I’ve argued in my head on what exactly is considered practice and what is just a fun night of bowling. Lets be honest, both can be just what you need to improve scores but sometimes some alone time is just what the doctor ordered.
My league, like most, started in early September and like most readers out there, finding time for some extra practice is tough with a full time job and a family. So to combat that, my teammates and myself will take our families for some random nights of bowling to get games in. Some of the games are good, some are bad, but the main point is to just have fun. Thing is, these nights usually don’t produce many improvements because the focus isn’t on the bowling but on the fun.
In a quest to improve my game, I decided that some individual practice is just what I needed and boy was I right. I haven’t rolled in league yet so I can’t say my scores are better but my confidence is finally back to a high level. Here were my games; 176, 169, 189, 153, 216, 215, and 267. Final 3 games, 698, which would be my highest ever series. The 267, 3 highest game ever. But as you can see, having time to just focus on my game and the little things really can improve you as a bowler. Let me dive in a little more.
One of the areas I know I need improvement in is my spare game (who doesn’t right) but I didn’t realize just how many pins I was missing on. Through my first 4 games, I was averaging 3 opens per game, most seemed to be happening on the same lane (bowling league style of course). One thing I was noticing was how many splits I was leaving so adjusted my position on the board and next thing I knew, 2 opens over my last 3 games! Thing was, once I stopped leaving splits (5 over the first 4 games), I had 1 or 2 pin spares which upped my conversion percentage. Huge boost to the confidence!!
Another area my game needs improvement is something I hit on in the previous paragraph, making in game adjustments. During my first few games I felt comfortable with my line and while my scores weren’t setting the world on fire, a few more spare pick ups and I’m flirting with 200 games. But as the lanes changed, I made my slight move to the left and I was finding the pocket at a incredible rate. As you can see from the scores above, I found a groove and my game was at a level I’m not accustomed being at.
Point to all of this, bowling with friends and family is great and a lot of fun but some one on one time with just you and the lane is priceless when trying to improve. The little details get noticed more and better adjustments can be made. Now, I’m not saying this works for everyone, nor am I saying that improvement can be seen after just one practice session, but don’t discount the confidence you can get from some individual practice time.
Good luck and until next time, keep on rolling!