Concentration and Consistency – Game Maker/Breaker

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OK, what’s this got to do with bowling? Concentration is an essential part of any sport. Some studies have shown that scores increase when concentration is highest (Duh!). Also there is some evidence that indicates there is some minimum of roughly 3 seconds for the mind to focus in on, in the case of bowling, the spot(s) where one is attempting to have the ball run, that helps you obtain a higher accuracy rate. In human terms, stop, take some air, focus.

I find that taking a deep breath or two in the manner described below, while at the line, helps me “obtain the target”. Some may refer to it as “locking on”. “Assume the position” and blank out any and all other distractions, noises, thoughts, especially thoughts, of anything else but the intended spot you see out on the lane. This is where this type of breathing comes into play.

Check out for definition and background on Pranayama.

Here is an excerpt from Breathing and karate on practicing a breathing technique.

1. Sit in a comfortable position. While most martial artists use the ‘seiza’ (“say zah”) position, with legs beneath the buttocks with knees directly in front, many people find this position to be uncomfortable. If this is the case, you may also sit cross-legged (‘anza’) or in another position that’s more comfortable for you.
2. Close your eyes, but keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, head up, your eyes (behind your lids) focused ahead.

3. Take a deep, cleansing breath, expanding your belly and keeping your shoulders relaxed, and hold it in for the count of six. Exhale, and repeat twice more. Then breathe normally, and focus your attention on your breathing. As you breathe, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, still expanding your belly rather than moving your shoulders up and down.

4. If your thoughts drift toward the stresses of the day ahead or of the day behind you, gently refocus on your breathing and remain in the present moment. Feel the air move in, and feel the air move out. That’s it.

5. Continue this for as little or as long as you like, and you should notice that your body is more relaxed and your mind is more centered. Enjoy the rest of your day!”

Hand in hand with concentration is consistency. You have to do nearly the same motion over and over in bowling then be able to tweak that into your particular game and style. This requires Practice. One’s muscles, body has to learn how to bowl. The best bowlers are well learned and heavily practiced. There is no rule of stone in bowling. It’s a game where you have one goal – Knock down the most pins possible!

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