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Thread: Good Book or resource for learning to have a Mental game...

  1. #1
    What is Bowling? Woodmaster's Avatar
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    Default Good Book or resource for learning to have a Mental game...

    This is very interesting to me, and I would love some feedback here.. I've always had a hard time controlling my emotions. Let a bad shot spiral your entire night into the toilet. So finally being fed up with letting my own mind hold me back, I happen to get a email from about a DVD on controlling your mental game. and I went to town in the research department. Came up with a book called The Art of Mental Training by DC Gonzalez. This book so far has been an enormous amount of help and I am not even half way through it. It's not just hitting the 300 or 290's but winning games, tournaments, Leagues. If anyone has any similar good book's please share and let me know. The DVD may be next because I want my bad attitude to be history.
    It is so much to do with breathing, but also not doubting your abilities, positive thoughts, and more.. This is something you either Go all in on, or you can try and get your own way though it all, like I did and just not get there. Not true for everyone I am sure..
    anyway, I would like more to go with to Practice my brain to catch up with the rest of me.

  2. #2
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    bowl1820's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodmaster View Post
    If anyone has any similar good book's please share and let me know.
    here's a article about the mental game:

    Norm Duke on the Mental Game

    After physical abilities, the element that separates all great athletes is their ability to function mentally. Many people ask me, ďWhat percentage of bowling is mental?Ē All of it! As soon as you can physically get the ball down there and knock ten pins over once, itís conceivable to mentally do it every time.

    Knowing how to play the game

    For a long time, I had one of the worst mental games. At first, this was because I didnít know enough about the game of bowling to separate myself in terms of the knowledge factor. I had to learn how to play the game properly and then apply that knowledge. Itís one thing to know something; itís another thing to be able to apply it. Several of todayís top players are seemingly peaking in their late 30s, after their physical skills are actually starting to dwindle. What separates them is their ability to play the game on a higher level mentally and apply what they have learned from experience.

    Knowing your strengths and weaknesses

    Another part of developing my mental game was recognizing that I have weaknesses. I learned a long time ago that you can practice for two or three hours on something that youíre very good at, but you will improve very little. If you want to improve quicker, you should take something that you really stink at and dedicate resources to that weakness and make it your advantage. Keep an open mind so that you can actually recognize your weaknesses because sometimes theyíre not easy to find unless youíre looking for them.


    Confidence is the hallmark of the mental game. It is what separates great players. But you donít just dream up confidence or wake up confident. Confidence comes from knowledge, experience, and preparation. It is impossible for me to be confident unless I know I am physically capable of repeating shots. I have to be able to repeat many different types of shots and select the appropriate shot from many possible ones Ė and it has to be done on demand and without fear. Preparation is what makes this possible. If I put preparation off, what Iím doing is trading that time with someone else because somebody is preparing at that moment. You will lose a lot of battles if you make too many bad time trades.

    Preparation also means that youíve got to learn your body Ė what it is that makes you tick, mentally and physically. You have to know things like when to eat so you donít get hungry in the middle of a round. You have to know when you need rest and when to work out. You also need to know how to relax and what level of nervousness you perform the best under. Learning and applying all of this knowledge is now part of my mental preparation, just like practice.

    Controlling your thoughts

    Another important part of the mental game is controlling your thoughts. No one or no thing controls your thoughts. You have the choice to be happy or sad. You have the choice to be smart or dumb. You have the choice to see yourself in a good light or a bad light. No matter what happens, your thoughts are still your choice. It really is a choice that you make, and a positive outlook will always beat a negative one.

    You canít keep stewing on past mistakes. If youíre going to get stewed up every time you make a mistake, then bowling for a living will be a long and miserable life! Mistakes will come in droves, but the great shots will come too, and my job is to minimize one and maximize the other. If all I think about is that I threw a bad shot, Iím maximizing the mistake portion and minimizing the successful portion in my head. Everything is a weighted measure Ė what youíre not putting on the positive side, youíre packing on the negative. Sure, you have to find out what your problems are, but you do this to learn, not to fuel the negative. Quickly determine what is happening and why youíre not enjoying success, and then decide what you need to do to get the job done. After that, you can just discard the shot in your mind.

    Controlling your behavior

    One big difference between great players and good players is behavior, especially in adverse situations. Some players can leave a solid 8 or a solid 9, and itís like it doesnít faze them. That sort of behavior is what I think all of us need to strive for. Itís not that I want everybody to go out there and be mechanical or not be emotional. Iím a very emotional person, but I require a certain type of behavior from myself because staying composed brings many benefits. It allows me to keep my heart rate and blood pressure down, which allows me to stay under control. It also shows my competitor that I can handle the situation Ė and not only can I handle it, but I can handle it and still be a threat, which can scare the heck out of them.

    You see players sometimes who look like theyíre about to pop. We call them ďhot heads.Ē Theyíre just trying to get it out Ė thatís all they want to do; they just want to get all that ďstuffĒ out. Well, the reason they need to get it out is because itís in there in the first place Ė that is the problem! What Iíve learned to do is try to control what is allowed to enter my head Ė that is the key.

    You canít let it show when youíre nervous. You know other players get nervous, but some just donít show it. Walter Ray doesnít sweat profusely or do some of those physical things that make it obvious that heís nervous. So, when I look at him and he looks like heís about to go get the paper, he hasnít given me anything and, in my mind, I havenít rattled him. I need my opponent to be in trouble. I would like to see sweat, shortness of breath, and all the other physical changes associated with nervousness. If I donít get any of that Ė but I feel it myself Ė the advantage will be with my opponent.

    Set yourself apart!

    These are just some of the elements of my mental game, but the development of the mental game is really never ending Ė and the more you learn about it, the more you learn you donít know. Donít get discouraged because it can be overwhelming, especially to younger players. I think everybody can use help. If you can acknowledge the importance of the mental game and get the help you need to develop yours, it will give you the ability to set yourself apart from the good bowlers and help you become a great bowler.

    Norm Duke
    USBC Hall of Famer

    Right handed Stroker, high track ,about 13 degree axis tilt. PAP is located 5 9/16Ē over 1 3/4Ē up.Speed ave. about 14 mph at the pins. Medium revís.High Game 300, High series 798

    "Adjust too soon and maybe ruin one frame, adjust too late and ruin a game."

  3. #3
    Pin Crusher noeymc's Avatar
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    duke duke duke wish i was as good as him
    Ball Speed : 17mph Rev Rate : 300-325 PAP : 4 1/2
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    Avg 182 high game 291 High series 709
    bowling 2 leagues and everyday i can

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  4. #4
    Ringer Hampe's Avatar
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    I read "Focused for Bowling" by Dean Hinitz and have recommended it on this site before. It's a great book on the mental aspect of's helped me not just in competitions but in practice as well.
    Company League Average: 198.1
    City League Average: 186.5
    WTBA Sport pattern League Average: 172.9
    Current Arsenal: Roto Grip Nomad Pearl, Wrecker, and Hyper Cell; Track 920A and 505A; Storm Tropical Breeze; Plastic Spare Ball

  5. #5


    Head Games: The Mental Approach to Bowling & Sports by HY bowling Ric Hamlin and Gary Yamasaki

    $11 for kindle version on Amazon....

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    I would recommend "The Inner Game of Tennis" by W. Timothy Gallwey. It has very little focus on the actual game of tennis and focuses more on the two parts of your mind, the conscious and the subconscious.

  7. #7


    Great article.. Thanks for sharing..

  8. #8


    In simple terms for me I just focus on the next shot - which is why more often than not I am able to take a game where I started very poorly and turn it into a 200+ game.

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