Set a Bowling Goal and Roll

“How do you eat an elephant?” Why, “one bite at a time,” of course. It was originally just one of those corny “elephant jokes,” but, it became a popular phrase for motivational books and speakers as an example of how you should tackle your large objectives in life.

That is, once you have set your mind on achieving “something,” make a list of smaller goals that will lead to that “something.” In this manner, you’ll build a series of attainable steps so that each time you accomplish one, you’ll be kept in a positive frame of mind. These positive gains, though small, make you see that the large objective is getting nearer, and easier, to attain.

“So,” you’re asking yourself, “how does that apply to bowling?” Well, it has a lot to do with improving your game if you’ve made up your mind to do so. Each of us has an objective in mind, besides having fun, with regards to our bowling game – bowl decently so as not embarrass myself, raise my average by twenty pins, become a 200-average bowler, and so forth.

Okay, let’s say that you’re a 130 average bowler and want to raise your average by twenty or more pins to get at least to the 150’s. Doing a self-analysis of your situation, you can see that if you make two to three more spares a game, you will achieve that objective.

Here are the smaller goals that will get you there:

1) Find a coach who’ll instruct you in shooting spares. A lot of beginners really don’t have a methodology and a certified coach will positively have one to be able to instruct you properly. Some of the more widely acceptable ones are the “3-6-9,” and the “2-4-6” sparing systems. There may, however, be a better and more suitable one that your coach knows. (Since you need to get only three or four mores spares a game, you probably won’t need to change your style too radically.)

2) Decide on a set time at least twice a week for your coaching sessions to be held. You must make the commitment to stick to this schedule if you want to reach the objective. Don’t expect to be able to accomplish your objectives during league competition.

3) Commit to purchasing a plastic spare ball, even if it’s only to shoot at the corner pins. Oil conditions in the modern sport of bowling make shooting the 7 and 10 pins really difficult. It’s hard to predict whether your reactive resin bowling ball will hook or go straight. Getting a ball you know will go straighter automatically raises your odds for picking up the corner spin spares.

4) Set a goal that you will be at a 140 average by the time three months have passed and a 145 average after 5 months. These are measurable points of getting to the 150 average for the purposes of charting your progress.

While this may be a simplistic example of a large objective, are you seeing how the objective has been broken down into smaller, and easily attainable, steps? The “elephant” is the 150 average and the goals you set to get there are the “one bite at a time.”

Once you get into the habit of breaking down large objectives into little and more easily achievable ones, it’ll be much easier to get to where you would like to be. Don’t be afraid to aim as high as you want as long as you remember to break them down into easy to reach goals. As each step along the way is reached, you’ll gain more-and-more confidence in your purpose; and before you know it, you’ll be showing improvement in your game and be bowling the best that you can.

Note that if you go to the USBC website at and go to the “Coaching” section, you will be able to find a certified member of the USBC Coaches Association by putting in your zip code for the area where you live.

Which reminds me, “why is it so difficult for an elephant to hide in your refrigerator?” “Because you can smell the peanuts on his breath.”

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Julia Arostegi lives in California USA. She took Developmental Communication at the University of California and finished her studies in 2012. She is currently the managing director of California Magazine. She is also a blogger, content enthusiast and a photographer.