Bowling is a competitive sport, both as individual players and as a teammate. While obviously winning is the ultimate game, how you play the game and interact with teammates and opposing teammates goes a long way in your overall game, moral of your teammates and the entire event. Good sportsmanship is important, not just because it’s polite, but because it will also help you to improve your game; no matter how bad a night you might be having. Poor bowling sportsmanship is not only a handicap for yourself, but to your teammates and others around you.
Control your temper; mind your bowling sportsmanship manners
This is the most important, and for some perhaps the most difficult, area of bowling sportsmanship to keep under control. If you are having a bad frame, a bad game or even a bad night, it’s hard not to get frustrated and angry. You are probably upset with your own abilities and inability to meet your own individual standards, and then you may feel like you are letting down your teammates as well. This only adds to the frustration and anger – which also leads to more mistakes and making others uncomfortable.
How many times have you seen bowlers miss a spare or some other important frame and get so angry they start cursing, kicking the ball return, hitting the chairs and so forth? Not only does it make that person look ‘bad’ and shows off their bad bowling sportsmanship, but it also distracts their teammates and others around them. Their teammates will be a bit nervous from the display of anger and may feel more pressure to do well, which can lead to more mistakes. When everyone is on edge because of someone’s bowling sportsmanship showing in a negative way, it affects everyone’s game, not just that bowler’s.
If you are angry and can’t seem to find your mark, control your temper, and concentrate on what went wrong and how you can correct it on the next frame. Remember, no matter how good a bowler is, everyone has bad games and bad days. The best bowling sportsmanship to display is to behave and encourage others while being calm so that you can discover what is going wrong in your game.
The power of positive reinforcement
Showing good bowling sportsmanship involves keeping up the moral. It is a good habit to always support your teammates, no matter if they have an excellent game or are having an off night. Showing support and sympathy to opponents is also another good bowling sportsmanship tactic.
The more supportive and encouraging you are to your teammates, the more they will be responsive and able to calm down and concentrate on their game. Having a bad game is bad enough, especially when you know your team is counting on you. However, knowing that your teammates understand you’re having an off game or day, but are still supportive of you will go a long way in not only improving the game, but also in the overall moral and enjoyment of the sport.