Declare Bowling War On Spares
If you want to take the next step toward reaching your bowling potential, declare bowling war on spares. Challenge yourself to become a great spare shooter and work hard at improving your abilities to convert routine and common spares.
No one really wants to do the hard work, the boring and tedious jobs required of anyone to achieve a desired end result. Certainly practicing shooting at spares repeatedly is no real entertainment and can be boring at best.
It is much easier and more fun to roll for the pocket in practice and string strikes. If you leave a spare standing, simply press the pinsetter reset button and get a new, full rack of pins. The heck with shooting spares. Take them for granted that you will pick most spares up in competition.
If you have not yet discovered, it is imperative to become a great spare shooter if you want to reach your highest average and consistently maintain a high standard with your game. Spare shooting is an integral part of being the best bowler you are capable of becoming.
Decide on the system you feel most familiar with for shooting spares and spend three consecutive practice sessions developing the system until it is routine and you become extremely proficient at converting common spare leaves.
Dedicate at least ten full games of practice, over the three consecutive practice sessions, at rolling shots only toward given single pin spares or spare combinations you see most frequently. Make your adjustment off of the existing lane conditions in your practice session and sweep across the lane practicing spares on both sides of the lane.
If you spend time on the two corner pin single spares, the 7 and 10 pins, then you must make decisions on where to adjust your feet positioning on the approach and where you choose to sight as your target on the lane.
You must choose the right bowling ball
, perhaps a plastic or an entry level urethane ball, to control the ball reaction so a good delivery at a chosen spare is rewarded by your ball ending up where you intended. If you do not change bowling balls, you must become skilled at controlling your delivery technique so you gain a consistent ball reaction as you cross the oil at various angles of attack when rolling for spares near the corners of the lane.
Sweep across each side of the lane focusing on challenging spare pin combinations such as the “washout”, the “bucket”, or the “sleeper” combinations.
If you are a right handed bowler, the “washout” is a slang expression for the 1-2-10 pin combination. With this spare you must target the 1 and 2 pins with your bowling ball
, contacting both with the ball while the head pin caroms across the pin deck contacting the 10 pin. The opposite is the case for left handed bowlers rolling at the 1-3-7 pin combination.
If you choose to practice rolling at the “bucket”, you are trying to convert the 2-4-5-8 pins or merely the 2-4-5 pins. This spare requires contacting the 2 pin with the ball while trying to avoid leaving the 4 or 5 pins left standing.
The “sleeper” spares are difficult because there is not much margin for error to convert “sleeper” spare combinations. “Sleeper” spares are typically the 3-9 or the 2-8 pin combinations where the pins line up directly in front or behind another pin.
Sleeper spares might also have accompanying pins, such is the case with “bucket” spares. The right handed bowler will leave the 3-6-9-10 pin spare on occasion, the left handed player leaving the 2-4-7-8 “sleeper” spare combination.
The key to converting this spare is to make your bowling ball contact both the front pin and the pin directly behind the front pins and still carom off of the adjacent pins.
These spares combinations are all challenging to convert. They require knowing precisely how to adjust your positioning on the approach based on lane oil conditions, and where to sight a target on the lane.
Regardless of if you base your spare adjustments off of your strike target line or a target at the center of the lane and adjust laterally to opposite sides of the lane dictated by the given pins left standing, you must work to gain confidence that you can convert spares nearly every time you attempt shooting at them.
Since there are multiple systems by which spares can be addressed, you must figure out which method best serves your delivery style, the bowling ball you elect to use, and where on the lane you wish to play for routine and common spare leaves.
Whichever method you choose, develop a fierce commitment to becoming a great spare shooter. Focus on each delivery with your full attention, commit to the shot, and execute the shot.
Declare a bowling war on spares and attack them confidently with the knowledge that you have spent much time working on your spare game. Your bowling scores will thank you for the courage and effort it takes to become a prolific spare shooter.