Game 1: 204
Game 2: 186
Game 3: 193
Week Avg: 194
Season Avg: 189
Note: Week 9's recap is already posted because I prebowled those games on October 2nd. Week 10's recap will be posted early next week as I will be prebowling those games on Sunday.
There were only five bowlers on our set of lanes this week and we finished about an hour earlier than the week before. The games moved quickly and there wasn't much time between frames to contemplate adjustments. Practice went fairly well, but everyone was sticking at the foul line on the right lane. As a result, I slowed my approach so I wouldn't wipe out in front of everyone.
The first game started with two light hits, but I picked up the spares. I moved back two inches and found the pocket. I struck and spared pretty regularly with only a missed 10-pin preventing a clean game. I noticed that there wasn't much room for error on the lanes early on. If I missed my mark to the right the ball would hang out there for a long time before snapping back at the very end. If it found the pocket after that it was usually too steep an entry and wouldn't carry. If I missed my mark to the left it would hold in the middle of the lane and barely hook at the end. This worried me a little bit because that is typically a problem that could leave splits, but luckily I managed to avoid those and hit on the left of the head pin. These issues were a result of the oil being carried down the lane and into the backend. With a full compliment of bowlers, this is usually overcome early on or even in practice. Since we had five bowlers, with only two throwing my line, it was a struggle well into the second game. In the tenth frame I threw the first two strikes and then hit light again leaving the 4-8. I finished with a 204.
The second game started with me missing my mark to the right and leaving the 1-2-8. I picked up two that frame and stayed clean until the fifth frame, where I barely missed a 7-pin. From there on the oil in the backend began to ease up and the lanes became a little more forgiving. I struck out in the tenth frame to win the game for the team and finished with a 186. It wasn't enough to advance in the brackets and to make matters worse, I pulled the winning 50/50 ticket that just so happened to belong to the same fellow who beat me.
I started the third game with a strike/spare/strike/spare and then threw a turkey. I could do no wrong on the right lane, but the left lane saw me come in a bit high so I moved up the two inches I adjusted in the first game and was hitting fine. In the eighth frame on the left lane I thought I had a great shot, but I left and missed a solid 4-pin. I struck on the right lane in the ninth frame, giving me at least eight strikes in a row on that particular lane. In the tenth frame I came in just a little high, and left the 4-9 split. If this sounds familiar, it should. I did the exact same thing in the third game last week and, just like last week, missed the 4-pin to the left by a hair. I finished that game with a 193 and a 583 series. That split cost me another 200 game and a probable 600 series.
I took last week's advice and made a promise to myself that I wouldn't second guess any decision on a shot. If I thought I should make an adjustment, I committed to it without backing out at the last second. I thought it worked out well and will continue to trust my judgement on reading the lanes.
My biggest problem last night was inconsistency in hitting my mark, a common problem for me. Early on I attributed it to worrying about falling down due to the tacky approach. Once that issue was gone, somewhere in the middle of the first game, I had no excuse but poor concentration. I noticed on one or two occasions I wasn't following through on my release, causing me to miss my mark to the right. On a few other occasions I noticed I was over-rotating my wrist, causing me to pull my shot to the left. Luckily I am able to diagnose these problems and can feel when a shot isn't right, but I need to work on preventing these issues from cropping up in the first place. Hopefully better concentration on my target will force me to follow through with my release on every shot, extending my arm out past my mark. Its something to work on this Sunday when I prebowl for week 10.
First Quarter Season Review
Last night was the end of the first quarter of the season. While ultimately successful, I feel that the first quarter was a bit under average for me. I hit a point in the middle of the quarter where I was missing easy singe pin spares, and while I am still missing the corner pins and the 4-pin from time to time, I think this has gotten better. Missed spares are definitely a big part of why my average is not currently in the 190s.
On the positive side, I threw eleven 200 games in the first quarter. That is 45% of the games thrown with at least one 200 every week. Also, my lowest series is a 521. I am usually good for a handful of 400 series a season, a trend I am hoping to overcome this year.
I am on the upswing coming into the beginning of the second quarter. Hopefully I can relay the positives from my last few outings into boosting my average back to the 190s.