By Bob Korth 2/1/14
Q. I have fallen into a mid-season slump and can’t seem to shake it. Got any idea’s on breaking
Slump’s can be one of the hardest things in our game to get over. If you ask 100 people how to
break a slump you will probably get 100 different answers. I have a few idea’s of my own. First
remember you know how to bowl, you haven’t forgotten how you have just lost your confidence.
When you lose confidence, your ability to bowl on auto pilot goes out the window. You begin to
over-think everything. Your approach becomes uncomfortable. You start steering every shot. The
harder you try to correct these things the more you do them. You go practice more but usually it
just makes things worse and prolongs the slump because you are practicing the very thing that
got the slump started in the first place. You want to try to relax and quit thinking, try to concentrate
on hitting your target and nothing else. What I do to break my slump is to take a couple of weeks
off. I get a sub for leagues and even bypass a tournament if one is coming up. I get away from
bowling altogether. This helps me to reset my brain as it pertains to bowling. Then when I come
back, I have forgotten all the things that started the slump in the first place. I am relaxed and
having fun again. Getting away for some people is the quickest fix.
Q. I got a new ball for Christmas, went to the pro shop to get it drilled. I was asked what reaction
I was trying to achieve. I told the expert what I would like to see the ball do. He watched me
throw a few shot’s and drilled the ball for me. When he handed it to me I was shocked to find
not only the finger and thumb holes but a large hole in the side of the ball. I did not ask for this
extra hole to be put in the ball. I asked why this was done and was told it is a weight hole. What
is a weight hole?
A. To help the ball get certain rolling characteristics the ball is drilled off center. This can leave
the ball with more weight on one side than is allowed by USBC equipment rules. You are only
allowed 3 ounces of top weight and 1 ounce of side weight. The also 1 ounce of either thumb or
finger weight. The size and depth of the hole is determined by how much weight needs to be
removed to make the ball legal by USBC specs. Only one weight hole is allowed. The weight
hole does not hurt the ball. In fact it many times helps the reaction of the ball even more.
Q. I bowl in a center that has a long oil pattern. My ball speed is pretty fast and I am having prob-
lems with the ball getting to the pocket. What can I do besides slow down to increase hook?
A. Here is what you need to know about ball speed. There are more things in bowling that add up to
to become speed. Throwing the ball fast, speed. Heavy oil reacts like speed. Polished ball, speed.
High rg ball, speed. Weak cover stock, speed. All of these things act like more speed. You have to
try to achieve a balance to get the reaction you are after. You have ball speed and wet lanes. You
need to temper this with a lower rg ball, or with a drilling pattern to get the ball into an earlier roll
You may need a sanded ball or matte finish ball to get a read on the lanes. You might need some or
maybe all of these things to increase your ball reaction on the lanes. Your objective is to slow the
ball down by increasing friction between ball and lane.
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