I just finished my first full season league with a 160 average on the button. I know, basically that makes me one of the worst bowlers who ever picked up a ball. I'm thinking that if I practice a lot this summer, by next season I can improve my average to 161 or if I work real hard, perhaps 162. In any event, I don't want to drop any further.
I've checked a lot of the high average guys in my league on bowl.com, and virtually all of them have been averaging 190+ since the first league they ever bowled in. One of them has never had an average less than 210 in his entire life except in one PBA experience league he did once where he averaged 192.
Is there anybody who ever had a first year adult league average as bad as 160 and went on to become a 190-plus later on?
First, JW, don't feel bad. You're nowhere near the worst! In my Friday night league, you'd be in the upper third!!!!
But how to improve?
1. Is your ball drilled for your hand or are you using a house ball? If you're using a house ball, don't expect to get much higher - they're crap (and do you really want to stick your fingers where thousands of others have stuck their grimy fingers???? I think NOT). . . Get a ball that is drilled for YOUR hand. If it's your first, ask your pro-shop for a moderately hooking ball. I got my first ball used. . . was inexpensive and was a great entry.
2. Are you throwing the ball or rolling it? By this I mean are you just throwing it straight down the lane or are you aiming at a target and letting the ball hook and do the work? I see a lot of new people who think that speed = score but remember, your ball weighs 14-16 pounds and the pins weigh 3. . . which is going to win? Let the ball do the work. . .
3. Are you picking up your spares? At 160, I will bet that you're missing a lot of spares. If you can start picking up spares - even one or two more per game - your score will jump. Remember that a spare not only gives you more pins in THIS frame, it gives you bonus pins from NEXT frame. . . and if you can get the "easy" spares, that will help. There are various systems for getting spares - I use the 3-6-9 system (well, a variation) and it helped a TON (here's one link: http://bowlersworld.com.au/tips/How_To_Make_Spares.pdf
- you can find others)
4. Get a coach. You will make progress by leaps and bounds with someone who knows how to coach watching you (notice I did not say "knows how to bowl" but rather "how to coach"). . .
5. Lastly, bowl within yourself. My knees are going so I have to change my style to be less power and more grace (LOL . . . me, grace! ROFLMAOPMP
) Most of us have some physical limitation somewhere. . . learn what yours is/are and find a way to bowl within those and then be happy with it. my future M-in-law (77) averages 150ish, has a ball speed of about 7-8, and has a very nice but very slight hook. I help with minor adjustments as she's always in and around the pocket, but has little to no carry - she just picks up a TON of spares. She's content with it (still strives to be her best) and enjoys it. Look for that spot!
Hope this helps!