Being in the moment important on the lanes


Mike Hawkins Bowling Columnist


By Mike Hawkins

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

About five years ago, former NBA coaching great, Phil Jackson, wrote and had published his book, Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success. In this publication, the winner of 11 NBA championships with the Bulls and Lakers credited his team’s “mindfulness” with their years of success on the court.

What was Jackson referring to when he used the term “mindfulness?” When someone is mindful, they are absolutely in the moment.

Nothing can take their mind off the task at hand and when the mind does stray for a split second, focus immediately returns. Just like hitting a target, maintaining a proper speed, and having a consistent armswing, being consistently mindful is a part of a bowlers game that can and should be practiced.

Being mindful in bowling is the ability to shake off a missed spare and make a good shot on your next attempt. I often tell bowlers, don’t let a bad shot lead to two, and don’t let one bad frame lead to another.

A couple of weeks ago, during the youth league, one of my sons was struggling a bit.

He was sitting on about 120 in the 7th frame after missing a couple of spares.

I pointed out to him that he could keep pouting and shoot in the 150s or he could run the sheet and shoot in the 210s.

He chose the latter.

Being mindful is not just limited to maintaining composure after a bad shot or tough break though.

Sometimes it is as much of a challenge to stay in the moment while trying to complete a big game.

Before breaking the 300 mark for the first time in 1991, my mental wall was the 8th frame. I hate to even think about all the times I tossed the front 7 to be disappointed on the next shot. I wasn’t in the moment.

When I shot my first 300 game, I was forced to be mindful. I was competing in a local Team USA qualifying tournament and was trailing Wayne Beasley and Johnny Franklin for a spot to advance to the next level.

It was the first game of a second 4-game block and I knew I had to strike to make ground on my two friends and tournament leaders.

Shooting 300 wasn’t my focus, closing the gap in the tournament was all that was on my mind. I still didn’t make the tournament cut, but I did shoot a game I will never forget.

One guy that apparently was pretty mindful last week was Chris Farrell. Chris posted the high scores of the week last Monday when he fired games of 235, 223, and 213 for a nice 671 series.

Garry Williams continued his recent hot summer as well with an impressive 234-645 followed by Rondell Christian’s 612 series and Jeffrey Barefoot’s 228 game.

Monday Night Trio’s ladies were topped by Katie Barefoot’s 181-532, Brittney Gaumond’s 191-482, Beth Marshall’s 426 series, and Karen Ashley’s 154 game.

Garry Williams also tamed a pretty tough shot last Thursday with a 225-569. Murdock Spencer followed with a 191-529 and Bobby Winslow rolled the only other deuce with a 201. Cicley Mooney fired a 172 game which equated to a 254 with handicap on the ladies’ side.

The youth bowlers streak of weeks with a 300 game ended at three consecutive, but not without a bit of excitement at the end.

Christopher Vinson opened the day with an 11-strike 272, then ended his day with the front 11 before a 7-count last ball resulted in a 297 game! Christopher had the morning’s top series of 809.

Ben Hawkins continued his hot season as well, tossing an 11-strike 265 game as part of his 756 series. Bryce Hawkins followed only Christopher and Ben with his own 236-662. Patrick Morgan added an impressive 222 game to close out the boy’s Crazy 8 leaders.

Top girls scores from Saturday morning belonged to Elizabeth Scaff (174-496), Lindsay Porter (160-427) and Madison Elliott (108 game).

Connor Cafferello blasted the pins for a 220 game to lead the bumper end of the house last Saturday. Joining Connor among the leaders of the bumper league were Scarlett Manderson (116) and Kenzie Vanscoy (89).

Until next week, good luck and good bowling.