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Thread: Teammate Needs Advice/Coaching/Input

  1. #1
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Question Teammate Needs Advice/Coaching/Input

    Backstory:
    So, when I moved here...I got a call from this guy about joining his Thursday team. He was the anchor and he averaged right about 200. Experienced bowler...a lot of hand...slower shot...good accuracy...good spare shooter. Well, at some point, he suffered some type of hip injury and as a result he took a year of from bowling and when he eventually came back he had lost considerable speed.

    Now:
    So, he tried to come back...but quickly gave it up due to not being able to bowl near what he used to be able to. After approximately a year off, he decided he missed bowling and returned. He "said" he lowered his expectations and was ready to accept his new role as just a 140-180 average bowler who was just there to have fun. HOWEVER...he hasn't seemed to have much fun the last couple weeks with scores of 160, 169, 150, 168, 131, 140, and 157. When he bowls an occasional 184, 173, 180, 178, or 174...he's not so bad. And earlier in the season, he was doing pretty good. He had a 211, a 234, even a 246 game.

    His issues seem to be related to his speed and how it affects his carry...and then his inability to pick up 10-pins given his low speed. I mean, he used to average 200 using a plastic ball as his strike ball...so he can get even a plastic ball to turn...and that makes a 10-pin hard to pick up. And, when you're throwing 14lb balls approximately 8-12mph...you tend to leave 10-pins even when you hit the pocket.

    The Plea for Help:
    I KNOW there are many of you out there that have had your games decline due to age/injury...yet you've found a way to stay competitive and still enjoy bowling. Is there something I can do to help this guy out. His current balls are listed below. My only observations in watching him bowl is that he seems to have a good line to the pocket...standing about 26 and crossing the arrows at about 16-18...and he hits the pocket with consistency. But, his ball visibly deflects right...it seems to deflect almost right of the 5-pin or 9-pin it deflects so noticeably.

    My thoughts are that he needs an arsenal that allow him to throw something that is going to conserve more energy in the ball. Something polished/pearl...maybe something like a Radical Ridiculous Pearl and then a Cutting Edge Pearl as a ball down option? Maybe even a Rip'd Pearl if he wanted to keep playing that inside line? On the other hand...what he's throwing now isn't necessarily low RG stuff. It shouldn't be burning up.

    But...I don't know. I need to defer to the experts. And, he's not gonna to listen to me and my 178 league average anyway. I think I'm only averaging 1-2 pins above him at this point. Maybe its not just an equipment thing...maybe there's something he can do with technique. I've never had a ton of hand and too little speed...so I don't know what thats like.

    His arsenal:
    - Rotogrip Hustle Solid
    - 900 Global Honey Badger Infused
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Brunswick Aura Mystic; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Brunswick Vintage Gold Rhino Pro; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
    .....and then his inability to pick up 10-pins given his low speed. I mean, he used to average 200 using a plastic ball as his strike ball...so he can get even a plastic ball to turn...and that makes a 10-pin hard to pick up.
    In regards to picking up the 10 pin, Given the statement here the slow speed isn't the problem. The speed has nothing to do with picking up the 10 pin, It's him cranking on the ball and probably trying hook at it.

    He needs to start just rolling the ball and throwing it straight at the 10 pin.

    I know what's probably coming next, "I/He can't stop cranking it! and if I do throw it straight I/He miss all the time!"

    The solution here is called practice (Maybe even some coaching) I've seen this many times before (IRL and Posted) guys who crank the ball, Just want to throw a hard plastic ball, 100mph ball at the ten pin because when they threw a straight ball they saw how wildly inaccurate they were and didn't want to practice being more accurate at it.

    In this case throwing a rocket at the ten is no longer a option. So learning to roll a straight (Plastic) ball at the corner is the best option.


    My only observations in watching him bowl is that he seems to have a good line to the pocket...standing about 26 and crossing the arrows at about 16-18...and he hits the pocket with consistency. But, his ball visibly deflects right...it seems to deflect almost right of the 5-pin or 9-pin it deflects so noticeably.
    Given that he's using 2 Sym. Balls one a Hybrid Urethane (70%R/30%U), Before buying a new ball I would adjust surfaces and lane play first. I might would also check speed, Revs and Tilt numbers and get his PAP before any new ball acquisition to see if a different layout might also be called for that would allow him to match up to the lanes better.

    If looking at a new ball IMO I might would look at a Asym. of some type it might help him turn the corner a little better for him with the proper layout for his spec's.
    Last edited by bowl1820; 10-22-2020 at 11:43 AM.

    Right handed Stroker, high track ,about 13 degree axis tilt. PAP is located 5 9/16” over 1 3/4” up.Speed ave. about 14 mph at the pins. Medium rev’s.High Game 300, High series 798

    "Adjust too soon and maybe ruin one frame, adjust too late and ruin a game."

  3. #3

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    My straight ball speed is up to 15 mph; however, when I throw a reactive ball, it's speed is usually around 11.5 to 12 mph. I shoot most all spares using either a plastic or my Storm Mix urethane ball.

    The best thing to do is to break your wrist back a bit on all spare shots and keep your hand behind the ball. Keep the shot straight as you can. I've found that by rolling the ball near to the 3rd arrow I do well all the way from the 10-pin to the 7-pin just by adjusting my starting position. I continue to walk straight to the foul line.

    I have a pretty good idea where all my reactive balls do well on a fresh house shot. During warm up for league I determine where to start play and which ball to use as best I can as the lanes vary a bit from week to week.

    I've been aiming at the dots and the arrows for quite some time; however, I've found that by targeting farther down the lane works quite well. This technique might not be good with poor eyesight.

    I began with my Hy-Road recently and began standing on board 25 and target board 5 about half way down the lane. I kept that target and made a move to board 27 and finally to board 28 in game 3. If it weren't for four splits in game 2, I would have had a pretty good series.

    Your buddy should try the broken wrist attack on the spares. Next try targeting farther down the lane and get the ball out to the right a bit to belly the ball into the pocket to get a larger angle of attack. The ball will get into a roll to take out 5-pin and 8-pin while the ball takes out the 9.

    That Roto Grip Hustle Ink is a very good ball and has good length. The infused ball will pick up too early for such a low ball speed. He needs a ball which gets down the lane farther to make its move to the pocket. Hope this helps...
    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by bowl1820; 10-22-2020 at 01:12 PM. Reason: Format change for Readability

  4. #4
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    The bigger question is, has he specifically requested help or is this attempt to help him something that the teammates are doing without him specifically asking for help? It is gracious of you to ask around on how he might be helped, but if he hasn't asked for help it may not be well received.

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    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryster View Post
    The bigger question is, has he specifically requested help or is this attempt to help him something that the teammates are doing without him specifically asking for help? It is gracious of you to ask around on how he might be helped, but if he hasn't asked for help it may not be well received.
    It's kind've a "in between".

    Like...a teammate that sits at the table all night asking what they are doing wrong and saying how they should just quit and whining and being all miserable. But, when you try to suggest something, they kind've ignore it or try something else.

    I asked him at the end of last week if he was okay with me asking someone. I figured maybe RobLV had a pointer or two for someone that has lost some speed due to injury. Other than that...I mean, even if I was a much higher average bowler...I don't think this guy is really that "coachable". I thought if it was a "pointer or two" he might take it and try it and maybe it would work. Then, he'd be happier and I wouldn't have to listen to him whine all night. Win win.

    But, did he go around the table and ask everybody to give him bowling advice? No. I don't know any bowlers that do that. Unless you're at a Pro Am or something. And there, most bowlers are afraid to ask.
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Brunswick Aura Mystic; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Brunswick Vintage Gold Rhino Pro; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
    USBC#: 8259-59071; USBC Sanctioned Average = 182; Lifetime Average = 170;
    Ball Speed: 15.7mph; Rev. Rate: 240rpm || High Game (sanc.) = 300 (268); High Series (sanc.) = 725 (689); Clean Games: 152

    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
    It's kind've a "in between".

    Like...a teammate that sits at the table all night asking what they are doing wrong and saying how they should just quit and whining and being all miserable. But, when you try to suggest something, they kind've ignore it or try something else.

    I asked him at the end of last week if he was okay with me asking someone. I figured maybe RobLV had a pointer or two for someone that has lost some speed due to injury. Other than that...I mean, even if I was a much higher average bowler...I don't think this guy is really that "coachable". I thought if it was a "pointer or two" he might take it and try it and maybe it would work. Then, he'd be happier and I wouldn't have to listen to him whine all night. Win win.

    But, did he go around the table and ask everybody to give him bowling advice? No. I don't know any bowlers that do that. Unless you're at a Pro Am or something. And there, most bowlers are afraid to ask.
    There are [many] bowlers I have bowled with that are the same. They spend the entire night questioning why they are there, what they should do differently, if they should even bother coming back, etc. They analyze every shot, every release, every frame, memorize their leaves/spares, etc. Most bowlers do that to one degree or another. It is kind of the nature of the game. When you offer them advice, they might try it for one or two shots. If they don't get a strike, they will say "well, thanks a lot! that didn't work and just made my score worse" or some other kind of comment. Then they go right back to doing what they were doing before, which also wasn't working. It is a vicious cycle.

    That is why I do not offer advice to anyone anymore, even if they say something like "hey, do you think there is something different I should try? I am leaving a lot of corner pins!" I usually just tell them to "keep doing what you are doing...you are hitting the pocket" just to satisfy them. People want immediate results, and many times that isn't realistic.

    Sometimes I will say something to myself out loud like "Man, I need to figure something out quick!" and someone might start to offer some sort of advice. I just ignore them because I wasn't literally asking for anyone's help...I was just venting to myself and trying to motivate myself.

  7. #7

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    As you surmised, I have had considerable experience in solving bowling problems resulting from lack of speed as a result of injury. In my own case, it's been degenerative bone disease that has knocked my speed down to under 11 mph. I have solved this by building an arsenal of very non-aggressive bowling balls, either in terms of core, cover, or both. In some cases I've also drilled the balls with a very long pin to PAP distance... 6.5 inches or more.

    My current arsenal consists of three balls, all with very high RG's: Brunswick Twist (pearl), RG 2.60 and an entry level reactive cover, Roto Grip Wild Streak, RG 2.61 with an aggressive reactive cover, and the original Brunswick BTU, RG 2.56 with a very non-aggressive cover. The Twist and Wild Streak are both drilled very weak, while the BTU has a more aggressive layout to compensate for the weak cover.

    Right now with the covid regulations at Red Rock, I am bowling in two leagues. In both leagues we bowl with one team on a single lane with a vacant lane on each side of us. I have found that bowling on one lane with one other right hander on the lane is very challenging and that adjustments depend primarily on who the other right hander is. Last Tuesday, where I bowl with a lefty and a high rev right hander who likes to hook the lane, I used the BTU for all three games playing outside my cranker partner. I shot 191-183-191. On Thursday, I bowled a make up session with my doubles partner. As he likes to play the track area, I started outside with the BTU for a 196. Then I ran into his line and tanked a 156, so I changed to the Wild Streak, moved 13 left with my feet and 7 left with my eyes (at the arrows) and shot 247. In order to make the big move left, my speed slowed from about 11 mph to just over 9 mph, but I had a very, very good look and a load of carry.

    Hope some of this helps your friend.

  8. #8
    Cranker classygranny's Avatar
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    After my elbow surgery, and loss of speed, as well as lowering weight in balls, I felt i wasn't as competitive and resorted to "fun" bowling. Wasn't me. Worked with a coach and tweaked a few things on my already good game, but age and injury does take its toll on good things.

    Found that if I pressured myself I tensed up and never threw a good ball. Asked my teammates NOT to say things I felt pressured by, ie; need a strike, get good count, etc. Now, we just try and be positive. Watch your speed, stay with the ball, bend your knee (all seniors have this issue). So, I guess, what I'm saying is try and use conversation to steer away from the "competitive edge" that he seems to have lost....as soon as he relaxes, the competitive games will come back.

    Also, my coach and I have worked on finger placement - especially, the index finger. It has a lot to do with how the ball drives through the pocket, or drives too much through the pocket. While I do believe women have the advantage of this technique over men, it may be worth just mentioning. If I think a teammate might do well by a suggestion, I usually word it in a way that I'm thinking about it for myself...ie, geez, I guess I need to get the ball out in front of me a bit more. Just them hearing me say it will make them, consciously or subconsciously, put it out there to think about. So, for instance, you say: "man, I just need to relax and let the ball do the work" may take his edge off, so the carry might be there.

    When competitive type bowlers "try" to hard, they usually end up using too much muscle - bowling balls know that for some reason, and they don't react quite the way we intended.
    Last edited by classygranny; 10-25-2020 at 02:55 PM.
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  9. #9
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryster View Post
    ...That is why I do not offer advice to anyone anymore, even if they say something like "hey, do you think there is something different I should try? I am leaving a lot of corner pins!"...
    No, I get what you're saying. I will say, that there is a trade-off with getting on a more competitive team. When I was bowling in "fun leagues"...it was harder on me to read off other bowlers and make adjustments and things...because people were bowling with house balls and averaging 99-126. I'd have to play "games within games" just to keep myself focused and everyone thought I was "taking things too seriously".

    The downside to a more competitive team is, when they aren't bowling well...they really behave like children. Sure, I get mad at myself like everyone else. If it's a disastrous game...like 120s-140s...I've even been known to take a little walk. And sure, I might punch a table or kick my roller bag (although, I try not to kick things...I don't need to break any of my equipment nor my body parts...plus you look like a jack&$$). But, it takes a really, really bad night for me to get to the point where I start telling my teammates a sob story about quitting. Meanwhile, my teammates...it's like an every night kind've deal. If they ain't rolling over 180...every game...they are so upset that you can't talk to them. One is saying he ain't bowling at this center anymore and the other is just pouting and then you got THIS guy...who swore he'd be fine with coming back with a lower average and just having fun...but every shot...EVERY shot...he's complaining that he "can't figure it out" and "he's done" and "it's no use", etc... It really makes me miss the old days...when the 99 average bowler would be insanely happy every time she got a mark.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    As you surmised, I have had considerable experience in solving bowling problems resulting from lack of speed as a result of injury.
    . Yup, thats why I thought you might have a pointer or three.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    I have solved this by building an arsenal of very non-aggressive bowling balls, either in terms of core, cover, or both. In some cases I've also drilled the balls with a very long pin to PAP distance... 6.5 inches or more.
    See, I think thats what he started doing as well. If you look at his arsenal (in OP), a Hustle Solid has a 2.53 with a 1500 polished surface. The Honey Badger Infused has a whopping 2.57 RG that is 1000 matte and a Hybrid cover...but 30% urethane. So, he definitely has embraced an arsenal that goes longer...even using plastic at times...to compensate for his lower speed. The "problem" (as I've observed it) is the ball deflects WELL right of the center of the pin deck (between 8 and 9). That tells me that whatever he is using...has lost it's energy and carrying capacity by the time it makes contact with the pocket. Is that an accurate assumption (or at least one possibility)? If so, how can balls that weak...be burning up that bad at 9-12mph? To answer my own question...I think Rob is going to say the teammate needs to move further inside...but only because A) I know Rob and B) I can't think of another physical (i.e. 'laws of') way of solving this problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    On Thursday, I bowled a make up session with my doubles partner. As he likes to play the track area, I started outside with the BTU for a 196. Then I ran into his line and tanked a 156, so I changed to the Wild Streak, moved 13 left with my feet and 7 left with my eyes (at the arrows) and shot 247. In order to make the big move left, my speed slowed from about 11 mph to just over 9 mph, but I had a very, very good look and a load of carry.

    Hope some of this helps your friend.
    So, 'perhaps' a piece of advice for my teammate might be to start out with the Honey Badger (kinda like the BTU) right of us guys throwing up the track...see if he can play out there at 11-12mph. As soon as he gets near our track, he makes a 7/13 move left and switches to the Hustle Solid...maybe moves up a foot in his approach to take some speed off...gets it down to 9-10mph? Might take some practice and fine tuning...but I can see how that could solve his problem.

    It might also explain what I'm observing. If he's running into our "track"...then even his weaker equipment is burning up...because it's in contact with the lane so long at that lower speed. He HAS to find oil...but since we're all moving slightly left as the night wears on...him moving a little bit isn't enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by classygranny View Post
    Asked my teammates NOT to say things I felt pressured by, ie; need a strike, get good count, etc. Now, we just try and be positive. Watch your speed, stay with the ball, bend your knee (all seniors have this issue). So, I guess, what I'm saying is try and use conversation to steer away from the "competitive edge" that he seems to have lost....as soon as he relaxes, the competitive games will come back.
    This one has been "tricky". We definitely haven't put any pressure on him...and whenever he gets upset we all have tried to say things like, "no prob", "walk it off", "it's all good", "just have fun"...stuff like that. Because, we have him on the team knowing that he's not the 200 average bowler he used to be and we're fine with that.

    The "trick" is, he's not fine with that. It's kinda like when I'd get a 179 in a "fun league" and I'd be upset and somebody would say, "don't be mad, that's way better than my 114!" I mean, I get what they are saying and understand they are trying to be supportive...but they bowl a 114 because they don't care. I bowled 3-4 times a week and spent thousands of dollars a year on lessons and equipment because I wanted to be better...not "better than 114". So, we're trying not to put any pressure on him...but we can't keep him from pressuring himself (unfortunately).

    Quote Originally Posted by classygranny View Post
    Also, my coach and I have worked on finger placement - especially, the index finger. It has a lot to do with how the ball drives through the pocket, or drives too much through the pocket....When competitive type bowlers "try" to hard, they usually end up using too much muscle - bowling balls know that for some reason, and they don't react quite the way we intended.
    I'll mention it to him. I know I've been trying to work on "relaxing" myself. Unfortunately, I'll get a line to the pocket...then throw a really nice, relaxed shot...and it'll hook through the nose. Thats how much difference relaxation makes...you can literally get a ball to hook 2 boards just by relaxing. Then I move inside, DON'T relax on the next shot...and disaster. So, I need to work on "consistently" relaxing.

    Thanks All! Good input.
    Last edited by Aslan; 10-26-2020 at 01:55 PM.
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Brunswick Aura Mystic; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Brunswick Vintage Gold Rhino Pro; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
    USBC#: 8259-59071; USBC Sanctioned Average = 182; Lifetime Average = 170;
    Ball Speed: 15.7mph; Rev. Rate: 240rpm || High Game (sanc.) = 300 (268); High Series (sanc.) = 725 (689); Clean Games: 152

    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

  10. #10

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    Classy, I recall you having difficulties a ways back in time. Your post on what you learned is excellent IMHO. I do some finger dancing and lately what I've been doing is moving my targeting up and down the lane as well as slight changes laterally. I've noticed that by moving the target down farther on the lane my loft distance changes a bit. Not drastically though. I tend to get it out near to a foot most all the time which I believe helps the ball get into a roll earlier than I used to when my speed was several mph higher years ago. It's nice to see the motion on the backend.

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