frames and you leave a ringing corner pin and miss it. Then you leave a solid eight or nine pin, and because you are a bit upset, you grab and yank the next one for the big four split.

Now you say to yourself “great, here we go.” To top things off, a player on the other team or your opponent in a singles match just struck with two runaway Brooklyns and you really let that get to you. What should you do? Get Over It! You need to forget about what happened and focus on the immediate task at hand. You have no control over what your opponents do. Don’t let negative emotions take over the entire game. It’s normal that we get upset, but if you keep executing quality shots and just take it one frame at a time things should get better.

A technique that I use is when I get into this situation thru the sixth frame is to imagine that the seventh frame is now the first frame. I need to let the first half of this game go and throw the next six strikes, or as we say “go off the sheet.”

Bowling at times can really be an unfair game. Bad breaks are going to happen and that’s just the way it is. I enjoy golf and many times I have seen top pros have three bogeys in a row. For those of you who don’t understand golf, that is like having three open frames in a row. Time and time again, these seasoned pros do not let their emotions get in the way. Then, the next three hole, they birdie, which is fantastic. They are able to finish the round in good shape and make the cut to stay in the tournament.

If you can master the process of taking one frame at time and really focus on controlling negative emotions, I believe you can turn any bad game into a good one. Try not to look into the rear view mirror in bowling when things are going bad. That’s all behind you now. Look forward, think positive. Those pins will be falling in no time. Good luck with your game!

1 Comment
  1. Dear Richard,
    that’s really one of the best advice you can give to any competition bowler. However i say so often to me – stay in the moment play frame by frame and it’s very hard when things are “unfair” so called great shoots are not generating the results we would like to see. I will take this advice to all my next outings and send you my warmest greetings.
    i hope we will shortly see each other again – have a great time and greetings from switzerland on the way to the first snow anounced by next week.
    Liebs Grüessli Willy

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