The Elusive 6

14 Jan

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…

This is not me.  And my shirt is orange.  But the fact remains....

This is not me. And my shirt is orange. But the fact remains….



Posted by on January 14, 2015 in Bowling, Family, Parenting


12 responses to “The Elusive 6

  1. agg79

    January 15, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Arrgh! So dang close! I can feel the frustration. I’m like you – that’s an excellent effort. You are right about the mental aspect of the game. Like a lot of things, the game is 90% mental. Luck can only carry you so far – if you are not right in the head, chances are that you won’t win it in the lanes. I am sure she will hit that elusive 600 in the next round

    • shadowrun300

      January 16, 2015 at 3:08 am

      Her technical ability is so natural and needs little work, but when her mind gets in the way, it all flies out the window. That’s what I’ve been helping her focus on. She watches tons of videos of women bowlers in tough situations, and has one in particular that she likes. So she tries to mimic her.
      I’m beyond proud of her, and know she’ll conquer it eventually.

  2. Rock Chef

    January 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Wow, that sort of score really takes some skill! Not that I have ever bowled properly – only on the Wii 😦

    But she WILL do it! Looking forward to the blog where you tell us about it!

    • shadowrun300

      January 16, 2015 at 3:12 am

      Many people don’t view bowling as a sport, but there really is a lot involved. You have to know lane conditions, and ball reaction, and how to adjust. Plus keep your release and delivery consistent. Men can get away with a little less “talent” because of their power, but girls need accuracy.
      And I can’t wait to be able to share her story when she finally hits it!

  3. Abby

    January 16, 2015 at 2:00 am

    Oh I hear ya! It’s hard to watch your own child want to achieve something so badly and just fall short. She’s clearly a capable bowler, now just needs to tackle the mental side of it. Easier said than done! Still, I know she can.

    • shadowrun300

      January 16, 2015 at 3:15 am

      I know she can too! But to be honest, I’m slightly thankful she’s having to work at it. It’ll be that much sweeter for her when she achieves it. 🙂

  4. territerri

    January 16, 2015 at 2:05 am

    Oh, I want her to get it! I’m rooting for her! It sounds like she’s got the drive to keep trying and I bet with patience, she’ll get there. And it will be so sweet when it happens.

    • shadowrun300

      January 16, 2015 at 3:23 am

      It’s been so fun to watch her progress and bowl well! Not having achieved her goal is probably what’s driving her. She’ll hit a 600 series very soon, and once she does, it’ll seem easy, and she’ll have to set a new goal. 🙂

  5. Practical Parsimony

    January 16, 2015 at 9:12 am

    I once wanted to win a yearly contest so bad. I was eligible for four years in high school. The last year I was eligible, I told my mother that I just had to win. For most of the year, I thought about what helped me to think and what made me sluggish. Daddy was a disruptive person, so most of what I needed was peace and sleep. I had mama talk to Daddy. He could not keep us up screaming, wake us too early, or be violent in any way. (A person ought to have that, no matter what the goal.) I needed a nap after school and get up by 6 my four younger siblings in a too-small house needed to cooperate. I knew which foods made me sluggish. I knew which foods left me feeling mentally sharp. I had her prepare only these foods. She assured me she would make it all possible. The night of the contest, I easily won. There was no contest because I pulled ahead and stayed ahead. I gave myself the edge by being aware of what affected me mentally.

    Maybe there are little things she could tweak before bowling to give her the edge.

    I like to bowl, but my goals were much lower…lol.

    • shadowrun300

      January 17, 2015 at 4:29 am

      Now that is impressive! And it goes to show, if you want something bad enough, you will make whatever changes necessary to make it happen.
      In Mario’s case, she has the physical skill. Her “edge” will come from being able to stay mentally strong. Because as soon as doubt kicks in, her bowling suffers. I’m encouraging her to read one of my old books on focus. It’ll have tips she can use when she’s in a high pressure situation. We’ll see if she actually reads it….

  6. Anita

    January 24, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I don’t know much about bowling, but liked reading your play by play synopsis… or would that be throw by throw? 🙂
    Best wishes to your daughter. She CAN do it better! She’s already a winner.

    • shadowrun300

      January 25, 2015 at 1:43 am

      Thank you Anita! Non-bowlers often times don’t realize what a sport bowling can be. And for her age, she’s pretty good! She’ll hit her 600 series in the near future, I’m sure. 🙂


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