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How To Raise Your Bowling Average


If you are trying to learn how to raise your bowling average, then kindly consider the following keys to guide you in doing so:

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  • Improve Your Spare Shooting

  • Initial Alignment & Lane Adjustments

  • Sharpen Your Physical Game Skills

If you are interested in how to raise your bowling average, then the process begins with improving your spare shooting. A favorite phrase of one well-known bowling coach of the past two decades is "don't forget to make deposits in your spare bank!"

There are numerous spare systems which can help you organize a system of aligning to any spare you might leave. These systems are taught by successful coaches throughout the world. Many times, the simplest system works best. It is easy to get fooled into using techniques we watch used on television by the greatest bowlers in the world. In some cases, pros will roll the ball very hard to decrease hook at corner pin spares or to try and convert splits. Using very fast speeds to make spares requires a lot of practice, timing, and strength. This type of system may not be the best course of action for you.

Instead, try using a system whereby you may roll the same speed as with your strike ball delivery so your muscles in your arm and legs are conditioned to repeating consistent deliveries. Use your strike ball for easy spares when the lane oil guides your ball easily to the given key pin in your spare combination. Use a spare ball, usually a hard plastic coverstock, which minimizes surface friction and hook when rolling at the corner pin spares, particularly the ten pin for right handed bowlers and the seven pin for left handed bowlers.

Targeting the pocket on your strike ball delivery depends on the oil conditions on the lane. In most centers, the lane maintenance allows for the largest blend of oil to be located on or near the second arrow or tenth boards from the outside two edges of the lane. Therefore, most bowlers rolling a small hook ball delivery will stand on or near the center dot on the approach, the 20 board, and target the 2nd arrow from the edge of the lane (right side for right handed bowlers). Bowlers using a strong hook ball may stand further from center to allow for the strong hook and bowlers who have little or no hook might stand the opposite direction and use a more direct line through the 2nd arrow to hit the pocket.

As the lanes breakdown and the ball begins to hook more than at the beginning of your session, make an adjustment toward the largest concentration of oil which is normally toward the center of the lane. Moving your feet and your target on the lane in the same direction is usually the best course of action. Moving your feet two boards and your target on the lane where you sight one board is a commonly used "parallel adjustment" and moving in multiple of 2:1 the same direction will help you achieve the desired skid needed so the ball arrives at the pocket consistently. 1:1 or 3:1 ratios may also be used depending on how oily or dry are the lane conditions.

Finally, work on the key fundamentals of your game to improve your bowling average. Improving your ability to release your bowling ball consistently to the pocket will enable you to get more strikes, leave fewer splits or difficult spare pin-formations, and will guide you in making decisions when to change bowling balls.

Check your set-up position, shoulder and hip alignment, work on good footwork, both tempo and direction, practice your arm-swing using a matching tempo as with your feet, keep your head and shoulders still while walking to the foul line, release your ball with your hand following the ball toward your target and continue your follow-through motion. Hold your form at the line until your ball passes your down lane target.

It is no secret the more you practice using an organized system for spare shooting, for strike alignment and adjustments and on your physical game will help raise your bowling average. Practice is the key!!

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