February 8, 2013

Week 21 Recap

Game 1: 212
Game 2: 216
Game 3: 147
Series: 575
Week Avg: 191
Season Avg: 196

The evening started so well, and then I'm not sure what exactly happened. I got cocky I guess, or maybe a little too comfortable. Bowling has a way of humbling you every now and then, and I got a pretty healthy dose of that in my last game.

My first game was pretty consistent. I had three doubles, but was never able to string more than two strikes together. My only real slip up was not accounting for some heavy center oil and missing an easy 2-pin as a result. Other than that is was a strong 212, including a strike as my first ball in the tenth frame that clinched the game for our team.

The second game was even better. I managed to get a turkey and my only open was a split. I finished with a 216, setting myself up for another nice 600 series and taking another game for our team in the process.

And then it happened. I started with a strike, but then followed it up with a 5-10 split. I shook it off and made a nine count spare and another strike. Then a high shot left the 3-10 split. I left a 4-pin on my next shot, but failed to convert. By this point I was pretty frustrated: I wasn't throwing a good first ball and my spare shooting suddenly became nonexistent. To top it off our machine kept scoring incorrectly and forcing us to fix just about every frame. I focused hard on throwing a good first ball and struck again in the seventh frame. The rest of the game I buried the first ball in the pocket every time, but I could not carry the 10-pin. I opened on a 10-pin in the eighth frame and then picked one up in the ninth and tenth frames. I threw four consecutive shots in the pocket to leave a 10-pin and no matter how I adjusted it was the same result. Thank God it was the last game and I managed to claw my way to a 147. Unfortunately we lost the last game. Even worse is that we lost by so much that the other team took the total pin fall point as well. We squandered a great outing from our lead-off man who threw his second career 600 series. I simultaneously congratulated and apologized to him.

Luckily that one bad game didn't hurt me too much in the long run, though my pride took a beating. I was pretty inconsistent in my delivery and, as a result, I was not getting a consistent reaction on the lanes. Stay behind the ball; Follow through over my target; Hold my release. This should have been running through my head the entire third game. Instead I was fishing for adjustments and working myself up to the point where I couldn't make easy single pin spares.

Apparently I am not as mentally prepared as I thought, which is fine. If I have reached a point in my game where I don't really have to worry about the physical aspects then I have really turned a corner this season. Its a bit harder to practice stressful situations and this is the area the separates good bowlers from great ones. If I want to take my game to the next level, I will need to learn how to beat myself and overcome my frustrations.

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