Busted My Slump

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 :-)

15 thoughts on “Busted My Slump

  1. See, you just had to find the right area to make your corrections and boom, presto magic -yes, you are indeed a rock bowling star! A 466 is a pretty darned decent three-score in my book. Back in the day, when I bowled in a league (in the dark ages, ya know) I usually was pretty steady in the 130-140 area with an occasional foray into higher marks but I was happy to keep a steady 140 plus -give or take, ya know -for the team’s sake too.
    Wish I could do bowling again sometimes but then again, when I think back to the last time I did do bowling -as one of my 1 credit PE courses in college about 16-17 years ago, it hurried me then to roll a score of 100 and just about killed my back and legs then too! LOL I think I’m currently better off living the bowling routine via my old, old memories!
    Oh and yes, you are a darned good teammate to have for getting your teammate those cards! What a hoot that must be!

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  2. Good job! Practice helps work the kinks out and lets you can play more relaxed. Sometimes you have to bowl some trash games just to get it out of your system. I’m sensing improvements this fall in your rock star status.

    BTW – I’ve always wondered, if you’re bowling like a rock star, which rock star is it? Stevie Wonder?

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  3. I tried bowling once. The hole with the giraffe and the one with the thing that goes up and down messed up my score so much, I have never gone back. And there were 16 more holes that I bet would puzzle that Sphinx thing. They recommended skiing but at 61 I still can’t swim. I think the most adventurous thing I have done in the last few years was a trip to the mall and testing bathtub water temp with big toe. You have a cool frog so put me in your rollerdex(not the skates box but the little cards that spin around and you can pretend you are piloting an airplane).

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  4. You keep throwing in these zingers in between your deep, thoughtful, emotional posts like buying naughty cards for your bowling buddy. You’ve more facets than a diamond :)

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  5. Just wondering if you need cards with photos of guys on them? No, I’m not offering to buy some and send them to you. Might make a fun post though!

    I also think you should share you story about buying those cards…

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  6. It’s really tough to coach yourself like you were doing, but what choice do we have? Even Tiger Woods has a swing coach!! Every athlete needs a coach, but it’s really tough for us amateurs. The only card we have left to play is practice. Good for you for practicing!!!

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  7. I think in every type of sporting activity you get those periods when you can’t do anything right. There are always two solutions: One is to push through it, get sweaty and practice more (as you did) ; the other is to just walk away and just miss a couple of sessions, do something else and come back fresh. The funny thing is, both methods seem to work.
    Never heard of naughty cards improving a game though, that’s a new one….

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  8. I really need to go bowling. It always sounds like such fun when I read your posts. Congratulations on your awesome streak! I’ve never even come close to something like that!

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  9. Bowling really is a fantastic sport but those slumps can be torture. We also play the dirty card poker game. Tell me, do people ever bring their kids in to sell candy while you bowl? It happened in my old league all the time. I’d see these young kids coming down the alley peddling sugar and I would be running around trying to flip all these pornographic cards over. Little Cindy does not need to see that. What are these parents thinking? Anyway, I love bowling, and I love reading about other people struggling like myself. Thanks.

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