1. Get in the gym and start a good fitness routine: I’ve had an above average career but back problems hindered what could’ve been an even better career. You’re never too young to start getting into a good fitness and nutrition routine and in bowling you especially need flexibility, not the ability to bench press 400 lbs. Focus on core (back), wrist and legs(knees). Those are the three areas that see to hinder most bowlers when they get to my age.
You can’t win a tournament you don’t enter because you’re physically unable to perform.
2. If you have the gift of speed and rev rate, hold onto it for as long as you can: You need to learn to take hand out of it at times to maximize margin of area and steal a check, but don’t lose what you have.
Guys my age always say they’re glad they don’t have the speed and rev rate they did 15-25 years ago and besides....it would never be useful now.
Said no one ever…..
3. Listen to a lot of respected coaches, pro shop operators and elite bowlers and then figure out and apply what works for YOU: I haven’t seen a coach, elite player or pro shop operator that did everything right or one that I agreed with on all aspects of the game in terms of skill sets needed, lane play, equipment, physical game, ball fit, etc. Some of the ones that were the “it” coaches/players/ball drillers then were not later as the game evolved 5, 10, 20 years down the road (while they didn’t), and that same cycle will more than likely continue.
Always keep your mind open to change and never be afraid to try new things.
4. Study and become a master of the mental game: I didn’t spend enough time studying this in my younger years and it cost me a lot of money and tournament wins throughout my 20’s to early 30’s. You’d be surprised how a strong mental game can allow you to compete with people that have way more physical talent than you have.
5. Spend time learning the technical aspects of the game: Learn what RG’s, Differential numbers, layouts, lane patterns, lane surfaces, oils and everything that is (and thrown) past the foul line you can and how it affects YOUR game. Decision-making is now becoming a bigger and bigger part of your success or failure in bowling and that piece of the pie of success won’t get any smaller in time.
You don’t have to be the most accurate or have the most power than everyone else to win, most of the time you just have to be a little smarter. Learning those technical aspects will help you solve the puzzle faster than the rest of the field.
6. Don’t worry about being a perfectionist, you’re going to fail way more than you succeed: My experience shows if you win around 7% +/- of all the tournaments you enter at whatever level you compete at (local, PBA Regional, PBA National, etc.) you’ll probably end out in that respective Hall of Fame or maybe even be the GOAT. If winning defines your happiness, you’re going to miserable more than 90% of your bowling life. Enjoy the journey, and celebrate the victories because there won’t be as many as you might think.
Besides, your trophy case doesn’t define who you are as a person.
7. Don’t burn bridges with major players in the industry: As big as bowling is worldwide, the industry and the elite/competitive side is very, very small. Word gets around fast about reputations, so be a person of high character and always do your best to do the right thing. Taking the high road may be hard at times, but that respect goes a long way and pays dividends in the long run.
You’ll need a lot of help to get to the mountaintop, so it’s best to have as many people in your corner as possible.