Summertime is Practice Time!
The Winter leagues are over and summer has arrived. This is the perfect time to make the necessary changes in your game to reach those lofty, long term average goals you have set for yourself. Not only is there more lane availability in the summer season, but your average isn’t used for tournament play and your teammates won’t be quite so mad if you bowl below your par.
Making changes in your game can sometimes result in a loss of pins to your average in the short term since it takes time for those changes in your game to become consistent and comfortable. It is frightening for some bowlers to give up their average in the short term for the long term gratification of attaining a higher average goal. Let’s take a deep breath and take the challenge.
Most bowlers have no idea what to practice on. They have a tendency to get a lane and play for strikes and score. This method not only reinforces the same old habits that are reflected in ones current average, but will not allow the bowler to develop the versatility needed to continue on the path of a higher level of bowling prowess. Many bowlers quit because they never get any better even with practice. So, who should practice what!!!!!!!
Averages from 50 to 150, get a properly fit bowling ball, develop physical skills that one can repeat consistently. The means for you to get your proper distance from foul line to start; develop a proper stance position; develop a 4 step delivery that moves the ball out and down on the 1st step this provides the bowler with good timing of the arm and leg movements. Good timing promotes good balance and a chance for a good finish. A good timing and balance will give you a chance for a good finish. A good finish will allow the bowler to hold one’s balance until the ball hits the pins.
Averages of 150 to 175, continue to work on refining physical skills, developing a spare system and basic lane play moves for the typical league patterns. Equipment starts to become a factor. Basic arsenal would consist of a ball for oil, and a ball for dry.
Once you get to the 175 and above, you are starting to take the game seriously. For you and all of the above, it is still about refining the physical game until it is not only consistent but versatile. Versatile in the terms of adapting to the lane condition by the use of changing angles/lines on the lane: playing the gutter to at least the 4th arrow; release changes; ball speed changes; loft changes and developing an arsenal of 4 to 6 balls to work on the home house condition as well as tournament conditions. A spare ball would be added to one’s arsenal.
For those of you who have finally attained a 200 average, I am sorry to inform you that an average is only relative to the conditions that you bowl on. On the typical house pattern, par could be at least 215 TO 22O, meaning that if you are averaging 200, you are at least 15 to 20 pins below par. A 200 average is not a constant number for par anymore since the advent of advanced technology in lane machines and bowling equipment. Sport patterns can lower one’s league pattern average up to 30 pins or more based on a bowler’s skills to adapt.
A bowling average may not always reflect a bowler’s skills. Bowlers at this level cannot fool themselves into thinking that the challenge is over. I include myself in this category and we have to continue to develop not only our physical skills, but adapt our games to the ever changing environment of the lane conditions as they change during play. Regardless of how good the bowling manufacturers are at developing equipment that has more hook potential: it is up to you the bowler to adapt to the lane surface; lane pattern and to develop the skills necessary to make proper equipment choices matched up with physical game changes when needed. These learned skills will dictate the scoring pace on any condition. Bowling is the most misunderstood sport in the world when it comes to the actual challenge that it presents to its participants. It is up to you the par bowler to accept the challenge.
Practice is an essential in bowling, but it’s what you practice that makes a difference. Call either Donna or myself at Carol Norman’s Pro Shop and we will be glad to set you up for a lesson to help you to get started on the path of excellence.
Four Things To Know About Your Bowling Ball Arsenal
The 1st thing: Many times bowlers come into our pro shop wanting to buy the latest and greatest bowling ball on the market with no regard to the fact it may not match up to their game or it may duplicate a ball they currently own. We love to sell bowling balls, but we care more about making sure it is the right ball for you. We understand that many of you are on a budget.
The 2nd thing: We need to watch you bowl. By watching you bowl we can determine some physical factors about your personal game such as ball speed, rev rate, axis of rotation and axis tilt along with a measurement of your track on the ball called axis coordinates (Positive Axis Coordinates or PAP for short). With this information about your personal game we can then be better able to advise you of the right bowling balls and layouts to maximize your chances of getting the ball reaction needed from your new bowling ball and arsenal.
The 3rd thing: We need to look at your current arsenal in regards to type of balls already owned and the layouts on them. This will allow us to advise you on the next ball purchase that will allow you to get the biggest bang for your buck and a layout that will compliment.
The 4th thing: Getting to throw new equipment and adjusting the surface if needed to make sure that everything compliments your style and the lane conditions that you will be encountering in your bowling endeavours.
When helping a bowler develop an arsenal, we have to watch them bowl. This allows us to match their bowling style with the bowling balls that allow them to be versatile on all conditions. Today’s bowling balls offer a huge range in ball reaction, from balls that are designed for oily conditions (aggressive coverstocks, low RG’s and high Differentials) to the driest of conditions (Mild coverstocks, higher RG’s and lower Differentials).
By matching up equipment to a bowler’s style, it allows the bowler to maximize his chances of being able to play on the variety of lane conditions that he will encounter. The choices of equipment for your players are based on their skill levels as well as their ball speed and rev rate and compliment with axis rotation and axis tilt. A high ball speed/low rev rate bowler will have a much more aggressive ball/layout for oily lanes than a high rev rate/lower ball speed player. For drier lanes, a high ball speed/low rev rate player will still use a more aggressive ball/layout than a high rev rate/slower ball speed bowler.
The more information that we know about your game and the type of conditions that you bowl on, the better we are able to determine the equipment that can be used to enhance your chances of scoring on all types of lane conditions.
Feel free to come see Donna Conners or Carol Norman at Carol “Stormin” Norman’s Pro Shop to determine what bowling balls will match up to you!
Bowling Ball Maintenance a Must
Purchasing a new bowling ball is quite an investment these days! As with any investment, you want to make sure that you get your money’s worth by taking proper care of it.
Today’s new resin coverstocks require much more maintenance than the rubber, plastic or urethane coverstocks of the past.
Because of the huge amount of hook potential that these balls create, they are more susceptible to the absorption of oil into the coverstocks and to picking up dirt or residue from the lane surface. Cleaning, refreshed surface, baking and resurfacing are common terms that you need to become familiar with.
Based on a USBC research study, it is documented that a bowling ball can and will start to lose reaction after 7-14 games. What this means to you is that in order to continue to get optimum ball reaction from your new ball, it should be cleaned and the surface sanded or polished back to its desired finish after that 7-14 games.
Bowling balls that may need to be cleaned or refreshed after the 7-14 games tend to not hook as much on the backend and may seem to hit flat and not carry the corner pins! You may find that some bowling balls start to lose reaction sooner than others. For example, a matte finished (sanded) bowling ball may tend to lose reaction faster than a shiny finished (polished) ball.
After a ball has 30-60 games on it, and simply refreshing the surface doesn’t seem to work, resurfacing and/or baking it should bring it back to life. The resurfacing of a bowling ball will require it to be sanded starting with a low grit of sandpaper to remove the nicks and track lines and continued sanding until desired surface is achieved leaving the ball looking almost new.
Another way to bring an oil soaked ball to life is to have it baked (no not in your oven, unless you want a scorched bowling ball for turkey dinner). Many pro shops have machines that are especially designed for bowling balls called Rejuvenator or Reviver. These machines use rollers to rotate the bowling ball at a set temperature for a specific period of time and literally bake the oil out of the ball.
Other ball maintenance things you should consider include: During your league session, use a microfiber towel to wipe your ball off after each and every shot. Clean your bowling ball after each and every bowling session with a USBC approved cleaner. Avoid using alcohol or acetone regularly, because it could possibly damage your resin coverstock . Keep all your equipment in a room temperature environment, avoiding extremes in hot or cold! Don’t let your ball sit for long periods of time in the same position, even at room temperature. It can crack!
Feel free to come see us at the pro shop with your ball maintenance questions!!