12 Strikes Zone interviewed on Sports Schmucks!

Hello everyone! I have some exciting news to share. This past Sunday, March 17, the Sports Schmucks radio show, hosted by David “the Waz” Waswo and James “JP” Peuster, had yours truly on for a guest interview!

I was nervous, but I was definitely more excited. I got to talk about the purpose of my blog, what plans I have for the future with this project, and a bit about my favorite bowler, Missy Parkin.

It’s an interesting story how this incredible opportunity found its way to me. Missy Parkin had just Continue reading

Has bowling been made too easy?

It seems no matter where you look in the bowling world, high scores are everywhere. It’s common for a match to end in a score of 260-250, or higher. To put that in perspective, bowling a 250 game means a bowler only didn’t strike two frames. The magic number, 300, has also lost much of its prominence due to the dramatic rise in their numbers over the years. This has created a culture of entitlement.

Let’s say a person catches one of the PBA telecasts on a Sunday afternoon. Odds are, several power players will be on the show and it’s going to culminate in a strike-fest. Now, this person might decide to give bowling a try and goes to his local pro shop to buy one of the latest and greatest bowling balls. They bowl a few games with it, and they start to get the hang of the ball and quickly shoot 150+ games. On a house shot with modern bowling balls, a person does not have to throw the ball well to score high. Power is more than enough of a substitute for proper form under those circumstances. With a few more weeks of practice, this person can approach or break a 200 average, and they decide to join a weekly league. They can hang among the top bowlers in the league, and they grow complacent with where they are, deciding they are almost as good as the pros. But when they bowl on tougher oil patterns Continue reading

The life of a pro shop operator

With this post I got the perspective of a single pro shop operator on the importance of pro shops in the world of bowling, and also the role they play for competitive bowlers. I hope to do a blog post in the not-so-distant future exploring issues from pro shop operators all over the place, but this is a good start.

Also, a good friend of mine helped me with this project. His name is Matt Voigt, and he is a brilliant photographer. He took a good portion of the photos for this project, and taught me how to use high-tech cameras. Matt’s passion is landscape photography, and he’s uploaded a number of beautiful photos to his website camel51.deviantart.com. Please do check them out (all 7 pages of them!), I can guarantee you’ll be in awe (and he’s only 17!)

Now, here’s my audio slideshow for my interview with Raymond Ledesma, pro shop operator at Sea Side Pro Shop in Pacifica.

Raymond Ledesma interview

Raymond Ledesma

From the other side

Missy Parkin is one of the top professional bowlers currently competing in many of the big-name tournaments. A very competitive and passionate bowler, Parkin shares her experiences being a woman bowler during a time when the sport is mostly dominated by men in her article “From the Other Side.” It’s a very inspirational story, with messages we can all relate to and learn from.

From the Other Side

by Missy Parkin

I began bowling at the very young age of two-and-a-half. I grew up in a definite bowling family, with my father, Frank Bellinder, being a professional bowler and owning a pro shop. Needless to say, I was always in or around a bowling center and that didn’t bother me one bit. Most people don’t know that I have two older sisters, both of whom bowled, but never decided to take it seriously. I, on the other hand, had an absolute obsession with the sport.

I vividly remember being in first grade and my teacher asking me, “Melissa, what do you want to be when you grow up?” (Yes, my full name is Melissa.) My response never changed throughout my entire life – “A professional bowler!”

The road to becoming a professional bowler, as hard as that already is, became suddenly a lot harder with the demise of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association, or PWBA. Throughout my early years, my parents instilled a great importance on education. I was an honor student in high school, graduating with over a 4.0 GPA and not once ever thought of not going to college.

My plan was simple – go to college, get a good education and then go out full-time on the women’s professional bowling tour. Those dreams shattered suddenly and at the worst possible time.

MVP

2003 Men’s Most Valuable Player award at the Intercollegiate Bowling Championships

All was going according to plan…I bowled collegiately for California State University, Fullerton. I had a successful collegiate bowling career, breaking a few records by anchoring our men’s team to a near top-two TV show appearance, finishing in fourth place overall. I was voted the Men’s Most Valuable Player and to the Men’s All-Tournament Team at the Intercollegiate Bowling Championships against the likes of Sean Rash from Wichita State, Bill O’Neill from Saginaw Valley and Ronnie Russell from Vincennes University. That same year I was also named Women’s Collegiate Bowler of the Year and Continue reading