Game 1: 168
Game 2: 204
Game 3: 152
Week Avg: 174
Season Avg: 191
Practice seemed like every other night. The lanes were freshly oiled, but the ball was moving a bit in the backend and I felt pretty comfortable with my shots going into the first game. The main difference here was that all eight bowlers were present for the first time and all eight bowlers were right handed.
The first game started with a strike; however, the second frame I missed the pocket to the right and left the 1-2-4-7 and missed the 4-pin on the spare attempt. I came in light in the third, but picked up the 4-pin this time. Then I managed to strike four in a row before the ugliness happened. I came in light several times leaving three splits, including one in the ninth and tenth frames, as well as a 1-2-7-8 monstrosity that I only managed to pick up two. It was a disappointing game to be sure, because when I was in the pocket the pins didn't stand a chance. The oil was being pushed down the lane on the right side and the backend was not offering the hook it did at the beginning of the game. I finished with a 168.
The second game began much as the first left off. I left a 5-7 split, which I field goaled, and missed a 7-pin. I was slowing down because I was just flat out tired, which was bringing some movement back to the ball. Finally, I began to pick up my spares and even strike a bit. I managed to throw a turkey from the ninth into the tenth frame this time and pulled off a 204 game.
The third game started with a strike, but then the 5-7 split came back with another light hit only this time I hit the 5-pin. After that, I wasn't throwing a bad ball, but I was doing an awful job at picking up my spares, missing another 7-pin. I did manage to convert a 3-10 split, which could easily be called the highlight of the game. I had to spare and then strike in the tenth to pull off a 152, my worst so far this season. Tonight showed the other side of why spares are important. My first game would have been a 200 easy if I wouldn't have opened four frames. My last game also would have been considerably higher had I picked up the few simple spares I left.
Tonight I learned that I need to trust my knowledge and instincts. In speaking with another bowler I predicted that because everyone was right handed and the lanes were particularly oily, eventually that oil would find its way to the backend and ball movement would disappear. When I started coming in consistently light, leaving a lot of splits on the left side, it took me a couple of frames to evaluate what I was doing to make sure it wasn't a case of missing my mark or pulling my arm across my body at the release. Then when I did make a move, it was only a half board or a small adjustment. I told myself it probably wasn't enough, but I was afraid of coming in too high and leaving even more splits. It took a few small adjustments in a row to eventually find my line again, and by the time I did I had thrown a 168 game.
As for the third game, I need to remember that even though the backend was covered in oil on the right side, if no one is shooting on the left it is going to be considerably drier. I missed two 7-pins last night because I did not think about this detail when lining up my spare shot. I used to pride myself on my spare shooting, and I think I need to take a step back and work on making those single pin leaves automatic spares again.
How is league going for you so far? Are you working on any aspects of your game this season?