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#19447 - 02/20/05 08:50 AM What's with my first shot???
301bowler Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 7
A/S/L: 41/M/Mississauga, On., Ca.
How do you guys stay focused in between frames?

My first shot is almost always off my mark... Sometimes way off. It seems like the concentration just isn't there. It usually works like a slap in the face (Wake up Greg! Ya Shmuck!) and my spare shot is right on.
I usually have 2 or less open frames per game and that's mostly from splits, but I only average a couple of strikes per game and I'd like to be able to string a few together. I can get scores in the 170's - 190's, but that's workin' for every pin with a sloppy first ball.

This is such a stupid game! Why can't I quit?!?

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#19448 - 02/20/05 09:00 AM Re: What's with my first shot???
Lefty Offline

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 2356
A/S/L: 37 / M / Rochester, NY
What do you do different on your spare shot? A while ago I noticed that my spare shot rolled better than my first shot. I realized that I was too stiff and mechanical on my first shot. I was trying to force it. I was also pushing the ball too far away and holding it and not letting it swing. All things I didn't do on my spare shot.

You're going to have to have someone watch you and see what you do different between the two shots. It could be a case that you're just trying too hard and you're forcing the ball instead of just throwing it. But only someone watching you is going to be able to tell.

#19449 - 02/20/05 09:31 AM Re: What's with my first shot???
mdmjdm Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 221
A/S/L: 40/m/MD

Sounds like your problems are mostly mental. If you are throwing good shots on spares...or at all, for that have the ability to repeat those shots.

I dont know the website I found it on...I think maybe off a link. Read Dean Hinitz's article about the "competitive cycle".

I have pretty much memorized the four steps he goes over in it, and it has helped my game tremendously. Rarely am I under 630 any more, and it is mostly due to his comments on the game.

Cover your spares...the strikes will still be there when you get back.

#19450 - 02/20/05 02:31 PM Re: What's with my first shot???
Coach04 Offline

Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 1000
A/S/L: Male/Texas
I don't think this is uncommon, I have found myself doing this as well. I was once congratulated on converting a very difficult spare. I commented "I wish I was that accurate on my first ball". Then it dawned on me that there really is no difference, just imagine the first ball as trying to convert a ten pin spare. Bingo, I am now throwing to hit a specific spot on the head pin, rather than trying to hit "The Pocket".

The big difference is psychological, the first ball is aimed for an area where we know there is a high strike probability. The second has to hit a specific spot on the key pin to convert. When all ten are standing the 1 is the key pin, so aim to hit a specific spot on the key pin with the first ball.

#19451 - 02/20/05 04:54 PM Re: What's with my first shot???
301bowler Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 7
A/S/L: 41/M/Mississauga, On., Ca.
Thanx guys... I'm gonna try treating every ball like a spare shot. I've asked the anchor on our team if he can see a difference between my first and second shot... Apparently my spare shot is a little slower and closer to my side, but I can't tell... Seems the same to me. Anyway, I'll be out for my Wednesday practice session this week and see what I can do. I had a couple of decent games today... Picked up allot of 7's and 10's.
I'm gonna see if I can find that Dean Hinitz article.

Thanx again,
This is such a stupid game! Why can't I quit?!?

#19452 - 02/23/05 08:41 AM Re: What's with my first shot???
labradorice Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 104
A/S/L: 47/f/montreal, canada
I'd been having the same problem ...everyone commenting on how much better my spare shot was.
For me, at least, it had been a question of TRUST. I trusted my spare shot and as I was only beginning to string strikes, I had been less relaxed and less confident on my first shot.
Dean Hinitz's articles have helped me a great deal (see John's post). Keeping positive after messing up on a shot has been working well for me.
Remember that you are NOT a shmuck! You CAN roll a great strike shot! thumbsup

#19453 - 02/23/05 05:55 PM Re: What's with my first shot???
No open tenths Offline
Junior Coach

Registered: 12/17/04
Posts: 43
A/S/L: 29/Male/kalamazoo,mi
I have had this same issue. I throw a great spare ball even if hooking the lane to cover 4-7 pin. Actually I think that is probably the best ball I throw.

I believe it has a lot to do with the fact that I know exactly what I want to do (stand HERE, throw THERE). I don't think at all about this shot I just execute. While I try to do this on my strike ball, it is difficult to turn off the internal dialogue. I wish I had the ability to videotape myself so I can see what really is different. I am sure I would see something different in my approach that could help me.
Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't.... you're probably right.
Henry Ford


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