One of my students came to me and asked why he bowls
good some days and bad others? He said:
"Yesterday I bowled a 200, 225, 207. today I bowled a 147, 174, 160. I am either good or bad, not in between. out of all of the sports I have ever played, bowling is the hardest to be consistent at. it is a constant struggle. I know, I know, just take lessons. but unless you have a coach watching every ball you throw, how do you know what you did wrong ? it could be a dozen different things. it is way more complex, than I ever imagined it would be. maybe I am over complicating things and I need to simplify my game, I don't know. but at this point, I am overwhelmed."
My response is:
I assume you were practicing when you bowled both sets. Here is what I was told to do in practice. I was told to practice the things I am not so good at. In other words if my "A" game is down and in practice swinging the ball for a game or so, then practice playing deep inside (whether the shot is there or not) for a game or so. The object of practicing lines other than my "A" line was to insure I would be able to play them comfortably and accurately in case I ran into a condition that required me to play those shots. I also learned to play a game or two of shooting spares only that I am weak on.
When I practice I am not concerned at all about the score, I am more concerned with my form, accuracy, ball speed, etc. I am concerned with improving the things I am bad at so I can score on any condition because in my definition that is what a good bowler can do. I am not saying I am good, I am just sharing some tips that were passed on to me that have improved my game.
If this is a new student I would ask:
The first question I should ask is "How long have you been bowling"?
The next question is "What were the lane conditions like yesterday (fresh oil? bowled on by others for awhile?) vs. today?"
Next question: "What TIME OF DAY did you bowl yesterday? today?"
Next: "Did you eat anything before you bowled yesterday? today?"
Next: "What was your FRAME OF MIND (calm? relaxed? anxious? fearful?) yesterday? today?"
Next: "What was your PHYSICAL STATE (tired? sore? tense? stiff joints? feeling real good?) yesterday? today?)
There are many more questions I suppose I could ask, but I think you might be getting the idea of what I'm trying to do. :)
To conclude: "Past performance is no indication/guarantee of what you'll do TODAY!" in other words, what you experienced isn't out of the ordinary - we ALL have our "kick-ass" days and we all have "can't-hit-the-broad- side-of-a-head-pin" days and we have the "in-between" days. Yes, bowling is a complex physical AND MENTAL sport. To excel (or at least, be consistent), you need to "understand yourself", both physically and mentally.
Please accept my suggestion of Eric Miller's book, "The Ultimate Bowling Guide". I can guarantee that after going through it (Important: read it SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY! ; You'll learn something about yourself and, if you're open to what is in the book, you'll start seeing more overall consistency in your bowling (i.e., not so many "peaks" and "valleys") if you implement the tips suggestions found in the book.
I hope this helps a little. :)
Tim's Bowling Guides
Which is better, throwing strikes or picking up spares?
What is a good bowling ball fit?
Tips on Controlling Yourself From Squeezing the Bowling Ball
The Right Bowling Ball Approach
What Bowling ball To Throw And Why?
Bowling Tournaments - The carry you need to get yourself over the top
Best Way to Play a Flat Pattern in Bowling?
How to Control your Bowling Ball Speed
What Weight Ball? And Could 14LBs Be Your "Sweet Spot"?
Hot Water Bowling Ball Soak
Backwards Bowling - This Could Actually be Efficient!
Best Bowling Shoes for both Men and Women
Setting Your Specific Bowling Goals
Become a better bowler - A step up from a newbie
How can I increase my Bowling Ball Speed?
How People Become Good at Bowling When it Costs So Much Per Game?
What Exercises are Good for Improving your Bowling?
Bowling Sideways - Bad.
Is Freezing The Bowling Ball Bad?
Bowl Good Some days and Bad Others, Why?
Is Bowling a Luck Sport?