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Jeff Piroozshad's Expert Bowling Tips

-Trip Out The Ten Pin

05/28/2001 - By Jeff Piroozshad
     Have you ever thought you threw a pretty good shot, only to leave a 10-pin (7-pin for left handed bowlers)?  Over and over, it seems that's all you leave?  There ARE ways to get that tenth pin to fall and most of them are not major adjustments, but minor tweaks that you can incorporate into your game almost immediately.

     First of all, you can either move up or back on the approach.  Keep in mind you don't have to move more than six inches.  The idea is to have the move subconsciously change your walk pattern enough to be effective, but not enough that you notice.  Moving up makes your steps shorter, thereby resulting in you throwing the ball just a bit slower.  This gets the ball to come up slightly higher in the pocket, hitting much more solidly.  Moving back makes you take slightly larger steps, making the ball travel just slightly faster.  This gets the ball to the pocket a bit lighter so you can get one of those mixing strikes.

     Similarly, you can also hold the ball a little bit higher or lower in your stance, allowing you to change your ball speeds to get the same result.  Holding the ball higher results in more swing, making the ball travel faster, and holding the ball lower results in less swing, making the ball travel slower.

     Try those tweaks and see if they work.  If not, here is a very subtle tip to try: Change the pressure on your fingers.  If you release some of your finger pressure then you will hook the ball a bit less and it will come up lighter in the pocket.  Conversely, increasing the finger pressure will make the ball rev just a little bit more, helping the ball to be more solid in the pocket.

     You can also change the pressure on one of your fingers.  Greg Maddux, major league pitcher for the Atlanta Braves is a master at this, making a baseball do different things on its way to home plate.  You can use the same technique to carry out the ten pin.  By putting more pressure on your ring finger than on your middle finger, you can get the ball to go slightly longer down the lane and flip just a tad more on the backend, creating more entry angle to trip out the 10-pin.  The opposite, using more pressure on the middle finger than the ring finger, will get the ball to roll up sooner and hopefully the ball will hit the pocket more flush.

     Don't just settle for corner pin after corner pin.  And most importantly, don't get frustrated when you're leaving them.  Realize that the ball is not hitting the pocket in the right place, or in the right way, and use one of these techniques to increase your carry percentage, and ultimately, your scores.


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