This article, from the April 2006 issue of The Foundation's (Kegel) The Cornerstone Newsletter, discusses general attributes of players and encourages you to reflect on what type of player you are....Know your own game! How well rounded are you?
Keys to Success: Know Your Game
The Foundation (Kegel), The Cornerstone, April 2006
(* Used With Permission *)
A quick review of what we feel are the “Keys to Success”, are: Mental Game, Physical Game, Lining-Up, Adjustments, Equipment and Spares. As mentioned earlier in this series, they are listed in no particular order, as the importance of “each”, are equally shared.
We kicked-off this series in February and talked about: Equipment. Last month (March, 2006) we talked about the importance of finding a good “ball driller” and “making spares”.
Before going into the subjects of: “Lining-Up” and “Making Adjustments”, we will first need to do some further explaining, as these two areas are rather advanced and technical.
Keep in mind that each and every “successful” Professional Bowler (both men and women) has bowled tens of thousands of games to advance to the level that they have achieved. With all of those games bowled, they have also established what “TYPE” of bowler that they are. In today’s game, there are basically 6-types of players, and they are: A).Straight. B).Tweener. C).Stroker. D).Power. E).Cranker. F).Boomer.
A trained eye can identify what “type” of a player that they are watching after witnessing just a very few shots. The determining “factor” in knowing one’s “Style” (or, type of game), are the amount of boards that a player covers from his “Lay-Down” spot near the Foul-Line in the heads, to the Arrows, at the 16-17 foot mark. This is commonly referred to, as: “Head Belly”.
A Straight Player covers 1-2 boards.A Tweener covers 2-3 boards.A Stroker covers 3-4 boards.A Power Player covers 4-5 boards.A Cranker covers 5-6 boards.A Boomer covers 6-7 boards. *(This “style” is NOT recommended).
(*One reason that this style is NOT recommended is that the head area (from foul-line – arrows) in most bowling centers is the most worn and abused part of the lane. Also, crossing too many boards in this area can lead to inconsistency and a player’s accuracy is usually lost).
Once a player knows what “type” or “style” he has developed, it is important that the player stays in their particular game, or “comfort zone”. Unless a player has dedicated countless hours, days, weeks, months (and, in some cases years), developing more than one particular “style”, it is literally impossible for that player to suddenly “change their game” on the spur of the moment. An extreme example of that would be for a player like Ernie Schlegel (a straight player) to try to play a “line” or “angle” that a player like Robert Smith (a cranker), would be playing.
Know “YOUR” Game
Knowing your exact “head belly”, is extremely crucial when it comes to ‘Lining-Up’ and making ‘Adjustments’. The example that was used was obviously an exaggerated one. But, there are numerous examples of each different “style” that can be noted. To this day (and over the years) there are only a small handful of TOP PLAYERS in the world that possess (or have possessed) more than “ONE” world-class, championship type GAME.
*A typical scratch bowler that bowls in a scratch league is capable of maintaining a high average (220-240) in his home bowling center on an easy “House Condition”. These players usually have one (1) type of “style” (game) and are extremely limited to what they can do.
**A top Regional Pro is capable of maintaining a high average (200-220) over a variety of tournament conditions. These players usually have “one” solid game
***A typical Touring Player is capable of maintaining a high average (200-220) over a variety of Tour conditions. These players usually can do more than one thing with their games and are fairly versatile.
****A very successful Touring Player can easily go from his “A”-game to his “B”-game and is comfortable doing that. They are usually a Champion with a title or two.
***** The Hall of Fame players and multiple champions can (and could) do 2 or 3 things comfortably with mixing their styles based on the environment. They are well practiced and possess the knowledge needed to succeed.
The SUPER STARS can (could) do it all. The ALL-TIME GREATS (They are listed in no particular order), are: Earl Anthony, Mark Roth, Walter Ray Williams, Jr., Mike Aulby, Don Johnson, Carmen Salvino, Norm Duke, Dick Weber, Pete Weber, Parker Bohn III, Wayne Webb, Brian Voss, Billy Hardwick, Jim Godman, Marshall Holman, Dave Davis, Mike Durbin, Don Carter, Barry Asher, Harry Smith, Glenn Allison, Dick Ritger, Dave Soutar, Bill Lillard, Ned Day. These were “the best of the best”.
They can (could) play anywhere on the lanes and intermingle their games from “straight” to “power” at any time because of their knowledge, accuracy, experience and ability to go from one “type of game” to another. WHY? Because they know (knew) how to ‘Line-Up’ and ‘Adjust’.