April 23, 2012

League Playoffs: Finals

Game 1: 188
Game 2: 197
Game 3: 171
Series: 556
Week Avg: 185
Final Season Avg: 191.68


This was the final week of the fall/winter league and we were battling for 3rd place against a team we had bowled probably more than any other throughout the year.

The first game started with a light hit and a 2-4-10 split. I shook it off with a few spares but then missed the 2-4-5. I had a difficult time finessing the ball into the pocket, but when I was there I buried the pins. I struck a few times leading up to the ninth frame, where I left the 8-10 split. This time, as I noted in last week's post, my adjustment was to move up a little bit on the approach and it worked well. I marked in the tenth and finished with a 188. The team lost the first game.

The second game felt much better than the first and I was able to consistently hit the pocket well. I started the game coming in just a little high, but I sped up a little bit and was able to find the sweet spot. I struck almost every ball on the right lane and left a few single pin spares on the left. I finished the game with a clean 197, as I was unable to string strikes together to break 200. Unfortunately the team wasn't able to pull out a win and we were locked into fourth place for the year.

The last game was a combination of a few things that ultimately led to failure. There were some distractions as it was the last game of the year and on top of that I was getting tired very quickly. Don't read these as excuses, because I don't intend them to be, I am just trying to accurately set the scene. The ball started to run high for a few different reasons during the game: I couldn't maintain ball speed like I did in the second game and the oil was disappearing in the backend. I moved my body up a few more inches and it kept me out of Splitsville, but the damage had already been done. With the exception of a missed 3-10 split I managed to stay clean until the tenth frame, where I missed the 4-7 from a lack of concentration. I finished the year with a disappointing 171 and a 556 series. Unfortunately I wasn't able to reach last year's final average of 192.

Lesson Learned

A big part of my last game was fatigue and the inability to both recognize the problem and correct it. Typically I can throw three games with no problems, but I was throwing a bit faster than usual and on a little less sleep (thanks 10 month old daughter). In addition to being able to read the lanes and the changing oil pattern, I need to be better about reading how my own body is "breaking down" throughout the night. Its just another invisible facet of the game to be aware of.

I now have a few weeks off until my summer league starts. I am looking forward to the rest and being able to put this series behind me before I start up again. In addition to the mental and bodily maintenance, I will also be thoroughly cleaning my ball and hopefully getting it back to that factory finish I threw so well with last year.

Until the new league starts, I have another bowling history post and a season recap post in the works, so stay tuned.


  1. Fourth place ain't too shabby. Good season, Zach.

    I'm with you on the mental and body maintenance. It has been a long season and that's exactly what the doctor ordered.

    1. Thanks Matt. I felt a bit more consistent than last year which is a good start, but I feel like my skill level has plateaued. I hope that my upcoming season recap will point toward some things I can work on and build from next season.

    2. Looking forward to reading it.