Is there any hope for my game?

Posted by: JW123

Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 01:08 AM

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?
Posted by: Upriser

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 01:27 AM

there is plenty of hope for you JW, i started approx 3 years ago and had about a 170 avg, its steadily gone up in those 3 years and i now carry a 201 avg after 23 weeks of our 26 week leauge. think the main reason is my spare game is a heap better now, i used to miss the 7 pin spare 9 out of 10 times and now get it 9 out of ten:) has always been my goal to get to a 200 avg and i've finally got there, just gotta keep it now lol!!
Posted by: champ

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 02:02 AM

Keep in mind, those records only go back to 1998. There are some people who do pick up the game right away, and others (most) who don't. Keep practicing, get a coach, have the mindset that you will improve. You'll get there.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 08:00 AM

Originally Posted By: JW123

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?



Just a reminder, bowl.com only shows information from about 2000 and forward so they could have bowled 20 seasons before that and you would never know because it doesn't show up.


Just to make you feel better go look my stats up, Michael J Bauer, I am the one sanctioned under "Florida Space Coast" and I Have the PBA emblem next to my name. Notice my first season (5 years ago) my average was not of PBA quality either haha.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 08:02 AM

Oh, and side note, my first season leagues are the "NASCAR League" and "Kings and Queens", the other two were summer leagues so they came after those two leagues.
Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 08:10 AM

My first 2 or 3 years in league I only averaged around 140, usually a couple pins shy of it. I finished this year with a 189, but that's only 48 games, not even half the season. I started the season off averaging in the low 200s for the first couple months of the season before I started to get down into the 190s before I found out I had something wrong with one of my at the end of October and had to have surgery. I didn't bowl for two months after that, gave up my spot when the second half of league came around and just filled in a couple times and never practiced. My game suffered some and I dropped down into the high 180s.

Back in the 2006-2007 winter season I held a 190+ average in two leagues after just ending the previous season at a 171. At the end of that season I started working on my game and my average took a hit again where my composite average between multiple leagues dropped to the low 180s again and it just finally started to feel like I got it back together at the end of last season, and that's without much practice.

So there is hope for your game. Just filling frames with marks and throwing a few strikes in there will boost your average. Being a 190+ bowler doesn't just happen overnight. I'm sure most of those guys you looked up have league history that goes back further than what bowl.com shows. Many probably came up through the youth programs as I know several in my area that are like that and put up big numbers on a regular basis.
Posted by: Pre-emptive Strike

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 09:15 AM

Hey, I can shed some light. I literally just got into the sport about 2-3 months ago, although I have been bowling casually my whole life. I'm averaging a 170 at my house after a ton of games, this is just practice, not in a league yet (starts next week).

Honestly my goal is to reach avg 200 by 1 year. Not that I'm good or anything, but I feel like this could be my sport. I'll say that key to my early success has been to just have a consistent approach with "decent" mechanics (you don't need a Chris Barnes-like physical game)

And even more important I feel is paying attention to ball reaction is big even for a beginner. Getting you to move around early and often.

Most important of all is spares as I'm sure everyone will say, it's hands down the quickest way to increase avg, if you feel like you're missing the 10, take 20+ shots at it in practice, until you are no longer afraid of it when it's left standing.
Posted by: Pre-emptive Strike

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 09:24 AM

Originally Posted By: Pre-emptive Strike
I'll say that key to my early success has been to just have a consistent approach with "decent" mechanics (you don't need a Chris Barnes-like physical game)



Don't get me wrong though, I am striving for a physical game that's on par with Chris Barnes...hahaha
Posted by: mmalsed

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 11:29 AM

Originally Posted By: JW123
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 nut ) 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!
Posted by: looseleftie

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 09:45 PM

Hey JW, I bowled for 5-6 yrs before ave got to 160, then took another 3 yrs floating up to 170. Now 2 yrs later over 200..

There is no hurry in this sport.. There are always going to be guys who ave 200 after their first season or two, then theres the other 99% who may take many,many years to get even close to it...

Mmalsed raised a great point, pick up all your spares, really focus on them..

You are kicking by butt JW in comparison with my own first year or two of bowling, 160 by end of year, thats great mate. You should feel proud of that, and use that very respectable average to build upon...
Posted by: JW123

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 10:46 PM

I know I need to work on my spare game, especially those corner pins. But I also have to come up with a way to make, or not leave, some of the freaky ones that I've been told good bowlers never leave more than once a year; I leave these things multiple times a night sometimes (and these don't even give me count on a spare or a double like a single-pin does):

4-6-10
4-6-7
3-9-10
4-7-9-10
4-6-7-9-10
1-2-8-10
8-10

I'm also bummed about going the entire season without a single 225 game or 600 series; not a single breakout game or series which qualifies for USBC awards. The other guys who are in the 160-165 range had big nights, one even had a 158 average until he shot a 278 game and 658 series. I think I had 5 deuces in 108 games and they were low deuces, the best was a 221.

My league options are kind of limited by my game. I'm too young to be in a senior league, too old to be in a youth league (lol), don't have kids so I can't do adult/child, and am not good enough for a men's league or a 2x2 mix league where taking me would clinch last place before the season even starts, so I can only do the four person any mix league with the 90% handicap. And even there, I'm costing us points with series like 170-140-170 or 150-165-165, not helping us win. Our team ended up 119-133 and between 70-80 of those lost points were directly attributable to me, well more than the difference between second place and ending up in the bottom third of the standings.
Posted by: 10PinGaloot

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 11:09 PM

Originally Posted By: JW123

4-6-10
4-6-7
4-7-9-10
4-6-7-9-10

Looks like you go through the nose a lot. I would say that when you do that, you should change any one thing - speed, ball, revs, or axis rotation - and you'll get something more manageable. Oh yeah, I forgot the most obvious - move right 2 boards.

Leaving 4-7 or 6-10 makes it so much easier to mark.

I only get big-four etc when I try to adjust after a brooklyn and don't adjust enough. Funny thing about oiled lanes. You don't know where the oil is and sometimes adjust right into a puddle or a dry spot. When that happens, you just have to try various spots, not stay in the same place.

I see you have two very strong balls and a spare ball. It might help to get a weaker ball. I love the Jigsaw Trap, but it's got a mean hook. A weak ball - just something a little less hooky - will get you a different look on those difficult nights. Maybe a Tropical Heat or Nomad Pearl. I prefer more pearl than less, but a lot of folks here like the hybrids. I don't like solids except on wet lanes, where they really shine.

8-10 (which I call a Stoner in honor of Rob Stone) is just plain bad luck.

Posted by: looseleftie

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/02/11 11:42 PM

Wow, it sounds like you are really down JW about this..

Mate, realise that everyone was once in your bowling shoes as they begun bowling in their respective leagues.. I'm sure your team mates don't care too much whether u bowl great or not, if they do care about the winning of the league and money/trophies, then find another relaxed league.. Or practise in phantoms leagues or just open bowl until you feel u are ready to rejoin a league..Do u think that perhaps u are more worried about your scores than what your team mates are?

Social leagues are about having fun and enjoying your bowling..They generally aren't too full on...Unless it's a money league (man, people get real upset over the old dollar)

Re your splits, I'm currently getting quite a few splits at the moment.. My game is getting back to where it was, so I accept that this is normal, work out why u are getting these splits.. First thing I do is look at what is happening as the ball enters
the pocket... Is it too heavy, too light, how are the pins hitting??

Envy, one of the 7 dadly sins isn't it!! Forget about it JW.. You will get those rewards, so it didn't happen to u your "first" ever year of bowling.. Guess what, I got nothing for about my first three years, and I also use to think why can't I get some kind of award/badge/trophy, other newish bowlers seemed to get things..I admit I suffered from a bit of envy myself... Now after I have worked at my game, more than them working at their game, my ave,high game,high sereies have moved far beyong theirs.. Things work out for the better. Your'e a keen and improving bowler JW, don't sweat it, it will come, probably much sooner than myself..

Take care, keep your head up mate.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/03/11 04:58 AM

Well you nailed part of the problem. You said you need to work on your spares. So do it. 10 pin is right, either your splits are due to you not moving fast enough during the night, thus adjusting to the lane or you are making too many very poor shots. Again...practice. Take this summer and work on your spares. Don't be so concerned about good nights bad nights. Everyone has them, even the other people on your team.

Which brings me to another point. When a teammate is down, not doing very well, the rest of the team carries him until he can get back going again. That's the way it is. Everyone on a team knows how it is to be the one not doing so well and the one doing well. That's why its a team.

I didn't have a good year either. But I also know that I didn't practice like I have in the past. I know that's why my spare game and game in general is weak right now. It'll get better, but I have to recognize that I, me, yep myself was the one that did not practice like I know I needed to.

So stop beating yourself up and just get out there and work on it.

Erin
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/03/11 07:46 AM

JW123, let me ask you a quick question, did you feel your teammates were to blame for losses during the season at any point? Did you ever say to yourself, "They just lost us the game"?

If not then why do you feel that your teammates are looking at you any differently than you are looking at them? If you take any one game and look at each persons score 99% of the time it is an equal blame all the way across the team when a team loses. That 1% is when someone shoots 300, otherwise each bowler left something on the table.

I can be quoted on here repeating the same two quotes quite often, so I will do it again for you since you might have missed them:

"Treat yourself like you are your doubles partner"

What that means is that after your partner throws a bad shot do you jump all over their case, do you criticize or yell? Do you act like they are terrible? If not then why are you doing it to yourself?

"Some times we have to be smart enough to get out of our own way"

This one means that your brain knows how to bowl, it sends signals to your body on the movements that you have engrained. Those signals are always the same as long as your brain runs on instincts and past experience. When you start to think and you try to do something, your brain is no longer sending the same signals, it is sending mixed signals and it causes havoc to your muscles. They get out of whack and you end up with a shot that is not the same. Just go up there and flow through the motions, you don't have to tell yourself to take a step with each foot to walk right, why is bowling any different?
Posted by: MikeHL

Re: Is there any hope for my game? - 06/04/11 02:21 PM

Originally Posted By: 10PinGaloot
8-10 (which I call a Stoner in honor of Rob Stone) is just plain bad luck.

No, it's not. It's a shot that enters the 1-3 a hair too light to kick out the 10 and doesn't have enough energy to drive through 5-pin enough to touch the 8. It's an accurate but very weak ball...and I would know, as I have certainly left the blower 8-10 enough to tell the difference. lmao.

Right on about everything else, though. JW, listen to sk8 as well. I am one of the many people he's offered that advice to, and it helped a great deal. I beat myself up bc of mental conditioning left over from my dad (who I have now neither laid eyes on or spoken to in 11 years). Pondering sk8's advice made me realize that I don't have to cuss myself out after a bad shot. I don't do it nearly as often now and when I do, I can grab hold of myself and stop much earlier than I always had.

JW, I have also had the same issues with wide-open splits and washouts that you have. In my own case, though, it's the opposite end of the spectrum from yourself -- shots rolled much too hard for my rev rate which never grab the lane surface, and which often pull me inside of target bc of very early timing. These are proving VERY difficult to fix (crazy), but I'm working very hard on them.

I first picked up a ball a year and a half ago and finished the season @ 161 and 162 in my two leagues. That was using a plastic ball most of the time, one that was too light and was also poorly fit besides. Sorting out ball fit issues (fortunately) brought me to 180 and I'm trying to get past the low 180s now. You will probably have to look very, very hard to find someone who averages in the 180s on a THS who rolls as few strikes as I do. (2-3 per game.) Please hang in there! We don't all start out from the same place. It's about making the most of what we have. smile