Growing Pains

I am still trying to line up a time for my first lesson and feel that it shows, coaching is exactly what I need right now, but here’s what I was up to this week. Thanks to some tips from Tim and a little more experience I am starting to figure out a better form and when I put it all together it feels great. The problem at this point is inexperience and a tendency to revert back to old habits. I am working on keeping my arm movement straight and really focusing on my mark. I have a bad tendency to keep my arm too far away from my body during my approach, Tim thinks I’m afraid of hitting myself, which leads to an arc in motion and a tendency to push the ball too far to the left, or, when I try to correct it bringing it around my back too much and throwing gutter balls. I realize at this point all I can do is keep practicing and visualizing what a good throwing motion and form look like. I know I can do it because I have, it just doesn’t feel natural yet which leads to over-thinking during my approach and a general inability to repeat what I’ve done when I do throw a good ball.

I’m doing a lot of things differently than how my body is used to bowling. I’ve added a slight stagger, right foot farther back than the left by 2-3 inches, to my stance to help me keep the ball closer to my leg on my throwing motion, I’m leaning over more, and I still need to remind myself to follow through and keep my footwork consistent, which I had gotten pretty good at before the additional tweaking. I was able to get a practice session in on Wednesday which helped me work on my new form, three games at 127, 140 and 141, but by the time I got to King Pin for night two of league I had already reverted back to some bad habits and it showed in my first two games.

Plenty of work to be done, at least I was able to recover some dignity…

I felt pretty nervous Thursday afternoon as it got closer and closer to 6:15, not bowling my best the week before and setting a fairly difficult goal, for me at this point, of a 425 series added to the pressure. I felt decent during warm ups but had trouble finding my mark in the oiliest conditions I have played on to this point. I had kept the stance and lean from my practice session but had brought back the arc in my throwing motion and was pushing the ball to the left. I realized afterwards that this kept me from adjusting my starting mark enough so when I did keep my arm and release straight I was missing the head pin to the right, the super oily lanes were not helping. My first game was all over the place but at least I topped 100 with a 106, a score I would match in my second game. If I could have picked up some spares my second game might have been decent, however, instead I started with six 9’s in a row without a spare to be had, I just couldn’t seem to get all 10 pins. A strike in the seventh frame helped me regain composure and momentum that was desperately needed as we moved into game three. I started game three with a strike, followed quickly by a couple of those 9’s that had tormented me the previous game, but finished with a pair of strikes and four spares over my last seven frames. 159 is nothing to brag about but after those 106’s it felt good to see that with better (I was going to say proper but am too far away from that) form I can actually bowl a decent game, even after a frustrating start to the evening. 371 fell well short of my goal for the week of being over 425, but I am starting to realize that this will be a longer process than I want it to be and need to focus on improving week to week. I have plenty to work on and will get you an update if I get my first lesson in or have a notable practice session. I am going to keep the same goal of a 425 series for next week, but as long as I can at least get over 400 I’ll consider it a step in the right direction. Until next time, keep reaching for glory!