Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Missy Named to BJI Top 100 Coaches

Missy Parkin was recently named to Bowlers Journal International's 100 Top Coaches list. This marks Missy's 7th time on the prestigious list and fifth year in-a-row.

Missy was also featured in the article giving important tips to those aspiring to the top level, either on the PWBA Tour or PBA Tour.

To see the full list of 100 Top Coaches and read the article, click here.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Missy Travels to Costa Rica for El Torneo La Raza

Last week, I was graciously invited to compete in El Torneo de La Raza in Costa Rica. After hearing so much about this amazing event, I was very happy to be able to attend.

The tournament consisted of several events and each day consisted of a 4-game block of bowling. The tournament also organized nightly parties, as well as an excursion day in the middle of the week.

The first day, we participated in a clinic and pro-am event and then had a delicious BBQ at the hotel, followed by opening ceremonies for the tournament.

One added feature to this year’s tournament was the addition of LIVE national television coverage for the entire tournament on TV station Teletica. Each day, the TV station would film either the men or women bowling their squad and rotated back and forth throughout the week.

Sunday, started our first day of qualifying in the Doubles event. I was paired with Costa Rican local Sussie Jimenez. Overall, we ended up +51 as a team, which put us in second place behind Diana Zavjalova and Sylvia Villalobos. I shot games of 225, 246, 193 and 226 for +90 using my NEW Hammer Bad Intentions Hybrid and Track Paradox. 

The next day, we moved down to the low end of the house at Bol Cariari and the lanes proved to be a bit more tricky. I shot games of 225, 162, 208 and 235 and Sussie and I were +47 overall and gained some ground on 1st place.

Tuesday, was our final day of the doubles event. I started out great shooting 255, but then completely lost my look as the lanes got really wet/dry and I was fighting with over/under ball reaction for most of the block. Sussie bowled really well, shooting games of 197, 203, 175 and 239 and she definitely held me up. This put us at +46 overall which earned us 2nd place in the Doubles Event. Congratulations to Diana and Sylvia for winning and to Juliana Botero and Juliana Franco from Colombia who finished in 3rd place.  

That night we had the Mexican theme party, which was a lot of fun! The tournament committee organized a Mexican singer/dancer to perform as well as a mariachi band. There was also a fun photo booth set up. Here are a few pictures from the party…

On Wednesday, we had our excursion where we travelled to the Costa Rican rainforest and visited the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. This was by far one of my favorite days of the trip. The tropical lodge had a bird sanctuary, butterfly sanctuary, monkeys, big jungle cats, frogs and snakes as well as a gorgeous trail to several waterfalls. It was absolutely amazing. The highlight of my trip was getting to hold a Toucan!

Then on Thursday and Friday, we bowled the Singles portion of the tournament. I struggled a bit and shot -8 the first day and then shot -1 the following day for -9 overall, which put me in 5th place. Congratulations to Karen Diosa from Puerto Rico for winning the Singles event, Juliana Franco for coming in 2nd and Clara Guerrero for coming in 3rd place.

Then in Individual All-Events, I finished 2nd with +118. My partner Sussie Jimenez and I also came in 2nd place in Team All-Events.

Saturday was our final day of competition. The top 12 female bowlers in All Events competed in a 3-game qualifying for the TV Exhibition match. Since I was in the top 2 in individual All Events, I was automatically seeded for the TV show, but needed to bowl well to try and improve my seed because the top 2 are automatically seeded 4th and 5th position. I bowled very well, but didn’t score as well, shooting games of 195, 202 and 210 to qualify in 4th place for the TV show stepladder finals.

Top 5 for TV Show Exhibition Stepladder Finals

In the opening match, I faced Diana Zavjalova. The match was close with both of us having some carry issues and the pair being very tough. I actually used my Hammer Bad Intentions Hybrid on the left lane and my Track Paradox on the right lane. I had a chance to win the match by doubling in the 10th frame. I got the first strike in the 10th, but didn’t manage to get the second hit, thus finishing in 5th place for the TV show. HUGE congratulations to my Doubles partner Sussie Jimenez for winning the TV exhibition match against Colombian superstar Clara Guerrero.

That night we had the closing ceremonies and awards banquet. The trophies were absolutely incredible! BIG thank you to Mauricio Murillo Gonzalez for inviting me to this amazing tournament. Thank you to EBI for sponsoring the event. I had such a great time all week, gained new friendships and made some everlasting memories.
Doubles Event Winners

Team All Events Winners

Individual All Events Winners 

Pura Vida!

Now, it’s on to Las Vegas for the PBA Fall Classic. Stay tuned on www.pba.com for all the scores from the Doubles and Singles competition.  And tune into Xtra Frame to watch all of the action LIVE!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The 2015 PWBA Tour Season - the Good, the Bad and the Memories

Looking back on my first PWBA Tour experience, there were definite highs and lows and many amazing memories made all along the way.

My fondest bowling memory by far was the PWBA Sacramento Open. Although the first day of the tournament was definitely the longest day of bowling in my entire life (we started with a 9am practice session and didn't leave the pro-am until after midnight), it was also the most invigorating. 

It was one of the biggest spectator crowds of the season, with hardly any room to walk inside the center. I got to throw out the first ball of the tournament, alongside Hall of Famer Betty Morris and a 7 year old little girl. Then, the roar of applause and cheering we received prior to starting the event nearly brought me to tears as it sunk in...the PWBA Tour was back!

In my home state and in front of my husband, parents, in-laws and friends, I went on to qualify for the stepladder finals and finished in 3rd place. 

I went on to make back-to-back stepladder finals also finishing in 3rd place at the next event - the PWBA Lubbock Sports Open.

Stepladder Finalist for the PWBA Lubbock Sports Open

I then hit a very rough patch as I started my LONG journey on the road. I left July 23rd and didn't return home until September 4th. Struggling with a few injuries after the first 2 events, I missed cashing in 3 tournaments in a row. 

Being injured, emotionally drained, homesick and combining all of that with having a lot of personal issues going on at home, it made for a definite rough few weeks. 

I must say that I wouldn't have stayed sane if it wasn't for my amazing roommates who were there for me through it all. I will forever be grateful to them for everything: our long car-ride conversations, late night chats, making me practice my Spanish and all of our fun "off days" made for one memorable first year out on the PWBA Tour. 

My Roommates: Maria Jose Rodriguez, Clara Guerrero and Sandra Gongora

After several sports massages, KT Tape, foam rolling, lots of stretching and my body just generally getting used to the shear amount of games we bowl, I finally physically started feeling better. I cashed in Lincoln, Nebraska and then came in 8th in Minnesota and 10th in Detroit, moving me up to 8th place in the point standings going into the U.S. Open. 

Despite my disappointment with my overall performance this season, I did manage to come in 12th place in the overall points standings and qualified for the Top 16 PWBA Tour Championship. 

Although I struggled for a majority of the season, I also learned a lot from my failures. I know where my weaknesses are and have quite a few things to work on going into next season.

However, the real story is this...women's bowling is back and it's bigger and better than ever!

Stay tuned! 

To check out all of the season-long stats for the PWBA Tour, click here.

PWBA Tour Championship

Despite having a rough tournament at the U.S. Women’s Open, I did manage to qualify as the No. 12 seed for the Top 16 finals of the Smithfield Foods PWBA Tour Championship.

Prior to the tournament, I was able to go home for a few days after 6 ½ very long weeks out on tour. While home, I got in some much needed rest, relaxation, beach time and of course a lot of practice.

Then it was off to the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas for the culmination of the PWBA Tour. 

Luckily, at this event, my husband Drew was able to come and cheer me on. After an early morning and rushing around all day, we arrived and had our official practice session, followed by a reception and pro-am. 

The pattern for the PWBA Tour Championships was a 37’ pretty flat pattern. 

This event had a unique format in that the top 16 finalists were seeded into a bracket. The top 2 point leaders – Stefanie Johnson and Liz Johnson  were automatically seeded onto the televised finals. The No. 3 seed Kelly Kulick and No. 4 seed Diana Zavjalova both received a one round bye.

Each match was a Best of 5 single elimination format, meaning that the first bowler to win 3 games would advance to the next match and the loser would be eliminated from the tournament. 

Top 16 Finalists for the PWBA Tour Championship

I faced Shannon O’Keefe in the first round of matches. We bowled on lanes 5-6 which proved to be a tough pair. In the opening game, we both started out strong each throwing a turkey. Things quickly changed as Shannon had the front 7 strikes. I, being too far back and since total pins didn’t matter, decided to switch from my Track Paradox to try some other options for game 2. She easily won the first game 179 to 258.

Then in game 2, I switched to my New Columbia 300 Swerve and started out again with a turkey and had the lead until I left a very unfortunate pocket 6,7 which quickly changed the match. I had some carry issues and Shannon started stringing strikes and I ended up losing game two - 201 to 218.

In a do or die situation, I started out the next match throwing a great shot for a 2, 8, 10 and then chopping the 3, 6, 10. With what little ball reaction I had quickly diminishing, I changed back to my Paradox on the left lane and stayed with my Swerve on the right lane to try and pull the game out for a win. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, as I strung strikes from the 8th frame to the 1st shot in the 10th, but couldn’t get the 2nd strike in the 10th to put some pressure on Shannon. She won game three - 191 to 211 to quickly knock me out of the tournament.

Congratulations to Danielle McEwan for qualifying as the No. 5 seed, winning all of her matches and running the stepladder finals to win her first PWBA Tour Title! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The U.S. Women's Open

Waking up early to catch a morning flight after bowling 16 games the day before (and throwing a majority of more than one shot a frame) was a bit tough. However, I made it safely to Newark, NJ (sleeping the entire flight of course.) thank goodness I can sleep on planes! 

Being the first to arrive out of my roomies, I got the rental car and then had a couple of hours to kill. So what did I do? Coincidentally there was an outlet mall only 7 minutes away and off I went. The rest of the day was a lazy Sunday, resting up for the start of the U.S. Open. 

Prior to the start of the practice session the next day, my roommates and I had a little fun celebrating the last week all together. 

My Roomies - Maria Jose Rodriguez, Clara Guerrero and Sandra Gongora
The lane pattern for the U.S. Open was 39' using the ice oil. The lanes seemed very playable and I had a variety of bowling balls that looked good. However, that quickly changed when the tournament actually started. 

Moving from pair to pair at Brunswick Zone Carolier Lanes is always difficult because each section of the house can be very different from the last. Having bowled there enough times, I had my notes on the center ready and was open minded about lane play. 

Well, the first block of qualifying started out about as bad as it can get. Not being able to stay out of trouble and leaving split after split after split using 3 or 4 different balls, I shot 120. I can't even remember the last time I bowled a games that low. 

Although I was slightly in panic mode after game 1, I knew that this tournament was a marathon not a sprint. So I had plenty of games to make up for it. Unfortunately the rest of the block didn't go much better. I missed too many spares and didn't execute consistently enough. I ended up shooting -152, even with shooting 235 my last game.  

After a disastrous Day 1 of qualifying, I definitely needed to get my mind off of bowling and have some fun. So the girls and I went to NYC. It was Sandra's first time there and she was very excited. I played tour guide (although I've only been to the City 3-4 times prior.)

We went to Times Square. Then headed over to Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center and went to the Observation deck at the Top of the Rock, 67 stories high. I had been to the top of the Empire State Building, but not Rockefeller Center. We had so much fun and got some amazing pictures. We ended the night walking along the famous 5th avenue and had some yummy NY pizza before heading back to NJ. 

The next day, we bowled on the burn squad, meaning they did not re-oil the lanes after the previous squad's 8 games of qualifying. I can't remember the last time, I bowled a burn squad when there would be a total of 16 games bowled without a re-oil. 

Luckily, I started out steady and kept the ball in play shooting +98 for that block, which was high for our entire squad. That put me at -54 overall. I used my Track LX16 and a newly drilled pin up Warrior for most of the block. 

After bowling, we had a quick dinner and then went to sleep, as we had to then turnaround and bowl our final 8 games of qualifying early in the morning.

All I can say about the final block of qualifying is that I did not match up, missed too many spares and did not execute to my ability. Even though the lanes were extremely challenging, which I love, I couldn't seem to get anything together. 

I ended up in 60th place at this year's U.S. Women's Open and missed the cut to the cashers round of 51 people. 

Am I disappointed? Of course! But with failure, comes learning and with learning and hard work comes success. I guess if we always bowl well all of the time, then the wins wouldn't be as sweet. 

Even with my disastrous performance at the U.S. Open, I still managed to qualify for the Top 16 Players Championship next week in Arlington, Texas. A few days of rest at home, as well as a lot of practice and then I'm off again for the last stop of the PWBA Tour.

Stay tuned...

A Fun Week in Detroit

After the PWBA Minnesota Open, I flew directly to Detroit. My roomies had the treacherous 17 hour drive from Minnesota back to Austin, Texas, before then flying to Detroit. 

During this time I was able to visit with a couple of my friends from Detroit as well as their furry friend Wrigley. 

They played tourist and gave me a tour of Birmingham and the greater Detroit area. It was an absolute blast and I greatly appreciated the hospitality! 

Later that week, prior to the PWBA Detroit Open, EBI set up a pro-am event with the ladies of the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC). 

On Tuesday night, we got to attend the Detroit Tigers baseball game and low and behold they were playing my Angels! I absolutely love Tiger stadium. I also thoroughly enjoyed going to the game, especially since the Angels won! 

On Wednesday morning, I had a much needed massage and enjoyed the amenities of the DAC. We then attended the yearly draft for the ladies' leagues and then bowled in the pro-am event at the 8-lane bowling center. 

I want to sincerely thank Tom Reaume for the gracious hospitality and all of the ladies from the DAC for such a fun night! 

The next day we started competition for the PWBA Detroit Open. We bowled on a 35' flat pattern using Kegel Fire oil. 

The lanes were tough and spare shooting was extremely important. I shot 198, 221,170, 222, 180 and 204 for -5 on the block. I used a Paradox, drilled with the pin very close to my axis, and an LX16. 

On our short break, I fixed one of my balls and quickly had lunch and then we were back out on the lanes again. Needing a good block to make the top 16, I had a horrific start, shooting 158, 187 and 189. But then brought it back shooting games of 223, 199 and 235 for -14 overall and qualified in 12th position for Matchplay. During the block I used two Paradox's. The same one I used the first block as well as this one. 

If you've been keeping up with my blog, then you should see a theme going on...paradox, paradox and yes paradox. I can't say enough good things about this ball! You definitely need one in your arsenal! 

During the first round of Matchplay, I started off very well, winning 5 out of 8 matches and being very close to the top 4 stepladder finals. The lanes were pretty different from block to block all tournament long, so during the first round of Matchplay, I used my Columbia 300 Disorder and N'Sane Antics as well as a Track LX16. 

 Needing a big last 8-game block, I unfortunately couldn't get matched up and only won 2 out of 8 matches. The ball that worked the best was a Columbia 300 Eruption Pro Orange. I finished the tournament in 10th place overall.

We then immediately flew to Newark, NJ for the start of the U.S. Women's Open. 

Until then...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Life on the Road - PWBA Tour

After the PWBA Topeka Open, we travelled 3 hours to the college town of Lincoln, Nebraska. It was my first time in Lincoln, and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. We stayed in Downtown Lincoln, within walking distance to great restaurants. The college was also located right there, which I thought was very unique being that centralized in Downtown.

Luckily, the proprietor of Sun Valley Lanes allowed the women to practice before and after the PWBA Lincoln Open in preparation for the upcoming events. 

A few girls arrived early to the PWBA Lincoln Tour stop and after gym workouts, lots of practice and some laundry duty, we managed to also have a little fun on the famous "O Street."

This week, we bowled on a 41 foot pattern with higher volume using Kegel Ice oil.

During practice, I seemed to have a good look using a variety of bowling balls. However, during the first block of qualifying, the lanes changed a bit (as they usually do) and I couldn't quite seem to get my ball to react accordingly. I shot -9 and was in 43rd place with 6 games to go.

Rob Gotchall and I discussed my issues and we decided to drill a ball in the very short break. I drilled a stronger Track Paradox, which gave me a chance at the top 16 cut. I can't say enough good things about this ball. It is definitely one to add to your arsenal!

The second block, I shot games of 257, 217, 182, 232, 202 and 194 for +75 overall and ended up in 29th place, missing the top 16, but still cashing in the tournament. Although it was definitely not my goal, I was at least throwing the ball better, as well as shooting much better at my spares.

Congratulations to Hammer staffer Amanda Greene for dominating and winning the event.

After the PWBA Lincoln Open, Clara and I had our 3rd clinic of the season, this time at Mockingbird Lanes in Omaha, Nebraska. We had a quite a few youth come out and a few travelled far to participate in the clinic.

The next few days, we worked out at the gym, practiced hard and also made a trip to the outlets that were nearby. We then made the 8 hour trek to Welch, Minnesota. The last hour and a half was all back country roads, with gorgeous views of corn fields, lakes, barns and silos (which for this California girl was a rare sight.)


The PWBA Minnesota Open was hosted by Treasure Island Casino and Island Xtreme Bowl. We bowled on a 47 foot, light volume pattern using Kegel Fire oil.

After practice, I knew I had a great look on the fresh, but I needed a different look once the pattern carried down a bit. I drilled one of my favorite balls of all time (which they happen to have on the truck) - a Track LX 16.

During the first block of qualifying, I shot +222 using my Ebonite Pivot and was in 3rd place going into the final 6 game block of qualifying. Still needing a different look later on in the block, I drilled a Hammer Red Legend Solid in the short break.

I came back and shot +209 the second block for +431 overall using my Ebonite Pivot and Red Legend Pearl and was sitting in 2nd place going into matchplay. Feeling great going into matchplay and overall loving the competitiveness of matches, I was confident going into the final day of the tournament.

Well, Sunday was a completely different story. The lanes were much different (as they usually are) but I couldn't seem to get my ball to go through the pins correctly, no matter what I tried. I physically threw the ball very well, but it was just one of those days where nothing seems to go your way. My matchplay record was a horrific 4-10-2. My opponents averaged 234.3 which was higher than the tournament leader's average.

Despite all of this, I still managed to come in 8th place in the PWBA Minnesota Open. I hit the pocket a lot, just couldn't carry as much as I needed to. I'm very proud of how well I physically threw the ball and maintained my concentration despite the bad breaks. I also didn't miss one single pin spare in 28 games and I shot at quite a few.

This tournament was special because my amazing in-laws flew in to Minnesota to come and cheer me on. It was definitely nice having the family support there!

Congratulations to Team C300 staffer Diana Zavjalova for winning the tournament.

On to the next event in Detroit! Until then...