Featured Bowler – August

Nicole Stam

What did you study at university? Social Psychology at Loughborough University

What do you do as a day job? Nursery Practitioner in the 0-2 years old department.

High Game: 245

High Series: Not entirely sure but I know I have not gotten over 600.

How long have you been bowling? 7 years and counting.

How did you start bowling?

My friends’ dad arranged a Sunday league for amateur bowlers which I went to on occasion as a break from A-Level revision. I appeared to have a skill for the sport and carried it on through university when I left Liverpool. Since I have been home, I still attend my little Sunday fun league as well as the BTBA/BUTBA tours.

Is there anyone who has been influential on you as a bowler?

Louise Parker has been a massive influence on me since I started bowling the university tour. She has always been there to give me support and guidance when I’m struggling. Paul Marks has also been very helpful with giving me small hints and tips. Both individuals have motivated me to keep my head in the game and to enjoy each frame and to always attempt to take something away from each tournament. Regardless of whether it was a particularly good game or not.

You recently represented Lancashire at the Under 25 Inter-counties at the Airport Bowl. Tell us about why you tried out for counties and what it was like coming third.

Again, I had no idea about the trials until Louise told me to enter and have a go. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to keep up with the other girls in the age group and gain a place successfully on the under 25’s team. The Inter-counties in London was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. The standard of bowling I was witnessing was immense and I was so grateful that I could play a part in helping the team make it to the finals. It encouraged me to work harder and practice more on my form and technique to feel more comfortable with the different lane conditions and high-pressure situations.

What has been your most memorable moment on the lanes to date?

My most memorable moment would have to be the Ladies A team games when playing BUCS championships in 2014. The amount of shouts, screams and high fives that were thrown around throughout that weekend were amazing. Just to be a part of that whole vibe while being on the lanes is truly spectacular. As captain, I felt the need to give out a lot of motivational speeches throughout the day and for once I was thinking about the other ladies in the team, not just myself which is something I have never really experienced before or since. It is for this reason I have picked it as my most memorable. It is an amazing privilege to bowl with so many people supporting you and backing you up.

What have been your personal targets/ambitions for this season?

For this season, I am focusing solely on my form and trying to improve my game dramatically. I will be having coaching from Martin Woodworth at the beginning of September to help with my approach footwork and swing action. Many people are amazed when I tell them everything I know and do while playing as been self-taught by watching others. I think it is time to get some professional help. Due to this, I will not be entering many tournaments, but will continue to bowl weekly at my local league and train at weekends.

What kit is in your bag at the moment?

I currently have a Stigma Sting (strike ball, 15lb), Ebonite Cyclone (spare ball 14lb) and a back-up ball (Storm Tropical Heat, 15lb) in desperate situations.

What one piece of advice would you give to our new tour members?

Take advice where it is given. I cannot tell you how many different people from different centres who didn’t even know me helped me out. Everyone in bowling is so friendly and genuinely want to help you improve your game, it’s so touching.

Make friends. Some of my best and closest friends I have met by travelling around the country for tournaments.

Breathe. Don’t get stressed out when you miss an easy spare. We learn from silly mistakes and perfect what can be perfected. Start every new frame with a clear head. A good bowling game needs a good mental game.

Say yes to tournaments. You’ll regret it if you missed out the chance to show off your skills, improve your game and meet new people.

Enjoy every minute of it.

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