Becoming a Peak Performer

Becoming a Peak Performer


Why are some athletes so incredibly good at the sport they do?  Many people consider this “The Gift.”  I believe this is a part of it but only the starting point, a very important part, but the starting point only.  Obviously a very short person in basketball isn’t likely to become a professional basketball person.  LeBron James was born with “The Gift” but again that is only the starting point. What he did with it after receiving “The Gift” is what turned him into arguably the GOAT.  Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Norm Duke, etc. were born with “The Gift” and took full advantage of “The Gift”.


Elite athletes/bowlers have a purpose every time they practice.  Simply doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get better doesn’t work.  You must have a PURPOSE and a WHY.  I use to golf a lot during my days on Tour.  I did the same thing over and over and never improved my skill as a golfer.  The reason - I never had a purposeful practice.   You need to be purposeful and deliberate about your practice.  I would refer to this as “The Peak Performer Standard.”


How do you intend to improve in each practice session? What will you do?  You need to identify goals, both long and short term.  You must have a target.


Purposeful practice sessions need to be focused with intensity.  Going through the motions and just having fun and staying relaxed will not get you better.  Are you better today than you were yesterday?


Purposeful practice sessions must provide feedback on what you are doing wrong.  Did you not repeat a ball speed when wanting to repeat a slower ball speed in today’s practice? Immediate feedback (SPECTO, CATS, Bowler’s Map, etc.) helps you identify what you’re doing wrong and how to improve is essential.


I like to tell my players to be COMFORTABLE with being UNCOMFORTABLE.  You must get out of your comfort zone to improve.  Learning how to play different parts of the lane can be very uncomfortable at first.  Learning how to change axis rotation angles or ball speeds for different ball motion tools can be very uncomfortable.  Get out of your comfort zone but do it intensely with specific goals, a process of reaching those goals and develop a method of evaluating your progress.  Also, stay motivated during your practice.  Win the Practice!


How much purposeful practice is needed to become an elite player?  Study after study shows that nobody develops extraordinary abilities without putting in tremendous amounts of practice.  The top players in our sport devote tremendous amounts of time in developing their abilities.  Some studies apply the 10,000 rule as the number of hours of practice it takes to become a peak performer in a skill.  To truly become the best in your sport, you need to put in decades of purposeful practice.  As I tell my students, maximize your 86,400!


It takes a tremendous amount of time to become Elite in the sport of bowling.  Be purposeful in your practice with specific goals, get out of your comfort zone and measure your opportunities for growth.