I Knew I Wanted A Career In Bowling But Was Not Sure What Type Of Career
By BowlersMart IQ Metro Detroit Head Instructor – Mike Calhoun
I found this definition of career online and thought it was very fitting for my journey on how I made my passion my career.
“The career is an individual’s metaphorical “journey” through learning, work and other aspects of life. There are a number of ways to define career and the term is used in a variety of ways.”
I wanted to talk about my journey and why I wanted to become the best bowler I could possibly be and earn money doing it and how that fire led me to manage one of the biggest shops with the most trusted names in bowling, BowlersMart.
We always would watch bowling on Saturday afternoons when I was growing up. It was our ritual, I remember the first time I fell in love with the game watching was a Telecast that featured Mark Roth. He was different than most of the guys, his bowling ball just looked different, his hitchy style and forceful swing just had an impact on me and from that day I was hooked!
I asked my Dad to take me bowling and he smiled and was so happy, my Dad was an avid league bowler and well-respected teammate. I remember walking into South Lanes and just being so excited to be there. We bowled a few games and I just remember feeling like I belonged, I loved the smell, sound, and all the characteristics associated with the game. Wasn’t too long after that my Dad signed me up for a youth league at Thunderbowl Lanes and then as a surprise he took me to get my first bowling ball and bag. I remember getting fit and my first ball was a 10lb Brunswick Black beauty and we purchased a single Ebonite tan/blue single ball bag. I felt like a million dollars to have my own equipment. I ended up bowling that year and averaged 97. I remember just looking around on Saturdays and the 54 lane main was full of youth bowlers. There are so many lessons I’ve taken from those Saturdays, sportsmanship, integrity, and learned the ups and downs of competing. But most of all I have made life long friends still bowl with today and I consider family.
I bowled and bowled spent many hours in a bowling center, went with my Dad on league nights to keep score for my practice money and to be around the game and learn. Now fast forward a few years I ended up getting my first job and yes you guessed it at a bowling alley. Those few years I was there I learned so much about the difference in the game, I met some great bowlers and people. Then I realized the game is just more than that, it’s a family, you share a bond of competing, share success, share good times and bad times, so such as life is this game is so very similar.
Being around the game so much and working hard at my own game, led me to leave youth bowling at 15 years old, there were no opportunities like we have now and most I wasn’t aware of, I was completely happy with where I was. Bowling men’s league I realized you had to have a different demeanor, attitude and not let the little things bother you. It was when I started learning about the mental side of the game, by this time I had so many people telling me the talent I possessed physically but I wasn’t sure why I wasn’t excelling like I knew I should, especially with all the work I put in. Once I learned the mental aspect I had an edge, I competed I did extremely well for years. Then I started bowling at a very high level the PBA Tour/Regionals. This again was another learning experience that once again the game was different at this level than any I have ever experienced. So now I lacked the knowledge and the mental edge suffered because of that. I remember telling myself I want to know WHY and HOW they top bowlers in the world could last on Tour and chase the same dream I aspired to have.
I Wanted To Make My Passion A Career And My Journey Lead Me To BowlersMart
So I studied, lane play, ball motion, layouts, surface etc. Every aspect of what it took to be great I wanted to know. Now this time in life I was married I had children and I couldn’t put as much time in as I needed to compete at that level, I had many respected touring players tell me I had the physical I just lacked the knowledge because I needed to be o on tour more. It’s after I kept getting kicked in the teeth when I felt I was so close, it’s only then I realized I had to make a choice my dream of my family. I chose my family! Over the years I helped in a local shop, I still bowled 5 nights a week and tried to compete on weekends and juggle the family life. I had a great run and so much success, but I could see my family life still was suffering, I needed to be home more and I knew that. So I scaled back on bowling, I still had the competitor itch that never went away. So I kept helping in my local pro shop, went to seminars asked so many questions. I started drilling my own arsenal, playing around with covers, layouts span, pitches just all of it. I then knew my love for the game is heading into a different direction, instead of on the lanes I refocused my love and passion off the lanes. I started growing in my knowledge, started coaching, and getting my name out there. I spent so many years loving this great game and I finally feel after all my trials and errors it’s paid off.
In 2017 I took a job with BowlersMart and I haven’t looked back since. I have grown with them and have built an amazing partnership and friendship with so many industry leaders. To say I’m blessed is an understatement! I now get to do what I love to do every day and it never feels like work!!
Today I run BowlersMart Bowling IQ an amazing Pro Shop Super Store and Training Center. My story is to shed light on NEVER GIVE UP your dream, you might have to step back and prioritize, but your dream is your dream and nobody can take it from you! If you stay focused and refocus when need be nobody can stop you from achieving it, you just have to go and get it!
Thank you for listening to my story and hope you enjoyed!
Mike Calhoun regional manager for BowlersMart Michigan stores and manager of BowlersMart IQ