In a previous Blog post from 11/21/22, I mentioned about SIX BASIC NEEDS people must have in order to feel happy and fulfilled in their life (Did you get a chance to rate them on things you like and dislike on a scale from 1-10? I hope you did so you'll be able to better understand this blog post.
There are three things that come into mind of what I've done and seen others do at the lanes. At first it made no sense to me, but after reading up and studying these human needs, I do understand it a lot better and realize it was foolish to have some of those superstitions I mentioned in a prior blog post from 10/31/22.
Are you one of those people who uses the ten minute practice session before league play begins? Most of us are and if you get a few strikes do you sit down because you are worried you might use them all up? I used to be like that until I became a better bowler and understood why I was doing that. Remembering that bowling is a 10% physical and 90% mental game, in our mind we believe we better leave some strikes for when it really counts, so to get our need of CERTAINTY we talked about, we just stop practicing and sit down just to be sure. This gives us the comfort in knowing that we did leave a few strikes for the real game (even though we're not 100% positive that we will actually get any--the UNCERTAINTY). You can leave yourself the the opportunity for a level of SIGNIFICANCE because you know you can still get some strikes since you sat down early and left a few. If you do in fact get more strikes, you will bowl well and that will make you feel important.You can get a level of CONNECTION and CONTRIBUTION because you want to do your best for your team to help them win the games. This sounds a bit bizarre, but I have experienced this during my bowling years but never really understood why I sat down instead of using the full ten minutes of practice.
I had a guy on my team a few years back who would NOT get up to bowl if there was a split left on the lane on either side of where we were bowling. He always thought that he was going to get one too, so he would patiently wait until the person finished bowling and that split was off the pin deck. He was a decent bowler too and I was surprised that he still had this frame of mind. I have seen many other bowlers do this as well and it drives me nuts even though I have seen people bowl next to a split and did get a split. When I learned how to drive, my instructor told me that if I ever got into skid to look at or focus on where I wanted to go, NOT on what I wanted to avoid. That is when I realized that people were focusing so much on NOT getting a split and that is just what they got. If people just focused on getting a good first ball, having a good release, and getting it over the correct target, they would have gotten a strike or at least a nine count! It's true that you get what you focus on!!
I also mentioned that people use different VEHICLES or ways to attain the six basic needs. Most of us use positive vehicles, but at times we resort to using NEGATIVE ones instead.
I used a negative one in my bowling many years ago and learned a valuable lesson from it that I will never forget. I want to share it with my readers because I don't want it happening to any of you!
Several years ago I had joined a new mixed league in a different bowling center and I was averaging 216 for the first seven weeks. I was averaging about 202 for a short time before this which was my highest average so far in any of my leagues. I had mostly gotten the high average for the women bowlers by the end of the season in my leagues too. Well, a new team joined the league with all the members averaging 220+, including the two women. So I began worrying that I wouldn't be able to keep up and get the high average and I started doubting myself. Instead of focusing on my routine and basics, I kept checking on their scores and before I knew it, my averaging started going down. Then I began worrying about that and also what my team mates were thinking.
I was doing what is called "SELF SABOTAGING" which is a NEGATIVE Vehicle and I didn't realize it at the time! I was CERTAIN that I could average 202 because I had already done that and that was my COMFORT ZONE. Well you guessed it, I did not get the high average for the women that year and I finished with my comfortable 202 average. I learned that I will NEVER SELF SABOTAGE again! I will just stay focused on my own bowling since that is all I can control. Had I realized what I was doing to myself sooner, I could've nipped in the bud and had a self talk. I am sure I could have done so much better but now I'll never know what I could have averaged that year.
I realized that by fearing my failure, I was holding myself to a lower standard.The only way to really improve at something is to put yourself in a place where you can fail so you can get out of that comfort level you are stuck in! If you want to get to that next level, don't let the wrong things get into your head like I did. Always try your best for yourself and for your team. If you see yourself doing something negative, try to step back and analyze it before it gets out of hand. I've been bowling a very long time now and sometimes I still have to try to not let pressure situations get the best of me. I am so much better now though than back then because I trained myself to be positive and to stay focused on my things that I want to accomplish so negative thoughts don't have a chance to get into my head. Stress less and only focus on what you can control!!
We are only human and do make mistakes, but if you can learn from your mistakes then you will keep GROWING. Try your best to look at things as a challenge and a way to get out of your comfort zone so you will keep improving year after year!!
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Join me in next week when I'll be discussing The Badger Oil Pattern.
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
Throwing a straight ball can be great, especially if you are going for spares, but let's face it, all the better average bowlers in the leagues or the pros you watch on TV all throw some type of curve or hook shot. Putting more revolutions or "Revs" on the ball will help you achieve this desired hook shot that will get you more action at the pins and ultimately more strikes!!!
I may have mentioned some of these in other blog posts, but if it's important, I tend to repeat. Here are some ways you can increase the revs on your ball:
1. USE A FINGER TIP GRIP:
If you are currently releasing your ball with a conventional tip grip (fingers insert into the ball up to the second knuckles) you should bring your ball into the pro shop and have the holes filled with resin and get a Finger Tip Grip drilled into the ball. The Finger Tip Grip (fingers inserted into the ball up to the first knuckles) will more easily allow you to pull those fingers toward your palm to get more turns or revs on the ball as you release it, and allows the wrist is able to put more into the shot.
2. CUPPING THE WRIST:
Cupping the wrist and keeping it that way throughout the swing and release causes your thumb to leave the ball first. The remaining two fingers will allow you give the ball good LIFT, giving it a strong counter clockwise motion and a strong hook coming into the pocket. It will feel awkward if you're not used to this.
3. CHANGING FINGER POSITIONS:
Remember the clock face I spoke about? Assuming your stance position on the approach, place the ball in your hand out on front of you and turn it to the right as far as you can. Thinking about the face of a clock, the pinky will be on the 10 and the thumb will be on the 4. If you are a left handed bowler, your pinky will be at the 2 and your thumb at the 7 or 8. Try holding your hand in this position at the stance and on the downswing. Just before the release, turn your hand back to the 10:00 or 11:00 position (1 or 2:00 for lefty's). That will get a nice rotation on the ball and higher revs and pin action. See photo below:
4. If you have been wanting a new ball and have been bowling awhile, you may want to BUY A MORE AGGRESSIVE BALL at the pro shop or have them re-fill and re-drill your ball so the pin is in a different position to help with more revs.Talk to the pros about this at your bowling center and let him know what you want to accomplish. They are always very helpful and knowledgeable.
5. Try getting the FINGERS BELOW THE EQUATOR OF THE BALL:
6. This one will take practice, but you can try CHANGING YOUR TIMING a bit by getting your footwork to be one step ahead of the arm position. If your foot can reach the foul line slightly ahead of the arm releasing the ball, it will help increase the rev rate on the ball.
7. When you have a relaxed hand, the fingers stay in the ball a little longer which will increase the RPM's (Revolutions Per Minute) on the ball.
8. Try INCREASING THE SPEED IN WHICH YOUR STRAIGHTEN THE BOWLING ARM while releasing the ball. In other words, push the inside of the elbow towards the pins more quickly on the ball release.
9. BENDING THE PINKY:
Bend your pinky so that the fingernail is touching the ball. This forces the other two fingers to turn the ball a bit more before the release.
Most people have a ball RPM of about 300-350. Strokers can average between 0-200 RPM's, some power Tweeners 300-400, and Crankers 350+ RPM's.
A man names Robert Smith has been recorded to have the most RPM's at 550-600!!
Remember to always go and practice these new things and be confident before applying them in your league games when it counts. Be aware that with a higher rev rate, the ball will come up higher on the head pin and you want to do your best to avoid splits, so observe how the lanes are moving and move your feet and target accordingly.
Join me back here again next week when I'll be discussing Part-2 of "Understanding the Mental Game of Bowling".
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
When you're on a vacation for a few weeks, or perhaps if you don't join a league during the summer months, here are a few tips to help you keep up that Muscle Memory you've been developing and to keep you in shape when you aren't able to get to the bowling center.
Walking, Biking, or Jogging are great ways to get in some good exercise to help keep up your stamina. I also find it helpful to do lots of STRETCHING. It's one of the best exercises you can do to relieve tension from the body. I like to do them at least 10 minutes a day or for however long I have time in the morning and evening. It should feel good while you are doing these stretches, do NOT force anything, just nice and easy. These should also be done before any other exercises you may be doing to warm up the body to help avoid any injuries.
Isometric exercises make muscles contract so they can get a good workout without bending your joints. Try some of these I'm listing below so your ball doesn't feel like it weighs a ton when you do get back to the lanes:
** Stand with the back of your feet and body up against a wall with your arms down at your sides.Then place your palms against the wall and press hard holding for about ten seconds. You can work up to more seconds over time. This is a great workout for the back part of the upper arms, the Triceps.
** Hook your left and right finger tips together and then try pulling them apart. Start out with a gentle pull and then try to pull slightly harder each time you do this exercise. Hold the pull for about ten seconds or more.This is great for strengthening the fingers, especially if you are planning on going from a Conventional Finger Grip to a Finger Tip Grip.
** Stand in a doorway with your feet spread apart. Raise your arms up to shoulder height and try pushing your hands against both sides of the door frame. This will help strengthen the arms, back, and shoulders.
** If you have a one ball bowling bag, keep the ball in it and take it in your hand and just swing it back and forth while you're assuming the Delivery Position. If you have a two or three ball carrier, then just put one of the bowling balls or a few heavy items in one of those reusable grocery bags equaling the weight of your ball and tie the handles tightly together. Try following through with your arm looking at an imaginary target. You can aim for a spot on your couch and let it go if you want. Repeat this swinging back and forth motion several times.
** Most people have some of that blue painters tape (it doesn't leave any stick residue when you pull it up) or some masking tape in their garage. You can pack the roll in your suitcase if you're going away. Set up a lane and a foul line with the tape on a rug to form the letter "T". See photo below, compliments from a photo in Dawson Taylor's book "Bowling Strikes".
** Using a pen or marker, mark where you want your 1st step, 2nd step, 3rd step, and 4th step to be on the long piece of tape. Now set yourself up and go through the motions as if you were walking along the approach on a real lane and stopping to look down making sure your footwork is correct.The lady in the picture is using an ironing board iron to have a little weight in her hand. Most hotels have an iron.
You may have other exercises you like to do, but please do your best to do some of these during your time away from the bowling center. If you don't do something, it may take a few weeks for you to get back into the rhythm again which could cost you a few pins in average by the end of the season.
Join me back here again next time when I'll be discussing "How to Increase Your Rev Rate"?
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
I don't know if you have ever heard of Anthony Robbins. He's a famous Life Coach and motivational speaker. In one of his many book, he writes about Six Needs that everyone must have in order to feel fulfilled and happy during their life.
1. CERTAINTY-- When we are certain about things in our life, then we feel comfortable. We avoid pain and feel pleasure when things are going just right and we feel somewhat at peace and in control of things. But when we have too much certainty, then things can get predictable and become a bit boring. That's when the second need comes into play.
2. UNCERTAINTY-- When things are uncertain in our lives, we can become stressed, scared, or even nervous. But it can be a good thing because uncertainty gives life some variety or even an element of surprise. Uncertainty can actually help us grow more mentally. Certainty and uncertainty are opposite but at the same time, they compliment each other.
3. SIGNIFICANCE--All humans have the need to feel significant or different in some way to set themselves apart from everyone else. But by doing this, then we all have to feel needed in some way, which brings us to number four.
4. CONNECTION & LOVE--Everyone needs to feel loved or connected to others in some way in order to feel totally fulfilled. Significance, and Connection & Love are also opposite and complimentary of each other.
5. GROWTH-- Everyone needs to Grow in some way to feel like they have a purpose for being here on this earth. Things are either growing or dying, there is no in between. If you're not happy, it's probably because you have stopped growing.
6. CONTRIBUTION-- All of us need to contribute to this life in some form or another in order to "Serve the Greater Good". WE need to do things that we know are right and that will make us feel good and give us a sense of belonging.
People us different VEHICLES or ways to attain these six basic needs. Most of us use positive vehicles, but some of us may resort to using negative ones.You can basically pick out anything in life that you do and rate it against these six basic needs on a scale from 1-10 (10 being the most fulfilling). If it's something you don't really enjoy, it will probably come in at a rating below 4 and if it's something you love to do, the ratings will probably be at least a 7-10.
I'm sure you are wondering at this point, how does this apply to the sport of bowling? Obviously I love Bowling, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this Blog, and you love bowling too otherwise you wouldn't be reading it. I thought it would be interesting to write how all of my six need are being fulfilled psychologically by bowling every week. and see if you can relate to most.
I feel CERTAIN that I will always try my best every time I bowl, I feel a level of UNCERTAINTY because the lanes are different each week which makes me feel challenged. Each week, I say to myself "Who knows, I may finally get that 300 game I've been striving for tonight". For a new bowler, the uncertainty may the worry they may feel wether or not they can hit their average that night. I feel a certain level of SIGNIFICANCE because I am usually the high average woman bowler in my leagues by year end and it makes me feel good and important, which sets me apart from the others. I feel a level of CONNECTION because I am part of a team that works together to try and win games to finish in the top three league positions. I know I'm GROWING because I talk to the pro shop guy and other bowlers who average higher than me and get results by following their advice about certain issues I may be having at the time. For people who are just starting out, they have even more room to grow because they still have lots to learn. I feel that I am CONTRIBUTING to my team because I feel I can help win games and it gives me a feeling of accomplishment. People come to me with questions in the league, and writing this Blog about bowling and knowing I'm helping lots of people become better bowlers, gives me a very higher feeling of contribution.
Try rating your own 6 needs on a scale from 1-10 on how you feel about bowling and see where your levels are.If your levels are high on the scale like mine, that's a good thing because then you'll be more likely to improve in a shorter amount of time!
I want to wish all my followers a very Happy Thanksgiving! If you took some time off from work this wee, go bowling with the kids so they can see how much you are improving!
Join me back here next week when I'll be discussing How to practice when you're away from the lanes.
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
The 5th oil Pattern I want to discuss is the "Chameleon Oil Pattern". It's a tough one to play on because there are a lot of different angles you can play from and like a chameleon, you must keep changing your angle and sometimes the ball you are using. It looks like this:
The pattern is 39 feet long and the darker area on the picture is where the heaviest oil will be. The scoring is usually low to medium depending on your style and the ball you are using.
Large adjustments may be needed so my recommendation for Strokers is to stand on board 5 and start from there, and moving in five board increments to the left as the oil wears off. Play between the 5th and 15th board and you can try playing more directly into the pocket when the pattern is fresh.
Tweeners should start a bit more to the left of the Stroker and needs to be more accurate on their target, or the ball may get stuck in the oil and not come up into the pocket.
Crankers can start in the center of the lane or even slightly left of center, and play the inside track. It will be a tough pattern in the beginning but get will get easier as you go along. You may need to move even farther left and play a deeper line. It may be good to also change to a ball that breaks farther down the lane if you have one, otherwise the ball may cross over to the 1-2 pocket, or you may wind up with a few splits.
As with any oil pattern, as the oil breaks down and carries farther down the lane, you could even change to a straight ball if you have one. If you bowl the same oil pattern in one bowling center and then go to another center and play the same pattern, it can vary slightly depending on the lane oiling machine.
As always, let your ball be your guide and make notes for yourself when bowling on these different patterns as to what is happening and what adjustments you are making because it can be confusing, especially if you're a new bowler.
Do try bowling in some tournaments when your confidence is good because that will help you to really improve on these different oil patterns. Don't be fearful, everyone who is a great bowler all had to start out somewhere, and they improved by bowling in different centers practicing and participating in these tournaments to get a lot of experience on several types of lane conditions. How will you know your full potential unless you push yourself outside of your normal comfort zone?
Join me back here again next week when I'll be discussing "Understanding the Mental Game of Bowling"-Part 1
Good Luck and High Scoring!!!
There are several things a person might be doing wrong if their timing is or something else is off, which can mess up the swing as well as the footwork and resulting in a poor score. Here are a few items you'll need to be aware of so it won't happen to you:
1. Rushing the Line (going too fast)---
When you're a new bowler, or it's the first night of the new league for example, or you're going for a crucial shot, sometimes we get excited and we let that adrenalin flow get the best of us and we may walk too quickly. Be aware of this and try to walk at your normal pace (unless the lanes are changing and you need to on purpose). Walking too fast causes the body to be out of sync with the arm swing and the body will reach the foul line ahead of the ball causing an unwanted muscled swing. When the timing is off, it can also cause you to have bad balance and a poor release without a good loft.
2. Holding the Ball out in Front---
You should always remember to hold the ball out to the side so you will already have the clearance of the body when the bowling arm comes down and back. If you hold the ball out in front of you, you have to loop it around the body which can be inconsistent. After I get my fingers into the ball, I rest my elbow on my right hip and swing the ball out slightly to the right. (Lefty's do the opposite). This will lead to a more consistent swing.
Beginners tend to drift toward their target. That is ok if you only drift a board or so off from where you started, but remember to look down at the dot or board you are standing on and after you release the ball, look down again to check that you are not drifting too much because if you land in a different place each time, you will not be able to hit your target consistently!
4. The Push Away---
The direction you push the ball away, is the direction that the back swing is going to be. Remember to keep your shoulders square to the target and push the ball out directly in front of you, not slightly to the right or left.
During the release, the ball loft should be past the foul line by at least a foot or more so the ball won't cause a foul shot and loss of pins if it's released too close. You should also try to stay down after the release for a few seconds until the ball passes the target. Try not to "pop up" after the release and try not to swing the bowling arm back and forth which looks sloppy. Staying down and holding the release position looks more professional.
6. Follow Through---The follow through comes after the push away, pendulum swing, and ball release. After the ball release it is important to continue coming up with the arm and hand toward the ceiling. Your bowling elbow should come up near your ear, or you can touch your back with your bowling hand after the ball release to insure a really good follow through.
7. Dropping the Ball---
The foot must already be sliding as you release the ball. If the ball is improperly fitted, you could drop it causing a loss of power by the time it reaches the pins. Let it become part of your routine to check the tape in the holes before you start any bowling to insure a good fit each time you bowl, because sometimes the thumb or fingers can swell slightly. Add or remove the tape as needed, don't be lazy and think just because the ball had a good fit last week, that it will be the same this week. Our bodies do change.
8. Bad Balance---
As I previously mentioned in an earlier blog post. after you release the ball, the non-bowling arm should go out to the side and your foot should stay more in back of you and on the floor rather than out to the side, to help keep your balance, especially if you're a beginner. As you get better and your balance improves, you can keep your foot up off the floor and slightly out to the side, just not excessively. If your balance isn't good, it will be difficult to consistently hit your target.
Just be aware of these things and others I have mentioned in earlier posts so you can quickly get past these mistakes and get back to focusing on the game and doing well as you are meant to do!
Join me again next week when I'll be discussing the "Chameleon Oil Pattern".
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
I wish everyone a very Safe, and Happy Halloween!!
Notice I saved this one for a scary day! Lol
We all have our little quirks, beliefs, and superstitions. If you're a person that does believe in Superstitions, then maybe you shouldn't read this blog post, or maybe you should to see that some of these are SILLY and you shouldn't let them affect your ability to bowling well!
1. Repeating things-- Some bowlers think that if they bowled well, they should wear those same clothes each week or that they need to sit in the same seat week after week and if they don't, somehow they are going to bowl poorly.
2. Cleaning the ball--Some bowlers think they actually need to wipe the ball after every shot and if they don't it will make them bowl bad. I do agree that it's a good idea to clean the debris off the ball after a few frames, and I guess their mind set is "if it's working, then don't change it", but it's not really necessary to do this after every shot.
3. Practicing too much-- I know people that don't practice if they just had a good night in their league. They only go practicing if they have a bad night. Also during the league ten minute practice session, I see people sit down right away if they throw a strike or two instead of practicing for the 10 and 7 pins, or a pin they may have been having issues with in the previous week. They tell me "I don't want to use up all my strikes, I'd rather save them for the real game when it counts" (more on this one in a later Blog Post).
4. The 300 Jinx--If someone is getting several strikes in a row, people shouldn't say anything to them about possibly getting a 300 game, or should be asking them if they have ever had a 300 game before. This one may be real because I have seen it happen to several people over the years. The bowler is already getting pretty pumped up and excited when he/she has at least 7 or 8 consecutive strikes, and if people start coming over to watch, then the pressure becomes a reality and if someone does say something, it will be in the bowlers mind. If people can just stay quiet, the person may be able to pull it off!! but then again, if you are totally focused and just do your best to execute another good shot, I do believe you will get that 300 game! The best thing to do is to block out the people around you, pretend you are at the lanes practicing by yourself if you can picture it in your mind.
5. Not Bowling next to a Split--People should NOT be afraid to do this and when they do, they hold people up. Just remember that whatever you focus on is what you'll get, so if you focus on the split next to you, then of course you will most likely end up with a split. If you just focus on doing your things correctly and getting a good first ball, then you'll get a strike or at least a 9 with an easy spare to convert, the choice is yours.
6. Three Sixes in a Row--666 means "The Beast" or Devil in the Bible. Many people think it's bad luck to get a 666 Series for three games, but it's a 222 average and great bowling in my book!
7. Mascots-- Many people bring all sorts of little stuffed animals, a rabbits foot, or other silly paraphernalia as good luck charms. They think that by having it with them, touching it, or even talking to it will bring them good luck and help them to bowl better. Last week we bowled against a team and the lady had and petted the little stuffed kitty she had before she bowled. She got a 7 on the first shot and chopped the spare. When she came back, she actually yelled at it. I was cracking up! So if they really worked, that would have never happened. It's what we put in our own minds that actually controls us, not the good luck charm itself.
I find most of these things to be actually quite comical! I'll be discussing more on these superstitions and the mental aspects associated with them in a letter blog post.
Just remember that regular practicing, having good equipment and good timing, executing a good release with a good lift and loft, and getting the ball over the correct mark, will be what gets you to that next level. Bad luck only happens to bowlers when they let fearful and negative thoughts enter into their minds instead of staying positive and just focusing on what they need to get done on the lanes!!
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Join me here next week when I'll be discussing Common Problems that can Hurt Your Bowling.
Good Luck and High Scoring!! Don't forget those exercises too!
So, how are you doing? I am very interested in your progress. Have you been doing your bowling exercises I listed in my Blog Post from 5/17/21? If you're not weight lifting, that may be why you can't properly loft the ball out onto the lane. Please start up a routine at least three times a week as soon as you are able. Have you also incorporated some power walking, regular walking, aerobics, or bike riding to help improve your stamina so you can bowl well all three games and not get tired? You should try to do these types of exercise at least 4-5 times a week. Remember, all athletes that want to improve will have a good weekly exercise routine!
How has your walking and your pendulum swing been? Have they been in sync and do you feel a good rhythm while walking along the approach? Timing is crucial in bowling! It's important to walk using your normal walking stride and not go too fast because you really don't need lots of power in bowling to have a high average. Actually too much power and speed won't allow the ball to hook, and it could cut through the pins and leave you with a split! Try not to be too anxious if an important shot is coming up. Take a few deep cleansing breaths and do you best to stay focused and keep your speed normal.
Have you been checking where you start on the approach and looking down after releasing the ball to make sure you are ending up on or close to the same board so you walk fairly straight? If you are wandering too much, your angle delivery onto the lane will be different each time, equalling inconsistency!
Are you remembering to have as deep a knee bend as possible rather than bending from the waist? It's important to keep your torso vertical so your head is more upright, which allows you to see and reach out for the intended target more easily.
Are you working on keeping your emotions in check, meaning if you didn't get a strike on a great pocket hit or you missed a spare, are you getting really angry? Being too hard on yourself will most likely cause you to lose focus on the next shot because you are dwelling on past frames. The idea is to try and figure out what went wrong as soon as you can before the next frame so you'll be able to execute a strike on the next ball. Remember to be KIND to yourself. You will improve more quickly if you do this rather than beating yourself up. Even the pros miss sometimes!
Have you gotten that new ball you've been wanting or have you changed from the Conventional Grip to a Finger Tip Grip yet? This will help you get more revs on the ball and definitely more action at the pins?
Do you have a good routine in your bowling game? Are you Doing a little stretching before the bowling session begins, Checking the finger grips before bowling to see if you need to add or remove tape from the holes for a slightly snug fit, Cleaning your ball after a few shots with your towel, Inserting the fingers into the ball first, then the thumb last, etc. All these things help to achieve consistency which is the name of the game in bowling and any sport for that matter.
Have you kept a positive attitude? I know sometimes this can be difficult, but you need to try. In life we get what we focus on most. If you keep saying "I'll never be good", or "I'll never be able to remember all the things I need to, to become a good bowler", then you'll probably never get better. It was really difficult in the beginning for me, but I kept practicing and kept a good outlook. Just try and NOT be afraid to make some mistakes. There's a lot of things to remember so you MUST be patient with yourself. I was, and now I finally average over 200 and so can you!
Visualization is also a key to improvement. Just before it's your turn to bowl you can think ahead on what you want to accomplish, then just visualize it while on the approach whether it's picturing picking up a difficult split, a crucial spare to win the game, or striking out in the tenth frame for a high game in the league. You can even try to feel what that good release will be in your mind. Then just DO IT!! By visualizing consistently, you will definitely see positive results over time and there will be less time for those negative thoughts to creep into your head.
Join me back here agin next week when I'll be discussing some of the Silly Superstitions people have in bowling.
Good Luck and High Scoring!
As previously mentioned, there are basically two types of scoring each league or tournament may have. One is called "SCRATCH" which means no extra points or pins are given out to individuals, whatever they bowl is their score and usually the more experienced bowlers bowl in Scratch Leagues.
The other type of scoring is called "HANDICAP". Some leagues work on an 80% or 90% handicap using 200 as a base or 230 as a base. For example, if a league uses a 200 base and your average is 150, then you subtract 150 from 200 which is 50. If your league uses an 80% handicap, 80% of 50 is 40 so your handicap will be 40 pins per game. Sometimes a league may use a 90% handicap.The handicap keeps things more fair and on a more equal starting point since some bowlers can score higher than others and all bowlers are on a different skill level. Your individual and team handicaps will change each week depending on how well or poorly you did the week before. League sheets are handed out to each team every week by the secretary, and all the stats will be on there--team standings, individuals averages, which man and woman has the high average in the league, and sometimes each individuals scores from the previous week.
Calculating your average is pretty straight forward. Just add up the three games you bowl and divide by three. For example, if you bowled a 165, 213, and 182 your first evening in as league, the total is 560 which would be your SERIES. Then you divide by three to get your AVERAGE which would be 186 for that first week of bowling. Let's say that the next week in your league you bowl 179, 202, and 194. Adding that up equals 575 for your series and dividing by three equals 191 for your average. To figure out your average for the first two weeks you bowled, just add the two SERIES together, 560 plus 575 which equals 1135, then divide by the six games you bowled for the two weeks-1135 divided by 6 equals 189.16 which is your average after two weeks of bowling. Keep doing this each week and you will have your series and average after 32 weeks (or 36 depending how long your league is).
Formula-Divide total of games by the total number of games bowled.
It's extremely important that you keep your own records of statistics so you can keep track of your progress and also, in case by the end of the league, if you and another person are competing for high average or series, you will know if the secretary of your league has the same stats that you do. Keep these records in your bowling notebook that you keep in your bag so you can check them from time to time. If you are ever in a slump, it helps to go back to see when you were doing well and that may help you to realize that you will be bowling well again soon!
Good bowlers can average between 180-200. Anyone averaging a 200+ is an extremely skilled bowler. You can achieve these scores with lots of practice and real dedication. Be patient with yourself and only practice a few things at a time and before you know it, it will all come together and people in your league will be coming to you with all the questions!!
The highest averaged bowler was Jeff Carter who had a 261.74 between 2000-2001! he was a professional bowler who joined the PBA in 1999.
Join me next week for an important checkpoint.
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
How many times have you had what looked like a great pocket hit, only to have a rotten 10 pin staring back at you? I think I could have paid off my car if I could have had a dollar for every time I left a 10 pin!! Anyway, it's extremely frustrating to say the least! I used to get angry and end up missing the spare, but too many missed 10 pins can cost you from achieving a really good score!
I've learned a thing or two from bowling 45+ years and now I almost never miss the 10 pin when I do leave it, and you can too. The first thing is to try and to avoid having this spare to convert in the first place. Always try to get all 10 pins down on the first ball so you won't leave that 10 pin. Here are a few suggestions I have for you:
** Try moving back from where you would normally stand on the approach by about 3-4". That will give the ball more lane to travel on and give the ball more hooking time, making it come up slightly higher on the head pin to give you a more solid hit into the 1-3 pocket (1-2 for lefty's).
** Try moving 1 board to the right of where you normally stand for the strike ball (left for lefty's). This is just a starting point. Depending on the size hook, you may need to move 2 or 3, so just experiment.
** Standing on your normal board, try holding the ball down a little lower than you normally do. When you do this, the pendulum swing will be a bit lower on the back swing and will slow the ball down and give it more time to come up a slightly higher in the pocket.
** If you're good at it, slow down your speed slightly if you can (walk a bit slower along the approach). This one was somewhat difficult for me because it messed up my timing with the arm and footwork. So I would mostly just move left, right, back, or forwards on the approach instead. Practice going slower and speeding up in your practice sessions so you can use this method when needed.
If you can't get the strike and you do leave the 10 pin, here are a few suggestions to help you convert it because it can be tricky for the right handed bowler, just as the 7 pin is tricky for the left handed bowler because the ball can drop off into the channel of you're not careful:
** For the right handed bowler, stand on the far left side of the approach, around the 35th board as a starting point and use the 3rd or 4th arrow as your target. Lefty's can stand on the left side of the approach also. For the 7 pin conversion for left handed bowlers, do the opposite of what the right handed bowlers need to do for the 10 pin.
** Turn the sliding foot slightly toward the 10 pin
**Walk at your NORMAL SPEED and in a STRAIGHT path along that 35th board as best as you can, because the tendency will be for your body to walk toward the 10 pin and you may end up in the center of the lane instead.
If the ball goes off into the channel, try moving to the right a board or two (for the right handed bowler) and try again. Just keep practicing so you'll get a feel of it and you'll just get better and better at converting the 10 pin!
**You can buy a cheap plastic ball which is what I did. I even took off my wrist support, broke my wrist slightly, and stood on the left side of the approach and threw over the center arrow. The ball didn't hook at all and I was able to make so many more 10 pins adding quite a bit to my score.
** You can also learn to throw a "Back Up Ball" and be able to make it that way. If you can do this, you will have more ammo on crazy lean conditions too. To do this, as you arm is coming down at the bottom of the pendulum swing, turn your hand in a clockwise direction instead of counter clockwise. Make sure to practice this one a lot before doing it in your league play.
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Join me here again next week when I'll be discussing "How do Bowling Averages and Handicaps Work"?
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.