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#176692 - 02/28/13 05:43 PM How do you fix a slump?
56bird Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 628
A/S/L: 43 Male, Malta NY
I had one of my worst single games in recent memory Tuesday night. Seems like when the wheels come off they come all the way off, consistency is supposed to be good but you can be consistently bad. I came back and bowled a decent-ish game the last game but was still plagued with carry issues, missing pocket once and getting a 196 is a bummer. Haven't had a lot of BAD nights just no GOOD ones for several weeks.

Anyways, I just go to the alleys to practice. I work on various aspects of my game, kind of checking them off one at a time "ok, that's good, game is still not fixed". I stay until I find the right thing, I'd probably still be there if I hadn't. This time it ended up being a timing issue, short answer is I wasn't waiting for my downswing. Longer answer, it takes time for good things to happen, if my swing and release happens too fast things seem kind of random as to whether I catch the ball or not- in this condition I'll roll the best shot of my life one shot and leave a bucket the next, thinking I did the same thing.

I'm going to get some video as soon as I can, (unfortunately coaching is not an option right now) but was wondering, what do YOU do to fix a slump?



Edited by RickSchott (02/28/13 05:46 PM)
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#176697 - 02/28/13 06:31 PM Re: How do you fix a slump? [Re: 56bird]
champ Offline
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Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 1768
A/S/L: 27/M/Tucson
Firstly, I always make sure to get myself on video when I'm in a hot streak. When I go into a slump, I can compare the good versus the bad.

From there, in terms of practice, I do the opposite of what I am currently doing. What I mean is, if I'm in a slump, despite practicing a lot, I'll take a break. Take two weeks off, and that usually fixes it. If I've been slacking off on practice (which was the case recently) I get back out there and try to throw 20-25 games a week. That usually takes care of the problem.

Another one that helps is to just bowl with better bowlers. A lot of times I find that being on a good team help keep you focused and motivated, and gives you a source of knowledge to tap into when things go wrong.

My physical slumps seem to come in the form of either getting sloppy on spare shooting, or pressing when trying to string strikes. If I'm in a spare slump, practicing lots of games of spares will quickly take care of it. If I'm having trouble stringing strikes, I go to the easiest house in town and just get into the groove of throwing strikes. That can make a big psychological impact.
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#176710 - 03/01/13 08:20 AM Re: How do you fix a slump? [Re: 56bird]
Fin09 Offline
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Registered: 01/07/08
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Practice. It's much easier to fix a problem when you're relaxed and don't have to start worrying about scores. Tell yourself something positive before every shot, whether it's "free swing", "balance", "follow through", or whatever puts you in a good mindset.
Having a coach look at you to offer you some advice on what you should work on can't hurt, either. No sense putting a bandaid on a greater problem , so find out what you're doing wrong and how it can be fixed.
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#176712 - 03/01/13 08:49 AM Re: How do you fix a slump? [Re: 56bird]
Joe Bowler Offline
2x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 3619
A/S/L: 50s/M/MD
Rick, your scores got better nearly every game, so your slump was short lived, and your process of climbing out was very effective.

For a lot of bowlers, the process is denial, then blame the lanes, blame the ball, blame the Pro Shop, buy a new ball, repeat.

Practicing offline with some feedback, either a coach, video, or at least self-analysis is the way to go. Having a series of drills that you regularly perform can be helpful in isolating an issue. For me, rolling my spare ball for strikes and spares is usually what helps me get straightened out when my timing is off.
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#176713 - 03/01/13 08:56 AM Re: How do you fix a slump? [Re: 56bird]
VFF57 Offline
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Registered: 09/26/08
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The worst thing you can do is overreact and label under average nights as a "slump". This leads to too much thinking on the approach, tensing-up and low confidence. Something has probably changed a little which will require some detective work on your part to find out what is different. With all the variables associated with bowling it could be something simple as a lane machine setting, dying ball, mental focus, or something crept into your physical game.

Usually when I'm bowling bad I know what it is such as missing spares or pulling my strike ball shot. Once I've identified the root cause I'll work on a solution during practice. I treat pin carry as a match-up/adjustment/strategy problem categorizing it as "bowling well - not scoring". Besides the typical speed/finger adjustments, I mentally separate it from my base physical game.
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#176716 - 03/01/13 09:23 AM Re: How do you fix a slump? [Re: VFF57]
Dennis Michael Offline
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Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9227
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
When not hitting, even for a game, I rely on a teammate to watch my form and roll to identify any potential problem. Another bowler can see a problem much easier watching a bowler from the rear, then the bowler can himself.

In fact, a former teammate of mine would take a video of my apprach with his Cell phone, and it was helpful to watch me from behind to find a problem
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#176717 - 03/01/13 10:04 AM Re: How do you fix a slump? [Re: VFF57]
56bird Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 628
A/S/L: 43 Male, Malta NY
Originally Posted By: VFF57
The worst thing you can do is overreact and label under average nights as a "slump". This leads to too much thinking on the approach, tensing-up and low confidence.


I hear you. I don't beat myself up over a single "not so good" night bowling. Much is made these days over how easy "ths shot" bowling is and there is a lot of truth to that, BUT, as my grandfather used to say... regarding the pocket "There's a lot of room around it". Sometimes I make bad decisions regarding ball or line, stuff happens. Three or more sub-standard nights in a row though, I have to face the fact there is an issue. The first step toward fixing a problem is admitting you have one.
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#176719 - 03/01/13 10:27 AM Re: How do you fix a slump? [Re: Joe Bowler]
56bird Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 628
A/S/L: 43 Male, Malta NY
Originally Posted By: Joe Bowler
Rick, your scores got better nearly every game, so your slump was short lived, and your process of climbing out was very effective.

For a lot of bowlers, the process is denial, then blame the lanes, blame the ball, blame the pro shop, buy a new ball, repeat.


10/4. I didn't say my way didn't work, I was just curious what process other guys use to fix similar issues. I'm not sure that I'm out of the woods yet either, they don't give us 5 games of warmups on league night nut

Here's the deal, if I'm shooting at a 190 pace, and the other rightys on my pair are shooting around there... well maybe the lanes are just that difficult. If I'm shooting at a 190 pace, and the other rightys are shooting around their averages or better, and my opponent is on his way to a 700+ series, I trust that it's not the lanes, it's not the ball, it's definitely not the Pro Shop or karma, it's not bad racks. Something is wrong with my game- fix it! I'm reasonable though, the fix may not happen in the space of those 3 games, but I'm going to make it happen.

I've had this sort of thing happen before, one time I went and practiced every day for a week until I sorted it out.

Interesting you mentioned rolling your spare ball for strikes. I did this a few times last night, also rolling my plastic ball at some spares I'd normally roll reactive at. My reasoning is, if I do something right with the plastic ball, *I* am doing it, not *technology*. I should probably be doing this a whole lot more, as a way of training myself without the room for error built into a house shot/reactive ball combination. I don't get to bowl on sport shots but this could be the next best thing?
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#176720 - 03/01/13 10:36 AM Re: How do you fix a slump? [Re: Dennis Michael]
56bird Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 628
A/S/L: 43 Male, Malta NY
Originally Posted By: Dennis Michael
When not hitting, even for a game, I rely on a teammate to watch my form and roll to identify any potential problem. Another bowler can see a problem much easier watching a bowler from the rear, then the bowler can himself.

In fact, a former teammate of mine would take a video of my apprach with his cell phone, and it was helpful to watch me from behind to find a problem


Good on ya for having teammates who will speak up, and being willing to listen. Tuesday night after my trainwreck second game, I said to myself "just don't miss pocket again, they have to start falling". I went strike, ten pin (whiffed), pocket 7-10 to start. My teammates actually spoke up for a change, saying "where's that red ball, switch to that, the ball you're rolling now is hitting with zero energy." Of course I left my Mission home that week brickwall , I've been trying to cut down to 3 reactive balls and one plastic for league. I did switch and got better results from a different ball but I'm sure it wasn't the ball, it was me.

Sometimes when I'm struggling I ask my wife to video me on her cellphone or tablet... she wasn't there that week LOL can't win.
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