Game 1: 249
Game 2: 183
Game 3: 235
Week Avg: 222
Season Avg: 193
This is the second of two weeks that I needed to pre-bowl for my league since I will be unable to make our usual Thursday time. I will have at least one non-league update in the coming weeks and be back at league on Thursday, November 3rd.
Practice started off alright and I found the pocket fairly quickly. The lanes were what I expected for Sunday at opening: dry back ends with a bit more hook than the usual freshly oiled Thursday night lanes. The ambiance this weekend was a bit different than when I pre-bowled a few Sundays ago. There was a another guy pre-bowling a few sets down to my right and two lanes to my left were a pair a fathers and their 6 year old sons.
I started the first game with a strike and followed it up with a light pocket hit, leaving the 10-pin which I picked up. Using my new philosophy of not second guessing myself I made a quick adjustment by moving back a couple of inches. I came in a little high and left the 4-pin, which I converted, but I also noted that I missed my mark a bit to the left so no adjustment was necessary. I threw a strike and followed it up with another light pocket 10-pin. I picked up that spare and decided to move right a half board on my next shot. It turns out that was a pretty good idea. I struck out the rest of the game, that's 7 in a row, and finished with a 249.
The next game I started with another strike and then hit high to leave the 7-pin, which I converted. I was a bit shaky after throwing 8 in a row, which is a new personal best, and missed my mark to the left on that shot. In the third frame I missed my mark to the right and hit way light, leaving the 1-2-8. I picked up that spare and decided to move back a little bit more on my next ball. It turns out that I may have adjusted a little prematurely. I hit light and left two 10-pins in a row before striking again. I hit light again and left the 6-10, which I made. Another light hit in the eighth frame left the 10-pin, but I barely missed it to the left this time. I noticed the tape in my thumb hole was inching out of the top and was effecting my grip on the ball. I decided to change the tape and struck in the ninth frame. I picked up another 7-pin spare and then moved back up the couple inches I adjusted in the fifth frame before my next ball. I threw a strike and finished the game with a 183.
The third game started out great and I struck the first six in a row. I got a little nervous at the start of the seventh frame and missed my mark to the right. The ball came back, but not enough, leaving the 2-pin. I picked that up and then made two 7-pin spares and a 10-pin spare in the ninth frame. I left the 10-pin again in the tenth, and much like my open in the second game I barely missed the pin to the left. I finished the game with a 235 and a 667 series. Its always rough opening in the tenth frame, and its even worse when you are throwing a great first ball. However, I left feeling pretty happy with how things went and I know its going to be a long few weeks until I get back on the lanes.
Wow, that was the best I have bowled in a long time. I almost never throw that many strikes, and to only have two opens the whole series was a real confidence booster. The lanes were the exact opposite of Thursday night in that they were very forgiving. If I missed my mark by a board to the right or left, I could still count on a solid pocket hit.
So where did the second game go wrong? After coming in really light I decided to move back on the approach a few inches. This helped, but I overlooked two key elements that also effected that shot. The first was that the tape in my thumb hole was bunching up and causing me to not get a snug fit in the ball. This was causing the ball to come off my hand a little early, thus losing revs and hook in the backend. The second issue, somewhat related, was that I was missing my mark to the right. I say they are related because the thumb is what directs the ball to the target, so if the thumb is coming out early that means the ball is going to miss right. Also, by losing revs on the ball, it didn't have enough bite to make up the difference of boards missed in the backend. Once I fixed the tape, the problems disappeared and I quickly adjusted back to where I needed to be.
Its hard to see something as trivial as three pieces of tape ruin a potential 700 series, but it did teach me to be observant of my equipment. If something doesn't feel right, fix it right away or else your game will suffer and you might even hurt yourself.
That being said, as I left the center on Sunday I had a big smile on my face. I just set a new personal best 8 strikes in a row and followed it with another seven in a row later in the series. I also threw a new season high game and series . . . and totally impressed some 6 year old kid.