Game to Game transition

Posted by: Dennis Michael

Game to Game transition - 06/28/08 08:17 AM

One thing has been bothering me. And, now that I am conscious of it, I am concentrating on it. I would like your thoughts.

There is a natural break between games on league night. Bowlers are looking at scores. Captains are filling out the score sheets. Some go for a drink.

But, I have noticed that this break sometimes causes a change in my focus, resulting in a first ball that could be drastically different than my last ball of the prior game.

I am a bowler of habit, and can repeat shot after shot. When I get into a rhythm, I can and have strung strikes. But, that break between games sometimes stops the string. I have struck out in the 10th, only to have my speed or timing off in the first of the next game.

Assuming you are not in a league that changes lanes, there should be very little difference between your last shot and the first of the next game. The lane didn't change, I did.

Just wondering what some of you do to maintain your focus, speed and timing over that break period.
Posted by: desertdog71

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/28/08 10:36 AM

pre-shot routine every time. That is about all I can suggest. I don't think much about the actual bowling between frames, unless I am completely lost.
Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/28/08 10:38 AM

Sometimes I go the opposite way, not finish a game good, but start the next game good. I use this as a time to regroup, think about what I want to do and visualize my shot.

If I'm bowling lead-off the only break I have is waiting for everyone else to finish and the last of the scores are being recorded. Once the scorers are set for the next game I'll get on the lane and do my thing. If I have to wait for others I just do what I described previously.

This game does have a rhythm to it, just look at the Pros on tv, starting with the front 5 or 6 and then a commercial break and come back and the first shot is slightly off.
Posted by: Brandon510

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/28/08 11:12 AM

I use the time to regroup and focus. I also will make adjustment as needed from last shot i threw the last game.

Most of the time i'm able to refocus and keep loose during the break and make a quality shot. Though i have seen people shoot a 300 the first game. Have a long break cause all of congrats and stuff and next game shoot a 170. So hard when you brake out of that rhythm.


Posted by: untutored

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/28/08 05:58 PM

Do you bowl first on your team? The lanes take about two frames worth of traffic in the 10th frame, so that might contribute to your difficulties.

Anyway, we have the same problem here, obviously; probably more so since we aren't allowed to smoke inside. As a muscle bowler, I benefit from a quicker pace as much as anybody, but I haven't seen a huge difference.

One thing I try to do when I'm faced with small disruptions is avoid amplifying them with negative thoughts. In this case, you might want to think of the first frame this way: if you throw a strike there, how much is it really worth?

(9/ on that frame, strikes the rest of the way)

10th frame, 3rd shot: 299
1st frame: 290
10th frame, 2nd shot: 289

2nd frame: 280
others: 279

It stands to reason that those three shots are where you should welcome disruption if you're going to have it. For me, the end of the 10th frame is where I often wait to try out a new ball on a different line, with the idea that--if I like the look of the shot--I'll have another 'practice frame' at the beginning of the next game, and then I'll have a better chance to throw strikes in the second frame and forward, where it really counts.

Even if you don't like to change balls, 90% of the time there's no excuse for throwing three strikes in the 10th frame on the same line. Move your feet a board on the third shot, change your target, test the edge of your line in anticipation of a move later...since you're going to be disrupted anyway, take advantage of the opportunity to learn something about the conditions.
Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/28/08 06:15 PM

There is always a reason to stay on the same line you know you can get to the pocket and throw three strikes in the tenth, the score. Whether you are up 30 or down 50 in that game. That one pin might come into play for total. It could also get into the other teams head that you can preform if need be and possible make them make mistakes trying to score. There have been many of nights that I can stay on the same line almost the whole night and just rip the rack apart, why try something different and possibly throw the rhythm off? As for changing balls, I do that if and when I know I need to, I don't wait when I know I need it, or I wait until I'm certain I need to, whether its first frame, tenth frame or seventh frame. Testing lines out is for practice not when the scorers are keeping score.
Posted by: Silent Mike

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/28/08 06:37 PM

I run into the same problem Dennis. I will string strikes to finish a game then in that waiting time for the game to be over and the new one to start I lose focus some times. For me at my local lanes they can change quick so I watch the people after me to see what they are doing. What I'll normally TRY to do is move my starting position to the left a few boards and try hitting my same mark and work from there. I think it's more of a focus issue on my part and I have yet to find a great way to beat it.
Posted by: untutored

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/28/08 10:30 PM

Originally Posted By: infernocal
There is always a reason to stay on the same line you know you can get to the pocket and throw three strikes in the tenth, the score. Whether you are up 30 or down 50 in that game. That one pin might come into play for total.

Sure, but what if you learn you have no room to miss inside, and that helps you shoot 20 pins better in the next game than you would have otherwise? I'm not advising you throw that pin away, I'm saying you should spend it to acquire useful information.

Originally Posted By: infernocal
There have been many of nights that I can stay on the same line almost the whole night and just rip the rack apart, why try something different and possibly throw the rhythm off?

As Dennis is saying, your rhythm is gone anyway with the changeover.

Originally Posted By: infernocal
As for changing balls, I do that if and when I know I need to, I don't wait when I know I need it, or I wait until I'm certain I need to, whether its first frame, tenth frame or seventh frame.

If I need to change, then I change, of course. But there are many times when my current shot is working fine, but I feel like another shot might work even better, and in those cases marginal cost definitely comes into play.
Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/28/08 10:54 PM

If you are nailing the pocket and carrying most of the shots why risk trying another line and possibly throwing off your mechanics? Shooting 20 pins higher can just be better execution, making a spare or two more if you've missed some, or carrying another shot or two and just making the minor adjustments to your current line. The rhythm isn't necessarily gone with the break. Its all in how you approach it. If its a huge break there might be an issue, but sometimes this works to someone's advantage. It can work as a reset. Its a mental thing. I get more thrown off in a middle of a game when someone keeps disappearing in the middle of the game than the known break in between games.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/29/08 03:19 AM

The problem I see is not a preshot routine, which I have. Or the line that I have just struck on. It is the lapse of time between balls that will affect my timing and speed.
This is something that you feel. As untutored said, it is the rhythm.

I want to make sure my steps are right, my timing and speed stays just where my last shot was.

I can remember several occasions where I have put together more than 12 strikes over 2 games, but that doesn't seem to be the norm. I have been conscious of this, and I try to rethink just what the previous rhythm was, so I can continue. The majority of cases, I am too slow in the start the next game, and my first ball hits early.

I adjust, but it may take a frame or two.

FWIW, there is virtually no pressure on the 12th strike when it happens over 2 games. My longest string has been 19 over 2 games. Finished with 9 and started with 10. So it can be done. There was pressure on the 11th in that game.
Posted by: CoachJim

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/29/08 08:49 AM

Dennis, what helps is getting a song stuck in your head that helps keep the pace of your approach. It sounds like you are slowing down until you get back up to speed or going to fast until you get warmed up again, either way a consistent beat in your head will help keep the same pace as before when you were striking.
Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/29/08 10:19 AM

Like I said its a mental thing. I try to visualize what I want to do in that break, but most of the time the breaks in my leagues are barely longer than the time to finish the tenth frame, meaning maybe a minute or two between the last ball of the tenth and the first of the next game, unless smokers are involved and then that is a totally different beast.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/29/08 10:51 AM

Cal, now that you mention it. It has become common here that leagues have a 5 minute break between games for the smokers, drinkers, or general commode users. This is usually in the league rules.

This helps regulate losing people between frames. So, or break may be a little longer than the norm.
Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/29/08 02:00 PM

Well I find that those that disappear in the middle of the game are either at the bar or snack bar or they are walking around socializing and not watching for their turn. Since the smoking ban less people are lighting up in the middle of the game, when before the ban if someone was close to the smokers room they would pop in light up and then come back when it was their turn, then go back to finish the cigarette. None of the leagues I have bowled in have a rule about breaks between games, but the complete indoor smoking ban didn't start until February so I'll see how it goes this coming season.
Posted by: desertdog71

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/29/08 02:28 PM

You will probably notice if you watch my videos that I do not keep the ball still when I set up for the shot. What I am doing is actually getting my rhythm together before I start the approach. This is what works for me and I don't really think you ought to try it, but there may be something mentally you can do that accomplishes the same thing. The only problems I run into when there is a break is stiffness sometimes, but that can also be combated with some stretching or simply walking around instead of sitting.
Posted by: TheDemolitionMan

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/29/08 04:38 PM

Dennis I would suggest you try to do what Coach Jim said and get a song stuck in your head. Also the pre-appraoch routine is a good thing to do as well. And if something isn't right then stop and step off the approach, let your opponent go and then begin again. I think I've said it once on here before (on a different thread), but I'll say it again, be as braindead as possible. You need to play without thinking about it. You could try like going into a focus trace like thing, as weird as that sounds. When I do it, it's kind of like in the Matrix when they are in one of the still-shot scences, something like that.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/29/08 05:06 PM

Thanks, Demoman. I probably should research a slow waltz to match my style. In the meantime, I will practice the braindead thing. I think that would be harder.
Posted by: TheDemolitionMan

Re: Game to Game transition - 06/29/08 05:20 PM

The braindead thing is tough. It's like you have stop thinking without falling asleep.

Have you ever heard of "tunnel vision?"