Getting in and out of a funk.......

Posted by: 1-Bagger

Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/15/05 01:07 PM

Ok, for the last month or so, maybe two, I don't know, I've been in an *EXTREME* funk with my game. I can't hit anything, mainly my mark. When I do hit my mark I get the occasional strike, but most of the time I'll end up leaving a 7 here, a 9 there or a split. I'm a lefty by the way, like that makes any difference on this topic, haha.

I've been bowling so bad it's crazy. I feel I have no business out there on the lanes. You ever see the movie Tin Cup??? Where he says his swing feels like an unfolding lawnchair??? Well, that's about where I am right now.

I've held about a 185 average all year, but the last month or so I've dropped it down to a 179. If I'm not pulling the ball, I'm pushing it. If I hit my mark, I either put too much finger in the ball, or not near enough. I just have ZERO amount of confidence in my game now, and it's really getting to me. I have absolutely no fun anymore at it because I'm struggling so much. crying livid brickwall seeingstars

I know few people here can help, since you have no idea how I'm throwing the ball or anything. I was just wondering if anyone had any tricks to kind of "reset" your game. You know, kind of like reformatting a computer??? haha That's the best analogy I could come up with. Is there a reset button anywhere on a bowler???
Posted by: Comet

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/15/05 01:16 PM

Hey there, i actually had a similar experience with yours. It's like nothing works all of a sudden. The way i "reset" my game was to switch to bowl w/ my other hand for a while (and to my surprise i actually did quite good w/ my left hand....) Then after a while i switch back to using my right hand.... and everything was "reset" for me... everything just flows unconciously
Posted by: 1-Bagger

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/15/05 01:24 PM

Well I suppose that's a good idea, but I'm not sure I could swing that, haha. I'm a lefty, and ONLY a lefty. If I tried swinging the ball with my right hand, I'd probably break my ankle. And I'm not too sure I'd be allowed to do it in league anyway. I don't know for sure, but I don't think it's legal, is it???

Thanks for the reply though!!!!!!
Posted by: ACK

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/15/05 03:24 PM

What you may be doing is thinking to much while delivering the ball. i.e. ok back swing now it is coming down now it is time to hit the ball. All of that stuff you should not be thinking about when on the approach. Just focus on your mark and maybe a key (like for me get my non slide foot behind me).

A good book to read for this kind of stuff is " Focused For Bowling " by Dean Hinitz. It really is a great book.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/15/05 03:39 PM

Get a qualified coach and take some lessons. This will fast track you to fix what's going on in your game. Otherwise you are just guessing and shooting in the dark. Now is a great time to get some coaching, because they may find something totally different that you are doing that may just bring you right back around. Something you never thought of before. This would then take your mind off the laundry list of stuff you are probably clouding your brain with when you bowl now. The cost of the coaching will be well worth it. At$40/hr you can get 4 to 5 lessons for the price of a new high performance ball. Four or five lessons can really give you an excellent hand on what you need to do with your game to help it improve. It'll be so worth it just to get rid of the frustration you are feeling.

I ran into a two year slump when I divorced and relocated. I was doing so poorly that I'd have nightmares about bowling throughout the week. Sometimes I just couldn't bring myself to walk into the bowling alley for practise or league. Then I decided to pay the extra money for a new coach. It meant that I'd have to drive over an hour each way and pay more then $60/hr. But within 3 - 4 lessons my bowling and attitude had improved and continues to do so still. One of the things that new coach told me was that I was being too careful when I bowled, trying to place the ball, overthinking. She gave me some tips on how to not do this and it works most of the time. But without that objective view from a coach, I'd still be drowning or maybe even have quitted bowling by now.

Good luck,

Posted by: No open tenths

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/15/05 07:35 PM

I think that these responses have probably hit right on the problem you're having. I call it trying to hard. While we all know that the information on this and other sites are great, it often leave our mind with to much to process while we are trying to bowl. There is a time and a place to try to process it- PRACTICE.
I have also struggled with trying to do too much.
Ack's suggestion of Dr. Hinitz book is a very good idea. I believe if you do a internet search for an article of his named "the competetive cycle" you can find it online. It has helped me greatly.
You mention that your not having fun anymore, I always try to remember that is why I bowl in the first place. Helps on those nights of frustration that we ALL have. laugh
Posted by: Jason Fewell

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/15/05 07:56 PM

Hey, 1-bagger, I just bought Dr. Hinitz's book, Focused for Bowling . Very good book. I went to Google and entered the name of the book and got several references. I am at chapter 3 now and it has helped quite a bit. I have been in a slump myself. Trying to pull out of it. Also, check out Coach04's thread on Susie Minshew's clinic. It is coming to Dallas in October. She is one of the best coaches in the business. I see you are from Texas, depending on which part, it may be only a short drive for an excellent clinic. Good luck with your slump and breaking it....
Posted by: Mary Allen

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/16/05 07:25 AM

I sense that you're trying too hard and thinking too much which can really get you in troble in a heartbeat. Do you own a video camera? If you are used to bowling left handed I would not switch to being a right hander, because your body is used to it. You be surprised at seeing what you're doing wrong and what you think that you're doing wrong. Once you see your mistakes then it's a real eyeopener and you can start reprograming yourself. If you don't own a video camera then the next best thing is to get a good coach. I have a coach myself and wouldn't trade him for anything. I used to think the way you're thinking and I've learned the hard way. My goal as a bowler is to become the Next Earl Anthony out there on the tour. I've had slumps like you're having and I ask myself how badly do I want to make the tour. Am I going to let this slump get in my way? Is that what Earl would have done when he was an up and coming bowler? I have even came close to giving up, but when I look at the pictures that I have of Earl those feelings automatically disappear. Do you really love bowling? I'm sure that you do and if you love it that much then never give up no matter what, because it's the easy way out and you let that slump win. Even the pros get into a slump and they always bounce back from it. Hang in there and get some help from a good coach. If you continue to not get help then you will always be in the dark and develop bad habits. I wish you good luck in beating this slump and I know that you can bounce back.
Posted by: 1-Bagger

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/16/05 12:46 PM

Thanks for all the replies everyone!!! I knew there was a good reason I found this place.

Just to let you know, I'm NOT going to quit. I bowl for the fun of it, one league a week, so I really can't beat myself up too much bowling the way I've been for the past month or so. I don't practice like I should, I'll admit, but still, it's frustrating. We have an 11 month old little boy, so that makes it hard for me to get out as often as I'd like to practice.

I'll get out of my slump, no worries there. I think the main thing I wanted to do was rant a little, try to get some of it out of my system, and possibly get some good insight from you guys and gals.

I talked to the manager of the alley I bowl league in, and asked him if he coached or knew anyone that did. He said he did. Now I don't konw if he's certified, or whatever, but he holds a pretty nice average above 210, so I'm sure he can't show me a few things. I asked how much he charged, and he said $10. I'm going to take a lesson or two from him and see what happens. He showed me a thing or two after league last week, and I already showed some improvement. Was letting my elbow get away from me and trying to force it to break instead of keeping it under the ball and letting my wrist do the work it needs to do.....alone.

Anymore thoughts would be appreciated, as I'm sure I'm not the only one here going through struggles.

Thanks again,
Posted by: budvangogh

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/16/05 01:01 PM

EVERYONE goes thru slumps like you have described , and some great suggestions have already been offered--One other thing i can add is to try to win little battles to regain your confidence; focusing on scoring while you are struggling just accentuates the problem--Just try to hit your mark, or execute a good release, get good extension,ANYTHING but scoring--
Posted by: Darrell

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/18/05 10:16 AM

Hello Chris. Two comments were made that bear repeating. Erin advise a coach. Great answer. Mary Allen advised Video taping.

The reason why these are paramount to solving your slump dilemma is: If you just practice more you will only continue to ingrain your mistakes into your mental and muscular memories, which will make things worse.

A certified Bowling Coach whose sole purpose in Bowling life is to know your game can see your mistake sometimes more readily than you can and render a tried and true solution.

By using video equipment you are allowed to see your technique and criticized your own flaws. Even this takes a certain amount expertise to perform. Not to mention objectivism and acknowledgement of fault which sometimes eludes us as humans.

When Parker Bohn was in a two year slump, he got a coach. When Mike Aulby went into a prolonged slump he got a coach. When Pete Webber went into a prolonged slump, he got a coach. Must times we as humans need constructive outside help in the things that we endeaver to.
Posted by: Rikki MC

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/18/05 04:55 PM

This past winter season was a continuation of my slump. Dropped about 3 pins from my entering average.

One of my teammates suggested that I come back out and practice with him and the other guys on Sunday mornings. (3 of the 4 regulars are scratch bowlers that easily carry 190+ averages.)

Got the blessing from my DH and began practicing with the "guys" (I'm the only female).

I've definitely seen improvement. It's amazing that practicing with these high average bowlers has helped me improve my own fundamentals. The guys will give me a tip now and then. And the pro shop owner has also given me some very good coaching tips.

I've been bowling better on league nights for the most part.

In typical female fashion, shopping and buying some new equipment sure helped my mood! So far, I've bought a new 3-ball roller, the Absolute Inferno, Dexter SS6 shoes, a spare ball, and subscription to Bowling This Month! laugh
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/18/05 05:21 PM

Rikki, sounds like you have made some very sound decisions. And your shopping choices ain't bad either. LOL

Practising is one aspect that many bowlers overlook. Bowling in league two or three times a week is not practising. And lets face it, if you bowl only three games a week, in one league a week, you really don't have much room to complain about not improving. You have to be pro active, and that means taking steps to do the work that will help you get better. Having higher level bowlers give you help and "pearls of wisdom" is a great way to learn lane transisions as well as some phsyical aspects of the game.

But as Darrell mentions, you want to make sure you are getting good advise (either from a coach or higher level bowlers that know what they are doing), or you will just continue bad habits that got you into the slump. I typically mention getting a coach first, because they are not going to give you bad information. However, higher level bowlers, are not always as knowledgable as their scores might show.

Posted by: SnitGTS

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/18/05 06:14 PM

A couple years ago I was slumping hard core, I was running about 10 pins below my usual average and I was having no fun at all. I ended up skipping the summer league I usually bowled in, came back in fall for my winter league and I was out of my funk! So I don't know if you bowl in a summer league, but maybe some time away from the game could do you some good too? Just a thought.
Posted by: Rikki MC

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/18/05 09:46 PM

Thanks, Erin!

The guys that I practice with are very knowledgeable . They are not the type to overwhelm a person with coaching tips. If they see that I'm consistently doing something totally off base, they may suggest something for me to try. They are kind of picky as to whom they coach, too.

I should have mentioned that each one has excellent fundamentals. But even they will struggle from time to time, depending on the lane conditions.

Another fun thing about practicing early on Sunday with the guys is that we often watch the PBA telecast between frames. thumbsup

I'm definitely of the mindset...

When the going gets tough, the tough go SHOPPING! rotfl
Posted by: Goodah Chunky

Re: Getting in and out of a funk....... - 04/24/05 06:22 AM

If you're in a slump, go back to your fundamentals and work on it (Norm Duke stated this once, just can't remember when or where). It's even better working through it with a good, competent coach.