Thursday, January 12, 2006

New shoes, easy house, high game

I got the new shoes that I'd ordered today. I wore them around the house most of the day to start breaking them in. I also went to the pro shop and picked up the slickest heel they make for them. No more sticking for me no matter where I'm bowling! Now I can bowl more than 3 games without an aching knee later.

As long as I had new shoes to try out, I figured I had to go bowling tonight. A bowling alley I'd never bowled at before had a special - $1 per game until 8:30PM. That seemed hard to pass up so I headed over there and bowled 7 games - 1 warm up where I threw mostly at 7 pins and 6 normal games.

The thing I decided to focus on today was balance. This was something that was hard to practice when sticking to approaches. I'm not sure where I read this tip but I think it's a good one. What I did tonight was try to hold my final pose on every throw and stand there waiting for my arm to swing to a stop. It's a nice exercise because it forces you to be in balance during your delivery. If you're out of balance, you'll have to take an extra step to stop from falling over. There were a couple of shots where I had to take a step but for the most part I was able to accomplish the exercise. It felt good too. I felt like I was throwing the ball more consistently on shots where I was in balance.

One interesting thing about this house is that it has a reputation for using a super easy oil pattern. I must say, I had no clue how easy a shot could be. I've never bowled on lanes like these. I could botch my release, miss my mark by 4-5 boards, drop the ball early... As long as the ball had a reasonable amount of spin on it and went vaguely in the right direction, I would hit the pocket every time. I had multiple 5 baggers, one game with 8 strikes and 1 game with 9. I threw a 223, 213, 183, 179, 135, and a new personal high of 248. The 248 was nine strikes and three frames where I left the 7 pin and spared for a clean game. If I were to join a league at this place, a 300 game would only be a matter of time.

I don't think I'd really like to bowl at this place regularly because I don't want an over-inflated average that doesn't prepare me to play elsewhere at the same level. That being said, having such an easy shot was interesting because it highlighted the mental game in a way harder shots don't. If I concentrated, it was well within my ability to hit the pocket every single time yet if I didn't concentrate, I could still miss. In game 5, I was getting tired and just throwing the ball without any thought. When I saw how low my score was, it sort of snapped me out of it and I really focused on the 6th game intently - throwing my all-time high game.

Even if it was on cheesy lane conditions, was a great night of bowling. I'm looking forward to leagues starting next Tuesday.

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