February 24, 2023 - This week we are bowling at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, KS and are bowling on the 45ft Dragon oil pattern. I generally am a huge fan of the longer oil patterns so I have been looking forward to this week since the patterns were announced a couple of months ago.
Coming into day one, I had a game-plan of using a slower ball speed as the lane would allow as well as making sure to play straighter angles as long as I could. I was going to try this instead of trying to swing the ball out to the right and have it hook back. My reason for doing this is I wanted to find as much miss room left as I could.
This week we are bowling three-six game blocks and then cutting to the top 22. I really wanted to continue building on my success from last week and hopefully keep moving in the right direction. Starting day one, my game plan was almost flawless. I was throwing my Track Archetype just left of the second arrow and was keeping my speed lower like I had planned. I started the day 254-274 for games one and two and felt amazing about the position I was in and was sitting around fourth overall.
Game three, the lanes started to change for me halfway through and I had to change out of the Archetype as it was hooking too early. The first ball change of the tournament for me is always a bit nerve-wracking, especially when I started so well. I ended up switching to the Envy Tour and I honestly think I went to it just a little early in the day and it had too much down lane motion and split when I tried it. I ended up limping into a 211 game after having the front 4 strikes. Definitely not the result I wanted but I was still happy with where I was.
The next couple games were a huge struggle for me. I did a very poor job of ball selection and lane play which resulted in very frustrating 170 games four and five. I was playing the lanes incorrectly and made a huge angle change game six. I started getting the ball much further right and tried to use the friction instead of the hold. This was so eye opening to me as I finally saw my ball hook and it helped me see that I had a very poor original game plan. Even though I only bowled 200 the last game, and had a very very disappointing 90 over, I had so much optimism for the next block.
Starting the second block, I reminded myself of how disappointed my ball reaction was the first block. I stuck with the same game plan with the Track Archetype and the first two games controlled the pocket just as well as the first block and only bowled 220 and 220 to start. I started to hit the same tricky transition that I hit in block one, but this time I had a new game plan. I was going to get the ball further right on the lane and lower my speed even more to help it hook. I feel like this worked much better but unfortunately, I was still finding my self split on most of my bad shots and I seemed to only be able to bowl 210ish. My best look ended up being with the Envy Tour. Doing my best imitation of turtle speed. The good news is that I am still in contention and only 50 pins back going into the last block. The bad news is... I am still not sure how I can get my ball through the pins constantly. Having to grade myself for the day, I would have to give myself a D. It was mentally a great day but bowling wise it was below par. I had terrible speed control, terrible touch at release, and those things created a terrible picture for a game plan.
Tomorrow my plan is to use bigger asymmetrical balls (Archetype and Paragon Hybrid) to hopefully make pair to pair and game to game easier and hopefully add some strikes as well!
I came into today knowing I needed about 200 over (1400 for 6) to make the top 22. This is a very achievable score and a position I have found myself in to often this year. My plan was to continue with my Archetype early in the day and then use the Paragon Hybrid the rest of the day. I am very comfortable bowling here since I actually bowled league here in college. I know that hitting the pocket here can give you a good chance to strike. So my thoughts were to control the pocket and the strikes can come in big strings.
I am going to breakdown today a little differently because it is truly a copy and paste of the second block yesterday. The first game, I hit the pocket 10 out of 11 times and I left the whole back row and 2 pocket 7-10s. I was still able save 200 that game, thank goodness, but it was truly just a repeat of the games before when I was only saving the game after a bad start. The rest of my block was more of the same I had a high game of 220 and a low game of 200. I honestly felt like I couldn’t find a way to get a strike in the first 5 frames of each game, but after adjusting I could strike the last 5 frames. I stuck to my game plan and was really proud of my commitment and patience again this week.
Unfortunately, it was just a really bad week. My speed control was awful, I made moves off of bad shots and I allowed myself to try a few things logically I knew wouldn’t work. The bright spots were definitely my spare shooting and ultimately with all of the bad things that happened, I only missed the cut by 80ish pins.
The week is a D for sure as it was bad on so many levels. I never improved from a previous block, I struggled on a long pattern I generally feel the I should have success on, and I wasn’t aware of the players around me watching them to make adjustments off of guys having success.
Weeks like these need to be cleaned up and shouldn’t happen. However, I do appreciate when these weeks happen because it allows me to reflect and grow! I get a week off to relax and get some practice in to be ready for the next event!