RealTalk Discussion #1 (to know or not to know?)

Every week my brother and I will start a new discussion. We deal with a lot of issues and conversations around bowling and the bowling arena. We call this RealTalk. These will be everyday bowling situations that all of us or some of us deal with. I want to know what you think and what is on your mind. Stay tuned. :)


The first discussion is:
Which is better going into a tournament knowing the shot or not knowing the shot? Why?

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I feel like its best to not know what the shot is because it levels the playing field for everyone......its part of what makes a tournament different than league. People outside of the sport of bowling(other sports) already don't give bowling the proper respect as a legitimate sport because of the perception that bowling is easy. I think telling bowlers what they are bowling on in a tournament adds to that perception.....in baseball the pitcher don't tell what the next pitch is....in football the offense don't tell the defense what the next plays are......you line up and play. If you are a tournament level bowler you should be able to figure out how to play a shot in the time given in warm-up and if you are a smart bowler, line up off of the bowlers on your pair.....if everybody's on your pair is lost look at the pair to your left and right, i am pretty sure somebody has figured it out. Not telling the shot is best for the sport.....that's my opinion.
Why not let people know what they are bowling on, 9 times out of 10 they still will not know what to do right off the bat. College and pro bowling let you know what you are bowling on. Even most league or tournament bowlers don't know exactly what makes up a pattern as far as units and shape with out studying it
The issue with lane conditions is that the same shot could play totally differant on a differant lane surface. So the question is, does it matter if you know??? 95% of bowlers start in their comfort zone on the lanes. Some will migrate to the area in which you need to play the lanes. Others either resort to forcing the shot or stay clueless to the shot and struggle the whole time. Now on the other hand... Their are certin ball serfaces and drilling patterns that will give you an advantage while bowling on particular patterns, but if your not playing the lanes right, it dosen't matter what you hve in your hand. I didn't have a straite answer to this question when I started, and I really don't have one now! I can say it is half and half... I will leave it with this statement... "Knowledge is power, but give it to someone who dosen't know what to do with it, then what is is good for."
I have to say, you guys come up with some great topics.

The reality is, nothing worth while is going to come easy. EVEN IF ONE KNEW THE SHOT, the reality is do you know HOW to execute on it? Do you have the right ball? The right ball surface? Do you have enough confidence in your game to carry you through the tournament?

What ever happened to taking lessons? What ever happened reading or understanding what you're dealing with? Nothing comes easy. In weight lifting the saying was "no pain, no gain". You think bowling is any different? There will be the pain of trying something new and failing at first. There will the pain of bowling worse, before you actually get better. There will be the pain of coming so close to success, only to fall short THAT day to someone else that was better prepared. Yet, through it all you will gain the experience you need to succeed one day. You will face your shortcomings and face new challenges. Those things will prepare you physically and mentally to be a true champion.

There is a bowling book called "Knowledge is the key" by Fred Borden. Excellent book on bowling. Yet like someone said, what's the point in having it if you don't know how to use it?
Hi Tim and Theo this is a great subject being that I just had this discussion with someone on putting on C&T website the shot for each tournament. But bowling is a skill game. Some of us have dedicated a great deal of time to practice and some of us just want you to put a shot out their conducive to their game. What happen to being challenged? We complain when we go to a local tournament and the shot is tuff. But every year we travel to USBC and other tournaments knowing that the battle is on, why are we so critical of our own and so acceptable of others. I will gladly advise of the next shot and still their will be complaints. Some will conquer and some will fail, it's apart of the game. Wes Mallott owns the scorpion shot and other pros know it, but still they accept the challenge. Fox said it best what happen to lesson, what happen to reading and what happen to figuring out and playing what is given not what we think should be given. If there are some errors charge it to the mind not the heart.
F.O.X said:
Carla Whitehead said:
Hi Tim and Theo this is a great subject being that I just had this discussion with someone on putting on C&T website the shot for each tournament. But bowling is a skill game. Some of us have dedicated a great deal of time to practice and some of us just want you to put a shot out their conducive to their game. What happen to being challenged? We complain when we go to a local tournament and the shot is tuff. But every year we travel to USBC and other tournaments knowing that the battle is on, why are we so critical of our own and so acceptable of others. I will gladly advise of the next shot and still their will be complaints. Some will conquer and some will fail, it's apart of the game. Wes Mallott owns the scorpion shot and other pros know it, but still they accept the challenge. Fox said it best what happen to lesson, what happen to reading and what happen to figuring out and playing what is given not what we think should be given. If there are some errors charge it to the mind not the heart.

Carla just stated something interesting.

Now, I don't know how many people travel to nationals. I don't know how much one spends on their trip. I don't even know how serious one even takes their game. I have never been to nationals YET. It looks like fun, but at the same time I'm trying to bowl well. I'm trying not to waste my time either.

I was poking around on bowl.com and found the USBC National shot?! I said wait a minute. They tell you what the shot is?! I was shocked. I printed it out and started studying it. I'm no genius to reading those sort of things, but common sense always prevails in most situations.

Now, if I was going. I would have taken that sort of thing to someone that KNOWS how to read the graphs. Ask their opinion on where to play, what balls to use, layout and etc. In this instance, you have an advantage IF you you know the shot. Now, do have you the EXPERIENCE to play on it with confidence? Do you have the right ball speed, roll, etc. You're playing against thousands of people now. This is no local tournament. That's why it's called nationals.

I guess it all boils down to how serious you take the sport and your game. Some are in it for fun, some are in it for the competition. Some are trying to truly excel at it. Like anything else, sometimes we have to get help.

We weren't born knowing everything, we shall surely pass without knowing everything. There are those that know more about the topic/issue we are dealing with and we should seek them out.
As a young bowler with international experience and seeing the best of the best duck it out.... it comes down to your mental game and how you choose to use your equipment. I am sorry to say to the people that think that this sport is text book, it's NOT. So knowing or not knowing the shot will not play a factor on one person's game if they just got a flat tire and is coming into a tournament when practice is over. They are either too frustrated to find a shot or so pissed off that the pins are their worse enemy; and do a lock and load!!!

Also if I may crack on myself to give a good example...... many people say I have a beautiful form, I make the game look easy and I have great potential. But I can honestly say my mental game is not aggressive enough (at the moment) to win any tournament if I know the shot or not. Meaning that if I want to win no matter what the shot is I will make the necessary adjustment to either strike or leave a makeable spare.
Not trying to speak for Tim, but I think his point was just that: other professional sports don't broadcast what is to be expected. Why should bowling? Just because USBC and others inform the bowler of the pattern doesn't necessarily mean they should. One thing I would like to know if anyone could answer is why do they let the bowlers know what kind of pattern is out there?
Well, looking at it from a bowler and a tournament director, I feel it is best to not know the shot. This to me puts everyone on a level playing field coming in.

If you post the pattern, the bowlers that know they are weak on particular patterns, will tell themselves they can not compete and will not show up, thus effecting; 1) the tournament participation 2) the payout.

If it comes down to who gets lined up first and who executes, this brings the competitive nature of the field of bowlers out and not just coming in the door knowing the exact balls to bring and what area of the lanes to play.

The flip side of this is if the shot put out on the lane is not exactly what was posted/promoted, you will get bowlers (literally) kicking, quitting and screaming that you purposely changed the shot and they will never bowl in another tournament that you host, etc... :( (you'll get my drift)

Also, I feel it is a disadvantage to those bowlers, (like myself and I feel 90% of the field) who do not have the advantage of having balls set up for specific patterns or can go and practice on a regular basis on the patterns that you have put down.

Just my opinion.
Hi Theo, this is really a great question;

“Which is better going into a tournament; knowing the shot or not knowing the shot? Why?”

In my opinion, it definitely can be an advantage to know ahead of time what to expect. But, much of that to me is summed up when any tournament says, “fair, but challenging oil pattern” ...like your tournaments already do.


Why?

This way, I already know it’s not the THS, so I at least need to bring in a few balls that have different surfaces, etc

The rest of it comes down to execution, and then knowing what area of the lanes to play... that best fits my technique. “Knowing the path” is a good thing, but at the end of the day… it will not mean anything if you can’t “walk the path”.
Tameka Jackson said:
Not trying to speak for Tim, but I think his point was just that: other professional sports don't broadcast what is to be expected. Why should bowling? Just because USBC and others inform the bowler of the pattern doesn't necessarily mean they should. One thing I would like to know if anyone could answer is why do they let the bowlers know what kind of pattern is out there?


NOW, that's an interesting question?

Are you saying that things should go back to the way it USED to be? When one went to a regional or pba event, there was no cheetah, scorpion, shark, viper or chameleon. It USED to be pattern A,B,C,D & E. Then, the shots or patterns were never posted. It was up to the bowlers knowledge and skill level to figure out what you were bowling on.

These days everyone wants an advantage or an edge. The playing field is not level. So, what happenes? The people that had more experience in dealing with the patterns got lined up faster than the ones that did not. NOW, the ones that can't line up faster cry that it's unfair to bowl against these "seasoned" guys and get beat. We all know the one's in the "know" are the minority. The clueless are the "majority". What was that saying, "majority rules"? BAM!! The shot is now posted to please the majority.

They STILL don't have a chance unless they are taking lessons and putting in the time to learn how to score on the condition they are on. With the condition posted, you might come close, but in the long haul you will lose to the one that has been "seasoned".

Everyone wants to win, but it comes at a price. Time, practice, dedication and sacrifice are going to play major roles in one's outcome. If you think you're going to play weekend warrior, against someone that is bowling on tough conditions the majority of the time and beat him. You have better chances at lotto.

you can please some of the people, some of the time. you can't please all of the people, all of the time.
I think NOT knowing the shot. is way better. It ads to the challenge. The bowling manuafacturing companies are making this sport too easy already trying to gain it's popularity. If a bowler can bowl, he'll find a line and throw on it.

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