My last bowling night before the holidays was another interesting night. During practice I tried 3 different strike balls and my 10 pin ball to see how they react to the lane conditions. I am now wondering how bowlers with six balls know their equipment so well that they only try one or two balls. Another thing for me to practice, how different each ball’s reaction is.
So, I pick the ball I feel the most confident with and first shot is very light and leave the 2-4-5, then I make a bad shot at the spare and start with an open. Since I write down each shot and what I did, my thought was the lanes have changed slightly from practice.
When practice ended about 4 bowlers bowled on the lane and 3 more at the start of the game so I then decided to make a 1 and 1 board move with feet and mark at the arrows. This resulted in leaving a 7 pin on the next shot (other lane) this time I made the spare and thought about my next shot. I stayed with the adjustment and made a good shot for a strike.
Now on my next shot I tried looking a little farther down the lane about 3 feet past the arrows to get the ball more into the pocket but I missed and pulled the shot leaving the 6-10 for another spare. The next frame I stayed where I had a good hit and struck again. This made me wonder what should I do on the next shot? Looking at my notes I lowered my starting stance by 2-3 inches and hit my original mark at the arrows but went farther out by 2-3 boards through the midlane and the ball produced a nice arc right into the pocket for a strike. I was able to repeat this the next two frames and thought nothing can stop this now.
Well the minute I thought that I was doomed, I missed my mark by pulling the ball and hit the headpin square in the middle for a 4-6 split. To over confident or not enough concentration on setting up and making a good shot caused that open frame. In the 10th I went back to basics and had a strike then 10 pin and made the spare. A lucky 205 score with two opens that were caused by lack of commitment on the shots.
Well, at the start of the next game I went back to making sure I was standing low enough and aligned as before and started with the first 4 in a row. Then for some reason I could not hit my marks again for the next two frames. Once I missed outside and the next time over did it and pulled the ball inside. This also was the problem on spare shots just made 4 bad shots in a row.
I was able to get it back for only one frame with a strike but had a bad shot in the 8th frame leaving the 3-10. I was a trying not to over think at this point and just made the spare. In the 9th frame I again made a weak shot leaving the 2-4-5-8, which took five deep breaths to calm down before my spare shot, which I was lucky to hold together. However, not long enough because in the tenth frame I again get nothing on the ball and it just rolled into the headpin for a 4-6-10 split. 186 final because of the good start but I knew I had to change something.
At this point I knew there was still a shot where I had been playing I just could not hit it so I made a move to a different ball. I decided that my chances with a different ball should change my feel and hopefully bad habit I was doing. It started well with a strike using just a one board left adjustment for a stronger ball but on the second shot I again did not feel my fingers come out so I knew it had nothing on it and it hit the 3-6 pins leaving the 1-2-4-10. So, my only thoughts are what mark will make this ball cross over. I decided to stay at the same mark because since I lost it in the last game I did not want to aim for something different and lose my consistency at hitting this mark. I don’t know why but I moved 10 boards to the right just a feeling I can’t say I used any preset system. I made a lucky choice the ball crossed just like I thought it would and made the spare. After that shot I came back thinking I need to make sure I have the ball in my hand the correct way so for the next three frames it worked and strikes were easy.
In the 6th frame for some reason I let go of the ball late not enough to cross but it came in high and I left the 4 pin. I took a few deep breaths and again made the spare. I came back with a strike on the next shot but in the 8th I threw the ball too hard and straight leaving the 5-7. I know I tried too hard on that shot and just used more muscle then normal bowling form. The spare shot was again just a thought at the moment of throwing a shot that should be light for a strike ball. I moved 2 boards left and hit 5 boards right of my strike shot and the ball rolled just as I thought it would. Another nice spare after a bad first shot.
On my next shot I just did my normal thing and this time left a solid 9 pin, this was one of the few times I actually followed the ball all the way though the pins and watched it not deflect off the 5 pin just continue moving left. I made the 9 pin spare. In the 10th I did not make any changes because my last two shots on this lane were my fault so I was still thinking just make a good shot. It worked on the first ball with a strike then on the second ball I again was too fast and pulled the ball leaving a 3 pin for a spare. 218 game.
I was happy I made the ball switch in the 3rd game because the feel of the ball was able to get me back to making mostly good shots. I still have to practice on not losing my approach rhythm and release of the ball so I do not get into these routine bad shot stretches.
I still was not able to follow the ball through the pins but this week I had other things on my mind. Just trying to be consistent from frame to frame was hard enough this week.
As always any comments or suggestions are welcome.