The Diary

Follow the drama. Would you rather begin at the beginning?

  1. Simplifying My Approach
    "You're someone who likes to make things complicated". I heard that from coach Tom Paterson today. I know. I think I even know why and I think I know how to work my way out this trap.
  2. A Renewed Mental Approach
    Among the productive habits I'd built and lost was trusting my physical game and focusing on my mental approach. I have a few mental exercises to try and now I need to conduct an experiment.
  3. Returning After A Break
    It felt like time to take a break, reset, then come back with a plan for where to go next. I'm committed to simplifying the physical aspects of my game and focusing on the mental aspects. Either it's enough or it isn't.
  4. A Bump in the Road
    I had a disastrous performance at a recent tournament. I'm still struggling to move forward from it, because I felt a significant loss of confidence and increase in confusion. Where do I go from here? Back to the beginning to try again.
  5. Overall Progress Report: April 30, 2021
    I took a big step backward in performance, but I hope that I learned from it. This is an area where I feel stuck, because it gets "meta" pretty quickly: am I holding myself back because I don't understand that nothing holds me back other than the belief that something is holding me back?
  6. I Just Don't See Things In My Mind
    When I try to visualize things, I don't see vivid images in my mind. I don't really see anything. I notice the equivalent of the idea of seeing things. And I only see those in tiny pieces, like a horribly-edited movie on a broken screen. What does this mean? What can I do?
  7. How Should I Build Precision?
    Both in league play and in practice this past week, I noticed a slight drop in precision. Although my strike rate seems to be staying up where it's been a few weeks, I went back to hitting my target less often. Given my propensity for becoming mired in the details of my mechanics, I'm not sure how to proceed.
  8. Idle Thoughts About Practice
    When I focused on practising my mechanics, I reached a plateau. After (possibly) breaking through that plateau, maybe I'm ready for some of the things I tried so hard to practise in the past.
  9. League Play: March 24, 2021
    What a roller coaster! It was the mental equivalent of experiencing all four seasons of weather in one day. Fortunately, I got to use my newest mental trick and, at the risk of overstating things, it seems to have helped!
  10. That's How It Always Is!
    I've been struggling for years to find better ways to react to bad shots. I've improved significantly, but I still have the tendency to let the frustration build, hit a breaking point, then it spills over and I take too long to recover. Recently I found one silly trick that might help me turn the corner.
  11. League Play: March 17, 2021
    I tried a mechanical change that John Willock suggested to me and saw immediate benefits. Sadly, my left shoulder barked at me and that led to some imprecision that manifested in head pins instead of sparables, so my scores suffered.
  12. Practice Report: March 12, 2021
    I tried something different: I turned the scoring system on. After Wednesday's strange performance I wanted to gather some evidence related to the cause of my falling flat on league nights. Is it keeping score? Is it other people? Apparently it's other people.
  13. League Play: March 10, 2021
    I don't even remember much about this league night. It just feels in my memory like "one that got away". This kind of perfomance concerns me, because I can't point to anything particularly bad, but instead I look up at the end of the night and the results are not good.
  14. Practice Report: March 5, 2021
    I had an excellent practice session, making strides both in mechanics and in the mental game. It's true what they say: progress is slow until it very suddenly culminates in a quantum leap. I leapt.
  15. I Don't Think I'm a Good Team Player
    I don't think I'm a good team player, mostly because of the way I retreat into myself when I don't bowl well. I reason that fixing my game is how I can best contribute to the team. I think I need to change this impulse if I want to become a better team player and I'm not sure I care enough.
  16. Practice Report: February 25, 2021
    I felt good about putting rotation on the ball, but less good about integrating two other key aspects of the game. Even so, I arrived at an insight that maybe Tom Paterson will not be happy about....
  17. League Play: February 24, 2021
    Early on, I found it hard to focus on rotation and trust my shot, although I bowled well. Then I noticed the approach becoming slick like ice. After several frames of battling myself, I finally made a physical adjustment that resulted in a great final game.
  18. ICYMI: Balls
    You probably saw it, but in case you missed it, a bunch of people talked about balls: composition, size, weight. I think it provides a good overview on the topic.
  19. Stretching and Habits
    I need to stretch in order to rehabilitate my left shoulder. I need more than that, but stretching represents a great place to start. I'm a huge believer in the power of habit.
  20. 2021 PEI Open
    I finished 4th at the 2021 PEI Open after losing my only playoff match. I'd qualified 3rd shooting a very uneven 16 games averaging a disappointing 227. Greg Peteraitis provides some analysis of the video of my playoff match.

About Me

My name is J. B. Rainsberger. I'm a 5-pin bowler who does software development consulting to pay for his bowling habit.

I live in Altantic Canada, but bowl regularly (when we're allowed to) across the eastern half of the country (so far).

A headshot of J. B. Rainsberger at a Newfoundland Bowling Tour event with Kelley Hann photobombing him.