Mental preparation throughout the season will be a key ingredient for the 2009-2010 Florida A&M bowling team, as they look to remain number one in the Southern Division of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Florida A&M bowling team currently has a first place record of 12-4 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and overall record of 22-11, hoping to increase their 847.8 pin fall average that ranks fourth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Florida A&M head coach Sheila Martin believes the team has to be physically and mentally prepared during every match in order for the team to win matches throughout the season.
“It’s 90 percent physical and 10 percent mental, if you’re mentally focused when you’re playing, that 10 percent can overtake the 90 percent,” Martin said. “The physical really doesn’t matter any more because you won’t be able to compete. When we’re competing, we want to keep our pin falls totals high, not to relax too much in order to be able to accomplish the goal in the end, which is to win or place high in the tournament.”
Junior and captain of the team Jazmin Bingham who is averaging 171.7 pin-falls, feels that the Rattlers will have to keep improving to maintain to the number one seeding in the conference in hopes of capturing a conference championship.
“I still feel like it’s a work in progress, we have to keep practicing hard, I have to try and be a good leader, set an example, Bingham said. “Through hard work and dedication we can achieve anything and if we all have one goal in mind and we all focus on what we need to do, it’s going to help us win a championship and remain number one.”
Co-captain Ashley Melson believes an underlining factor in the team’s success, is coach Martin ability to act as a support system for players, that helps the team to better focus.
“She’s more like a second mom, she knows how to turn it on and off,” Melson said. “When we are in tournaments she’s our coach, when it’s outside of the bowling alley, she’s a second mom and that’s what need as a team. When you have a problem with school, friends, anything outside of bowling, she’s there 24-7.”
Coach Martin emphasized that practice is where her team bands together and has to develop a mental edge over the opposition in order to maintain a level of concentration.
“When we’re in practice and everyone’s tired and had a long day, they will turn around to each other and say, there’s no I in team, there’s no you in team, we’re the team,” Martin said. “We have to work towards perfect practice in order to perform perfectly during a match.”
As the Florida A&M bowling team continues to have success throughout the 2009-2010 season, their mentality will be to not overlook the competition and to take their season game by game.
“We take it one game at a time, one match at a time, because there are several matches during a competition,” Martin said. “We just use that one lane, one ball, one roll at a time, we can’t go past that lane, because you could lose that game. We set our goals high to be able to win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship.”