Slow and Steady

Posted by on Feb 15, 2014 in Blog , Zak Becker

It’s been a solid few weeks for me at league as I have bowled my best game and series so far this season and I continue to steadily increase my average. The main difference has been increased consistency, I’m rarely more than 10 pins below my average, and commitment to executing proper form. Having one really bad game had been a big problem of mine, it’s amazing what avoiding sub-140 games can do to your average. My spare game has continued to improve, and although I haven’t had any perfectly clean games I’ve been close and am averaging over 7 marks per game. My average has been slowly creeping up from the mid 140′s and is currently at 157.6, I might just make my initial goal of averaging 165 on the season!

Perhaps the most promising thing is that there is still plenty of room for improvement. I still have a couple of frames each night where I just completely mess something up, and I have been struggling with pushing the ball left too often. I can get too fast with my feet and when I get out of rhythm I also tend to take my eyes off of my mark.  I’ve figured out what I need to focus on to take another step forward, keeping a steady rhythm on my approach and extending through my mark, now it’s just time to execute it every time. Easier said than done, but I think I’m up for it!

A couple weeks ago I had my best game of the season and second best ever, 225. I didn’t bowl poorly the other two games, but I did wish I would have done a little more with that 225, which would have been even higher if I hadn’t missed a 6-pin to the right, my only open for the game. I had only topped 550 once and it felt like I had missed an opportunity to have my best series. I was throwing the Totally Defiant and failed to stay ahead of the transition at the beginning of game three. I had closed out the second game with a 4-bagger and hesitated to move enough. I was still pretty close, but instead of strikes I had spares and splits along with a 10-pin I failed to pick up. I was able to catch up to the transition and salvage a 148 and a solid 525+ series.

Last week I had to pre-bowl since I was going to be out of town at a trade show all week. The only time I could go was Saturday afternoon and conditions were not ideal. The lanes had not been oiled since before the Friday night league and it looked like they had been busy all day, plus they had cosmic bowling going on. It didn’t really bother me, I kind of enjoyed the odd conditions,  but I am pretty sure it impacted my score. The lights I could deal with, but it was so dry that I was throwing the Wrecker from farther left than I normally throw the Totally Defiant, and that was at the beginning of the first game. Despite the challenge I was above my average in games one and three, but had a very difficult time picking up spares in game two. Having to adapt was a good experience for me and I was able to pretty much match my average, so no harm done.

This week I got my Hyper Cell, Asylum and Uproar and couldn’t wait to try them out. Steve set me up with a switch grip on the new balls and I’m digging it. I wasn’t able to get to the lanes before league but went with the Hyper Cell during practice and decided to go with it, and was very glad I did. I opened with a strike, had a turkey in frames 3-5 and would’ve kept it clean if it weren’t for a 4-6-7 split, ending with a 201. I thought about switching to the Asylum instead of moving left, but I was having too much fun with the Hyper Cell and stuck with it all the way. I ended up moving about 7 boards left, but finished the series with solid games of 176 and 188 for my best three game series ever, a 565.

I’m hoping to keep things moving in the right direction and have a busy spring ahead! I’m planning on bowling in an ABT tournament in March, bowling state in early April, have a lesson with Hank Boomershine and a tournament at Steve’s in late April and will be returning to Nationals in May. Should be interesting!

Keep reaching for glory!