Lynch signed his letter of intent to bowl for the Lions on Monday and is excited about the road ahead.

Osage senior Tyler Lynch will soon be throwing balls down the lane for Lindenwood.

Lynch signed his letter of intent to bowl for the Lions on Monday and is excited about the road ahead.

“It is really stinking cool, an honor and blessing that you get to represent not just any other school, but a school close to you. They are the real deal obviously,” Lynch said of the opportunity to continue his bowling career. “Lindenwood has been really successful and it is just exciting that you get to represent the school both competitively and also off the lanes. Hopefully people will learn more about Lindenwood and maybe more Osage kids come to Lindenwood.”

Lynch jokingly claims his bowling career began before he was born when his mother was bowling while pregnant with him. Noting that his parents are his biggest supporters and were influential in his love for the game, Lynch’s journey towards competitive bowling began about seven years ago when he was in middle school and joined the Osage Youth Athletic Club (OYAC) bowling team at Eagle Lanes in Osage Beach. Bowling is not an official sport at School of the Osage.

“Personally I will admit I’m not as fit as most football or basketball players out there,” Lynch said of finding his sport. “Bowling is definitely a sport where you don’t have to be a complete athlete in the gym 24/7, but you have to be in shape to do this sport. What is so cool about this sport, like golf, is that it is one of the hardest mental games out there.”

Michelle Harris is a manager at Eagle Lanes and has helped run the youth program for the last 10 years that has seen as many as 60 bowl at any given time and currently features about 12 to 14 kids who are bowling consistently. Lynch said he once used to throw the ball randomly and Harris noted that the senior has come a long way.

“When we first started he had a lot of issues and he was young,” Harris recalled. “As he progressed and matured, he has put forth the effort to learn not just from me, but learn to ask questions and challenge me to go and find people to answer those questions because I do not know it all. His parents have been a huge help and a very positive influence on this path for him.”

And perhaps one of the senior’s best qualities is his perseverance to better his craft.

“He has kept on, learned and grown. He is extremely coachable, which is a quality you look for in kids because that is not around today,” Harris continued.

Those qualities sounded good to Lindenwood bowling coach Phil Vida who was happy to have Lynch join the ranks once the senior was accepted to Lindenwood.

“Especially because the jump from high school to college is a big one, you are looking for someone who is very coachable, has a passion for the sport and the best fundamentals you can work from so you can build on what is already there,” Vida noted. “Good attitude and mental game, a lot of the standard stuff.”

He is eager to see how much and how quickly the senior absorbs all there is to learn about the college game as well.

“He is a sponge and ready to be molded so I’m excited about that possibility and prospect,” the coach added.

Unlike the programs of major college sports, bowling coaches do not necessarily have the staffs to go and recruit their future bowlers so in many instances it falls upon the player to reach out to programs and Lynch did just that.

Upon touring the school in St. Charles, Mo., near St. Louis, Lynch scheduled a bowling session for Vida to watch so the coach could see what he was made of while also learning more about the program. Safe to say, the session went well.

“It was very nerve-wracking to bowl in front of someone that was going to be my coach, but it was really cool and fun and it all went well so here we are,” Lynch recalled.

“What is cool about college is that it is one of those atmospheres where you are not bowling for yourself, but other people.”

Men’s bowling is not an official NCAA sport like it is on the women’s side, but overseen by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) which is the governing body for all levels. In the college ranks, schools of all sizes compete against one another and according to Vida there are about 180 men’s teams across the United States with an average of 12 to 15 people or as many as 35 to 40 for the men and women of Lindenwood.

And going out and consistently knocking down all 10 pins is not as easy as it might sound, even for the best bowlers out there.

In the sport of bowling there are oil patterns on any given lane that are designed to not only protect the hardwood but affect the trajectory of the ball whether it skids with more oil or hooks with less oil as it heads towards the pins. Many standard bowling alleys have what is called a house pattern that helps bowlers knock down as many pins as possible, but in college there are different sports patterns that make this objective much more difficult so high scores or perfect games are not so common.

Rest assured, Lynch has been learning more about these patterns while working with Harris.

“Thanks to Michelle and everyone, I’m at a point where mechanics are really the big deal right now and it is not just learning how to be a normal “House Bowler” and just bowling the same shot every game,” Lynch said. “It is learning how to adjust to different balls, marks and staying in different places. That was the main thing we learned this year and I’m definitely glad we were able to practice on sports patterns in a sports league.

“Nobody is perfect at this sport and that is an aspect that is challenging, but definitely brings out a lot of fun with it.”

Bowling was a big incentive for Lynch to sign with Lindenwood, but he also noted that the school’s size and proximity to family were key factors as well as the opportunity to major in broadcasting. There is a lot of bowling with the Lions ahead, but the senior will not forget his roots and his days at Eagle Lanes.

“Definitely going to be thinking about not just the good days where I’m bowling strikes every frame, but the long process days and the grind,” he stated. “That is what makes you a better bowler and athlete. Those good days when you strike all the time is fine, but those grinds where you are really struggling and figure it out in the end makes you a better bowler and human. I definitely cannot wait to stop back in at break.”

Lynch also took time to thank all of his coaches and supporters who helped him reach the next stage of his bowling career and noted other students and athletes should probably do the same.

“One of the big things I took in mind is always respect your coaches and teachers. They obviously know what they are doing,” he remarked. “Don’t shrug them off and actually listen and ask questions because that is their job and what helped me as a bowler.

“Even through the days you want to quit, those are the days that make you a stronger bowler, athlete and human.”