It's really important that you keep records concerning your bowling, so you can see how much you're progressing. These can be kept in a notebook I mentioned on getting (along with your other equipment) in the Blog Post from 4/26/21. Try keeping it in your bowling bag so you can refer to your records when necessary. If you still haven't gotten a notebook yet, I recommend getting one as soon as possible.
It is it important to keep a record of your scores each week in the league (to make sure your average is the same as it is on the stat sheet they pass out in the league each week), but you should be writing down your scores during practice sessions too. Remember, in order to calculate your average, just add up the scores you bowled and divide by the number of games you bowled. For example, if you bowled a 180, 220, and 175 on your league night your series would be a 575 and, dividing by 3, your average would be 191.2 for those 3 games. The league keeps a cumulative total of your series each week and divides by the number of games you bowled over the course of the season. For example, a typical winter league has 36 weeks so if the totals of all your series was 20,196 then you would divide that by 108 giving you an overall average of 187 for that season (3 games per week x 36 weeks if you weren't absent at all).
Along with a record of your weekly scores, series, and average, I recommend keeping a record of the the following as well:
1. Your Mood---What was your mood like when you arrived to the bowling center (we just talked about this last week)? Were you in a rush, were you worried about anything? When going practicing, did you go with something specific in mind?
2. What type of marks did you get? How many strikes, doubles, strings of strikes, splits, misses, etc.did you get?
3. Did you stretch, take a few deep breaths, use the practice session in the league, or did you just get your shoes on and start bowling?
4. Lane Conditions---Were the lanes moving (not much oil) or did the lanes have a lot of oil? You can also write down the lane numbers you bowled on because it may help you to do better the next time you are bowling on that same pair of lanes, perhaps giving you a slight advantage over the other bowlers. In some of my leagues, the bottom of the stat sheet will put down the lane numbers your team will be bowling on for the following week and you can check in your notebook to see if you had any trouble on those lanes.
5. Physical State---Were you tired when you arrived or full of energy?
6. Your Adjustments---You should write down what adjustments you made on a certain pair of lanes. For example, if you were bowling on lanes 11 and 12, and played the 2nd arrow until the middle of the second game and then had to move to the right 2 boards, write what the problem was and those adjustments you made. Repeatedly writing things down will help you determine what adjustments to make in the future when similar situations arise on changing lane conditions. (The lanes can vary from week to week even if you bowl on the same pair because of weather conditions and the oil machine varying slightly from week to week).
7. Your Thoughts---Try writing down how you felt after the bowling session is over while your mind is still conscious of the psychological and physical conditions that affected your scoring ability. This will help you understand yourself and your own game better over time.
By keeping track of these things, you may begin to see a pattern. By checking your progress, maybe your'e noticing that your worst game is your first, especially if you come to the league directly from work and you haven't eaten anything yet and you are so hungry but you need to take care of the league dues, getting in a league pot for high game, saying hello to your team mates, getting your shoes on and getting ready for the ten minute practice session, etc. Seeing this can help you make a few changes that can help make a difference in bringing up your score. Perhaps you can leave work a bit earlier on your league night if that's possible, or just eat a snack on the way to stave off the hunger until you have time to get something more substantial so you can focus more on that first game than you were doing before.
If you're noticing that your lowest score is your last game, then maybe you're getting tired or perhaps you haven't made the proper adjustment yet. Bring a candy bar or have a cup of coffee to keep your energy up. Make sure to include some of those bowling exercises I mentioned in my Blog Post from 5/17/21 each week to help with your stamina.
When you roll a great game, have the person at the desk make a printout of it for you and keep it in your bowling bag if you are able. Glance at it from time to time to remind you that you really are a good bowler and if you did it once, you can do it again!!
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Join me back here again next week when I'll be discussing "The Cheetah Oil Pattern".
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
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.