Practicing for Sectionals

Next week is sectionals and I am starting to practice a lot more and grind away at my physical game. The past couple days I have been practicing at least 2 hours a day. I have been throwing it rather well and my second ball is getting a lot better than it use to be. Also I am going home this weekend to drill bowling balls for sectionals. I am excited to see what happens with my new equipment and see if they will make the cut for the sectionals bag.

Single sectionals are where they have 4 different places you can bowl and they take the top bowlers in each sectionals and then they go to nationals and bowl for a national championship. Making cut would be an amazing dream and it would be just awesome just to get close to the cut. I bowled well my sophomore year but had a couple games that really cost me from making the cut.

I will be drilling at most 4 balls this weekend and I will talk to my coach at home about my arsenal and what it needs and doesn’t need. I will be doing a lesson also where I will be on video and have my stats from every shot. These lessons help me a lot and really take my game to the next level. Tune into this weekend on Saturday to find out how my lesson was and how many balls I drilled and what I ended up drilling up.

Weight Holes and Switch Grip

Above circled in blue is a weight hole and for this particular ball it was going down the lane to far before it wanted to make its motion. Once I added a weight hole it made the ball motion start sooner and was more angular down lane. This ball would stay in my bag frequently and I would rarely take it out just because I couldn’t ever throw it. Once I added the weight hole I really fell in love with the ball and started to like the motion on it.

Weight holes are all based on how a person throws the ball and for me where I have it like I said makes it start a little sooner and has more angle. For some people this would make the ball be calmer on the back end and not have a lot of motion on the back. Weight holes can either make a ball start sooner and have more angle or even make the ball be smoother and have a more consistent reaction.

The other larger hole is called a switch grip, this allows me to remove my thumb from the ball and use it in a different ball. Most pros and amateurs use this system because we want the same feel in every single ball. We get fit for a reason and want to have consistent fits in every ball. Also people with swelling issues like myself have different sized thumbs. Each thumb is the same in the sense of how your thumb fits in but people will have different sizes for when their thumbs swells up. Example would be that I have 4 thumbs that I can interchange at anytime each thumb is fit the same just different sizes. I have a small, medium, large, XL so when my thumb is bigger I use the XL when my thumb is smaller I go smaller. Below is what the mechanism looks like and all you do is screw in the thumb and you can switch it between any balls you would like.

Finally able to practice

I was finally able to practice Tuesday and I actually threw it pretty decent for almost taking about a week off. I really needed that time off and it was nice to be back in the bowling alley. I ended up giving my bowling ball to one of my friends to add an extra weight hole to make the ball have a different reaction down lane.

This gives me a different reaction than it did before and make sure you tune into the next post to find out what a weight hole can actually do to a bowling ball.

I was working on some simple things on Tuesday and it was an actual productive practice which I haven’t had in awhile. Next week I will be having a lesson on video and I will be dissecting my game and find out what is going on with my physical game. I am excited to see what is going on and normally I end up throwing it way better after the lessons.

Working on my release has been something that is a constant battle just because I am not a big fan of how I release the ball. Most people would say I have an awkward roll and it isn’t super effective but it does get the job done for me but I have to work harder and be even more accurate when bowling. Like I said tune in to the next post to find out about the weight hole as well as that larger hole and what that does for me.


Thumb Problems

Well this week didn’t go as planned, I was suppose to bowl a tournament today but I was practicing on Wednesday and my thumb ended up blistering up. Instead of bowling I watched our men’s team bowl in one of the biggest tournaments of the year. The Hoosier Classic is one of the hardest tournaments to bowl in just because the pattern is so tricky and difficult. They ended up bowling really well and are currently in first place, this tournament other than nationals is the tournament everyone wants to win.

This is what my thumb looked like after practice and the reason why I wasn’t able to go bowl a tournament.

Right now we are currently in 2nd place in the nation and with a win in this tournament it would be hard to not see us in 1st. Although rankings don’t really mean anything other than making sectionals which we should make easily, it is a sort of bragging right and show people how powerful of a program we actually are. One of the things that a lot of people don’t realize is that we are a D3 school and non of us are getting athletic scholarships. We actually pay to be on the team and we are the highest ranked team in the nation that is a club and D3.

People really sleep on our program because we don’t have big name players that everyone knows in the bowling world. If you look at a team like McKendree they have players that bowl PBA, have been successful and 2 players that traveled the world bowling for our country. We are ahead of that team and they have players that are suppose to be better than our team. The team chemistry that we have is insane and when they are bowling they all look like one unit and man do they perform when its needed. Tomorrow is the last day and they will bowl baker games, then they will make a cut and then its brackets after that. Hopefully the team can come out with a win and bring home some shiny hardware.


Last Tournament

I had my last tournament of the season this past weekend and I did rather well, which I am very happy about. I ended up averaging 205 for 5 games and bowled all day Sunday which is just amazing for me considering how my season has gone this year. This tournament meant a lot just because one of my best friends is graduating and I won’t be able to bowl with him like this ever again. His mom and his family has helped me a lot these past 2 years and without him I don’t really know where I would be right now. He is going to continue his season and bowl at nationals and I couldn’t be happier for him. He helped me last year a lot with me personal issues and last year was by far my best year for bowling and easily the hardest year personally of my entire life.

I had a lot of personal issues last year that hindered my performance and really kept me back from reaching my full potential. This year was a little different in the sense that my issues were a lot better but over the summer I developed extremely painful back problems. I had 2 X-Rays done as well as an MRI, everything came back fine with no required surgery’s. I still had pain and it was painful to bowl, I had bulging discs and it was hindering my performance over the summer.

Most of the time I would practice maybe 5 times a week but over the summer I was only bowling once a week because I physically couldn’t bowl. I was fine once I got back to school but when I moved in it started to hurt again, I had try outs and everything was super sore and painful. I ended up going to practice and tweaked it and couldn’t bowl the first tournament. Every year it seems like I have some issues going on whether it be mental or physical. I couldn’t focus at all this year and my drive and passion to bowl went down the drain. Practice seemed like a chore and not enjoyable all year.

Once I came back from winter break I had a moment of truth and came back with a positive mindset and started to work on my game hard. By then it was to late because my stats were so terrible that it wasn’t going to be saved in time for post season. Last year I had some of the highest stats as well as one of the highest averages on our team. I ended up this year in the middle of the pack for everything, I missed more single pin spares in 1st semester than I did all last year.

The drive to get better wasn’t there like I use to have it, but this last tournament was an extreme confidence booster for me. The varsity team has the Hoosier this weekend and come back for sectionals and nationals as well as club nationals. I can’t wait to get back into bowling like I use to be and find that drive to basically live in a bowling alley because I am there so much. I have a tournament this weekend in Illinois so tune in this weekend to see my results!