Top Seven Guerrilla Success Strategies For Succeeding "Under the Gun"

"Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great?"

— Jimmy Johnson

Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys Coach

Synonymous with Guerilla Play is “Risk.”

  • Risk-taking refers to the tendency to engage in behaviors that have the potential to set you back, yet at the same time provide the opportunity for some kind of outcome that can jet you past where you have been.

  • Virtually nothing magical happens inside of your comfort zone. The results based on your normal style of play are already in. You will have to play a game of risk to go stellar, e.g. moving fast with oil changes, playing outside lines, playing inside lines, holding nothing back in your execution.

Without feedback you are dead in the water. Here are some axioms of feedback:

  • Feedback is the only thing that gives you awareness that leads to choices in athletic movement.

  • The better you get at the game, the less likely you are to get real or productive feedback about your bowling.

  • The more successful and famous you are athletically the less likely you are to get true feedback about how you show up as a human being.

  • The more convinced you are that what you are doing is the only way, the more people will comply by withholding authentic assistance and coaching.

Take responsibility for virtually everything that happens in your space.

The only place of power from which to operate is to make zero excuses, resist blaming anything, and avoid the words “if” and “when” as conditions for success. The alternative is to rely on luck, and others’ failures. Play offense by taking 100% responsibility for everything that happens as much as you can.

You have to have a reason to be here.

What are you bowling for? Why do you bowl? Everyone knows they want to score. Almost no one knows why they actually play. Money and titles are results, not reasons. Players don’t excel because their technique is so perfect. They excel because they play with a particular champions attitude.

Start with something grand, like expressing grit, soul, or demonstrating athleticism—these are deeper sources of success and inspiration. The goal is not to bowl for titles, they are great to have, but they are just trophies. If you want to feel great, you have to do something great. Competition gives you that opportunity.

You have to be willing to be an outlier.

"Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast."  Tom Peters

Outliers are those who see things from new and different perspectives. They are willing to do whatever is effective to get the job done. They have the power of decision on their side. You have to hang all the way out there. No self-protection.

You have to shake off judgment, criticism, and self-doubt. The truth, in the end, is based on results. But only when you have results do people cheer for you.

Previous results are not destiny. Your decisions right now determine your future.

Here are some examples of the most important decisions you have to make as an athlete:

  1. What am I going to focus on? Whatever you focus on determines what you will feel. Whether it is on your self, others, the lanes, your past successes or mistakes, the present moment, or the consequences of your actions.

  2. What does your decision about how to play mean? Basically you are looking to be rewarded in some way, or you trying to avoid something bad happening. Do you play an approach or avoidance type of game?

  3. What are you going to do? What committed action are you going to take? In the face of set-backs are you going to give up or move forward?

You must address the thing that you fear or that limits you.

For better and for worse, most people end up getting what they personally think they deserve. Research shows that we have set-points for nearly everything from weight, to happiness, to financial success, to bowling averages, to tournament finishes.

Fill in the blank: As a bowler I fear that I am not _____________ enough. The answer is what you fear being exposed. The answer is what locks you up. The answer is what needs to address in order to play your best under the gun.

“The danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”