KEEP WORDS IN PERSPECTIVE
During leagues and tournaments, bowlers are pitted against one another. The objective is to win, of course. However, different people will take different avenues to try to achieve the same goal. Most of us have heard the term “trash talk,” goading an opposing team member or bowler with snide remarks and offerings to “psyche out” their opponent. Realizing that trash talk is exactly that, trash, can help you overcome it.
I’ve seen many bowlers, after getting angered by an opposing bowler with statements like, “Must be nice to carry everything.,” or, “You must need to stink to be good here,” start making terrible shots. They get too much into the verbal battle, instead of focusing on the pins. This is exactly what the trash talker wants, he or she wants to get you out of your normal rhythm so that you start thinking about what you’re doing instead of just doing it. The more conscious thought you put into your shot instead of just flowing with it, the greater chance you’re going to have to make an errant shot.
First thing to remember when faced with someone like this is to remember that what they really want is to get you out of your normal game. It doesn’t matter what an opponent thinks of you or how you bowl, your only opponent, if you really want to get right down to it, is the ten pins and the lane you are bowling on. The actions of your human opponent should be totally outside of your attention. When you let comments like that get to you, you end up with 3 opponents, the pins, the opponent’s remarks, and yourself.
Just keep a cool head, and realize what the trash talker really wants, then don’t give it to him.