Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bowling Tip # 122 “LEAGUE CHAT”

   The new season started up in September, and if you’re bowling in a league then you’ve probably gone through about 6 weeks already.  I’m doing pretty good and have found a new place to bowl that has pretty consistent lanes. They hook a little more than the old place but I’ve adjusted well because I’ve gotten a new ball over the summer that hooks a bit less than my old one so it worked out great! How are you doing?

   This past week we bowled on a pair of lanes that were terrible! The computer was not keeping the score properly, I’m one to check what the computer gives me after each shot, and I’m glad I do because it was giving people 7’s instead of 8’s, and 9’s instead of strikes. We had to keep going in and making the corrections and it was slowing us down. Several people were getting annoyed on the other team and letting it be a distraction. I tried to stay focused and encouraged my team to do the same.

   As we were in the 6th frame of the second game, a team member of mine got an 8 on his first ball and when the machine re-set, it knocked down one of the pins and only one was standing up there instead of the two he had left. We didn’t have intercoms, so I put my shoe covers on and proceeded to go up to the desk and tell the guy so he could have the other pin set up. Then it happened two more times and someone else from the other team went to the desk to get someone back there to fix  the machine. We had to wait about 10 minutes and everyone was complaining. I kept my cool, but the other team was getting really annoyed! In a way it worked out for us because we ended up taking 5 out of 7 points, and the wood had been close, but because they let it get the best of them, we were able to win that last game and get the total wood by only about 19 pins! I told myself ahead of time in my own mind not to get annoyed, that it might be awhile before the lane got fixed and that was exactly the case. If this happens to you, try not to let it get to you. Your timing can get thrown off if you do have to stop bowling, but make sure you are counting your steps and feeling a nice rhythm with your leg and arm movements.

   The better bowler you are, the better you will be able to not get upset by these type of distractions, and if you are a fairly new bowler and can learn this early on, then you will become a better bowler that much quicker!!

     * Good luck and high scoring! Don’t forget to clean your ball if you haven’t already!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bowling Tip # 115 “Mechanical Problems”

   Many of you know about such things, but if you’ve never bowled before or have bowled already but only for a short time, you may not have encountered some of the following mechanical problems. You should have an idea on what to do about them so they don’t become too much of a distraction and you can get back to focusing on your game:

1.     Ball getting stuck in the gutter: This usually doesn’t happen much in the leagues because people bowl pretty well and don’t use the very lightweight bowling balls. But let’s say you are bowling with young children who use the very light weighted balls and the ball should get stuck in the gutter, if it is close enough to the foul line, you can try to retrieve it, but if you have to step onto the lane to be able to reach it, then go to the front desk and tell the person working there that the ball is stuck and give the lane number you are on. It’s better to have them retrieve it because, of the oil, you could slip and possibly fall and get injured.

2.     Pin stuck in Gutter: Some people can bowl if there’s a pin stuck in the channel but it becomes quite a distraction to others, so if it is bothering you or other team members, then just go to the front desk and ask the person there to remove it. Some bowling center have intercoms you can press and talk to the person working the desk without leaving your lane.

3.     Ball not returning: Once in awhile a pin can get stuck in the area that the ball passes through to be able come back to the ball return, so if a minute or so has passed and your ball hasn’t come back yet, then just inform the worker at the desk about the situation by the intercom or by just walking over to him and hopefully he will have it fixed within a few minutes.

4.      Pins Fall Down from the Pinsetter OR all the pins aren’t Set up: Just try pressing the little button found near the ball return or hit the RESET button on the computer if that’s how it’s done at the center where you bowl. You need to do this two times so it will be on the FIRST BALL when you’re ready to bowl again. Doing this won’t interfere with your score. If you only hit it once and just bowl, it will be like you are going for a spare and the automatic score keeper will be messed up and have to be corrected. I am in the habit of taking a quick look at my pins before I bowl to make sure all ten are up there and you should too. If there are only 9 and you didn’t notice it and then you bowled, you have to accept what you get. If you notice it after you throw the ball, it’s too late. You MUST tell someone on your team and the other team that not all ten pins are up there and then you can get a RE-RACK.

5.     Lane Break Down: If the pins keep falling down, the pinsetter isn’t setting up all ten pins and this keeps happening, you can go to the desk and ask for a different lane. This scenario does happen occasionally, even in a league. Were you ever on a roll and then something happened to the lanes and you had to move? It’s happened to me a few times over the years and is extremely frustrating. They are supposed to give you a few minutes to practice because they are a completely new set of lanes and are probably different than the ones you were bowling on. It can really throw you off if you don’t stop and think to yourself to not let it distract you. The better bowlers will take time to do this and you should also. Just really try to stay focused on executing a good shot!

6.     Slippery or Sticky Lane: Sometimes there can be something on a lane which can make you slide too much or not slide at all. There are products you can buy in the pro shop to help correct these situations ( check out my Blog entry # 2) but if it’s happening to several people besides you, then you should go to the desk and tell the worker to have the maintenance guy come over and wipe down that spot that’s giving you trouble.

7.     The Sweep accidentally knocks down your spare: Familiarize yourself with how the pins are numbered on the lane, then if you had the 4 pin up there for instance and the sweep accidentally knocks it down, you can go to the desk and ask the person there to have the 4 pin set up and just give them the lane number you are on. I like to ask someone on my team to do that so as soon as the pin is set up, I can finish my turn and not hold up anyone.

   * There may be a few others that you have encountered during your bowling session, but I think I have covered most of them here for you. Remember, mechanical issues are just a quick and temporary setback, unless the lane actually breaks down, so don’t get all flustered and distracted. These things happen to the best of us!

  *Have you reviewed your notes lately?? Some leagues will be ending soon and if you’re like me, the season is seeming a little long at this point. But don’t let up, keep focusing and try to keep up that momentum for a good strong finish!!

   * Good luck and high scoring!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bowling Tip # 111 Bowling Styles #3 “TWEENERS”

   The name “TWEENER” sounds  like “In- Betweener which is exactly what it is. It’s a bowling style that’s not quite a CRANKER or a STROKER, but a combination of these two and because of this, the styles will vary quite a bit from tweener to tweener.

Steps :

1-5 The majority of tweeners will play a little more toward the center of the lane and walk fairly STRAIGHT on the approach, but occasionally you will see one walking at an angle toward their target. They have a nice slide on their last step, and the shoulders are usually square to the target, but can be slightly open at times for a little extra power or speed when needed. The backswing is usually shoulder high producing an average ball speed.

Hand and Wrist Position:

1.     Tweeners insert all three fingers into the ball.
2.     Use a straight wrist position with or without a wrist support device.
3.     Thumb position can be anywhere from 4:00 to 11:00 at the stance.
4.     At the release, use a small wrist rotation. Modest axis tilt is applied by allowing the thumb to exit the ball first followed by the fingers which apply the rotating action from the side of the ball creating Moderate Revs, and Moderate Hook with a ball speed of about 20 mph on the release to about 16 mph on pin impact ( 18 mph average).  The thumb should finish up at a 10:00 or 11:00 position.

    Tweeners have a controllable but very effective ball motion which allows them to be able to play well on a variety of lane conditions. They can crank when necessary to get more power, or can tune down the bigger hook when they need more accuracy.

  Crankers give the ball a lot of side rotation which breaks and hooks even sharper at the end. The professional bowler, Mark Roth had a Cranker’s style.
  The Stroker rolls the ball forward smoothly without a lot of spin, creating a gradual small hook that’s easier to control. Walter Ray Williams is a good example of a Stroker.
   The Tweener is a hybrid mixture of these other two styles and gives you several options to choose from. A professional who uses this style is Jason Belmonte.

·      Now that you know the differences between these three Bowling Styles, which one will you choose?
                                Good Luck and high scoring!!