Why I won’t ever be a ten pin bowling champion!

In sport, consistency is everything. You can have a good eye, good technique, competitive nature, ability to control your nerves and everything else besides; but without consistency it’s “Houston, we have a problem!”

I, like many people, have this problem. My first love, Snooker, highlighted this defect perfectly. Occasionally able to make breaks in snooker of around 30-40, the consistency issue would rear it’s ugly head, and the next time I stood at the table I’d either miss easy shots completely or commit some sort of foul!

I like Golf, but without basic consistency I wouldn’t advise it. I like Badminton. I fare a little better in Badminton on consistency but general fitness is a big problem. Squash-I’m not even going to go there! Table-Tennis? Much better but the old inconsistency creeps back in.

This takes me to Ten Pin Bowling. This sport was rekindled in Scotland 25-30 years ago and has been popular at times with many Alleys opening up, while many have shut in the last 10 years. An American speciality that was warmly welcomed. The thing about TPB is that it looks really easy! Ten pins begging to be demolished by a big bowling ball down a narrow alley-what could be easier? You just couldn’t fail to miss could you?

Last night I played with friends. It had been a long time since I last played but I counted that as an advantage considering how bad I was previously! I thought I’d start with a clean slate, no emotional baggage from the last time. A clear mind, a new focus and hopefully some consistency!

I started off well. At some point or another I got a ‘strike’. I won the game narrowly against my friend Russell who is more ‘consistent’ than I. It was a fluke helped by a jammy final ‘strike’. Second game was different story. Russell’s consistency and better technique soon advanced his score and I along with my ever failing consistency soon lagged behind! He demolished me! Final Score was Russell 147; Stuart 70 or 80 something.

I had a good time. Both families did. I think the point is not to take oneself too seriously, remember it’s just a game and I’ll never be a champion Ten Pin Bowler! New Year’s resolution? Get some consistency! Please Lord!

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