In this article we will hit on certain things you will need to have before heading to a tournament. Have you ever gone to that tournament and realized you did not have the right ball, or that certain accessory? I am sure the list could go on and on. I will try to hit the best 5 needs that I believe will help you at your next tournament.
First need, is making sure your arsenal is set up properly. What I mean by this is, just because a certain shot is being put out on that day doesn't mean it will play in a certain spot on that day. Lets say this 39' sport shot is being put out and is suppose to play outside by the ditch. Bring an arsenal for the most part allows you to play outside but still have your main inside ball in case the ditch is not playable. Always have an arsenal from strongest to weakest. That way you can go down the ladder at tournaments. Most of the time when the lanes are fresh there is more oil to start with but at the end of the day, not as much oil will be left. Especially when you bowl 8 game tournaments with 6+ on a pair. The shot will break down and ball changes will need to be made. Be prepared for anything!
Second need, is making sure you have the right accessories. First thing you will need here, is a small accessory bag. One that is big enough to hold multiple items but yet small enough to fit in most bags. If you are a person that uses tape, make sure you have more than enough when you head to the tournament. Make sure you have your grip bag if you use one. Make sure you have work out tools in case you hand were to swell that day. Then you will have the tools to make sure you have the proper fit in your bowling ball. A great quote here would be "You can't out bowl a bad fit" by Ron Hoppe. Which basically means your not going to bowl well if nothing feels correct and perfect. Make sure you have all the little things to win the big picture.
Third need, is make sure you have your spare game ready to go! This could be applied with arsenal but I believe it should be on its own here. The spare ball is by far the most important ball in your bag! For those that don't have one, well get one or make sure that you perfect your flat hand release! Taking the lane out of play makes the spare game that much easier. Spare balls are meant NOT to hook. Why mess with the sport pattern when you do not have to!?
Fourth thing needed is a Strategy! Yes you do need to stay open minded but having a game plan going into the tournament is only going to help you. Have a good idea where you want to start in practice but keep in mind that things may have to change quickly. The strategy of watching others bowlers have success that day can benefit you as well. If it is working for one person, I am sure you could get in the same area and benefit from it to. If the shot requires you to play inside be prepared for that but don't be afraid to try the outside. You never know until you tried. Stay open minded but don't be shy about trying areas out that seem to be working for others.
Fifth need, have a coach or someone to watch you. It is better to have another pair of eyes watching to help see where you just hit or maybe need to be hitting. The coach may not be there at the tournament but when you have your arsenal set up and a strategy, that coach should be able to point out some guide lines for you. Face it, every sport out there has a coach! Some are able to travel with the player and help them to success. Other coaches are just at your practice site. That is where being prepared before you head to the tournament comes into play.
Be ready for anything when heading to a tournament! Other bowlers could mess your game plan up and then you have to make a change. Sometimes bowlers could help benefit the game plan you were going into with. You never know in this invisible sport. You can not see the oil but you can see the reactions you are getting out of the bowling ball. Be ready for adjustments and make sure you have no regrets when leaving the tournament whether it is having the right ball or tape and so on. Remember to enjoy the game of bowling and Practice, Practice, Practice!