Corbin Taylor is Quesnel’s most recent national athlete.
Last May 6 – 10, Taylor took part in the Youth For Bowling National Championships in Regina, Sask.
After bowling 22 games in three days, Taylor ended the competition in seventh place in the Bantam division and he is just fine with that.
“I feel good about how I bowled,” Corbin said.
“I finished seventh in all of Canada.
“How many people can say that?”
Going into the national championships, Taylor did admit to having a few jitters, especially not knowing what to expect, but he managed to overcome those jitters with a little advice from a good friend, Tyler Tytgat-Schotte, of Edmonton, Alta.
“He told me to think of it as if I was bowling in my normal league,” Taylor said of the advice he received.
Tytgat-Schotte also followed his own advice and went on to win the Bantam category.
The advice also helped Taylor improve throughout the tournament.
On the first day of competition, Taylor bowled seven matches and averaged 170 points per game.
He finished the day with three wins and four losses, good enough for fourth place.
On the second day, Taylor bowled 10 more matches and finished with an average score of 173 and finished with a 5-5 record on the day, good enough for fifth place,
On the final day of competition, Taylor stepped to the line for five more matches and again improved his average point score, finishing with an average of 176.
Despite the 176 average score, Taylor finished the day with two wins and three losses and he slipped into seventh place for the championship.
For the tournament, Taylor finished with a record of 10-12 and an average score of 173.14, 20 pins higher than his regular league average.
Unfortunately, at the national championships, they do not count pins knocked down, but rather use match play.
Had competitors been ranked by number of pins knocked down, Taylor would have finished in fourth place.
Taylor said the number of games, 22, he had to bowl in just three days also presented a challenge.
“I was tired,” he admitted.
“But I stayed hydrated, ate plenty and just had fun.”
That strategy paid off, Taylor said, pointing to the improvement in his score over the three days.
The key, he said, was in making adjustments over the course of the championships.
The first adjustment was to slow down, to take his time before every shot.
The second adjustment, Taylor said, was to throw the bowling ball with more power.
In addition to the adjustments made during the championship, Taylor said he also learned more about what it takes to become a national athlete.
“You need to stay cool,” Taylor said was first on his list.
The second item on his list was to finish the complete game.
“I sometimes lose focus after the seventh frame,” he said.
“I need to stay focused for the entire game.”
The last item was to be brave and bowl the best you can, no matter how many people are watching.
Taylor took the last item on his list a step further.
“I did the turkey dance after throwing a turkey [three strikes in a row]” he said with a proud laugh.
But the best part of the national championships had nothing to do with bowling or turkey dances.
“I made a lot of good friends with the other competitors,” he said.