Game 1: 181
Game 2: 192
Game 3: 246
Week Avg: 206
Season Avg: 201
I was still riding a high from the ACAA tournament on Saturday coming into league on Monday night; however, my back was pretty sore all day Monday. It felt pretty similar to when I had inflammation in a spinal disc a few years ago. About an hour before leaving the house for the bowling center I did a bunch of stretches from physical therapy, popped a couple Advil, and hoped for the best.
I took it a little easy to start the night, throwing a bit slower to make sure I was warmed up. This killed my timing and caused me to drop my shoulder during the first two games. I constantly missed my mark to the left and the few times I did hit my mark I came in high and had to make an adjustment to strike. I tried my best to adjust while throwing bad first balls, but I wasn't very successful. Luckily my spare shooting remained pretty steady and with one open I was able to throw a 181.
During the second game I was able to pull myself together. I stopped worrying about my back, which felt fine all of a sudden, and got myself back to my regular form and speed. Then I was able to dial in my line. I found myself playing a bit more of an arc than I usually do late in the game as I tried to combat two opponents that were pushing oil all over the right side of the lane. A missed 4-pin in the tenth frame put me under average for the second game in row with a 192.
In the third game everything began to click. I actually got beer framed in the first frame and then threw five strikes in a row. After coming in high again I moved my line a bit inside and found some oil that benefited me the rest of the night. Strikes came easier and I was able to throw a clean 246 to convert a bad night to an over average performance. The team took 5 of 7 points, but I'm not sure we will be able to make up enough ground to take a run a first.
I used to get pretty mad at myself when I bowled bad and, as a result, I would bowl even worse. Over the last two years I have been more in control of my emotions and came to the realization that just because I'm upset it doesn't mean I can't also be constructive. I was pretty mad at myself the first two games, but I was able to clear my mind and analyze what went wrong and how to correct it. Keeping cool has made a big difference for me and I can't stress enough how important this is.
A teammate of mine got into a little tiff with one of our opponents during the third game. He was bowling much better than usual and started a game with a turkey. While waiting at the ball return for the fourth frame an opponent (woman in her late 50s maybe, I'm bad with ages) came up behind him and grabbed him. She was just joking around, but he gets pretty upset about that sort of thing. She is also one of those people that yells in a shrill voice every time a teammate throws a strike. I'm not a big fan of these things myself. After that he opened the next few frames and was fuming. She made the mistake of poking him at the ball return a few frames later and he snapped. He let it be known that he did not want to be touched and that our team pretty much keeps to itself and never interferes with other bowlers. She took offense and there was an awkward few frames until everybody cooled off and could reconcile.
The whole thing made me aware that each team has its own personality, whether it is a collective persona or emanates from one individual. Our team does keep to itself for the most part and we really don't engage the other team outside of a pleasantry or high five. There are exceptions: one teammate is related to three bowlers on another team so we have a more laid back atmosphere when we bowl them. My wife and I also bring our two year old each week, so some folks are inclined to come see her. There are a few teams that are quite boisterous and I usually just try to ignore them, but when it directly affects another team's performance then it becomes an issue.
We don't have official team captains, but I always try to fill the role of motivator and pep-talker on our team. What can I do to calm our guy down in these situations? Have you ever run into an issue like this in your leagues?