A few weeks ago I got to experience what I would consider a night of anguish, hair pulling out and a new set of grey hair. This came at the hands of a gentleman named Joe Slowinski, as you may know him as a brilliant coach and the author of the DYDS system. He also sets up lane patterns for training and this one is called Houdini’s Escape. A little background on the pattern it is 48 ft. in length, 30.25 ml total volume 50ul oil per board. Now in looking at the pattern you say .I can bring it back to the pocket. I will just play up the track, NOTHING could be further from the truth. In my first few shots UP THE TRACK my ball actually backed up. The volume of oil along with the pattern blocks requires you to play extremely straight launch angles and you better have some 360 grit in your bag or you will be playing backup ball all night. This pattern is intended to teach you how to play it straight and have a great grasp of spare shooting, since this is the only thing that is going to save you from sure doom. You may ask why I would want to play so tough of a pattern. The answer is simple, to get better at hitting targets and reading oil patterns but the breakdown that follows. Is it scoreable, you bet it is but don’t expect huge scores and honor scores. We have said that one way to get better is to go out and see different shots. Learn how to adjust speed and angles then the house shots will be a piece of cake. From Joe Slowinski himself. ” All of the patterns that I designed in the Slowinski Signature Series are designed to not only challenge a bowler’s skill level but to also challenge them mentally as well. I designed this pattern in 2011 as an effort to make the Webber International University practices more challenging. I always wanted practices to be more difficult than anything the players would experience in competition and I also wanted them challenged mentally as well.” He continues:” I designed it on my own. The key to success with this and all of the signature series patterns are flatter launch angles. With Houdini’s Escape, slower ball speed is essential. As a general rule, I recommend players start playing a direct line straight-up 15/16/17 and adjust from that point. The goal is to challenge the entire person, from bowling ability to mental game strength. I put some extra volume of oil in the middle of the lane, at the end of the pattern, to make it more challenging.” It is a great tool for speed control and those that need some experience playing deep inside. You will find it mentally challenging and a great addition to your game. If you get the chance ask your sport shot league to run the pattern for a few weeks your game will be better off in the long run, maybe not your sanity at first. Checkout pattern graph and other mind warping patterns from the evil genius mind of Coach Slowinski at www.bowlingknowledge.info .