April 22, 2013

Week 31 Recap

Game 1: 216
Game 2: 188
Game 3: 195
Series: 599
Week Avg: 199
Season Avg: 201

I knew I was in for a rough night after throwing a few balls in practice. From the start the lanes were drying up quickly and I was not able to get to the line that carries best for me.  Combine that with the fact that I have not been at my best form the past few weeks and it was a perfect storm for disaster.

The first game actually started out alright. I had to play a little further left to find some oil, but the ball was coming back and finding the pocket. My only real miscue was a missed 10-pin, but I strung a few strikes together and pulled out a 216.

Whatever remained of a comfortable line from the first game quickly went away at the start of the second. After missing a 7-9 split in the second frame I switched down to the Python in an effort to play my favorite down and in style. I didn't strike much, but I was able to pick up the rest of my spares, including a 5-7 split. I left a lot of corners (mainly 4, 7 and 9-pins) which has always been a main concern with this ball. I ended up with a disappointing 188.

The third game was a lot of the same. I missed another 10-pin, going 1 for 3 on the night. I wasn't nearly as accurate as I had been, which I think can be partially attributed to trying to play with my speed. I came in under average again with a 195 game and totaled just under average on the night.

The big story was our lead-off man. He nearly threw his first 700 series, but still recorded his career high. He also led the team to a big point gain with only a few weeks left in the season. Lately it seems that we live and die by his performance, and he put on quite a show Monday night.

I need to shake off the last three weeks of league, which have consisted of one good game and two below average. I'm over-thinking things when just stepping on the approach and throwing the ball isn't working. This week I need to simplify things; stay behind the ball, finish upright and square to the foul line, follow through over my target, and just let the ball do all the work.

As the season winds down I am taking some notes on what I need to practice over the summer. One is playing different lines and recognizing where the breakpoint is when I move further inside. If I can find a couple lines that carry I'll be in prime position to score well next season. Another aspect is effectively altering ball speed. It seems that when I slow things down I need to concentrate on my footwork or not powering the ball through my backswing to catch up to my body and, as a result, I pull my shot. Basically it comes down to getting comfortable with my own abilities and learning the abilities of my equipment.

Simple enough, right?

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