Last issue we discussed customizing your ball surface, this week we will cover adjusting to different lane conditions.
One of the biggest differences I see between professionals and really good amateur players is the ability to adjust and read lane conditions quickly.
In most league situations the house shot is usually around the second arrow with more oil towards the middle of the lane. In bowling you want to play in an area of the lane that is most forgiving to maximize your scoring potential. If the area right of second arrow is very dry, you want to move a little left (for righthanders) or more to the right (for lefthanders); this will enable you to set your ball down where there is more lane conditioner (oil), and catch the dry area a little later. What you are looking for is a little mistake area to the right and to the left.
If you must be perfect and have only one board (at the target area) you probably are lined up improperly or may have chosen the wrong piece of equipment. Once you have selected a ball that gives you the kind of reaction you are looking for, remember you will have to move as your league session progresses. Try to always follow the lane conditioner (oil line).
Example: First game you are standing on the 20 board and your target is the second arrow, you're hitting the pocket and then around the middle of the first game you start going high on the head pin. Adjustment: Make a 2-1 move left (for righthanders) two boards with your feet and 1 board with your target. Remember to always move in the direction that you are missing the pocket. If your ball is not getting up to the pocket, move to the right and if you are missing the pocket to the left, move to the left (for righthanders).
Today the reactive resin and particle shell balls have such aggressive shells that they make the lanes change more rapidly as a result you may have to make a lot of adjustments during a league session.
Learn to get comfortable with playing different angles. A good bowler should be able to play as deep as 4th and sometimes 5th arrow and also be able to play outside the first arrow. Most league conditions won't require these extreme angles but the more tournament play you compete in the more you will be required to play these angles.