Practice Video Upload

Good evening Nickel Nation, hope this weekend is treating you well so far!

I figured out how to edit my practice video on my phone and got that uploaded to YouTube. Sorry about the lack of transitions, music, or effects. Gonna look into a good easy-to-use video editor and hopefully get good at making some awesome videos for you all!

So, as it says in the video description, I’m using my 900 Global Boost Hybrid (pin down) and my Respect Solid (pin up). Neither of these balls are in my typical tournament arsenal and I thought it would be good to practice with equipment that I’m not entirely comfortable with. This video is in no way a ball review and certainly not designed to glamorize the equipment or myself. That being said, these balls do roll extremely well, they’re just more condition specific for me which is why I don’t always take them everywhere. But again, this video is just a companion to this blog to show how my practices go and what I work on.

During this practice, I was strictly working on my lines and trying to keep my walk and my swing going forward without allowing my shoulders to rotate too too open. In the video, if you pay attention to my second step, you’ll notice that when my foot opens to the right, my hips and shoulders open up, my swing goes behind my back, and in return, I over rotate at release and my follow through goes to the left of my head. Not an extremely bad thing as you’ll see plenty of PBA pros with this type of follow through but they are doing it on purpose and not as a result of an early, over-rotation of the release. You’ll see that when my second step is straight and right in front of my left foot, it keeps my hips and swing straight, and it puts me in a much better position at release with my elbow in and my follow through going directly to my breakpoint. This also makes me roll through the ball a lot better, raises my track closer to my fingers and thumb, and creates a much more powerful bowling ball for me personally. Not something that completely works for everyone but with my string-bean body type, I have to keep my lines under control or else I will just spray shots all over the lane and then get frustrated when I pure one for 9.

Decided that I will bowl the sweeper tomorrow morning because I want a good house shot tune-up for Amarillo next week with Igor. I’ll let you all know how that goes. Right now, since Scotty is killing it on the house china with his IQ30 at 1500 grit, I figured I would try my Black Ops and X at similar surface and see if I can get a somewhat decent look tomorrow. Would really be happy with a 220+ average and 90% pocket percentage!

Anyways, Nation, hope you learn something from the video, let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns! Until next time, keep dropping those nickels!

-DrPankl

 

That Friday Grind

Nickel Nation, how’s it going on this glorious Friday?!

Had a great practice this morning with Igor! Been struggling as always with feel and getting my touch back so I went back to basics and worked strictly on my lines. I always have a bad habit of trying to cheat my armswing by opening up early and rotating my shoulders. It causes me to over rotate on the release and in turn spin around the ball instead roll through it. Mike Miller and I have put a ton of time into my lines and it’s always the first thing I go back to cheating on. So a good 2 hours of strictly line time felt pretty great. Straight walk and straight swing opens up my game to every possibility on the lanes. From the right starting point and clean lines, I have no problem playing dead up the twig or swinging the entire lane from in front of the ball return.

I’m super stoked about today’s practice and can’t wait to get back to it hopefully tomorrow. Probably gonna bowl a New Mexico Open sweeper on Sunday even though I plan on winning a spot through my Sunday night sport league.

Also planned on getting a video of today’s practice uploaded with this post but the app I use on my phone isn’t working the way I want it to so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Until then, keep dropping those nickels!

-DrPankl

Good luck to the Rio Rancho High School bowling team tomorrow at Nationals!

It’s Raining Billz!!!!

Yo yo yo what’s up there Nickel Nation?!

Breaking news, Scott Wiley (TeamNickel Igor) has just shot his second 300 in less than a week subbing in a league as I write this! Igor is absolutely on fire lately! Congrats buddy! Looks like he was using his IQ30 again. I believe someone caught a video of it so I’ll try to get that posted as soon as I get my hands on it.

It’s been a few days since I’ve blogged and I apologize. It’s been pretty crazy busy in the lab and I’ve been putting in 12 hour work days which includes 2 lessons yesterday and 2 lessons today.

Got our Rio Rancho High School kids safely to Fort Lauderdale for the high school national tournament and they start competition Saturday with singles and Sunday with doubles. Wish I could be out there with them, I have very fond memories of Fort Lauderdale when I was out there for Jr Gold back in the day. It was the only Jr Gold cut that I ever made and I got to cross with John Sczerbinski. I believe I actually qualified higher than he did, but I bowled horrible in semi’s and he went on and bowled like John Sczerbinski does.

Actually got in a little practice sesh this morning but I was exhausted and didn’t get too too much accomplished. What’s frustrating is that if I miss even a single day of bowling, my feel and touch is completely thrown off. This is really frustrating for me because I’ve always considered myself a great feel player but it takes so much to get myself into the right feel. I’ve been told countless times that it’s just in my head and I don’t throw the ball any different but to me I can feel every difference and it drives me INSANE! UGH

But gonna work on it tomorrow till I post every shot and it feels like butter off of my hand. Only a week until me and Igor go try to wreck Amarillo and take home 3-G’s. (The money, not the shoes, I’m sponsored by 3G so I’ve already got the shoes! …see what I did there?! Sorry, I’m done!) Anyway, the tournament is on their house shot which typically is not my favorite as I’ve blogged about before, but since Igor is on such a tear lately, as long as I can average around 220+ I think we have a great great great chance at taking home that gold. Looking to do some behind the scenes vlogging too so make sure you look out for that on my new youtube page billygrantbowling.

I’m gonna go hit the sack since it’s now 1am as I edit this and gonna meet Igor at 11 for our sesh. So until next time, keep dropping those nickels! Peace!

-DrPankl

 

Mellow Monday

Hey keglers, what’s up and hope this Monday has treated you well.

Not a ton to report today as it was filled mostly with work in The Lab trying to get Rio Rancho High School ready for the national tournament. They leave for Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Wednesday and it’s been a never ending stream of drilling, baking, and resurfacing.

Decided not to practice this morning, woke up early and felt like death and decided to sleep in. Been only getting 4-6 hours of sleep the last four nights in a row and it’s started to take its toll. All of the successful self help type of guru’s say that 8 hours is a must, so I need to figure out how to make that necessary. Feel like a bum because I haven’t practiced and haven’t gotten my butt in the gym. But hopefully by telling all of you how much of a slacker I am, it’ll give me motivation to make sure I stay true to my word.

To try to make up for the lack of work, I put together a small video of some shots of me throwing the 900 Global Special Ops, Inception, and Drift that I’ll link to below. Tomorrow I have another lesson with my Cibola High School bowler and work after. Not sure yet if I’ll spend the morning doing much needed shopping for essentials or go in and practice beforehand. Need to shop but really want to be solid for the upcoming string of 3 tournaments in a row in August. Going to Amarillo with Igor for doubles, then the New Mexico Open, followed by a PBA regional in Mesa, Arizona the week after. Guess if I get up early enough, I can accomplish shopping and practice. Sounds like a plan!

That’s it for today! Until next time, keep dropping those nickels! G’bye!

TeamNickel on the Board!

Billy USBC meeting
DrPankl at the USBC association meeting

Yo keglers, it’s Sunday and today was successful for TeamNickel. Igor and I went off to the local USBC association meeting where Scotty was running for a local board position. Aaaaannnnnnd not only did he he get voted in for a 3 year term, but he was also nominated and voted in to be a representative for the National USBC meeting in Las Vegas next year! Congrats, Brotha, TeamNickel pushing the sport of bowling forward!

Had a celebration lunch and then off to my Sunday sport league where we’re currently bowling on the 45ft WTBA Rome pattern. I bowled fairly awful and wasn’t gonna even share this but I know that I always learn more from my failures than successes. I shot 750 for 4 but had a 73% pocket percentage. My carry was only 66% which says that I wasn’t matched up very well. The only ball that looked like I could hit the pocket with was my Dream Big but I guess I didn’t have the right surface to carry well. On top of that, I flagged 4 single pins, a 3,6,10 and a 3,6,9,10!! (3-10s and 1-7 pin) This is extremely disturbing to me since I’ve been so pure on my spare shooting the last couple of months. But the way that I look at it, I’ve been changing some things in my game recently – my timing, my feel, my balance.. So I’ve been so in tune to my old semi-reckless ‘feel’ that now everything feels completely different and somewhat awkward. On the plus side, my good shots felt and looked AMAZING. But remember, It’s not about making your good shots strike, It’s about making your bad shots be close! So I’ve got some work to do but overall, I’m still really positive about the direction my game is going. And even though I only won 2 and 1/2 games tonight, I actually picked up a point on 2nd place in the league so I’m in good position to win that paid entry into the New Mexico Open.

That’s about it, pretty good day all-in-all, back to the lab tomorrow. Rio high school leaves for Nationals Wednesday so gotta do some final preps to make sure they stomp on some other High School teams. Practice in the AM, gotta be ready for Amarillo in a few weeks.

Until next time, keep dropping those nickels! G’bye!

edit: I’d also like to run for USBC Board of Directors but don’t know that I can commit the appropriate amount of time while competing as a rookie on the PBA Tour as well as being an assistant coach for Cibola High School and a guest coach for the University of New Mexico bowling team. If, after Igor’s first year, it looks like it’s do-able then I’ll run next year!

Igor’s YouTube Upload

Good afternoon keglers!

Just a small update today. Uploaded Scott’s final shot of his 300 yesterday. He was using his Storm IQ30 which he drilled himself in the lab. Igor is a Vise staff member and was using the Interchangeable Thumb system. His IQ was drilled 55x4x35 and he had his surface at 1500 dull.

That’s about it for today, gonna head home and enjoy the rest of my Saturday. Back at it tomorrow night for the Sunday Sport league. I’m leading by half a point with only a couple weeks left. Gotta stay on top to win a spot in the New Mexico Open! Also have the annual local USBC meeting tomorrow where Igor will be running for a board position. I’ll keep you all updated on that, hopefully good things coming.

Until then, keep dropping those nickels! G’bye!

-Dr

 

Team Nickel 300!!!

What’s up Keglers and happy Friday!

Today was spent on the golf course with Scotty (TeamNickel Igor) and Josh (TeamNickel Bubbles) followed with some ball drilling in the Lab. Rio Rancho High School won this year’s New Mexico State Championship and in doing so qualified to bowl Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale Florida in a couple of weeks. So it’s been my job to make sure that their equipment is ready to enable them to compete at the highest high school level. I love bowling tournaments and competing but it’s also rewarding to see others succeed with equipment that I’ve drilled for them.

But, the real story of today was TeamNickel’s Igor (Scott Wiley) not only dropping a nickel or two, but shooting BILLZ!!! Huge congrats to my man Scotty on his 300! His first sanctioned as an adult. He’s been knocking on that door for months now with a few close calls and finally broke that wall with a perfect perfecto! I’ll be uploading the video of his final shot most likely tomorrow with some more info on ball, layout, surface and series.

That’s about it for me today, more work in the laboratory tomorrow and maybe some practice afterwards if I’m feeling frisky. No pain in the knee again today, thank God, so hopefully it’s on the mend.

Until then, keep dropping those nickels (and billz)!!! G’bye!

-TeamNickel DrPankl

(YEAH SCOTTY!!!!!!)

 

 

 

Progress!

What it do, Keglers?!

Super excited to write this today because it was a very successful day bowling wise and it was all pain free! I have no idea why but my knee stopped hurting last night and I woke up today and felt great even through two practice sessions! Went to twirl the tater out at Silva Lanes in ABQ where they filmed some scenes for the show Breaking Bad. (It was a bingo parlor in the show and the word bingo can still be seen on the side of the building!) The goal for today was to be more consistent with my delivery and bring my pitiful pocket percentage up higher. I brought my 900 Global Inception, Chemical X, Special Ops, and Drift.

Bowling on a house shot so I expected to score higher and therefore hit the pocket a lot more. The numbers looked like this: 4 games shot 889.  Pocket percentage as expected went up to 80%. Struck 29 times for 78%. Flagged one freaking 10 pin which really pissed me off so my non-split spare percentage was 91%. One pocket 7-10 and 2 other splits for a 10% open frame clip. So, all in all, it was a pretty good little sesh and I’m happy with my higher pocket percentage. I have to get that closer to 90% on every pattern to compete with the big dog pros so I need even more consistency with my shot making but headed there!

After the “bingo parlor” we headed back to the home house to put in some work in my pro shop “the laboratory” before heading back out onto the lanes for another practice round with a good friend that I’ve been trying to help get more revs and consistent power. TeamNickel Papa T showed me an article that brought up some great points and reminded me of some things that should help me with my consistency. It talked about focusing on maintaining pressure on the V between your pointer and middle finger all the way through the swing. Then at release, making sure that you are rotating your hand THROUGH the ball and not necessarily around the ball. Stuff that I have known forever but makes a huge difference when you actually go back to the roots and practice it. The article also talked about spine tilt and how it’s important in today’s modern game. I realized that in my setup, I’ve been too far upright and it makes it extremely difficult to maintain a balanced spine tilt. Decided to try getting just a little bit more forward lean in my setup and it made a world of difference! Just that little move along with focusing on my grip pressure and I was posting every single shot. Pretty stoked and can’t wait to keep moving forward.

Super long day, out of the apartment at 9:30 and back home at 10. Gonna do a little R&R in the morning on the golf course with TeamNickel Igor and then back to work for a shift in the laboratory. Really hoping that I wake up tomorrow still pain free and that it wasn’t all just a good dream. Probably not gonna be able to get in any practice tomorrow but hopefully Saturday to build on the progress I feel was made today!

Until then, keep dropping those nickels! DrPankl signing off, G’bye!

-Billy

To Rome and Back

WTBA Rome 45ft
WTBA Rome 45ft
Dr. Pankl's arsenal top row. Igor's arsenal bottom row
Dr. Pankl’s arsenal top row. Igor’s arsenal bottom row

Yo Keglers, what’s poppin??

This morning, me and Igor (Scotty) had the opportunity to practice on the 45ft WTBA Rome pattern! For being that long, It sure hooked quite a bit. Me and Igor’s game plan for this sesh was to start with our earliest balls and work our way downwards after each game. We planned to get to 8 games but ran out of time (and energy honestly) a little early.

I picked up a compression sleeve type of brace for my knee last night and gave it a try today. My knee was uber killing me today even more than usual. The brace and ibuprofen helped a little bit but I was really hurting through the first game at least and I can tell it caused me to fall off balance on close to 50 percent of my shots today. The aggravating thing is that, as I write this, I don’t have any pain right now.. Oh well, gotta suck it up and power through. I kept stats on my games today to keep track of things like pocket vs. carry percentages so lets check em out..

Game 1 I threw my Dream Big Solid. Probably not the best ball for this pattern with how much it actually hooks and how much surface I have on it. On this pattern I had to start in around 18,19,20 to around 10 at the breakpoint. I hobbled my way to a 176 with only 5 pocket hits but I carried every time. Actually chopped the 3 straight back on a 3,6,10 which really pissed me off because I’ve been so solid on makeables. Oh, well, blame it on the knee and move on.

Game 2 I went to my Inception where I shot 213 with one split and one 4 bagger. Ball actually rolled great on this pattern when I threw it well. Knee was still hurting a little but getting better. Hit the pocket 7 times, only carried those 4 times or 54%

Game 3 threw the Truth with pretty good results for a 232. I could throw this ball all over the lane and it wanted to get back to the pocket. Hit the pocket 9 times, struck 6 times for 66%. Little better.

Game 4 had 198 with the OG Respect. Only hit the pocket 5 times but struck 4 of them for 80%.

Game 5 had 181 with the X. I’m pretty tired already at this point and just trying to make halfway good shots. Again only hit the pocket 5 times but carried 4 times for 80%.

Game 6 shot 191 with the Drift. Hit pocket 6 times and struck 4 times for 66%.

Had to call it quits there, was pretty drained and wasn’t making quality shots. Honestly felt like pure garbage today although it didn’t look much different than always in the videos I took. This pattern was fairly difficult and what really stands out to me is my super low pocket percentage. My carry was decent but I struggled to hit the pocket more than a few times in a row. Definitely a huge issue. My shot repeat-ability is a joke right now. Glad I kept these stats to see that though. I missed a 3.6.10 and a 3.6.9.10 but picked up 2 washouts. Spare game still going strong so apparently I can hit targets. Gotta figure out how to translate that into pocket hits.

All in all, not too shabby considering I just felt awful today. Gotta get my butt in the gym and see if that helps my knee and stamina. Tomorrow gonna practice at another center in town. Gonna strictly focus on lines and repeating shots. Today’s overall pocket percentage was 56% while carry was 72%. I’d like to see that pocket percentage closer to 75%.

Until then, keep dropping those nickels!

-DrPankl

P.S. Shout out to Team Nickel member Christian Apolonio, AKA StirFry! (Still pissed off that Pokemon Go was down like all freaking day!)

 

Running off Tuesday

Hi Bowlers and happy Tuesday to you all!

Not too much going on today, had a great lesson with one of my young high school bowlers this morning. She made great progress in trying to get more power and a few more revs on the ball. It seems that is what most of my lessons these days are about. Was also able to help one of my senior bowlers with the use of his iPad. With it, he was able to see some of his swing flaws he couldn’t feel.

Went and picked up a compression sleeve for my knee. With all of the bowling and practicing I’ve been doing trying to get ready for these professional tournaments I’ve developed a rather sore knee. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious, but either way I’m not going to let it sidetrack me from working towards my goals.

Been thinking of doing some vlogs during my upcoming tournaments! I don’t know how well it’ll come out but my next travel tournament is a doubles tourney with Igor (Scotty) in Amarillo TX and think it would be cool to video document some of my travels and behind the scenes stuff during tournaments. I’ve started a BillyGrantBowling YouTube channel and will upload them there. Of course, I’ll either link the videos on this website or figure out how to embed the video directly to the page. Should be fun!

Tomorrow Igor and I are having a practice session in the morning. Gonna bowl 8 games and keep track of all of my stats so that I can see what areas I need improvement on when I’m actually trying to score. I’ll update tomorrow night and go over the results.

Until then, Bowlers, keep knocking them down until they don’t want to get back up! Deuces!

-The Doctor

House Shot Dilemma

Hey Bowlers!

Gonna try to start updating on my blog daily, no matter whether I have enough time and content to publish something grand or if I only have enough time to update a small blurb.

So, I’ve been greatly struggling on the house shot as of late. About 3 or 4 years ago when the center was still wood lanes, I was consistently averaging in the 230’s.  Now, for whatever multiple reasons, I’m under 220 for the first time in at least a decade. I seem to have ridiculous over-under ball reaction and my ball just does not go through the pins the right way.

To combat this, I’ve decided to try out a couple of Break-Down’s with trick layouts and if that fails, I’m gonna give my urethane Boo-Yah! a shot! I was asked to sub in the scratch doubles league tonight so this was the perfect opportunity to give this strategy a shot.

My first I tried to use my pin-axis Break Down (pictures to come soon) and it was not great. On the fresh, it was still very angular when I got it to the right, and never wanted to hook when I tugged it left. Game 1 was frustrating and typical with a  2-open 179.

Decided to check out the Boo-Yah! and it was pretty spot on. Had 239 game 2, 220-something game 3, and 2-teen game 4. As expected with urethane, the ball was great when I pushed it right and strapped on it but never hooked when I missed it a little off my hand. Need to experiment with it a bit more to get it dialed in and comfortable, but I may have found something that might just get me back on track when I tater twirl on house shots.

That’s about it for tonight, giving a lesson to one of my high school students tomorrow before I open the shop! Gotta keep teaching and giving back to the sport that gives to me!

Nighty night, -Billy