July 23, 2013
Vanderbilt's assistant bowling coach, Josie Earnest, is one of the leading professional bowlers in the United States. She is competing in the U.S. Open in Ohio this week and sends this report.
Today (Monday) was the opening day of competition at the 2013 U.S. Open and it was a GRIND. I shot 1,623 for eight games, which puts me averaging 202.9 and I should be in the top 15-20 at the end of the day.
This year's Open is different from past years because the men and women are bowling at the same time. The last couple of years the women's side has been on a more forgiving pattern, but this year we are bowling on something more similar to what the men see every year. The goal going in to today was to find a ball that would leave me a spare that I could pick up. It worked for five games, but the other three were a struggle.
I have found that bowling in big events the most important thing to control is your emotions, especially on patterns that are this tough. Everyone is going to have a game that they wish they could take back. Most people will have multiple games like that, but the key is to have a short memory and keep plugging along until something falls in your favor. In the past I had a hard time with the idea of a short memory. I would live and die with every shot I threw down the lane, but after coaching our team for a few years now I realize how negatively that affects your performance. It's amazing when you can remove yourself from what is going on and see from a coaching perspective what having a negative thought process does to your performance. You have to be able to forgive yourself for making a mistake, learn from what happened, and use it to make your next shot better. The longer you hang on, the lower your scores become. Hopefully tomorrow I can stick to a similar game plan. This tournament is a marathon, but I am pleased with the start.
I also want to give a big thanks to everyone back at Vanderbilt. The 2013 Hall of Fame class was announced today and I am honored to say that I am a member of that class. I never imagined I would be a Hall of Famer at Vandy, especially this soon, but I couldn't be more gratified that they thought that highly of my career. It means a lot to me and my goal is to help my girls become Hall of Famers one day!
Until tomorrow, Anchor Down!