Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Value of Specialists

Ahhhh...if I could only strike that level of fear in the hearts of pins......

I purchased my first bowling ball at one of those mega sports stores at the strip mall. Bowling balls were stashed in mangled boxes on disorganized shelves in the back corner by the loading dock doors. After choosing the only 10 pound ball - I was measured by someone who assumed I knew what I was doing (I don't). 3 phone calls from the little asian man drilling the ball ("That's just not RIIIIIGHT!") and two visits later I walked away with a ball that magically magnified any flaw in my delivery.

This weekend, after one full season of bowling, I decided to get a new 13 pound bowling ball. I had been playing with the 14 - 16 pounders in the alley during the short off-season and decided it was time for me to increase my weight. This time, I decided to go to Carmen Don's - a local bowling shop tucked in a building next to one of the local bowling alleys.

What a difference!

Nick, the strapping young man who took care of me, measured my hands more ways than I thought they could be measured for something as prosaic as a bowling ball. He then drilled the ball, had me throw a few times in the store, gave me a couple of tips, fine-tuned the holes and sent me on my way with a shiny new ball and a friendly "Don't be a stranger!"

Can you tell I'm just a tad smitten.

I was even more smitten after I played a couple games with the shiny new ball last night.


Even the Captain noticed the difference - particularly in my first ball.

I'm still having my usual control and release issues, but once I get used to this thing, I may have a fighting chance of breaking 100 on a regular basis.

I'm reminded that specialists can sometimes help you take that next step in ways that a generalist can't.

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