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Advancing Your Bowling Average, Originally Posted: 9/4/14; Updated: 4/12/21

If you are a bowler currently averaging about 140 and want to see that average improve, then there are strategies you can work to attain in doing so.

To best understand what it takes to average 165, you merely need to think of rolling a 500 series in league each week. Rolling a 500 series can be done without any doubles and with perhaps two open frames per game and with reasonable pin count.

The key to averaging 165 or better is spare shooting. One key within the strategy of improving your spare shooting is to hit the pocket as frequently as possible to leave make-able spares.

Everyone is going to miss an occasional spare including the best bowlers in the world. Everyone will leave an unmake-able split and record open frames because of these splits and missed spares.

By reducing the number of open frames per game to only two opens on average will get you very, very close, if not all the way to your goal of averaging 165.

From a 140 average, jumping 25 pins per game to a 165 average seems an insurmountable task.

The biggest step you can take is to learn a few techniques to help you hit the pocket more frequently and convert routine spares.

The secret in doing so lies in the simplicity of becoming an improved spare shooter and pocket finder.
Here are a couple of heartfelt tips to steer you in the right direction:

1. Use the services of an experienced bowling instructor to help you accomplish two key things, improve your shotmaking skills and develop a strategy to shoot spares.
Shooting spares is a matter of developing a reliable adjustment system based on your delivery technique and based on the lane conditions. Your instructor can help you with both tasks.

2. Increase your pocket percentage on your strike ball deliveries. If you learn to align yourself to the pocket and make good shots, your job becomes easy because of the higher number of routine spares you leave to convert.

Reducing the number of open frames each game must become your primary objective, not getting more strikes.

Increasing your strike percentage is a result of hitting the pocket more often than you presently do and is a by-product of pocket hits.

Even when you hit the pocket, you are likely to not record a strike 50 percent of the time.

This ratio of pocket hits to strikes challenges you to rely on converting spares. Converting spares is a by-product of developing the spare system best matched to your game and the lanes.

If you accomplish nothing more than reducing the average number of open frames you get per game to two open frames and when you record the occasional double or three-bagger, you will find your scores improving and you will flirt with, if not achieve, the 500 series necessary on average to see your overall bowling average increase considerably.

Focus on these two vital keys to scoring and you will see that average rise to a level where you can be proud.
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