Bad Night at the Lanes?
Are you having a bad night at the lanes and just can't seem to do anything right? This happens to everyone occasionally so you're NOT alone. The first thing you must NOT do, is PANIC!! When you start to panic, then your'e not able to concentrate and you're adjustments won't be correct and you'll end up totally confused.
The next thing you must realize is that you just can't bowl GREAT every night because you're not a machine! The trick is to at least score as best as you can on those "OFF" nights.
Try to figure out if it's something with the lanes or something you are doing. Use your keen eye to see if the pins are offset because sometimes the pinsetter can be off and that could be the culprit. If it looks like the pins are slightly off their regular spot, you can hit the re-set button. If it keeps happening, then let someone at the desk know and they can get the mechanic to take a look.
Or perhaps try changing the angle that you are coming in at like I spoke about in my Blog Post from 5/2/22. (what the best angle is to throw a strike).
Make sure the ball has some "Stuff" on it' meaning to make sure you are turning your hand enough and also pulling the fingers toward your palm to get more revs which will get you more action at the pins.
If give you're getting annoyed or getting disgusted, take note of your attitude and mood and don't just toss the ball out there like you don't care anymore, be deliberate in spite of the way you feel.
If you can't get any strikes, then just accept it and do your best to make all your spares because all 8's and spares is a 180 and all 9's and spares is a 190 which are a lot better than a 130.
If your ball starts coming up too high on the headpin and you know you got the ball over the correct target, make an adjustment to the left or move up on the lane a little bit immediately. Don't waste precious frames. I remember one night the ball just kept getting sucked right into the headpin no matter what adjustments I made. So I decided to move to the right and just let the ball cross over into the 1-2 pocket. The strikes were not in the correct 1-3 pocket, but it was better than getting more splits, and I was able to salvage my score by just accepting that regular adjustments just were not working.
Make sure you aren't wandering slightly. Check your feet at the stance and then look down at the foul line after the ball delivery to make sure you are close to or on that same board.
Ask yourself, "Am I trying to AIM the ball instead of trusting it to roll back into the pocket area? "Trust is a must or your game is a bust" I always say.
Another problem could be that you are lofting it out farther than normal or dropping it SHORT of where the ball normally lands. These little things can add up to trouble at the pin deck. Don't let your eyes wander up to look at the pins before watching where the ball lands and checking it to make sure it's hitting the intended target, otherwise the adjustments you make may be incorrect!
Make sure you are not TOPPING the ball, meaning turning your hand too much past the 10:00 or 11:00 hand position. This will cause the ball to lose power by the time it reaches the pins.
Also ask yourself
1. "Am I rushing the line"? Sometimes I would get anxious or nervous if we were bowling a really good team and got an adrenaline flow. Be aware of this so you can slow yourself down a little if the ball isn't coming up into the pocket area. Take a few good deep breaths at the stance before you begin your walk on the approach to relax your muscles and take your time and be sure to count your steps.
2. "Am I being distracted by a team member in a deep conversation"? If you are a beginner, you can get easily distracted. You may not be aware of the changing lane conditions as the night moves on. There is more carry down oil on the back end of the lane closest to the pins. It's like doing a dance up there, you start out in one place, then move left, then perhaps right again. You may also need to change the target slightly to get a bit more oil.
There's a lot to remember in bowling and it takes time to get your timing in sync and learn how to adjust properly with the constant changing lane conditions. Be patient with yourself and remember "Rome wasn't built in a day". Just keep practicing and soon your scores and confidence will improve greatly!
Join me next week when I'll be discussing "How do you build consistency in bowling"?-Part 2
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
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Hello!! My name is Joanie. Although I'm not a professional bowler, I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.