September 2, 2011

Week 2 Recap

Game 1: 205
Game 2: 205
Game 3: 178
Series: 588
Week Avg: 196
Season Avg: 193


There isn't a whole lot to report on practice and the first two games. The lanes remained pretty oily, and so the ball was getting little movement until deep into the backend. I found the pocket right away and managed to throw a clean first game, ending with a 205. The second game was much the same, with fractions of an inch deciding a strike vs. a single pin leave. It seemed that I managed to correct the consistency problems that plagued my second game last week. I had all strikes or 9-spares until the 10th frame of the second game, which I missed my mark and consequently the 6-pin spare. I hate opening in the 10th, particularly when I could have a 220 game, but alas another 205 was meant to be. Luckily, both 205s were enough to advance me in the league's brackets and I moved on to the finals to bowl against someone I had just watched strike out the last six frames of his first two games. Plus, since we both have the same average, the bracket would be based on our scratch scores. An uphill battle to be sure.

Toward the end of the second game I began to come in a little high, and so to start the third game I moved half a board to the left. The first three frames saw me come in very light, barely hitting the headpin on two occasions. The ball started to grab a bit more on the backend when throwing at spares on the left and I opened in the first and third frames. For the fourth frame I moved back to my original position on the approach and really concentrated on hitting my mark. The strikes began to come back. I did have one doozy of a sixth frame where I threw what I thought was a great ball in the pocket, but I left a solid 8-10 split. I'm still scratching my head over that one. I managed to keep it clean through the rest of the game and finished with a disappointing 178. My bracket opponent threw another 220 something and hit a 700 series, so there is no shame in losing to that.

Lesson Learned

My two go to moves for small adjustments are moving my body left-right or up-back on the approach. At the beginning of the third game I went left because I was coming in high, but this move caused the angle my ball was entering the pocket to become dangerously shallow. Instead of the ball driving through the rack, it was deflecting to the right and causing leaves on the left.

In retrospect, because the ball was not really grabbing on the lane I should have moved up on the approach about an inch. This would give the ball a little less room to hit high in the pocket without ruining the entry angle. Another option would have been to increase my ball speed, but that tends to be a little more difficult to keep consistent. A third option would have been to look a few inches past my mark on the lane, causing me to throw the ball out a little further and thus making the ball wait a little later to hook on the lane.

Of course, no adjustment will be helpful if you aren't sure that you are hitting your mark and maintaining good mechanics.


  1. Zach,
    Looking forward to following your exploits on the lanes this season. I'm always on the lookout for tips and advice on how to improve my game.

  2. Thanks Matt. If you are having any specific problems or questions just let me know and I will do my best to answer them.