I've posted about this subject before, more or less, but this time with specifics!
I'm a bowler. I've been bowling since I was five and I'm still looking for ways to get better. This is especially true considering what's going on in my game right now.
From September 3 to December 31, 2006 (120 days)
I bowled 182 games (1.52 games/day)
I averaged 199.56 in those games
The standard deviation for that set is 26.44
46.99% of my first balls were strikes
23.94% of my first balls were 9 pins
6.40% of my first balls left splits
I spared 72.23% of the time when I did not strike
I spared 88.80% of the time when I left one pin
I averaged 207 in league during this season, which I would expect to not see the next year, but I would probably see something in the high 190s low 200s range.
From December 18 2007 to January 30, 2008 (43 days)
I bowled 77 games (1.79 games/day)
I averaged 185.21 in those games
The standard deviation for that set is 25.14
40.48% of my first balls were strikes
23.45% of my first balls were 9 pin
9.41% of my first balls left splits
I spared 63.73% of the time when I did not strike
I spared 81.73% of the time when I left one pin
I am currently averaging 179 in a league through just a couple of weeks, and I am consistently turning in sub-par performances in tournaments.
Now, a lot of other things have gone on in this period of time that might have some psychological bearing, but I'm not sure how much weight to give them.
I casually attribute my success in 2006 to the fact that I worked at a bowling alley that summer and was able to practice often. I still work there when I'm in Seattle, but I haven't been able to practice as much. However, I've bowled more games/day in the more recent group of data, so I'm not sure the idea of "bowling it out" has anything to it.
I seriously want to regress (or is it progress in this case) back to the 199 average mean, because this is driving me nuts every time I go out.