Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is bowling boring? Take a look in the mirror before you answer

My apologies to everyone for putting this up a day late.  I have been working hard to make sure that there are updates every Monday and Thursday so I do intend to keep that schedule going.  I am planning on changing the look of the site by the end of the week so that there will be more content, and it will be easier to navigate through.  Thursday, we will have another edition of 23 Questions, With Steve Barker.  This week Barker talks to triple bowling star, Connie Ward.  Make sure you stop in to check that out.

This week's blog belongs to Wes Payne, the person who gave me the idea for this site.  I've had the privelage to both bowl against Wes at a Masters' Nationals, and with him at a Masters' Nationals.  To say he's the complete teammate would be an understatement.  Smooth consistant ball, great mental game, positive teammate, and great all around guy.  He's definitely one of those players that you appreciate bowling with.  Wes' blog is on the image of bowling, and who's responsible for creating, maintaining and changing that image.  Enjoy!

Is bowling boring? Take a look in the mirror before you answer

Many people would argue that bowling is boring. Now of course I would disagree, but for a long time I’ve struggled with the fact that in theory, they’re right. Bowling has no variety. I’ve thrown the same stupid ball at the same stupid pins more than 100,000 times. It’s a game that never changes! Either you throw the ball you hoped for, or you don’t. I guess bowling really is boring.

But no, I keep coming back. There is something about this game that is appealing. There is something about it that makes the same old alley and pins look new and exciting every time I go. Do you know what it is? I think I’m finally starting to figure it out.

Bowling is rewarding. It provides instant gratification. Everybody, be it the seasoned veteran or the once a year bowler enjoys getting a strike. And everyone is capable of it.

There is a feeling of success every time we get a strike. If we continue to succeed, we begin to feel more confident. With more confidence, we bowl better and see more success. It’s a positive cycle.
But of course, the opposite it true when we bowl poorly. We feel down, and our confidence is hurt, and as a result sometimes we bowl worse. Getting out of this cycle can be difficult, and that’s part of the challenge.
So bowling is like any other addiction. Instant gratification to release the endorphins… Mmmm…everyone likes those.

If you’re still not convinced, bear with me. I haven’t gotten to the best part of this game yet. Why do we love bowling? Because it’s a competition with your perfect match: yourself. Who’s more equal competition for you than you? We may compete against others, but really we’re competing against ourselves and comparing scores at the end.

Think about it. Regardless of skill level, age, or ability, everyone who plays this game has some idea of what constitutes success. Maybe success is to bowl over 100. Maybe it’s to bowl over 200, or 300. We all get the same good feeling when we bowl a big game, regardless of whether that big game is 120 or 420.
Bowling is entirely relative. That’s why pins over average tournaments are so popular. You can compete against any player of any skill level. Because ultimately, you’re competing against yourself. And there’s no better competition than your perfect match. That average you’re always trying to reach was set by no one but yourself.

So, is bowling boring? It may not be the best spectator sport, but I think I’ve made my case. Bowling is about the individual. It’s about confidence, success, making yourself better. So I guess if you find bowling boring, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.