Effort – Focus on What You Control


Focus on what you can control is advice I give my athletes on a consistent basis.  But what does this really mean?  The three pillars that I focus on are Preparation, Effort, and Attitude.  In today’s daily dominator I want to focus on EFFORT.


Effort is one thing an athlete/bowler is in complete control of.  You either do the work or you don’t.  You work at it or you don’t.  You put the time in or you don’t.  You eat right or you don’t.  You get enough quality sleep or you don’t.  You grow your physical game or you don’t.  You develop your mental game or you don’t.  You are coachable or you are not.  You study all areas of the game or you don’t.  The opportunity is experienced every day in training on the lanes, in competitions and outside the bowling center. 


Bowlers that train well, practice well and prepare well demonstrate an effort level that often makes a big difference in the way you feel when the sun sets on competition day.  My son works very hard at basketball and has turned into a very good player for an 8th grader.  As his Father I remind him that I will never judge whether he wins or loses, how many points or missed shots for the game, rebounds, assists, etc.  These are completely uncontrollable and we don’t waste energy on these things.  However, he does know that I am watching his effort/energy on every possession and game.  When his effort is not at his best we will discuss what I saw and what he felt during the process of the game.  Effort is completely controllable and he needs maximize his effort to reach his goals.  He also has a responsibility to his team and coach.  Sometimes my son, regardless of his ability and outcome of the event, needs to be reminded that his effort must be improved regardless of his ability.    Talent doesn’t determine effort.  Anyone can give effort. 


The one thing I noticed during my time on the PBA Tour was the effort the Hall of Famers had during the tournaments.  Great players like Mike Aulby, Dave Husted, David Ozio, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Brian Voss, Norm Duke, Parker Bohn III, etc. never deviated from their effort based on their performance.  There were tournaments when some of these champions were not bowling well and could not make the cut.  Their effort was exactly the same as the weeks they were winning the event.  As a young player on Tour I was amazed at how they never gave up and kept trying to get better as a player.  That brings me back to the two outcomes in bowling:  Win and Learn.  That is exactly what these Hall of Fame players were doing:  Winning the tournament or Learning during the tournament.  Both are driven by their effort. 


Effort is a controllable that can impact your performance and career.  Everyday effort must be a top priority regardless of the result.  Bring incredible energy into every practice and/or competition.  Energy compliments effort.  Consistent effort provides opportunity for growth and peak performance.  Compete – compete – compete!  Now go Win the Day!