Advanced bowling tips and techniques will help get you back on track when you are having one of those nights when you keep leaving those annoying single pin spares and need to convert more to strikes. After watching countless hours of videos and reading many articles, I found some advanced bowling tips and techniques to share along with tips I have used often myself.
It is on those nights,where it seems you are hitting the pocket well, but you just can’t seem to stop leaving that same pin. Whether it is a 10 pin, 7 pin or 5 pin, we need to find out if this is bad luck or a mistake in your bowling.Once you figure out how you ball is going through the pins, you can make the move for strikes, using these advanced bowling tips and techniques for producing more strikes in your game.
Is it a High Hit on the Head Pin
A high hit for a right handed bowler is a miss to the left. Miss left, move left. Move in the direction of the miss, or a half board left with your feet and keep the same mark. Some say don’t move, it is just bad luck.
My take on that is, I would try just a slight adjustment. Why? Because it could happen again, so I would try to adjust.This is how you continue to string strikes, so move for strikes!I know sometimes I have waited too long to make an adjustment, and paid for it!
I did not realize that a 4 pin left standing is the first indication for a high hit for right handed bowlers, or the 6 pin for left handed bowlers. So, that said, what do we do to stop that and make the move for strikes.
You need to adjust the location of entry to the pocket or reduce the angle of entry. When bowlers hit light in the pocket, most of the pins left standing are easy to convert to spares, but hitting higher and higher into the headpin eventually leaves some nasty splits. Not what any bowler wants to do.
The Most Common High Hit Pins Left Standing
A right handed bowler, hitting high in the pocket, will leave one of these combinations.
- Single pins: 4,6, and the 9 pin (usually a strong hook or too much angle)
- Two pin combinations: 3-6,6-10, 3-10(baby split) and all types of splits including 4-9,4-10,7-10.
- Other multiple pin combinations: 4-6-7-10(big four),4-6-7-9-10(Greek church),4-6-7-8-10(Greek church)
To correct this mistake you need to change location or change the angle of entry. To do this you need to increase ball speed to delay the hook. Or change you visual target farther down the lane, to change your body tilt and flatten out your downswing. This tends to send the ball farther down the lane, and delay the hook slightly.
Walter Ray Williams Jr Converts the Big Four-First Conversion on TV
The Solid 8 Pin-The True Tap
What causes the solid 8 pin to remain standing? It is called the true tap in bowling. Most people think that you drove the 5 pin directly back into the pit and neither the ball or the 5 pin touches the 8 pin.
In a correct carry for a strike, only four pins are hit, the 1,3,5 and 9. then those pins in turn take out the rest of the pins. But,on the solid 8 pin leave, the head pin hits the 2 pin butt first. Then it hits the 5 pin and deflects the 5 to the right. The ball drives the 5 pin straight back. While the head pin deflects and rings around and missing the 8 pin, and the path of the ball misses the 8 pin to the right.
So what causes this to happen? While this is referred to as the only true tap in bowling, in reality it is likely a bit high on the head pin. If you watch the video carefully you can see the cause is a flush hit just slightly high on the head pin, and looks like a beautiful shot.
But it is not quite the perfect hit, the ball never gets to the 5 pin because the head pin deflects into the 5 pin first and the ball never gets the deflection from the five pin to force it’s path into the 8 pin.And in rare cases, a light hit will also leave an 8pin as well.
Move For Strikes using Advanced Tips and Techniques
One way to try to avoid the 8 pin leave is to increase the speed on the ball slightly to allow for a lighter pocket hit. That should allow the head pin to deflect better and let the 5 pin get hit cleanly by the ball. You have to remember that the distance the ball is off is less than an inch, and truly about 1/2 of an inch. So these round surfaces of the pins and the ball create strange results sometimes.
If you have too much hook, not cupping your wrist as much or staying behind the ball and not coming around the side of the ball, would also help to cut down on the hook of the ball. looking farther down the lane on you visual target might give you enough to delay the hook.
The Solid 9 Pin
What about that solid 9 pin that remains standing once in awhile? Well, first of all you should be hitting the 1,3,5, and 9 pin if your ball is thrown correctly and acting properly. I have seen a slightly high hit throw the 3 pin directly into the 6 pin and the ball deflect left to roll beside the nine left and never touch it. This is normally the pin that big hook throwers leave. The ball hits the pocket, but has so much angle it does not deflect enough and goes straight thru the 1,3,5,8 instead of the 9 pin.
You should begin to think about your angle being too steep and reducing your hook. If you are coming around on the ball, stay behind the ball and impart more roll than hook. Cup your wrist less and bring your speed up slightly to get the ball down the lane. You can increase the speed of the ball by higher push-away or higher arm-swing.You could look farther down the lane past your visual target as an adjustment as well. Only practice and trial and error will help you discover what works well for you.
You could do nearly the same move as the 8 pin, move slightly left maybe 1/2 board and throw the same ball just slightly inside the same line but keeping the same break point to cut down the angle slightly and bring the ball just a bit lighter on the head pin. This would be changing the location and gaining deflection on the ball and that should cause the 3 pin to be hit and driven back straighter and allow the ball to hit the 5 and deflect back to hit the 9 pin.
If you had a weaker ball, that had less angle to the pocket, that could also be a solution, giving you a straighter line to the pocket, forcing the ball to drive through the 9 pin.
The 7 Pin Left Standing
How about the 7 pin? What is causing the 7 pin to remain standing? I normally leave the 7 pin(right handed bowler) when I hit light in the pocket, or throw a faster ball without enough lift to get the hook I want.
I also find that getting my arm too far from my body, or getting my elbow out and coming around on the top of the ball, causing a bad release and improper lift to hook the ball properly causes a 7 pin leave also.
And in some cases both the 5 and the 7 are left together. This could be caused by just throwing the ball too fast. Try slowing the ball speed down just a bit first, and see what happens.This could be all the adjustment you may need. Looking in front of your visual target will get the ball to hook slightly earlier as well, if you got a good release and proper arm swing.
No Drive, No Five
So what about leaving a 5 pin? I have often heard good Bowlers trying to coach me say”no drive, no five”. Why are they saying that? It means you are not getting good lift on the ball and the cause could be you are not releasing the ball properly.
If you are staying behind the ball too much, you are producing a full roller and not enough revs on the ball to “turn the corner” and get the ball into the pocket deep enough. This is one way to cause a 5 pin to remain standing.
If you are leaving a 5 pin consistently, the one of a few things are happening.The ball is rolling out or using up its energy too early. Or the ball is not strong enough to get to the pocket because of a heavy oil pattern, and is skidding through the pocket.
This can also be caused by a lighter ball deflecting too much on a light, weak hit as well. If you are using a lighter ball, try to switch to a more aggressive cover, or dull surface ball.
A ball that is rolling out too soon can also cause a weak pocket hit and too much deflection of the bowling ball.So what does the term rolling out mean? It means you ball stops hooking too soon and is in a full roll too long before it hits the pocket. The ball has used up all it’s energy and hits the pocket weak, resulting in poor pin carry. Move into the oil for skid to save energy, or choose a shiny cover to allow it to store it’s energy.
You Need a Good Release
If it is a ball that is rolling out, and you move into the oil to produce a stronger hit, and it works, great. However, like I stated, you must be releasing the ball properly as well. If you are getting too much spin on the ball, and not enough lift, you are likely going to leave 5 pins, as well as the 5-7 split.Here is more information about a good release.
In fact, right handed bowlers who hit light on the head pin, known as a light pocket hit will possibly leave one of the following combinations.
- Single pins: 10,5,7,2 and on rare occasions an 8 pin.
- Two pin combinations: 5-7,5-10,5-8,2-8,2-10,8-10, and 7-10.
- Other combinations:2-8-10,2-4-5-8(bucket),1-2-10 washout, and the 1,2,4,10(washout)
If you think you are getting the right amount of lift and the ball is not “turning the corner”, then you to consider moving your feet right(for right handed bowlers) and moving out of the oil to get more friction.Also, if you miss right, move right!
Move Your Visual Target
Another trick is to move the visual target closer to you. This will change the tilt of your body slightly, and sharpen your downswing angle. The result will be a ball that rolls earlier and hooks a little sooner. Thus giving you a slightly higher hit on the head pin.
You could try to move back a few inches with your feet, if you have room. But keep in mind, this changes where you end up at the foul line. if you have room fine, but don’t do it if you think you must take shorter steps. This will mess your timing up. Keep you footwork the same, to keep your timing the same. If you don’t have room, don’t do it. By room, I mean how close is your slide foot to crossing the foul line.
You can increase your hook or revs on the ball, by cupping your wrist more or coming around the side of the ball a little to give you more axis tilt and sharper angle of entry at the pocket.
Slow your ball speed by lowering the ball at the push away, or if you start with your ball down, lower your back swing slightly to reduce the speed of the ball, allowing it to hook more.
I have had bowling balls that have soaked up more oil than I realized, and won’t perform for me in a similar fashion. They just won’t hook. Try cleaning your ball between shots, maybe a few times in a row. This may help to get the cover-stock clean enough and create enough friction to get the job done. After bowling, be sure to deep clean your ball before next weeks league.
Try some of these techniques and see if you turn some of those 9 counts into strikes and boost your scores! If you have any questions, or comments please leave them below. I will be glad to hear from you!
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