April 10, 2012

Week 32 Recap

Game 1: 188
Game 2: 193
Game 3: 184
Series: 565
Week Avg: 188
Season Avg: 191


I was lucky enough to make it to the alley after the Pirates opener and didn't have to rely on my lackluster banked scores for the end of the last quarter. Practice showed that the lanes were moving in the backend as has been usual the last few weeks. And also like the last few months, there was oil on the outsides.

The first game started with a lot of spares and a few strikes. The ball was coming in a little too high in the pocket and I was moving around in an attempt to take one board off of the hook. When I moved left the ball hung out and hit light and when I moved up or sped up the ball was still traveling high. My only open was a 3-4-5 that I hit a little too head on. I finished the game with a 188.

The second game started much the same way, but I finally had the ball in the pocket just right. My only open was a pocket 4-6 split, but a turkey and some other strikes kept me in the game. I finished with a 193.

The last game was a lot like the first with one major exception: opens. I missed a 10-pin, which has become somewhat of a rarity in my game lately. I also missed the 3-10 and 4-5-7 splits. I had some difficulty hitting my mark this game, which resulted in the splits. I finished with a 184 game and 565 series.

Lesson Learned

Consistently coming in high is eventually going to lead to trouble. If I started with a good shot and started coming in high, I would have known exactly how to adjust. Instead, I started the night high in the pocket, moved up enough to eventually compensate during the second game, but then ran out of options in the third game. What can I do when I reach the bottom of my bag of tricks?

I think that hand position would have been an excellent adjustment this week. By keeping my hand more behind the ball rather than coming up around the right I could have taken a little hook off the ball while throwing the same line. One downside to this adjustment is that the ball loses revs and drive through the rack, but I will take shooting single pin spares all night over a scattering of splits.

Fourth Quarter Season Review

At the end of the third quarter my average was 191. I spent two weeks at 192 before coming back to settle at 191. I was only over average twice this quarter, and one of those was my second best series of the season.

One huge positive this quarter was implementing the zone spare system I outlined in my Week 25 recap. I feel much more confident in how I approach shooting spares by breaking the lane into four zones rather than shooting at ten individual pins. I also acknowledged that I need to be open to adjustments outside of my comfort zone and focus on hitting my mark each shot.

I threw seven 200 games this quarter, about 30% of the games. Believe it or not, I almost averaged 192 for the quarter, but it sure didn't feel like it. I would really like to get back to at least a 192 by the end of the playoffs to hit last year's average. It looks like my goal of gaining a pin or two extra will need to wait until next season.

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