It's officially summer, so it's time to talk about what we can do to stay sharp during the offseason. It doesn't matter whether you're just getting into bowling or if you've been bowling-maybe even competitively-for years, it's easy to lose our sharpness over the summer months, which is why it's important to talk about ways we can stay in bowling shape.

First, set a practice schedule you can stick to throughout the summer. If you don't set aside a specific time to practice, you might start telling yourself you can practice tomorrow, or next week, or some other time. If you can stick to a weekly time slot for your league over the course of the season, you can stick to a time during the summer as well.

Whether working on a new skill or honing existing skills, setting aside a certain amount of time to keep your body and mind in bowling shape will go a long way in keeping you sharp before the next tournament or season begins.

Another benefit of practicing during the summer is there are usually more open lanes available. Not only does this mean you'll be able to bowl regularly, but you may even be able to talk to the proprietor or mechanic and have some specific oil patterns put down for you to work on staying sharp.

Another great idea is to find a coach. You might know someone in your area or you can search here to find one close to where you live.

Certified coaches can see your game from a different perspective and not only help you develop the skills you want to learn but can also find new areas to improve you may not be thinking of, such as equipment adjustments, physical changes, mental exercises and more. A coach can keep you focused throughout the summer.

Next, you should record video of your practice sessions. Especially if you're working with a coach, you'll have a built-in cameraperson to get your good and bad shots down on video.

Most of the time, us bowlers tend to focus on our bad shots, which is OK as we can analyze the video and find things to work on. However, don't forget to look at your good shots as well. This way, you can visibly see the comparison between when you're doing things right and when you could be doing things better.

Finally, stay sharp over the summer by practicing with someone better than you. You'd be surprised how having to play up to someone's level forces you to stay sharp. This could mean practicing with someone who has a really strong physical or mental game or it could mean entering some tournaments in which the field strength is right around or above your ability.

When you put yourself in the midst of better competition, you simply have to stay focused to keep up.

For many league bowlers, the summer is the offseason. After putting the ball away at the end of the league season, they won't even pick it up again until the start of the next league season. It doesn't have to be that way, though. If you follow these four pieces of advice, you might even find that summer becomes one of the most valuable times of the year for developing your game.

BowlTV The Coach - Stephen Padilla