On Oct. 15, Senior Alyssa Ballard was awarded with the North Central Texas United States Bowling Congress Female Youth Bowler of the Year.
“It’s important to me because it finally feels like I have been working so hard to be a better bowler and it has been recognized,” Ballard said.
This award was under a nomination and Ballard was nominated anonymously to receive it.
“The thing that has inspired me in bowling has been that I am a competitive person and I just want to win. So, working all the time and finally getting something out of it is awesome, but that doesn’t mean I stop working at it,” Ballard said.
She has been bowling since she was four years old, making her have a bowling experience of 13 years.
“The one thing I always do when I go to practice has been that every time I go, I always work on something specific and new. So one day it might be my speed, but the next would be hand position. I’m always working on everything not just one thing,” Ballard said, “I try to keep things simple and not think about a lot at once. Spares are always something I work on regardless of anything else I work on because they are the most important. Missing a spare could cost you a win by just a couple pins, so trying to get as much as you can is most important.”
Both of her parents are professional bowlers, so bowling has always been an interest of hers.
“Since my parents travel for bowling, I have been in bowling centers since I was a baby. I have always been interested in bowling because I grew up watching my mom and her friends compete all over the US. One of the people that inspired me to keep bowling was Kelly Kulick, she is one of the best female bowlers on the tour, and was the first women to win on the men’s tour,” Ballard said.
She mostly participates in single events when it comes to competing, but she also does some team events.
“The main tournaments I bowl is that we bowl 15 games total in three blocks of five games each on different oil patterns. Oil patterns vary in length and volume so each one is almost completely different to where I have to play different parts of the lane. After each round they give out medals to the top three, then after all 15 games they give out overall awards,” Ballard said.
Not only does she bowl on her own time, but bowls on the school team.
“Some tournaments run to where it is a baker format. That means that you go in an order and not everyone bowls a whole game, they are assigned certain frames to bowl. And some like the Texas State tournament, each person bowls a full game then the totals are added up,” Ballard said.
Ballard plans to pursue bowling in college and has been offered athletic scholarships, including Vanderbilt University. She intends on eventually bowling on the Professional Women’s Tour.
“It feels amazing that someone thought that I was qualified enough for the award, and it means so much because all I want to do is be the best bowler I can be and eventually win even more.” Ballard said.