November 19, 2006
Bowling is Life
By Frank Borsellino Jr.
Several years ago I wanted to improve my 160 bowling average. I practiced once a week and my average improved by a few pins, but I still wasn't satisfied. One day I went to the library to see if there were any bowling books. I checked out a book entitled Bowling 200+. I was so fascinated by this book that I read it from cover to cover, went to the nearest bookstore, and bought the book. This book taught me many things about bowling that I never knew about.
I've been bowling since I was fourteen years old, and reading this book some forty years later was definitely an eye-opener. I learned about lane conditions, bowling equipment, and techniques.
I used to be so stubborn about changing my line, and I would continue to get terrible leaves or splits. Now when I realize that my strike shot has changed, I have to make an adjustment. I either move where I stand, change my target on the lane, or both.
One new thing I learned was how to read my ball. Everytime my ball returns, I look at it to see how much oil there is on the ball. Lots of oil means wet lanes, and very little or no oil could mean dry lanes. Wet lanes cause my ball to slide a lot more, and dry lanes cause it to hook more. As the game continues, this also lets me know how the lane conditions are changing, and that I have to adjust to those changes.
I used to be afraid of getting a resin ball because I believed a resin ball had a big hook that I would not be able to control. I realize now it's just the latest technology in bowling equipment that was made to improve my bowling game.
Bowling is more of a mental game than I ever knew. Yes, throwing the ball hard can knock a lot of pins down. But at my age, my short stature, and with a 16 pound ball, I depend on concentration and accuracy for my ball to slowly find its way to the pocket. The technique I go through before every delivery is the same every time. I pick my ball up, read it, wipe it off four times with my bowling towel, and get ready to bowl. I say a phrase like, "just one time, make the shot." Then I take a deep breath, exhale, and begin my approach. This technique also takes the pressure off when I bowl anchor, and I need a strike to win the game.
I bowl in 2 or 3 leagues a week, the local bowling tournaments, and the state tournament. I truly enjoy bowling, along with the competition and challenges that it brings. Being in leagues and tournaments, I bowl with the same people year in and year out. These people are not only my friends; they're almost like family. One day I told my wife that "bowling is life." Whether I'm bowling, working, or involved in any life activity, I can always learn more, do my best, relax, quickly adjust to the situation, and have fun!