I’ve been in a bit of a slump with my bowling lately. Of course, I should make it clear that on any given day, I am far from being a rock star bowler, even though I often proclaim to be a rock star bowler. Whenever I tell you that I bowled like a rock star, you have to remember that when I say I did well, I mean that I did well “for me.” Wouldn’t want any really good bowlers reading this stuff and thinking, “She thinks that’s impressive? Pffft!” I’m still in the early stages of my bowling career though, so I can still fall back on that whole “only been bowling for two years” thing. I’ll use that excuse as long as I can get away with it.
So, now that we’ve cleared that up, you have to understand that for me to feel that I’ve bowled well, I really want game scores in the 150s. Ideally, I’d love to score much higher than that, and I have, a time or two, but I’m trying to focus on truly manageable goals. Bowling a 150 is achievable for me, in theory. In reality it has been out of my grasp for the past several weeks. I’ve tried focusing on my starting point, my stance, my grip, my release, wearing the wrist brace, not wearing the wrist brace… all to no avail.
In our mixed league, bowling partner, Jim has been suffering the same problems. Two weeks ago, he was so mad at his scores that he claimed he hated bowling and was quitting. But like me, Jim decided to focus on remedies for his particular problem. Jim’s focus was not on the mechanics of his bowling though. Jim decided that the only time he bowls well is when we play poker while bowling. Oftentimes, another team in close proximity to us will invite us to join them in a game of poker. Everyone puts in a dollar. Every time you bowl a strike or spare, you get to draw a card and discard one. After the tenth frame, the person with the best hand wins the pot. Jim claims he bowls best when we play poker, but no one on our team ever brings playing cards. Jim claimed that he could start bowling better if one of us would just bring a deck of cards to bowling.
Sounds simple, right? There’s a catch. Have I mentioned before that the playing cards typically used by bowling teams are naughty cards? They are. And being the good team-mate that I am, I went out and bought Jim a deck of naughty playing cards. And guess what! Jim bowled like a rock star last Saturday! (Yes, I went out and found girly playing cards for Jim. How and where they were found is another story. The point is, am I a good bowling partner or what???)
The naughty playing cards though, did not help me in the least. So I continued to pay attention to my mechanics. Thanks to my new work schedule, I was able to head down to the bowling alley a full hour earlier than usual on Monday. It was actually quiet there, and I got myself a lane and began to practice all by myself. My little buddy, Andy showed up and kept me company, shouting encouragement from the table at which he was sitting, and proclaiming his confidence in my ability to pick up the messiest of spares. I like Andy. No matter how bad I bowl, he always thinks I did great and he’s always got a high-five waiting for me.
I bowled like crap. I threw three games, each of them looking promising through the fifth or sixth frame, and then falling apart in the end. I figured all I had done was worn myself out, pretty much guaranteeing that my league games would be even worse.
But remember that saying, “Practice makes perfect?” Apparently there’s some truth to it. No, I did not bowl anywhere near a perfect game. But I made an adjustment to my release and it was just what I needed. I bowled a 466 series! Know what that means? I consistently bowled between 150 and 160 all three games!
I’m a rock star! Woot-woot!
I love bowling :-)