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Tips For Bowling Spares

By:, Originally Posted: 6/2/17; Updated: 12/28/2020

If you are a new player to the game place more emphasis on spare shooting than strikes.

If you follow a few tips for bowling spares and develop a reliable system for converting spares, you will advance your game quickly.

In fact, by working to become a good spare shooter, your ability to align to the pocket and deliver your bowling ball into the pocket will improve because of the accuracy you develop from picking up spares.

Every young person who learns to drive a car and gets his or her first car, they are surely told to protect the engine by changing the oil and filter every 3000 miles.

Changing oil in a car is a basic fundamental regardless of the age of the car or the type of car.

In bowling, a basic fundamental for good scoring new bowlers must buy into is learning to convert spares effectively. Many bowlers use the term "Strikes for the show, spares for the dough." as a subtle reminder.

Here are a few general tips for bowling spares:

*Use a plastic (polyester) ball which is not constructed to hook to provide you with a reliable ball reaction and good control.

Plastic bowling balls favor slow ball speed players because they tend to hold their line longer than bowling balls made with a surface which creates a good deal of traction on the lane.

*Seek an adjustment system for spares. Take at least one bowling lesson from an instructor to develop a simple system to adjust for any spare on the lane.

*Align the front portion of your bowling shoulder with your target. Maintain this shoulder alignment throughout your approach and delivery movements. Follow through toward your aim point.

*Walk your lines. From every position on the approach, walk the same line when shooting spares or strikes.

*If you walk in a perfectly straight line, you will find it easy to select an alignment positioning on the approach where you slide on the same board where you took your stance.

*If you drift slightly to the right or left, try to limit the drift to no more than two boards whether you adjust to the left side of the approach or to the right side of the approach.

The following are specific tips for using a basic and proven spare shooting system:

*Spares on the left, move right. Spares on the right, move left.

*A good guide for spares is to use the reliable 3-6-9 system for adjusting to spares until you develop a slightly more advanced adjustment system.

Move either 3 boards, 6 boards, or 9 boards left or right depending where the spare is located in relation to the center of the lane.

Use your strike target on the lane for every spare you shoot but adjust according to where is located on the pin deck by using this basic 3-6-9 spare system.

*As your game develops and you become an increasingly more accurate bowler, you can modify this system and tailor it to your delivery style.

Spare shooting is key to developing a good bowling average score. Take at least one bowling lesson from an experienced instructor to learn more about aligning to spares which will benefit your technique. Use a ball which gives you a consistent ball reaction. Walk your lines and swing your ball toward your target. These factors contribute to improved spare shooting and to higher bowling scores.


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