Where did the summer go? I expected to get in two practice sessions per month this summer to stay fresh and try out a few new ideas to improve my game. Yet here I am, exactly one week until the start of fall leagues and about three practice sessions short of my goal.
But the old saying of quality over quantity has prevailed this off-season. While I didn't hit the lanes as much as I would have liked, I made each session count and I think I have benefited from the time I did spend in the bowling center. I've become more comfortable playing different areas of the lane by striking from the first, second and third arrows with regularity. I've also gotten better at adjusting from one ball to the other by switching between them from frame to frame. And I learned what doesn't work. Speed changes do more harm than good for me, and so I will move that further down the flow chart of adjustments.
For my last practice session I wanted to shoot a straight three game series to see if I have improved over the summer, or at least to make sure I haven't gotten worse. My first game was a 243. I was striking fairly easily and my only open was a 10-pin. I had some difficulty striking my second game, but was able to pick up my spares until I could adjust. In the tenth frame I left the 3-10 and when I attempted the spare my ball took out the 3-pin and grazed the 10-pin just enough to make it spin, but not fall. I finished that game with a 199. I did pretty well in the third game, throwing a turkey and a four bagger, but I also left a 4-10 split and missed the 4-7 in the tenth frame to finish with a 216. It was a pretty good way to finish the off-season and I'm really looking forward to starting the season.
We had our league meeting last Tuesday, which was pretty uneventful. My team is down two bowlers this year: my wife is not returning because we are expecting another baby in December and Joe, our lead off man who bowled great last year decided that 36 weeks is too long a season. One interesting change this year is that the league is accepting junior bowlers who are 17 and older. The only difference for them is that any money earned would be paid out as a scholarship so their junior/collegiate eligibility is not put in jeopardy. Its quite the risk to the junior bowler, I think, but who am I to say no, especially when the league is hurting to fill the teams.
Week 1 starts on August 26th and I can't wait to start where last season left off. Time to put it to the wood.