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#110417 - 12/17/09 04:18 AM Member not holding his weight and other good stuff
Mattdean76 Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 489
A/S/L: 34/M/NY
Ok, was curious as to some opinions on this concerning one member of my 4 person mixed team 3M, 1F) Got 2 new bowlers (husband/wife in their first year of bowling, myself (averaging mid 180s consistently) and this other guy Joe.

He was on my team for part of last year as a late addition and bowled about 14 weeks or so, finishing up with a 177 average, pretty good right? So this year starts off and I know I start off slow, and he did as well, but after 3 weeks I was back in my 180s and he was still pulling 130s. We have a 10 pin drop and his true average is in the 150s and its hurting the team.

Now we all have bad nights and bad games and we win and lose as a team, we are there to have fun and I know I have a great time.

For example, last week he shot 135-170-110. Couple weeks before that he shoots 212-110-216. He has decent form and is pretty consistent with his approach and delivery but I think his mental approach is horrible.

The reason why I say this is he gets all pumped up before the match, "we take all 25 we can move way up" Yea, I know this, its good to see the energy certainly, but he is the one killing the team. He threw 9, yes 9 gutterballs in one night. (That doesn't count spare balls that missed, only shots are full racks)

I've told him to focus, his mechanics are pretty good, but he just dumps it in the gutter sometimes and I have no idea what I could tell him without making him feel like he sucks. Anyone have any hints on what I could do for the guy to get his mental mindtrack rolling in the right direction?

Thanks smile
High Game: 279 (twice)
Series: 737 2/25/10
Average: Mixed:185 Mens: 197

15# Brunswick Power Groove Dry R
15# Global 900 Creature S40
14# Faball Purple Hammer (spare ball)
15# Rotogrip Mars Pearl

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#110424 - 12/17/09 08:03 AM Re: Member not holding his weight and other good stuff [Re: Mattdean76]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9820
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
Matt, your bowler has to learn the basics. Either you work with him in off hours at a practice, or he has to get some coaching.

I've told this story before, but I bowled in a league where the minimum average was 185 to enter. Well, we lost a bowler, and couldn't replace him ourselves. The House had a waiting list, and we took the next one on that list.

He was no better than 113, and hurt us early. Both another and I on the team would help him, even bowl on Sunday morning to get the basics down. He improved steadily through the year, which helped us, as he was over his average every week.

The alternative is for you to move on.
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#110481 - 12/17/09 03:58 PM Re: Member not holding his weight and other good stuff [Re: Dennis Michael]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 6283
A/S/L: 32/m/maryland
It's probably a combination of of mental and physical. I've seen plenty of bowlers with mechanics that look ok but there are things that they are doing wrong. Sometimes its the release, sometimes it's the swing path or maybe just turning the body too much or not enough. There could even be some ball fitment issues.

On the mental side, he probably gets too hyped up for the match, then when he starts doing badly it lets it get to him and it just adds on to the mistakes.
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#110489 - 12/17/09 04:35 PM Re: Member not holding his weight and other good stuff [Re: Calvin Pistorio]
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
So do I understand this that you can never bowl less then 10 pins under your average? Or the league still takes that average. I don't understand.

I bowled in a league that didn't allow a 10 pin drop for 7 weeks, to avoid sandbagging. But once those 7 weeks went by, your accumulated average was what you've bowled those weeks. The only use for the no more then 10 pin drop was to set your handicap for 7 weeks.

Granted the first example of his scores averaged 138 (12 pin drop) but the next example he averaged 179 (29 pin increase). So I don't think its the average that's hurting your team. Rather his inconsistency. And we'd all like to hit our average without the roller coaster score rides, but that's the way it happens, especially with bowlers of his level.


#110512 - 12/17/09 07:30 PM Re: Member not holding his weight and other good stuff [Re: Atochabsh]
Scott Gannon Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 10/30/06
Posts: 967
A/S/L: 51/M/California
A few important things to consider...

Does he seem open to suggestions to get better? Two of my team members are content to be where they are at. I no longer approach them unless asked about what they are doing wrong. I just accept it as part of the game. Some nights they will be on fire, other nights not so good but like Erin said we pretty much all are like that. You just accept it after awhile.

Is he too over anxious about winning? If so if you can get him to just focus on Execution rather than getting 25 points that will help a lot. Enthusiasm is good but sometimes you need to worry about executing your shots instead of thinking about where you will be in the standings if you win all the games.

Lastly the thing it seems that is his biggest problem is gutter balls. I would assume he is throwing a big hook as those are the bowlers I see having the most problems keeping it on the lane. I could be wrong but if I am right it may just be something you have to live with until he gets to a point where he can execute a big hook without mistakes.

Summer 2012-League Average-179, HG-224, HS-595
Fall 2012-2013-League Average-181, HG-237, HS-624
Summer 2013-League Average-189, HG-245, HS-653
Fall 2013-14-League Average-178, HG-228, HS-631

#110514 - 12/17/09 08:21 PM Re: Member not holding his weight and other good stuff [Re: Scott Gannon]
Smoothie Offline

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 10
A/S/L: 35/m/nj
hey if he is throwing a big hook, he's probably opening up way too much. fixing this is easy if he's willing.
for me, it doesnt matter how someone throws. when i work with them i just need to get their shoulders squared up. to do this have him face you before practice, show him by pointing on each shoulder "7pin-10pin" then point to breastbone "pocket". by teaching him to have chest face rack all the time, he should begin to impprove.

#110533 - 12/18/09 02:47 AM Re: Member not holding his weight and other good stuff [Re: Smoothie]
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
This topic still kind of bothers me, because there are issues that go beyond one person's performance.

A team has to realize that some nights a bowler is going to be off. And bowlers, at all skill levels, are going to be inconsistent and have inconsistent nights. When a TEAM bowls they realize that a teammember might not be bowling well that game. He/she is inconsistent. And the rest of the team has to pick up the slack and be supportive. Supportive doesn't necessarily mean firing fixes at the bowler every frame. Because some night, you will be the inconsistent one and other's will be holding you up.

Now if you pick up a person you know is inconsistent from game to game and averages in the 150s, then that's what you get. You cannot get any bowler, 150 average or not, that is always within 10 pins of their average. So I think this is a problem with team support rather then individual performance. I know you are all trying your best. But you have to realize that your best is sometimes not good enough. And even though you did your best, you can still lose. And its not one person's fault when you are playing in a team scenario. Sometimes you are just outbowled by the opposing team. But it is still a team game.


#110539 - 12/18/09 04:06 AM Re: Member not holding his weight and other good stuff [Re: Atochabsh]
Mattdean76 Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 489
A/S/L: 34/M/NY
Erin, , he finished last year with a 177 and with the 10 pin drop rule, he isn't getting handicap based on his current average (which is about 150 something) but based on 167 (10 down from his book), so that 17 pins certainly hurts. And yes the consistency, or lack there of is the hardest part.

Scott, he is open to suggestions, but when I tell him something he doesn't do it. Usually he plays releases about the 10 board it goes out to about 4 or 5 and comes back smoothly into the pocket. When he dumps it in the gutter, he is usually throwing it too hard or loses focus or its mental I really think. He says I gotta strike here I gotta strike to keep up. He is concerned about where he stands in the 3rd frame in terms of his point, and I tell him, don't worry about your point, throw the best shot you can and we will worrt about that later on. When he has pressure on him, he is usually pretty bad.

He misses a good bit of spare shots and leaves probably leaves one or maybe 2 splits. When he comes back, he goes through the excuses (it slipped, I dropped it, I cant get grip, someone walked up on him, etc, its never his fault though.

I try not to tell him about the actual numbers in the game because he'll ask me what one of the other teammates needs in a frame and Ill tell him, shes up by 5 right now, and then he will go, you are only up by 5, you have to strike here, but they know to just ignore him (I've told them so and they do just fine)

He gets excited, but fails at Execution. When he tells people his scores, he uses his handicap scores. I just shot 203 he tells his girlfriend. That would be a great game, but its really only 153. Not sure if he doesn't understand things, I am pretty good with explaining (as I had someone who was mentally challenged on my team last year, so patience comes natural), but I want to help him.

I will look at his shoulders to see where they end up.

As to the team Erin, I know we win and lose as a team, we all have our good nights and bad nights, some are very consistent bowlers, some are very inconsistent, we all have strengths and weaknesses. Its not a singles league, its a team effort on everyones part. I've let the team down before certainly and Im the first to admit it,

One thing Erin, last year he bowled with my team for 14 weeks and averaged 177. He has talent, he is up and down, but I am more interested in the mental aspect of his game to see if there is anything I can do to help him mentally focus. I think that is the main issue I want to work on here,
High Game: 279 (twice)
Series: 737 2/25/10
Average: Mixed:185 Mens: 197

15# Brunswick Power Groove Dry R
15# Global 900 Creature S40
14# Faball Purple Hammer (spare ball)
15# Rotogrip Mars Pearl

#111125 - 12/24/09 03:00 AM Re: Member not holding his weight and other good stuff [Re: Mattdean76]
Revenator Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 118
A/S/L: 49
Hey Matt,

Don here, this is my first post. Been bowling since I was 10 or 11.(33 years).
One thing I've learned over the years (when it comes to trying to help others), is that no matter how much they seem to love bowling, if they don't practice a significant amount to fix problems, it will be, what it will be. I had a guy once that wanted all the information he could get, and would keep asking things over and over, but he never practiced any of it. So the cycle continued. If this guy doesn't even try things, then he obvisously doesn't see the problem or maybe he doesn't care, and therefore, in his mind there is no problem. No matter what we do,(us who love the game and work on our game) it's hard to have a complete 4 or 5 man team to share the same concept. It sounds that you are equally annoyed with his attitude as much as his bowling. So I say you have to be willing to live with it, or next year make changes that you can live with. If the guy is on time, pays his money everyweek, and is a nice guy. Then there are some positives to be thankful for. It can be worse. Maybe the next time he says he shot a 203 with handicap, maybe point out and say, yea, but your average is 223 with handicap. (Laugh)

#111131 - 12/24/09 06:41 AM Re: Member not holding his weight and other good stuff [Re: Revenator]
J.Brown Offline
High Roller

Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 368
A/S/L: 31/Ohio/USA
If he threw 9 gutter balls he's not focused at all. Seems like he puts to much pressure on himself to do good maybe he's trying to hard and it's causing something physical in his appoarch or release and just kinda blindly aiming down the lane. But if they don't practice they won't get better, OR if they do practice but they don't listen to anything you or a coach says they won't get better.

But like Erin said during league play isn't the time to fire fixes at a player. I get that on my sunday and on my monday league, and it's one thing that truely makes me really mad. But then again i don't throw 9 gutter balls haha.
HG: 300
HS: 801

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