Game 1: 178
Game 2: 196
Game 3: 189
Week Avg: 187
Season Avg: 191
The lanes were pretty consistent to the rest of the season thus far. I have been playing a line standing with my left foot at the 24 1/2 board and throwing over the 9 board at the arrows. The consistency has been nice given the limited amount of practice, two to three frames, before the games start.
The first game started with a strike, but quickly dove back into the usual routine of single pin leaves for spares. My only miss in this game was a well deserved 4-6 split resulting from a head-on shot. As a team we were playing well enough to make up for the 60 ppg handicap, but some late game problems created an insurmountable lead by the time it was my turn to throw in the tenth. I struck and spared, but the lack of doubles held me to a 178.
I set myself up fairly well on the right lane for much of the rest of the night. I missed the first 10-pin I saw last night, but picked up two others later in the evening. I finally managed to double and was on pace for a 200 until late in the game. In the tenth frame I struck and then left the 1-2-4 after missing my mark right and the ball caught some displaced oil. On the spare attempt I missed right again and left the 2-pin standing for another open.
I needed a 200 or better in the last game to break even this week. The third game started with a double and I struck all but one frame on the right lane. I was in the pocket on the left lane, but just couldn't get the carry I needed. I missed a 4-pin in the middle of the game after debating on how to shoot the spare (I clearly chose poorly), but otherwise stayed clean for the remainder including the conversion of a 5-10 split. After being beaten by nearly 100 pins the second game the team pulled it together for a win in the third, clinching before I threw in the tenth. Coming off a spare in the ninth I needed to strike out to hit my average for the night. Instead I spared again and earned a nine on my last ball for a 189.
On the drive home I commented to my wife that so far my summer PBA Experience League seems to have been a waste of time and money. My average hasn't budged and I am currently where I finished up last year. But then I got to thinking this morning, and that isn't an entirely fair assessment. I am much more consistent in hitting my marks and replicating shots than I was at the end of last season. I can evaluate a bad shot more quickly than in the past, identify the problem, and usually correct it in a frame or two. My spare shooting has improved, for the most part, since I began implementing a modified 3-6-9 system, including the conversion of several splits so far this season. To sum it up, I no longer feel lost when it comes to certain aspects of my game.
I have been hammering the pocket lately, I just can't seem to turn those good pocket hits into strikes. I've always relied on spare shooting to improve my game, but I have reached a point where spares aren't enough. If you follow the blog, you'll recall that early in the PBA Experience League I had to overcome a subconscious tether of my mark to the second arrow, or 10 board. Once I relieved myself of that restriction I was able to find more success on the various oil patterns. For some reason that tether reattached at the start of the season and, even though I am in the pocket, I believe that it is still a hindrance to my game.
For next week I am going to try moving everything farther to the right in the hope that a different entry angle will provide the pin action required to strike with some frequency. I also need to go out and practice with the C-System I purchased at the end of the summer and really see what that can do. I know some of my limitations are holding my game back, but perhaps a change in equipment is also in order.