That was the thought I had as I left the lanes last night, what bowler am I really? Two 600 series’ in 3 weeks would lead me to believe I’m turning the corner towards my goals of 190 and above (I’m really shooting for 200 or above, but one step at a time) but that eyesore of a 469 series last week (including a 108 game) keeps me grounded and focused on continuing to get better. Last night was a good night nevertheless though!

Practice was awesome!! Took some advice of Mr. Mike the Messenger during warm ups and worked on corner spares on my first shots and worked on finding my line during my 2ndthrows. It guaranteed some interesting spare attempts during the second throws while giving me confidence on my corner spares (only missed 2 all night). I decided (against better judgment andfit) to go with my RotoGrip Mutant Cell last night while sticking withmy Brunswick on my spares. For those that haven’t followed along, I purchased the ball already drilled with a fit that is close to mine, but isn’t exactly my fit (I know, I know a no no but I’m working with what I have). Trust me though, confidence was high with the RotoGrip due to learning how to throw it (despite the fit) during a lot of practice games. It just has a mean streak to it that my Brunswick Diamondback doesn’t so I decided to roll with it!

Before launching into how the night went, another shout out to Mr. Mike the Messenger for a huge piece of advice to work on going into this week, developing a pre shoot routine! After a nice long discussion with Mike, it came to my attention (per his questioning) that I really didn’t have a consistent pre shot routine. Sure, I had a few things I may have done consistently, but not every time, on every shot. I’ll tell you what, made a world of difference! The routine I set calmed me, focused me, and got me ready for my next shot on the boards. More than anything, I wasn’t focusing on score or what I needed, I was focusing on my next shot (no matter how bad or good the last shot was). I’ll be the first to admit it, I never thought such a simple thing would have such a positive result, but it did! Thanks again Mike!

Now back to last night, as I stated above, practice was great! Confidence was high and my mind was in the right place going into the first game. Despite a few inconsistencies, first game as a whole was pretty solid. No open frames, 2 for 2 on single pin spares, 5 total spares, 6 strikes and final score of 226. Could have been better though, a few poor first shots equaled 5 spare opportunities but to say I had confidence for the rest of the night was a bit of an understatement.

Second game started with my first open frame right out of the gate, worst part, it was a single pin that I never gave the spare ball a chance on. After that initial blemish, rest of the game went as planned. 3 for 3 on single pin spare conversions, after the initial miss, and a 5 bagger to close, gave me a solid 228 for the 2nd game.  All and all, 8 strikes, 3 spares, and one open, confidence remained high knowing I was  on pace for another 600 (barring a absolute meltdown) and an outside shot at a 700 (246 would have done it).

Well, the 700 dream died early in the game after the first four frames only produced spares and no strikes. Only managed 3 strikes on the game, 6 spares and 2 opens (one of them being in the 9th frame). I just couldn’t seem to find the right line to go along with the transition that was happening on the lanes (another part of my game that I have been working on, but still needs work). Made some solid shots, but not enough strikes. Finished up with a 171 final game which gave me a 625 series. All and all, not a bad night.

Fast stats update after last nights series:

  • Average at the beginning of the night: 180.52
  • Average at the end of the night: 181.84
  • Spare conversion percentage on the night: 82.4% (14/17)
  • Single pin spare conversion percentage on the night: 81.8% (9/11)
  • Strike percentage on the night: 50% (17)
  • I have noticed I’m throwing to many Brooklyn’s (8 last night, 4 resulting in strikes) so that is one area I need  improvement in. I do chalk some of it up to a ball that doesn’t fit properly but some of it is just not throwing the ball to my mark. Still need work on my spares because all of the spares I missed were very much make able and it cost me a 650 (656 to be exact) or above series. Things to grow and learn from. As I practice more and more, confidence rises but still room for improvement!

    I once again wanted to again thank Jet Bowling for contributing a brand new Altitude to my arsenal!! It is getting drilled in a little over a week and I can not wait! I actually have a bye from league next week due to a chamber of commerce thing going on at the bowling alley but don’t you worry, lots of bowling will be taking place. It all starts this weekend with my first tournament in over 3 years, a 5 person team handicap tournament! Can’t wait to see how I do!! Practice will be once again my main source of improvement as well over the next week! After last night, my goal of finishing around a 190 average for this league season is still a reality (need to average 209.04 rest of the way) and what I’m shooting for!

    Finally, have any words of advice for me? Maybe it is something that works for you, or something that I’ve mentioned that is bothering you, shoot me an email at [email protected] or reply below. Maybe a new ball I have to look into, or something I should be watching for, I’m all ears (or in the case of reading, eyes). Thank you to all of the people following and chatting with me on twitter (handle @mkhawk21) for all of the advice as well, it doesn’t go unnoticed!!

    Another solid week but time will tell whether I’m a 200 bowler or a 180 bowler, for right now I’ll handle somewhere in the middle. Until next time… keep on rolling!!

    Want to join me as a owner of a brand new Jet Altitude (or any other Jet ball)?!?! Go to Facebook and “Like” Above180: Help you Take your Game to the Next Level for you chance to win! That’s it!! Like us and you are automatically registered for the Jet ball of your choice! Register today! 2 winners will be selected on January 31st!