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An exhilarating ride is awaiting break-out bowlers

Siena Cawelti improved her average greatly almost over night.
Siena Cawelti improved her average greatly almost over night.
Fred Eisenhammer

This story originally ran Feb. 25, 2014, and is being re-run and dedicated to my Facebook friend who has been lamenting his season-long slump. This young, full-of-potential bowler, who shall remain anonymous, said he was considering quitting. But anyone who can bowl a 241 game, like he's done, is not someone who should leave the sport. If one can bowl so well in one game, that means it can happen again . . . and again . . . and again. Stay positive!

Greg Kolski did it.

So did Siena Cawelti.

Same with Julius Marsh.

All three Los Angeles-based bowlers seemingly overnight raised their averages close to 20 pins.

It can be done. And for all those league bowlers who feel they’re in a rut, Kolski’s, Cawelti’s and Marsh’s rapid improvements provide hope that they can break out of it too.

The fact is, one doesn’t have to be a 140-, 150-, 160- or 170-average bowler forever.

One thing Kolski, Cawelti and Marsh share is a genuine love for the sport. They wanted to improve their game and they made it their passion to do so.

Last year Cawelti (shown in photo) was absolutely ecstatic when she blasted her first 600 series during an unforgettable week in which she rolled four 200 games.

At the time, she reminisced how she started league bowling a few years earlier and struggled. “I was a 119-average bowler and knew nothing,” she said with a laugh.

But she put in a lot of hard work – fighting through painful injuries to her knees and back – and reached heights she may not have thought were possible

Kolski demonstrated his commitment to the sport by bowling a stunning 100 games in one day. He looks back now at that day (which ran into the night!) and calls it possibly the catalyst for his present success in which he frequently makes runs at perfect games.

Marsh, too, is no stranger to those blistering workout sessions, once bowling 81 games in one day.

Elite bowler Johnnie Englehart says the average bowler needn’t resort to such extreme sessions to see vast improvement. But he says a surge in a bowler’s average is attainable, particularly for those in their prime bowling years, which Englehart calls between 20 and 60 years old.

Englehart, who has smoked 52 perfect games and carries a potent 242 average, says practice is the most important element in elevating one’s game.

But he says there are other ways to raise one’s game. “It could be an equipment change. Bowling balls do wear out,” Englehart said.

Englehart added that sometime bowlers can improve their games drastically just by changing leagues – to one that may be more competitive. “You can bowl to the level of your surroundings,” he said.

So what’s the message in all this?

Perhaps it’s this: Bowlers should keep their goals lofty, not give up and step up their practice sessions . . . and it may result in an exhilarating ride up to unimaginable heights.

And don’t give up if you’re temporarily swimming against the tide. The current can swiftly change directions.

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