Walter Ray Williams Jr.: I just try to be positive about what I’m doing, even though there are a lot of times I don’t feel so positive. The key is to focus on one thing. I try to focus on my target and try to hit that target.
When you start thinking about
fi ve diff erent things, it’s hard to get all fi ve working together. Focus on one thing and let your natural game handle the rest.
Mike Fagan: I really just try to
breathe and not focus too much on the situation. I focus on one physical thing to take pres- sure off the
moment. That one thing could be diff erent from time to time. Some- times I have
issues coming up off the shot, so I might tell myself to stay
down. Sometimes I have the tendency to throw the ball too hard, so I’ll tell myself to let the ball swing free. Try to keep your mind clear.
Kelly Kulick:Most players will tell you that the biggest thing is breathing. Take a deep breath and slowly exhale. It allows the muscles to relax and gets a little more oxygen into the lungs. Obviously, the more grip pressure there is, the
more you have a tendency to put the ball in any direction
other than your target. Visually, I just see myself make a great
shot. See myself executing. All I
can expect of myself is to get from Point A to Point B, and once the ball is off my hand I accept what happens, positive or neg- ative. I control the 15 feet to the foul line and after that the lane and pins take over.
Chris Barnes:As funny as it sounds,
just breathe. You’d be surprised how much tension comes from simply holding your breath and
clenching your teeth. Most
importantly, put things in per- spective. Most of the pressure is self-imposed. “I have to do this,” or, “It
means this…” “It’s not only the
Masters title, but the Grand Slam and a big bonus, etc.” Break it down and get it back to what it really is. I’m going to stand here and look there. If I execute that, everything else takes care of itself. Break it down into simplicity. Some people can turn it off easy and focus. Other guys like Pete [Weber] and Tommy [Jones] like to use anger to actually help them focus and chase away the anxiety. I go back to knowing I’ve done all these games of practice and have put in the time. As long as I focus on my process and my keys, and execute, things will work out.
Bill O’Neill: It’s something I’ve been working on recently because I’ve had some struggles getting things done in big spots in the past. I’ve been trying to take a deep breath and focus on just one thing. For me, that one thing has been making sure I don’t lunge after the shot and push the ball
away from me too far. That’s usu-
ally what’s behind a bad shot for me. Also, in the past I’ve let too many other things creep in, so you have to fi ght them away and clear your head.
Jason Belmonte:My biggest issue is looking at the score, measuring myself against what the guy I’m bowling against is doing. I’ve found that when I’m bowl-
LEARN FROM THE PROS
ing my best I’m oblivious to everything that’s going on around me. One of the things I try to do is keep my head down and focus on
what I’m doing. Watching oth- ers makes you
anxious to do better or try harder.
Mika Koivuniemi: It all comes from the breathing technique I use. I make sure I get enough oxygen to my brain and clear my head. I focus on the right thoughts. They’re not always the same thing, but they are always
something technical. A sign from my brain to my body about something I know I can control. I can’t say, “I need to throw a strike,”
because my body doesn’t know how to throw a strike. It doesn’t help to say, “Win the $25,000,” because my body doesn’t know how to win $25,000. It might be, “Walk slow the fi rst two steps,” because my body knows how to do that.
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