Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pockets Needed

This is not standard BM fare for me, as it is about the personal struggles in my game, but I am struggling with something and felt the need to get it out. I thought maybe somebody out there in the void could relate.

I seem to have developed a slight pocket problem. The problem is that I can't find it, and it is driving me crazy. I change starting position and target, but nothing seems to work. Here is a short history the development of this problem.

I taught myself how to throw a hook. This happened about a year a ago. Unfortunately, I taught myself incorrectly. At first my ball had back spin in addition to side spin. Then, I got the ball to spin at more or less a 90º angle to the lane axis. One day, when I was doing a little practice, our local hot shot, Adam, saw me throwing this crazy shot, and decided to give me a little instruction. It was a shot I had actually mastered fairly well, but it did not have a lot of break to it. He showed me how simple it was to throw a hook correctly.

Well, it took me a long time to break those bad habits, but I have largely done it. I am now at the point where I throw a pretty decent hook about 95% of the time and revert to the old way very rarely. As my hook has evolved, I have gained more and more break on the ball. I am happy with its current state.

Anyway, now that I have this nice action on the ball, I can't seem to find the pocket. I have solved one problem only to create another. Go figure. Now, I seem to be left of the head pin, either right on it, thus my split problem, or beyond it. When I get a strike, which is rare , it seems to be a brooklyn.

I take the standard recommended medications. I move my feet left. I move my target right. Here's what happens. If I start the ball further to the right, it will either go into the gutter, or stay well right of the pocket. If I readjust to try to fix this, I'm back on the left side. Those seem to be my choices, to throw a brooklyn, or to come in around the 6 pin.

Honestly, I think the problem is that I find it very uncomfortable to let the ball get near the gutter before bringing it back toward the middle. I think I have some mental block against it. Or maybe I have to put a little more speed on the ball. Whatever it is, I would like to figure it out soon because I can't seem to get double digit strikes in a series anymore, and thus my scores are stuck in the 130's-150's.

3 comments:

  1. I was having somewhat similar struggle in finding the pocket and hitting hard up until this past week. My problem: Getting my body too high during delivery. Basically, I needed to get down and keep a good knee bend.

    Whenever your shot is for crap, my advice is to check the primary aspects of delivery. The approach, the release, and the timing...there is a flaw somewhere.

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  2. Thanks Khrog. I have never even thought about my lower body during delivery. I am usually obsessing over what's going on with my hand. I like the idea of checking timing, too.

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  3. Took me about 3 weeks to figure it out so don't beat yourself up. Staying down increases leverage for your shoulder and smooths out the release in my experience given that your timing(shoulder rotation has the ball parallel with your body as you begin releasing the ball) is correct.

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