Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bowling Quote of the Day--Perfectionism in Bowling

"It's the bowler who makes the least number of mistakes that prevails; a perfectionist doesn't exist."
--Earl Anthony, as quoted by Tom Kouros

This quote is attributed to Earl Anthony in a Bowlers Journal International article. If it's exactly what Anthony said, I need to make a small correction. I'm quite sure there are "perfectionists" in bowling. By that I mean people who strive to bowl perfectly--to make the perfect shot, bowl a perfect game, or even bowl a perfect series. But there are no perfect bowlers.

Anthony's point was apparently that it's impossible to be absolutely perfect on every shot or maybe even on any shot, so don't beat and mess yourself up trying too hard to be perfect. Yet, I wonder if Anthony himself wasn't a perfectionist on the lanes. He may not have expected perfection in himself, but I'd venture to guess that perfection was the horizonal ideal for which he strove on every shot, and that the closer he got to it, even if he never actually achieved it, the better. In fact, I'd guess that if we don't challenge ourselves in this way, we may never progress as far or as fast as those who do.

So, rather than say that there are no bowling perfectionists, it might be truer and more helpful to say, "There are no perfect bowlers, but bowlers who strive to come as close to perfection as they can on every shot are, all other things being equal, likely to perform best."

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