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How do you capitalize on how we visualize? Author, speaker and bronze level bowling coach, Craig Hillier, explains his Run, Run, Create formula and how it will help your performance in pressure situations when all eyes are on you.

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The first “Run” in Hillier’s formula to help calm nerves in pressure situations is to run the ideal mental film in your mind. You can practice this on and off the lanes.

An easy way to start off the lanes is to find a comfortable, quiet place away from the noise. With your eyes closed, watch yourself executing several different shots from strikes to split conversions and everything in between. Running this mental film over and over again off the lanes will add comfort on the lanes because you’re now familiar with the situation.

Applying this method on the lanes is simple. Run the ideal mental film while you are waiting for your turn to bowl or during your pre-shot routine.

The next “Run” in Hillier’s formula is to run multiple types of scenarios. The second variable in Hillier’s formula was inspired by a podcast where the guest speaks about her experiences as a competitor in open water swimming races.

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She explained how she visualized the race in her mind several months before competing. When race day arrived, the result was much different than she previously visualized. Her visualization was of the perfect race, not multiple scenarios that present challenges and obstacles that one usually encounters.

As it pertains to bowling, no one averages 300 in bowling. There will be challenges on the lanes. By visualizing obstacles like not being able to get to the pocket, missing single pin spares, or a teammate struggling, when they happen on the lanes you’ll know how to respond without aggravation or worry.

Now that we are off and running, it’s time to “Create” habits that will keep the mind present. Pressure situations require your mind to be present and focused on the task at hand. If your mind is already thinking about the outcome or the results of the outcome, your mind is not present and your performance will suffer.

By creating routines during practice that you apply during the competition when pressure mounts throughout the competition, you have a home base to get back to ultimately keeping your mind present on the task at hand. Your visualizations and routines that you have been running past and present will take over and calm nerves associated with pressure situations will prevail.

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