There have been many a things I’ve wanted badly and have failed to achieve. And it’s always difficult to swallow.
But to watch my daughter try over and over again and not succeed is even more heartbreaking.
She has been trying all year to bowl a 600 series. She has been close SO many times, and that last game always falls short.
At first, it was very much a mental game. It was obvious she was trying too hard, and in doing so, it affected her natural bowling skill. She’d hit 599, 597, 593… all very good 3 game series, but never a 600.
During yesterday’s match, she started out with a 207. She followed that with a 194, and the stage was set. She knew what she had to hit in order to finally achieve her goal.
She started out with a strike, followed by a spare, then followed by 2 more strikes and a spare. A 197 game was looking quite doable, and SHE looked in control. But no sooner were we all feeling pretty confident, a split happened. And then another split. She moved to the left to avoid a third split, but left a spare she couldn’t pick. By now it was the ninth frame, and she needed a strike to have a chance. The ball came nicely into the pocket, but left a dreaded ten pin. She picked it, but the chance was over. She struck and spared in the 10th frame for a 180 game.
My heart soared with pride, but hers ached. Once in the car, she let the tears fall. “I just can’t do it!” she cried. “I’ll never be able to shoot a 600 series.”
I confidently explained to her that she WILL shoot a 600. And I reminded her that for the first time, she didn’t let her mind get in the way of her bowling. She had a few rotten breaks, but she kept her head in the game and finished strong. “All of these little successes will lead to your 600 series. And once you hit it, you’ll know that you’ve EARNED it. And after that, there’ll be no stopping you….”
With only two more matches this season, it may not happen this year. But her determination will drive her to keep practicing during the off season. Secretly, she would like to be anchor on the varsity team next year. .A tough position seeing she’s a girl on a boy’s team. But she’s got the skill and the drive. And once she gets that first 600 under her belt, I’m guessing she’ll only get better and better.
I may have to loan her the t-shirt I wore during my bowling days…