How To Knock Down the 10-Pin (or 7-Pin)
We have all had it happen. You throw a great looking ball only to leave the 10-pin (7-pin for left-handed bowlers). This is the time to make an adjustment. There are many different techniques you can integrate into your game to change the outcome. Slight changes can have dramatic results and making these slight changes should be done immediately.
First, you can make a slight movement either forward or backward on the approach. Try not to move more than approximately six inches. This gives a subconscious effect on your approach. When you move backward, you will naturally make slightly larger steps, increasing ball speed. Getting the ball to the pocket more quickly, gives the ball less time to react to the lane resulting in more pin action. This adjustment will put the ball exactly where it needs to be in order to strike.
On the other hand, you can also move slightly forward. Moving forward will have the opposite effect of moving backwards. When you move forward, you will take smaller steps, producing a slower ball speed that allows the ball to have increased reaction time on the lane. The increased reaction will allow the ball to reach the pocket in a stronger position. The stronger position will allow a better chance in carrying the 10-pin (7-pin for left-handed bowlers).
If you are uncomfortable with varying your step movement this might be the answer. You can increase or decrease your ball speed by simply holding the ball in your stance a little higher or lower. Holding the ball higher in your stance will generate faster ball speeds, whereas holding the ball lower in your stance will create slower ball speeds. This will have the same effects as mentioned in the paragraph above.
Try the above suggestions first. However, the following suggestions have also been used in adjusting your shot. You can also change the pressure on your fingers. When you release some of the pressure on your fingers, you will hook the ball slightly less and it will come up lighter in the pocket. When you increase your finger pressure slightly you will create more revolutions on the ball, allowing the ball to come up a bit stronger in the pocket.
Some bowlers are successful in changing the pressure of just one of their fingers in order to give a desired reaction. To carry the 10-pin you can attempt putting more pressure on your ring finger than your middle finger getting the ball to go longer and then flip slightly more on the backend. To have the opposite effect you can add more pressure to your middle finger than your ring finger and causing the ball to roll earlier, helping the ball roll up higher into the pocket.
Our best suggestion would be to attempt these methods through practice before the lights are on for a league or tournament. Get out there and practice, and practice hard, because this is how you can become a great bowler.