Bowling will be the death of me.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jeremy.king, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    A little background to start.

    I have been bowling (ten pin for you canucks) since I was around 6 years old. Take the three years out while I didn't bowl in high school (not cool) and I have a total of almost 18+ years of total bowling experience. I consider myself a pretty decent bowler but definitely not a gung ho, totally obsessed type that has to have the best equipment with 25 ball bags on robotic rollers, but I do have own 4 balls - but really only use (and carry) two. My average has crawled up into around 205 after last night. I only bowl once a week in my faithful Wed night league that I have now been in for 8 seasons...and thats where we begin....

    Last week....I started the night with a "good" 165 game. Not good by score, but good in the sense that even though I missed three EASY spares, I was in the pocket on every first ball. Knowing this, I made one small adjustment to increase my entry angle to the pocket and BAM - a 268 game followed. Finally, for the last game of the night, I strung a few together and a few more and before I knew it I was 4 strikes from my first sanctioned 300 game. So as I enter the 9th frame, the crowd begins to build, a teammate goes to the league next to us to tell my wife that I am close to a perfect game. Trying not to notice, I threw a very solid 9th strike in a row and enjoyed the quiet roar that followed. So I waited for the 10th, nervous as hell, and when the time finally came - I could barely stand. My heart pumped like rabbit in mating season, and I proceeded to bury the first one - rock solid. The 11th was a lucky one, it got away from me and drifted out but had enough roll to recover and scatter the pins for my 11th straight. Finally the last ball was a complete let down, I threw it right down the center of the lane - cause I DIDN'T want to gutter. The ball drifted brooklyn and I somehow got a 9 count out of it for a 299 game.

    Now I was so close, but I always want more - so even though I had a GREAT game and a solid 732 series, I knew I could do better. I thought about it almost every day afterward and I still am thinking about it

    Enter last night....

    Still burning from the previous week, I knew I had a perfect game in me somewhere. That dream ended early when I left an open in the 3rd frame of the first game, but again that whole game I was right there in the pocket. I finished with a 248 game. The second game was a clean slate start, but I got tapped early (f'in 10 pins) and finished with a 231 game. Again another respectable game, but mind you, I haven't had a bad first ball yet.

    Same day of the week, same situation...I find myself in the same boat as the last week. I strung 8 together to start the third and final game of the night. Crowd builds and I throw a nice ball in the 9th frame for another strike. Again, crowd getting bigger and I can feel the buzz. Everyone gets SOOOOO quiet... Wifey's watching and I saved everyone the suspense in the 10th, when I got tapped on the first ball. I picked up the spare and threw my worst ball of the night - a wash out 5 count split. So I ended up with a 274. Series on the night was 753 - my second highest ever but it still burns.

    I know I can shoot 300 - in fact, I have done it just playing around with friends. I also have another 299 game that was shot in a side bet game I had with some cocky high schoolers....

    So now AGAIN - I know I can do it, but I keep "choking" on the big one. It was my fifth sanctioned attempt at a 300. Those games ended up in 274, 279, 287, 289, and 299.

    Heres my favorite stat of the two nights however.

    6 games
    1485 Series
    52 Strikes - almost 9 a game!!!

    Can any bowlers relate? Any advice for my next time? I need to do this, its consuming me.....UGH! Help!

    Thats all for now...hope you enjoyed the read.
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Congrats and awesome! my high is only a 277 in league bowling years ago. Very cool. My advice is do nothing different. :D
  3. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    When I was in college, my buddy in I were bowling at the college lanes while chugging screwdrivers out of a jug we brought. I tried to do the Michael Jackson up-on-the-toes move and my bowling shoes slipped and I landed my hand on the ball-return rail, slicing into the meat of my palm (scar still there 20 years later). So it wasn't the death of me, but it was a good 20 minutes of letting my hand drip into the whitehouse while the stall spun around me. Great times those were...
  4. Thom_Edwards macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2003
    i can *totally* relate. never got above 274, but that game was all strikes for a long way in. not bad for a 15 year old. (that was 18 years ago..... hmmmm.)

    the worst was during the state finals for YABA (Young American Bowling Alliance). The winner of this match made the finals. It was teams of 4 and I was next to last on the "roster". If I mark in the 9th, we win. I DOUBLE GUTTERED!!!!!!!!!! why, you ask? you made it this far, can't you handle the pressure? usually, yes. but this was in the pro format where teams switched lanes each odd frame. (there's more to it than that, but i'm sure you know what i'm talking about.) the 2 scorekeepers were the coaches from each team. well, their coach kept switching me from lane to lane, saying i was on the incorrect lane. he even yelled at me during my approach 2 different times. i swear he switched 4 or 5 times. i was right in the beginning, but all the embarrassment flustered me.

    our coach filed a complaint based on unethical behavior, but it didn't get anywhere. anyway, 3rd in state wasn't *too* bad.
  5. Sox macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2005
    When I first saw the title for this thread, I thought someone had messed with the Jesus.
  6. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    At least you can break 200. I can barely break 100! :eek: :rolleyes: I lack cordination, i don't even know i how i played ice hockey for 12 years :eek:
  7. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    ok, well i can tell what your problem is, its that the crowd and knowing that everyone is watching you is getting to you causing you to choke, i use to have the same problem when i was a wrestler......

    there are really only two ways to deal with this (in my opinion)

    1. you are not confident in your ability in front of other people just yet, so when a crowd draws you get nervous, but you shouldnt be, realize that you should have self confidence in front of anyone when you know you can do it and you will, so by just realizing your confidence and realizing that you can do it will help you succeed

    2. phase out the people around you. its obvious that its the crowd that is getting to you, so rather than pay any attention to them just focus, shrug 'em off, act like is just any ordinary night, and dont let any pressure/stares whatever get to you and you will be able to tighten up your game even more

    - good luck!
  8. jeremy.king thread starter macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I gotta watch that again...been a while.
  9. Mr. Durden macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2005
    Agreed, but very hard to do. I've found that the best way to not get nervous playing in front of people is to play in front of people often. Viscious circle, I know. But if you do it only 2 - 3, maybe 4 times, it becomes second nature and you may even enjoy it more than not having anyone watch.

    Bowling however, isnt my best sport. I think last time I played I scored somewhere around 150 or so... Maybe thats not bad for someone who plays maybe 1 time every 3 years or so. Or maybe it is.
  10. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    I bowled for the first time in maybe 3 years with my daughter around a month ago. My approach is to change my primary goal, so instead of most pins knocked down, I'll bowl for speed, distance down the lane until the ball lands, or to see if I can put enough back-spin on it the ball so that it's still backspinning when it hits the pins.

    My first 3 balls were strikes. :D

    Went downhill from there. I was amazed at how much my fingers HURT, especially from the severe backspin rolls or the giant loops I'd make to get speed up... They probably should have kicked me out... :eek:
  11. Mr. Durden macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2005
    Man, I hear ya. I always said bowling wasnt a sport, but if you dont play often, a couple of games will wear you out. I was even sour after the last time I played.
  12. fanbrain macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2005
    So. UT
    The trick is to bring a small handgun with you and shoot down the 300th pin before the gate drops. Perfect game.

    Either that or have another person bowl with you simultaneously. He could hit down the pins you don't.

    Just some suggestions.
  13. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    i went to a friend's bowling birthday party when i was like 10 or something. he literally shot a 0

    great present i'd say

    i like to think i'm competent for a casual (once a year or so) bowler. but i still rarely top 150. hah
  14. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2003
    Western Hemisphere
    It's tough tough tough to do. Clearly, the pre-roll routine is as critical as anything else. Getting out of that routine is what kills the really high-scores in me. When you're approaching the 300, the problem is that the other bowlers on your lane probably hamper your routine. It's easier to block out the growing crowd if your pair of lanes is going on as normal.

    So my suggestion is to make sure that your team and hopefully the other team, cooperate and don't start doing anything out of the ordinary en route to the 300.

    Then it's all up to you to do as you do. If you don't normally high-five and talk to people in the crowd, then don't. I normally don't look at anyone in the face until I've walked back off of the approach and turned to face the lane again. It gives me time to review the shot in my head and keep my focus through to the next frame. It's my routine. If I'm bowling well and I start yakking it up as I come off the apporach, well... I'm done.

    That's all I've got. I haven't hit your highs yet, but then again, I don't get out and bowl nearly as much as I'd like to.
  15. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Man kingjr3, you are one seriously good bowler! :eek:

    I know it's a completely different sport but the idea might translate in that I don't think you should think about the jinx when you hit hurdles like that. Example: when I was trying to break the 10.5 second barrier for the 100m sprint it just didn't happen and I ran half a season's worth of 10.51 to 10.6s which was really disappointing because I knew I could do it. Then, one day I had my mind on uni but was at a meet (generally not recommended, but hey!) and I ran a 10.33 - relatively easily too!

    Try to concentrate on something other than a jinx, even if it's not related to bowling. I find it works for quite a few other things too.
  16. GroundLoop macrumors 68000


    Mar 21, 2003
    It only takes one...

    All I can say is that once you get the first one, you will have ten. I had my first 300 when I was 15, and now I have 32. They don't even phase me anymore. Just another ring for the collection.

  17. camobag macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2003
    Yeah, I can relate. I got my first 68 when I was 22, and now it's my routine score. It's just about being calm and relaxed and thinking about the pins with tutus on. Hope this helps.
  18. MrMacMan macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2001
    1 Block away from NYC.
    Just don't over-think it.

    Realize that your good enough for another strike and that its just like the previous strikes.

    Crowd or empty bowling alley, bowling is consistent and obviously you know that, its just one more shot to make.

    I bowl consistently and yes the pressure is gonna be there, but just make sure you still talking to team mates (or whatever you normally do) and normal procedure, just because you have spectators doesn't mean *you* need to change what your doing.
  19. ham_man macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2005
    Wow, you are one hella good bowler. My high is like 122 or something... :eek:
  20. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I bowled in a league for about 5 years. And in that time I saw only one 300 game bowled. And despite the "greatness" of some bowlers, we had only a hand full that can close to bowling 240+ on any regular basis. None even came close to your numbers. Be proud.
  21. sarae macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    madison, WI
    Doesn't really help you, but I'm very envious of your score. The last time I played, I played three games and got 67, 68, 69 - yes, consecutively. I'm usually a smidge better.... but not much.
  22. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Thank heavens for handicaps.... :D
  23. jeremy.king thread starter macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Thanks for all the encouragement, I'll try to remember this on Wed when I will try again.

    I like the tutus on the pins idea.. :)
  24. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I'm not a professional by any means, but I enjoy bowling. I'm pleased with my 125 average and 185 personal best, but I know I can do better than that. I had a string of 8 strikes in a row once over two games...
  25. jeremy.king thread starter macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    As promised - just got home after ANOTHER AWESOME BOWLING NIGHT! :eek: :eek: :D

    Games were 257, 278, 237 for a 772 series. The second game was very close to perfect...I hate to say it.....AGAIN. A career high series for me and also a clean night (all spares and strikes) - a feat I have only accomplished once before.

    Updated stats.
    9 games
    2257 Series (250 average)
    78 Strikes!!! (possible 108) = strike percentage of 72% :eek:

    I am really on a tear and loving it. I have raised my average almost 6 pins in three weeks, which is quite hard to do when you are 30 weeks into the season. Current average is just over 207 and tonight was the last night toward statistics, so I will have to wait til next year. :(

    Thanks all for your encouragement, it really meant a lot. :)

    Until next season.............

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