October 5, 2012

Week 5 Recap

Game 1: 181
Game 2: 178
Game 2: 226
Series: 585
Week Avg: 195
Season Avg: 194

After a two week break while recovering from gall bladder surgery I was finally cleared to get back to action. I had been looking forward to this for days, but I was also a little worried on how I was going to hold up. The area around all four incisions was still a bit tender and there was some lingering back pain, so I wasn't sure how this would affect my release and follow through at the foul line. Needless to say I wanted to take as much practice as possible to feel things out; however, I was only able to throw two frames during our 10 minute session.  Luckily lane conditions have been pretty consistent, so I was more concerned about my mechanics than finding a line.

The first game started well enough with a few spares.  There didn't seem to be any lingering effects and I was throwing the ball really well. I was leaving 6- and 10-pins so I moved back a few inches, but then I was coming in high and leaving the 4- and 7- pins.  I moved left a board to try to correct that problem and hit light again, so I moved back one board to the right. It was a matter of about an inch or two on the approach and in the pocket, but I just couldn't seem to hit the sweet spot. I did double once, but I also missed a 10-pin late in the game. I finished with a 181.

The second game was pretty similar to the first.  I was in the pocket every shot, but couldn't get the pins to fall. I chopped a 6-10 and left an 8-10 split during this game, but they would be the last opens I'd see for the night. Late in the game I started running high so I moved up a few inches, but realized that I would have to go left a board to start the third.  I had a 178 this game, but felt pretty optimistic about the last game.

I started by alternating strikes and spares the first four frames and then threw a turkey. The more direct line I was forced to play the first two games gave way to a more arching line that gave me the carry I needed to take down all ten pins. I spared the next three frames and then struck out in the tenth frame to finish with a clean 226, a new season high.

This was actually the most consistent I have ever bowled.  All but one ball was in the pocket and the one that missed fell off my hand a little early.  I didn't miss my mark by more than a board all night.  I think that one reason behind this success was that I was being particularly careful easing myself back into bowling shape. I took my time and made sure that I was keeping good form and finishing every shot. I knew that as long as my body did what it should be doing I wouldn't hurt myself and I escaped the night with only slight discomfort in the area around where my gall bladder used to live.  As I get back to 100%, I need to be sure to continue keeping my own pace and not rushing my shots.

As I drove home I was mentally scolding myself for the first two games.  I was not hitting the pocket effectively making only adjustments to my body position on the approach, but I tried to force it to work. Throughout the night I considered changing hand position to either take some revs off to correct high hits or add some revs to correct light hits, but in the end I didn't make the adjustment until the third game.  Once I moved to the left a board and laid the ball flatter in my hand at the start of my delivery I was right where I wanted to be. By the end of the game the oil broke down enough and I went back to my normal hand position.  I need to make sure that second guessing doesn't cost me as many games as has in the past.  Its time to trust my instincts and then react to what I see.

With Labor Day and my surgery I have yet to get into a good rhythm this season. October up to Christmas provides a nice stretch of consecutive bowling weeks and I hope to develop a nice routine and get back to some normalcy. I'm a creature of habit, so I think that should benefit me in the end.

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