Game 1: 205
Game 2: 201
Game 3: 184
Week Avg: 196
Season Avg: 192
First, I want to apologize for my late postings the last few weeks. I have been pretty busy at work since the New Year, and I typically try to get these done first thing Friday morning.
Once again the lanes were very oily, so the ball was breaking late and hard. I threw some decent balls in practice and felt comfortable with my shot going into the first game. Rather than force the shot I wanted to throw by slowing my ball speed and potentially messing up my routine, I decided to move a little further right than usual and throw more of a direct line into the pocket.
The first game went pretty well. I was striking and picking up my spares with relative ease, which is a long way from where I was a few months ago. The first ball in the tenth frame I left the 6-pin, a routine shot, but I missed my mark to the left and missed the spare. That was more frustrating than anything else I encountered all night. The open in the tenth wrecked the potential 220 game, but a 205 was not a bad way to start the evening.
There were six people throwing similar lines and I hoped that the oil would break down a bit by the second game. Instead, the oil pushed further down the lane into the backend causing the ball to break later. It took a few frames to dial in, but I managed to find a good shot again. I left the 4-5-7-8 split off a very light hit, which I missed, and picked up a few baby splits en route to finding a solid pocket shot. Once I was there I managed to strike a bit and filled the tenth frame to finish with a 201.
As a testament to exactly how much oil was on the lanes, it pushed even further into the backend by the third game. The ball was breaking very late and it was nearly impossible for me to move any further right. Instead, I decided to slow my ball speed. I missed a 10-pin during this game, but made the rest of my spares. I had a couple scattered strikes, but not enough to hit average. I finished with a 184 game and 590 series. It was my first over-average night in a while.
There are still a few really good bowlers struggling and I am not sure why. We bowled against a guy with a 196 average who opened and then threw seven in a row before opening in the ninth and tenth frames, taking his great game down to the 220s and throwing a 600 on the nose for the night. Although I have been under-average lately, it seems that I am adapting better than most. My 200 last week was the second best game of the night.
Once again, I need to move slowing ball speed to a higher position in my adjustment checklist. I don't use it often, but lately when I do it works for me. I had tried using this a few years back, but my release was adversely affected as a result of slowing my feet and shortening my backswing. Now I hesitate to use this adjustment because I am not confident in my ability to slow everything and still throw my way; however, recent experience has shown I am ready.
Sometimes we try an adjustment out for the first time and it doesn't work, so we decide not to use it from there on out. But like everything else, practice makes perfect. If you don't master an adjustment right away, don't write it off forever. You can practice until you become good at it or, in my case, you can wait until your skill level has improved and try it again. I may not have had the ability to slow my ball speed a few years ago without totally ruining my approach, but now I believe I have the skill to successfully utilize that adjustment and am going to make a conscious effort to do so in the future.