10 Mindset Strategies for Success

Just like any sport, bowling can become complex when you start evolving in the physical side of the game. Whether you are developing physical technique (everything before the foul line) or becoming experienced and skilled in lane play, lane transition adjustments, ball motion tools, etc (everything over the foul line), bowling can become a very complex and challenging game.  Let's start using the motto:  "Do simple better."


These 10 Peak Performance Strategies will help you deal simply with the simplexity of playing the game.  You need to give 100% without trying too hard, focus on the process and bowl to win.   Remember, keep the process greater than your outcome.  Here are the 10 Peak Performance Strategies for Success:



10 Peak Performance Strategies for Success

 1.    Keep Your Controllables Greater Than Your Uncontrollables

One of the most powerful choices a bowler can make to improve his/her performance is to focus his/her energy on things he/she can control.  Things like self talk, breathing, attitude, pre and post shot routines, etc.  Avoid uncontrollables at all times (winning, scores, lane conditions, teammates, competitors, etc.)


2.    Keep Your Learning Greater Thank Your Experience

A growth mindset player sees bowling as more than success or failure experience. He approaches each competition as an opportunity to grow and learn.  There are only two outcomes in bowling:  Win and Learn.


3.    Keep Your Process Greater Than Your Outcomes

The core component or centerpiece to our sport is to “work the process”.  Keeping the process greater than your outcome simplifies the game, slows it down, and puts you in control.  


4.    Keep This Shot Greater Than Any Other

Bowling is played one shot at a time physically but few players at any level play the game that way.  Going all in with your focus on each shot - treating each shot as a separate event in the game reduces the challenge you face. Most of the negative emotions in bowling are caused by energy directed at shots other than the current shot.  Your mindset should be: “I am a one shot warrior.”


5.    Keep Your Mission Greater Than Your Feelings

Keeping your Mission greater than your feelings is a game-changer in our sport because the default setting for us athletes is to perform the way we feel.  You are not going to feel 100% all the time.  If you feel a bit lost, or you feel you only have 70% of your physical game in a tournament, you must give 100% of what you do have toward winning the battle on every shot (give 100% of the 70% you currently have).  Compete with whatever skill set you have on that day.


6.    Keep Competing Greater Than Complying

Compete - compete - compete!  Playing all in to win the shot is our ultimate mission.  Focus on process but do it with passion and commitment bursting from your desire to win.  Don’t think that winning isn’t important just because it’s an uncontrollable.  Win the shot!  Win the game! Win the tournament!  Go out and give 100% of what you’ve got on each shot in an effort to win.  Keep Competing Greater Than Complying.  That’s where the fun is!


7.    Keep Your Connection Greater Than Your Perfection

One of the top cripplers of peak performance in bowling is trying to be perfect.  Your efforts to play perfectly usually cut your chances of playing well.  When you are bowling well, everything seems to just fit together (your mechanics feel smooth, effortless).  Your mindset is present and you’re confident in all your moves.  But when you are struggling you start thinking about 100 things wrong with your mechanics and you’re trying to do all them just right.  Take a moment to stop, take a deep breath and remind yourself:  “Connection, not perfection.”


8.    Keep Your Quality Greater Than Your Quantity

Success doesn’t come from “putting in your time” practicing.  It comes from quality practicing.  What is your Mission for today’s practice?  Ask yourself: “what would I like to get out of today’s practice?”  Develop a practice plan for every practice with a Mission.  You must also compete in practice.  Choose a time in practice to compete against something or someone.  Remember, you are responsible for the quality of your training.


9.    Keep Your Pleasure Greater Than Your Pressure

Why do you bowl?  You love it?  It’s fun?  You will play near your potential when you play with joy, passion and freedom.  You play poorly when you play with tension, doubt, pressure and fear.  Keep your pleasure greater than your pressure.  Remind yourself that you are unique and a valuable person no matter how you perform. Love it!


10.  Keep You Greater Than Your Performance

Some bowlers are driven by an intense fear of failure and they achieve great things as a result.  How much fun is this?  With this mindset you are only one shot, game or tournament away from losing confidence, self-image, positive self talk and growth as a player.  You will have a lot less stress to deal with if you keep YOU greater than your performance. Focus on your controllables and not your outcomes!



7-Peak Performance Anchors & Anchor #1

Through my many years of competing, studying the game and being coached by the best teachers in the world, I have developed seven physical pillars that create repetition, technique that is current and relevant and can be developed by any level player.  More importantly, it creates the best opportunity to repeat shot to shot.    I call it the 7-Peak Performance AnchorsThe 7 Peak Performance Anchors are:  Set-up Position, Timing, Footwork, Swing Path, Balance Arm, Release and Finish Position.  Over the next several months, the physical pillars that provide the opportunity for a player to perform at a peak level will be discussed in detail.  This blog will focus specifically on Anchor #1:  Set-Up Position.


The Set-up Position is so important as it affects many of the other physical anchors.  It provides a visual line of target to the body.  It is also the quickest and easiest of all the physical anchors to modify and develop.  Let's start with the Feet and work upward.  The Feet must always be pointed or square to your line of target.  The ball side foot (right for right-handers) is always staggered, which means it is slightly behind the opposite ball side foot.  This will slightly open the ball side hip, which provides proper body alignment and launch angle after release. 


The Knee Flex is not exaggerated but very slight.  I like to refer to it as if you were having a normal conversation with someone.  This is normally done with some flex in your legs/knees.  It is relaxed and very consistent with what we do each and every day.  Some bowlers like to start out with lots of knee bend.  Is this wrong?  Not necessarily.  Bowlers are unique and develop different techniques.  I have found out through 25+ years of coaching that most bowlers are out of this deep knee bend by step two or step three.  It also causes effort or stress in the Set-up Position.  Try having a conversation with someone with a deep knee bend.  You will be back into a slight knee bend within one minute. 


Your Hips should also be pointed or square to your target.  This allows for the ball swing to stay in the slot throughout the entire approach (swing will be discussed in the future). 


The Ball-side Arm should be parallel with the approach and the elbow gently located on the hip.  Some bowlers like the elbow in front of the hip, which works fine as long as the push-way direction stays in the slot.  Many bowlers who have the elbow in the front of the hip have right direction in the push-away which creates misdirection in the swing (lateral movement) and negatively affects the release and accuracy.


The Location of the Ball is positioned between the shoulder and the chin.  Some coaches call this the ball slot.  Many bowlers will have the ball right of the slot (between shoulder and slot).  This will usually create right movement in the push-away and the ball will swing behind the head (left), which again is misdirection in the swing.  Anytime I video tape a bowler from directly behind, I should never see any of the ball.  This ball location develops the entire swing direction.


The ball side Shoulder should always be slightly lower than the opposite shoulder (usually 6"-8").  This creates an easier ball side step (tightrope - this will be discussed in a future blog).  It also endorses proper swing direction as well.


The Upper Torso (upper body) should be slightly leaning forward.  When I use Bowler's Map, I like to see an angle of 15 degrees (this would be your spinal angle).  It provides for an athletic start and provides great balance at the start). 


Some other items that should be addressed would be the Distribution of the Weight of the Ball.  I like 60% of the weight on the ball side hand with the remaining 40% being supported by the non bowling hand.  This creates minimal grip pressure allowing for an effortless swing.   Last, the Wrist should be firm at the Set-up Position.  Many bowlers like to "cup" the wrist at the start, which increases grip pressure and endorses effort into the swing.  This makes it very challenging for a bowler to develop an effortless swing.


I have provided some visuals that support the information written in this blog.  Remember, we are all unique in our technique.  Some bowlers will have different Set-up Positions.  The question you need to ask is:  Does my technique create repetition in my physical game?  If yes, then leave it alone.  If you feel that you can't repeat enough, maybe it is time to modify your Set-up Position.  I believe the elements discussed in Anchor #1 - Set-Up Position provides the greatest opportunity for repetition.  Give it a try. 


In the next blog I will start discussing the Mental Game; what it takes to develop an Elite Mindset.  I think you will be excited to read about mental conditioning.  I believe it is the most neglected essential in performing at a peak level. 


My goal is to alternate between the physical side and mental game for blogs.  Stayed tuned for more blogs to come....





 u.1.Blog - setup.GIF



















Developing a Championship Bowling Culture - Introduction

While I was developing my physical and mental game as a player, I started to organize my thoughts and beliefs to develop my own coaching philosophy. Rather than recreate the wheel, I used my experience as a player and coach along with the many coaches that I have personally worked with and developed a system called Peak Performance Bowling.


The coaching profession is ever-changing and coaches at each level of bowling need to know more than just the physical techniques in order to be successful.  Many bowling coaches today are given the responsibility with developing athletes/bowlers and helping them achieve their goals.  Coaches must acquire a working knowledge in both the physical and mental side of training bowlers. 


Over the next many months, I would like to share some of my knowledge and information acquired the past 30 years both as an athlete and coach.  I have been blessed over the past 30 years to have worked with some incredible teachers both on the physical and mental side of the sport.  Over time, knowledge of how to train bowlers both physical and mentally has allowed me to develop methods and strategies for achieving peak performance with student athletes. 


My coaching venue is referred to as Peak Performance Bowling, which consists of both the physical and mental aspects of bowling.  It is a system that will continue to evolve as the game evolves and changes. If coaching is not evolving, it is falling behind and not providing athletes (and their families) what they deserve. Coaching has probably evolved more than any other aspect in all sports with the exception of technology and technology in bowling has been a major element in its evolution.  The physical side has seen some substantial changes in the past 20 years.  One example (I will share in depth in a future blog) would be the evolution of the separation of the lower and upper body and it how it develops natural energy and leverage based on the elasticity of the two moving parts.  It has been a determining factor in what we see today on the lanes: high rev rate and ball speed. 


Mental conditioning was not one of the pillars taught and utilized up until the past decade.  Mental toughness or as I like to say Elite Mindset is the key to unlocking a players full potential.  The only way a player can bowl at the highest level CONSISTENTLY is by developing an elite mindset.  I like to condition my players with the phrase “1-shot warriors.”  This is a bowler who plays the game one-shot-at-a-time and knows how to do that even when something bad happens.  The player has the ability to move on to the next shot.  I will discuss the essentials and pillars in building a champion mind set through the next several months.


My goal for this blog is to share insights for both the physical and mental side of bowling with the hope it may educate, motivate and improve players.  I hope you enjoy the blog and its’ content in the coming months.


Thanks for taking the time to read the blog.