Sunday, September 20, 2015

Senior Bowling Observations - Discussion #4

Here’s Discussion #4 in a nutshell:

"On a 38-foot to 41-foot length oil pattern, if you throw your ball and it rolls over the '8-board at the outer marker,' your ball will hit the pocket."

For ease of discussion, I generalize the following:

(1) The "outer marker" is the dark-colored, three foot mark, on the 10-board, 40 to 43 feet from the foul line on many modern, synthetic lanes.

(2) What I refer to as the "8-board at the outer marker;" is actually the broader 6-board to 9-board area.

(3) This applies to oil patterns between 38 feet to 41 feet.

For the past three to four years, I've advocated an aiming point based on articles I've read and, by closely watching / studying videos of national and international bowlers and events.

Recently, my observations were validated while watching a broadcast of a bowling event and the technical commentator made a statement to the effect of, "spray painting the 8-board at the 40 to 43 foot outer marker on the lanes, so that everyone would aim there and at least hit the pocket, giving themselves a better chance to strike."

This doesn't mean the bowler has to target 41 feet down the lane. (More power to you if you can, but, bowlers like me have a difficult time seeing that far down the lane.)

Let's factor in the "3-point Targeting" theory (By USBC Gold Coach Joe Slowinski) to illustrate how to fine tune where a bowler can aim. (Keep in mind that every bowler has to take any hints and/or suggestions and tailor them to suit their style of bowling.)

What I utilize is a “modified 3-point targeting system."

For example, if I'm using the 12-board at the arrows, I look at the 8-board at the 40 to 43 foot marker as I get into my starting stance, then bring my eyes down to the 12-board at the arrows just before starting my approach.

If I'm targeting the 10-board at the arrows, I sight down lane to the 8-board, then bring my eyes to the 10-board at the arrows, and so forth.

Some of my friends have told me that they target down lane, then at the arrows, and finally end up sighting at a mid-way point between the down lane marker and the arrows as they start their approach.

This method of getting to the pocket will work regardless of whether the bowler is launching the ball from the 5 board, the 15 board, or the 35 board. Just make sure the ball gets to the “8-board at the outer marker,” and the ball will get to the pocket.

As to why the ball won’t strike every time, the reader needs to keep in mind the parameters necessary for a “perfect pocket strike:”

a) The ball enters the pocket at the 17-1/2 board with less than 1/8-inch discrepancy;

b) The ball has an entry angle of 6 degrees;

c) The ball makes contact with only the 1, 3, 5, and 9 pins.

I heard a great term recently, “Eliminating Variables.”

To wit: “The entire game of bowling is based on eliminating as many variables as possible.”

I think hitting the pocket consistently may eliminate a large part of the variables a bowler is faced with in any given game at any given time.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Senior Bowling Observations Discussion #3

Special Note: In both the (Senior) PBA50 and PWBA events on Xtra Frame, there is a Central Commentator but, throughout the telecast, actual participating bowlers "drop by" to give their input and insights about a myriad of technical aspects and subject matter that are of, and might be of, concern to bowlers competing in the event. This, in turn, helps me (and perhaps, you?) with my THS (Typical House Shot) game.

Why do I watch and listen to the Seniors/PWBA events and technical commentating closely? It's very simple.

IMHO, the Seniors/Ladies closely resemble my style and type of bowling - that is, they have more "strokers" than "crankers," and they tend to have less "revs" than the Regular Touring PBA Men do.

As a matter of fact, I'd venture to say that, as a Senior bowler, I have nothing to learn from watching the physical game of the Regular PBA Tour.

Here's some of the subjects the Senior's/Ladies are talking about and I've picked up on:

1) Exercise and keeping physically fit. This is mentioned and talked about a lot more during the Senior's PBA and PWBA events. The necessity for a regular exercise program. Walking, jogging, physical fitness rooms, pre-bowling stretching routines, and healthy diets.

I've always done a minimal amount of pre-bowling stretching and walking; however, I've recently started using 3-lbs weights to bolster my arms, legs, and wrists.

I'm slowly building an exercise regimen and routine that will help me with my overall bowling.

2) Launch Angles. For the past 3-4 weeks, I've been working with this on my own and it's yielded some good results for me; especially since I don't have to make any drastic and/or radical moves right away.

Launch Angle Bowling Tips

Adjustments and Launch Angle

When accuracy and spare-making are of prime importance, a bowler cannot afford to "lose" the pocket. Making large moves may not be advantageous at all.

Even though we bowl mostly on THS conditions, accuracy and spare-making should still be of prime importance so "minor" moves may be better than drastic ones.

This has helped me on several occasions already this young season. Rather than change bowling balls right away, I've moved my eyes and it was all the adjustment I needed.

4) Asymmetric versus Symmetric bowling ball cores. I picked up on this during an Xtra Frame broadcast. I did some research and found that it is a general concensus among elite bowlers, although it's a subject that's not widely discussed.

I guess that goes along with a lot of other subjects that are good for your game; but, not openly discussed often enough - Posting your shot, free armswing, exit point strategy, and so forth.

In a nutshell: 1) asymmetric cores are good for "strokers" and lower rev bowlers; 2) symmetric cores are better for "crankers" and higher rev players.

If a recommendation were to be made, a "stroker" (which most of us Senior bowlers tend to be) building an arsenal would have 80% Asymmetrics in their bag. Nothwithstanding the requisite combination of Reactive Resin, Hybrid, Urethane, Pin-up drilling, pin-down drilling, and various other surfaces/drillings to suit your particular style.

Carolyn Dorin Ballard used the term, "Bump Area," during the PWBA Tour Championships. This is only my guess, but, she's probably referring to the area on the lane where the ball encounters friction and starts turning left, making its run to the pocket. In a typical conversation with my coach, we talk about "banking" the ball off the dry so that it comes back to the pocket with more energy.

A comment here concerning the Storm Crux. (Different bowlers may have different results depending on their style of bowling. There's just too many products out there to make a statement that, "one size fits all." I'm merely relating my experience with the Pearl Crux.)

I watched the original video and they described the design of the core, and it gave me the impression that the core is meant to "auto-correct" mistakes we make in our deliveries. I finally broke down, saved up my money, and bought the Pearl Crux three weeks ago.

Storm Cux(TM) - Ball Technology

I'm extremely happy with the ball and I'm carrying hits that were not carrying for me previously. My frustration with taps have been non-existent since I got the ball. Needless to say, I'm saying to myself, "Why did I wait so long to get it?"