January 25, 2013

Week 19 Recap

Game 1: 190
Game 2: 214
Game 3: 222
Series: 626
Week Avg: 208
Season Avg: 196

We have started the second half of the season with some success, sitting in third place after the first week.  We wanted to continue taking more points than we give away for the rest of the season and hopefully translate that into a playoff berth. I threw two frames of practice this week, barely enough to warm up let alone get a good read on the lanes and thought I might be in for a tough night.

Based on my last frame of practice I moved right a little to start my first game and led off with a turkey. The ball started to hang out on me because I was pushing oil down the lane and after a few spares I chopped a 2-4-5 leave. I found that I had to throw the ball right over the 8 board all the way to my break point to find the pocket, unlike last week where the ball could roll a little further right and still strike. I had another turkey late in the game, but a missed 3-10 split in the tenth frame left me at a 190.

The second game was more consistent, with one split serving as my only open. I spent the first half of the game debating whether or not to make a ball change down to the Python, but instead I moved my body right two boards and my mark right one board around the fifth frame and stuck with my current ball. My hope was that I would have a bigger margin of error and I was right. I started striking more consistently and finished up with a 214.

The third game saw seven strikes and the rest of my frames were corner pin leaves, with the exception of an errant 4-6-10 split. It stayed uneventful, which is good, and I finished the evening with a 222 game. Our team took all available points for the night and should move up in the top two in the standings.

Stay behind the ball. Follow through over my target. Hold my position until the ball crosses my target. Since I started thinking about these three short sentences before each frame I have felt more confident and physically felt like an experienced bowler, which has translated in to higher scores on the lanes. Concentrating on these steps allows me to throw consistently and be better able to make minute adjustments to continue scoring as the lanes change. I like it. I need to keep it up.

Since November 12th I have averaged 204.8 and am now four pins shy of my goal to finish with a 200 average. This is the highest my average has been this late in the season and now is the time to keep the pedal on the floor and continue the climb.

I'm excited! Are you excited? I'm excited!

Sorry, I know there isn't much substance in posts like this, but I can't wait until Monday to get back on the lanes.

January 18, 2013

Week 18 Recap

Game 1: 223
Game 2: 200
Game 3: 226
Series: 649
Week Avg: 216
Season Avg: 195

After last week's bowling appetizer, I was really looking forward to hitting the lanes this week and getting back to league bowling. We threw on the same pair of lanes and against the same team as the no-tap fun night last week. All ten bowlers were present, so I was only able to throw two frames in our allotted ten minute practice session. I decided to lead off with the stronger C-System.

My first ball of the first game missed my target left, resulting in an ugly 4-6-9-10 split. I quickly shook it off and decided to concentrate on three things for the rest of the evening: stay behind the ball, follow through over my target, and hold my position at the foul line until the ball crosses my mark. Instantly I was more consistent, throwing strikes and nine counts with ease. The game was close but in hand when I came up for the tenth frame and finished with a 223.

The first game's success continued into the second. My only real problem all night was making sure that the ball crossed by mark at about the 8 or 9 board at the arrows and continued right to about the 6 board by the time it reached the break point. If the ball stayed straight down the lane at the 8 or 9 board at the break point it would still hit the pocket hard, but wouldn't consistently carry. Our team trailed the entire game, but coming down to me in the tenth frame we were within striking distance. My first ball missed my mark left and hit the headpin pretty high, leaving the 3-6-10. In the heat of the moment I made a bad read on how to shoot the spare, chopping the 3-pin for an open, blowing another easy 220 game at a minimum, and clinching the loss for our team. This was the first time we could recall all season that I didn't take a game that was within reach in the tenth frame. I called it a blown save, but it was really more not taking advantage of the opportunity.

I went into the third game with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I put more pressure on myself to perform and part of me wanted this game to come down to me in the tenth frame. I didn't disappoint, shooting a clean 226, but my teammates also bowled really well and the game was won before I took to the approach in the final frame. We have consistently won more points than we have given up and I like our chances in the second half of the season.

I stuck with the C-System all night and was really only forced to make small adjustments on the heavy front end oil. No one on our pair was playing my line, with the exception of our lead off man who shot about two boards right of that. I think that when we play more experienced bowlers with similar equipment I'll see bigger changes and probably need to make a change, but for the most part this is a laid back mixed league with not a lot of big scorers.

With this week's series I am averaging 195, putting me five pins shy of my stated goal to average 200 by the end of the season. If I can continue bowling like this and picking up on my mistakes this quickly, I see no reason that those five pins can't be overcome.

January 11, 2013

Week 17 (Kind of)

I was looking forward to returning to the lanes on Monday after having been away since December 17th. I knew it was going to be our league's holiday party, or "fun night" as everyone was referring to it, and that everyone was bringing some kind of food.  That was fine, and I expected there might be some games throughout the evening.

In addition to all of that, Week 17 turned out to be a no tap extravaganza.  The first game was 9-pin no tap, the second game 8-pin no tap, and the third game a ridiculous 7-pin no tap. There would be virtually no spare shooting to speak of and none of the scores would count for anything. I suppose it was a nice way to ease back into league bowling mode, but it was a little disappointing since I wasn't expecting it.

I enter every week hoping to get a 900 series, but this night I expected to get pretty darn close to that. During the first game I had 10 strikes, 6 of which were legitimate. I made both of my eight count spares and finished with a 256.  In the second game my very first ball hung out a little bit and I left the 2-4-5-8, which I chopped. I managed to strike the rest of the way, again with 6 legitimate ones, to score a 279. I threw my first 300 in the last game which consisted of 7 real strikes. I shot an 835 series, one better than our lead-off man who also threw a 300 the last game.

I did take the opportunity to throw all three games with the C-System and I really liked the angles I was able to play throughout the night.  Unfortunately no one else was really throwing in my line so I couldn't get a good read on how the ball would react to the changing lane conditions. I'm pretty sure I will start with this ball next week though, and if I have to go a little weaker I am very knowledgeable about how the Python performs.

Next week should be back to normal and I couldn't be happier about that. I can't wait to post some no-tap scores in our usual league setting. I'll take a 835 series any day.