Some say bowling is a sport for people who have talent to spare, but I beg to differ. Bowling is a sport for people who not only have a little talent, but for those who have stamina, a strong mindset, and enough patience to get them through a weekend long tournament. Here are just a few of the many things I have learned throughout my first year of collegiate competition:
1. This definitely isn’t high school anymore.
You might have been the top bowler in high school, but college is a whole new playing field. The girl on lane 56 just threw a 300, but you know for a fact she has had plenty of them in the past. The lane conditions are tougher and the mental game gets harder, you will be put to the test by all of your coaches, teammates, and competitors.
2. It’s an honor to even be on varsity.
Whether you bowl every game or only bowl one ball the whole tournament, take it as an honor. Not everyone made it to compete at the collegiate level. Bowling is a growing sport and not many colleges even offer the sport. The opportunity is something you should never take for granted and you should enjoy it while you still have the chance.
3. Don’t write your number on a sugar packet...It will come back around.
It was funny at the time, but if you’re awkward like me, you’ll never live it down. All it took was one night in Kansas for me to already find myself throwing a sugar packet with a cell phone number on it to a guy from another team. At least we had a good laugh, right?
4. Your team becomes your family and everything in-between.
From practice 4-5 days a week to weekend long tournaments, you'll never get enough of each other. These girls will become the sisters you always wanted and the sisters you never wanted. You will know what makes one another upset and how to cheer them up after a bad day. They make Christmas break hard, but you know the time apart will do you all some good.
5. Cheers are a real thing.
Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is in fact a real thing. Almost every school has a cheer for each of their bowlers and it gets loud. Sometimes the ball hitting the pins is the quietest thing you will hear all day. Cheers are mainly reworded song lyrics that have some bowling lingo thrown in them. Overall, cheering gets loud and if you don't like it you better get moving along.
College bowling is a sport that requires more than just throwing the ball down the lane. The game receives a whole new meaning and to properly obtain the goal in mind, you have to go in with an open mind and go in whole heartedly. The sport will take you places you never thought were possible and will give you an unbreakable bond with your team. The lessons learned this first half of the season will stay with me for now and forever and I can't wait to finish the season with a team I've grown to love.