To get more strikes bowling first requires knowledge of exactly where to hit the pins that will result in the best percentage of strikes. In order to help the beginner bowlers, I felt some explanation of the basics was necessary. Once we do that, then everyone will be able to get more strikes bowling.
Bowlers use many different styles to accomplish getting the ball to the pins, but the goal is to knock down all ten with the first ball. Right-handed bowlers need to hit the pins between the head pin and the next pin back or the 3 pin when they throw their first ball.
Left-handed bowlers do the opposite and try to hit between the head pin and the next pin back or the 2pin.The result is a pin carry effect that causes all the pins to fall and creates a high percentage of strikes.
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Get More Strikes Bowling In The Bowling Strike Zone
The bowling strike zone is also called “the pocket”. It is the perfect spot to hit that allows all ten pins to fall, and create a strike.
The pocket is the “sweet spot” of the rack, that every bowler is trying to hit every time, on his or her first shot.
The reason for that is simple, if you get a strike, then you get to count the next two balls you throw as well.
That is the bonus for getting a strike, you get two bonus balls to add to your strike score, or the next two frames you bowl.
If you get a spare, then you only get to score one bonus frame or the next frame. That is why everyone is trying to throw for the pocket, to get as many strikes as possible.
Bowling The Perfect Strike
Bowling the perfect strike is likely the goal of the mid-level and advanced bowlers. The bowler just starting out is happy to see ten pins fall down whether it is total luck, or a well placed ball in the pocket.
But, when a level of skill has reached a point where you are getting the ball down the lane with accuracy, you game changes.
In order to do that consistently, you must have a good idea where the ball has to hit the pins exactly to get more strikes.
So what exactly is the “Perfect Strike” anyway? Here is a video created in Japan by pro bowler Yoshimi Kitacka showing the science behind the perfect strike.
So, watching the video tells us that, if we get the ball to the pocket at an angle between 3 and 6 degrees and hitting the 5 pin, we will get a strike.
This works by causing a falling domino effect on the outside pins, and the ball hitting the 5pin and the 9pin, while the 5pin takes out the 8pin. Hitting the pocket at the perfect angle increases your chances to get more strikes bowling.
A Round Ball Hitting Round Pins Creates Some Interesting Reactions
Sometimes however, a higher or lighter hit on the headpin will cause the pins to fall slightly differently, and the reverse will occur. The 5pin will actually fall differently and hit the 9pin and deflect the ball into the 8pin.
These are those shots we look at and wonder how that happened. But, bowling is in fact two round surfaces contacting each other, and that allows for some very interesting pin carry to occur. This could leave some difficult spares that are covered in my previous posts Bowling Tips and Tricks and Advanced Bowling Tips and Techniques.
Oil Patterns And Speed Control The Path Of The Ball
This is simple science in this video, because the oil pattern or speed of the ball is not a factor, and the ball is rolled exactly the same every time. But this is the perfect strike, and that is what we are trying to achieve when we go bowling, is a strike every time.
In reality, we are human and we make mistakes from time to time. Maybe we slow the ball speed down a bit because we are getting slightly tired.
Sometimes we keep our fingers into the ball just a bit too long, pull the ball offline, and cause an errant shot.
If we were capable of throwing the perfect strike time after time or say 80% of the time, we would all be on the Pro Tour.
The Same Throw Done the Same Way Should Get More Strikes Bowling
We can see that the basic principle to throwing strike after strike is really no secret. It is simply being able to throw the same ball over and over again.
It doesn’t matter if your arm swing is not perfect or your timing is slightly late or a bit early. If you can do it the same way each and every time, then you will achieve the perfect game.
In order to reach that level, you have to practice, practice, practice. The ability of being able to hit the same line every time in bowling, require muscle memory.
It has to become an automatic motion, you can repeat over, and over again. If you are going to invest the time to practice over and over, practice correctly. It is a good idea to try to train your muscles in the correct techniques. Because if your timing is correct, your bowling will be more consistent.
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I was a straight ball bowler for years. It was only way I knew how to bowl. To get a strike I was bowling straight for the pins.
I would stand far to the right of the lane and throw my ball straight at the pocket. Standing far left was the only way to get as much angle as I could on the pocket, but it was very difficult for me to achieve much success.
A Straight Ball Requires More Precision
I was a 150 average bowler at best, partly because the angle is not the optimal 3 to 6 degree range and you only have about 1 inch of optimal area to get the ball into that sweet spot for the 1,3,5 and 9 pin to be hit for the strike.
So, I had to become a good spare shooter, just to keep my average. Now, I throw a hook ball and I have had an average over 200 for quite a few years.
Most bowlers who throw a straight ball are amateur bowlers, and have not yet thought about throwing a hook. Most just bowl for the fun of it and don’t really want to invest the time needed to become proficient at throwing a hook ball.
Bowling A Brooklyn Strike
Bowling a Brooklyn strike is when a bowler crosses over to the opposite side of the rack and hits the pocket on the wrong side. I often wondered where the term originated, and with a little research found out.
I seems that years ago there was a rivalry between a New York bowling team and a team from New Jersey.
Every time a bowler from New York would cross over and hit the wrong pocket, his fellow bowlers would remark, that ball crossed the river into Jersey, and the rival New Jersey players would say when their players hit the wrong side, that ball landed on the Brooklyn side.
The only place they sometimes still call it a Jersey strike is in New York. The rest of the country calls it a Brooklyn strike.
How to Get More Strikes Bowling And Bowl A Perfect Game
To bowl a perfect game is to have the pins all fall 12 times. It is more than just hitting the sweet spot a dozen times. It is a complete mindset, focused on repeating each and every shot the same way.
Make that Small Adjustment if Necessary
You may need to make a slight adjustment somewhere as the lanes change. If you are bowling in a league and have 9 other players bowling on the same lanes, you can be sure you will have the lane change somewhat during play.
Don’t Make Mistakes
How do you do it? What does it take to pull off 12 strikes in a row? It is not easy for some of us, I have never done it in league play, 283,once, 279 maybe a dozen times.
I did it once in practice with 3 witnesses, but practice is not on a typical oil pattern. A 279 is about 3 mistakes away from a perfect game. A 289 is about 2 mistakes and a 299 is just bad luck and one pin short.
Keep Your Mental Focus and Relax
I know in my 279 games, it becomes a mental battle to control your nerves and stay relaxed. Each shot becomes harder to maintain the ball online and at the same speed every shot. I will say, the less you think about it, the better. Relax, if you tense up, you tend to clench the ball, and a tense ball does not carry pins well.
Keep your mind clear on the lane, and do your thinking behind the lane. Get all the clutter out of your mind before you step onto the lane for your next shot. When you step onto the lane, you need to focus on your mark, and follow through the exact same way each time. Relax and Breathe!
A Little Luck Doesn’t Hurt!
I have had and witnessed some luck involved, in those big games, and I have seen others throw each shot into the pocket 12 times. I have stayed close with a big mistake like a Brooklyn strike. And on the flip side I have gotten a 9 count on a decent pocket hit. It’s a funny game at times.
One thing about bowling, you never know what is going to happen. But you do need some luck mostly to get that 300 game. The only true way to get that perfect game is one good shot at a time, don’t think ahead, focus on each shot. And with some luck, you can have that perfect game.
I know players who have six or seven strikes talk about changing the ball. They tell me it is because they see “the ball is not quite finishing as they like”. I couldn’t do that easily, because I don’t have two balls that feel exactly the same. For me to change balls, and leave a single pin, then finish out the game with strikes would be heartbreaking. But, then again I only ever had one perfect game.
Pete Weber “Was” the Youngest To Ever Bowl A 300, Until 2013
Pete Weber on the other hand bowled a 300 game in his first ever sanctioned league game back in 1978. He was at the time the youngest player to have a 300 game.
Now, Hanna Diem, 9 yrs old of Florida, bowled a 300 game in December of 2013, to become the newest youngest person ever to bowl a 300.
The 300 used to be quite an accomplishment that only a few players would ever be able to achieve, now it is a feat being achieved by quite a few players.
There has never been a better chance to bowl a 300 than now. Why?
High Tech Balls Make It Easier To Get More Strikes Bowling
The bowling ball technology is better than it has ever been. The oil pattern that is put on the alleys now is heavier in the middle, and provides a blocking to guide the ball to the pocket. Bowling alleys do this now to make it easier for everyone to bowl a strike, because that is good for business. It has worked well, and kept the doors open for struggling bowling lanes.
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