Performance State

Research in the field of Sports Psychology indicates that there are 4 types of “Performance State” which refer to how we feel during a bowling performance and our level of engagement in the task (the task is to make each shot as best we can).
Types 1 and 2 are Optimal Performance States and Types 3 and 4 are Sub-optimal Performance States. I’m sure you have experienced and can relate to each one.
Performance State 1 (Optimal): The Flow State
This performance state is where everything “flows” and is the highest possible performance state. There is no inner critic or doubt, you feel good and engagement with the task is highest. Because you are immersed in the present moment and what you are doing and experiencing, you don’t realize you’re in flow until the end of the bowling competition. You’re “letting it happen” rather than “making it happen”.
Performance State 2 (Optimal): The Clutch State
This performance state is positive, but it requires more effort to stay optimal. In this state you are “making it happen” with conscious effort, rather than it flowing unconsciously as you are in PS1. You might be needing more use of controllers such as Self Talk to keep you motivated and focused on the tasks at hand.
Performance State 3 (Sub-Optimal): Overthinking State
This performance state is characterized by overthinking about things that are irrelevant to the execution of the task (each shot). You might be overly concerned about what could go wrong, how you look or others, or unhelpful thoughts that are not going to help you bowl well. It’s an unpleasant state that requires a lot of effort and mental energy. At this point, you’re feeling threatened rather than challenged. When we are in this performance state, the aim should be to guide yourself into Performance State 2.
Performance State 4 (Sub-Optimal): Giving Up State
Type 4: This is when the player has withdrawn from the task completely and is no longer putting in any effort. Due to poor performance, the goal becomes getting the task over and done with, rather than being successful at it. There is no longer any enjoyment in what they are doing.
Your best performances are going to come in Performance States 1 and 2. Since it’s still unclear about how we can consistently get into The Flow State (PS1), Performance State 2 is the one that we have the most control in reaching and hence what the goal should be for a bowling competition and practice session. Once we are in PS2, we are in a better state to move into Flow or PS1.

Compete in Type 1 and/or Type 2 To Win The Day!