Carol Normans Pro Shop

Summertime is Practice Time!

The Winter leagues are over and summer has arrived. This is the perfect time to make the necessary changes in your game to reach those lofty, long term average goals you have set for yourself. Not only is there more lane availability in the summer season, but your average isn't used for tournament play and your teammates won't be quite so mad if you bowl below your par. 

Making changes in your game can sometimes result in a loss of pins to your average in the short term since it takes time for those changes in your game to become consistent and comfortable. It is frightening for some bowlers to give up their average in the short term for the long term gratification of attaining a higher average goal. Let's take a deep breath and take the challenge.

Most bowlers have no idea what to practice on. They have a tendency to get a lane and play for strikes and score. This method not only reinforces the same old habits that are reflected in ones current average, but will not allow the bowler to develop the versatility needed to continue on the path of a higher level of bowling prowess. Many bowlers quit because they never get any better even with practice. So, who should practice what!!!!!!!

Averages from 50 to 150, get a properly fit bowling ball, develop physical skills that one can repeat consistently. The means for you to get your proper distance from foul line to start; develop a proper stance position; develop a 4 step delivery that moves the ball out and down on the 1st step this provides the bowler with good timing of the arm and leg movements. Good timing promotes good balance and a chance for a good finish. A good timing and balance will give you a chance for a good finish. A good finish will allow the bowler to hold one's balance until the ball hits the pins.

Averages of 150 to 175, continue to work on refining physical skills, developing a spare system and basic lane play moves for the typical league patterns. Equipment starts to become a factor. Basic arsenal would consist of a ball for oil, and a ball for dry.

Once you get to the 175 and above, you are starting to take the game seriously. For you and all of the above, it is still about refining the physical game until it is not only consistent but versatile. Versatile in the terms of adapting to the lane condition by the use of changing angles/lines on the lane: playing the gutter to at least the 4th arrow;  release changes; ball speed changes; loft changes and developing an arsenal of 4 to 6 balls to work on the home house condition as well as tournament conditions. A spare ball would be added to one's arsenal.

For those of you who have finally attained a 200 average, I am sorry to inform you that an average is only relative to the conditions that you bowl on. On the typical house pattern, par could be at least 215 TO 22O, meaning that if you are averaging 200, you are at least 15 to 20 pins below par.  A 200 average is not a constant number for par anymore since the advent of advanced technology in lane machines and bowling equipment. Sport patterns can lower one's league pattern average up to 30 pins or more based on a bowler's skills to adapt.

A bowling average may not always reflect a bowler's skills. Bowlers at this level cannot fool themselves into thinking that the challenge is over. I include myself in this category and we have to continue to develop not only our physical skills, but adapt our games to the ever changing environment of the lane conditions as they change during play. Regardless of how good the  bowling manufacturers are at developing equipment that has more hook potential: it is up to you the bowler to adapt to the lane surface; lane pattern and to  develop the skills necessary to make proper equipment choices matched up with physical game changes when needed. These learned skills will dictate the scoring pace on any condition.  Bowling is the most misunderstood sport in the world when it comes to the actual challenge that it presents to its participants. It is up to you the par bowler to accept the challenge.

Practice is an essential in bowling, but it's what you practice that makes a difference. Call either Donna or myself at Carol Norman's Pro Shop and we will be glad to set you up for a lesson to help you to get started on the path of excellence.