Jay P. Granat, Ph.D.
Right handed bowlers tend to struggle with making the ten pin spare.
Similarly, left handed bowlers can find it hard to cover the seven pin spare.
Here are some simple tips for converting these challenging single pin spares.
I discovered these techniques while coaching bowlers and while elevating my own bowling score.
I suggest you spend some time practicing what these tips outline so that you build your confidence regarding these very common spares. Making these spares eighty five percent of the time and will add a lot of pins to score.
1. Get a plastic ball or a bowling ball that will allow you to throw the ball straight at the pin at a forty five degree angle. This kind of ball will not hook or curve as much as your strike ball does.
2. Release this ball the same way you throw your strike ball.
3. Righties should move to the extreme left side of the alley and turn toward the ten pin.
4. Lefties should move to the extreme right side of the alley and turn toward the seven pin.
5. For me, the ideal target is the middle arrow. You may have to experiment a bit to find the ideal spot and target for this cross alley shot. A lot of bowlers seem to like between third and fourth arrow for this shot. Also, realize that bowlers use different targets. Some us an arrow. Some us a dot. Some use a pin. Some use a particular board. And some use a line based on two target points. Experiment and see what target is right for you.
6. Line up your bowling hand, your arm and your dominant shoulder with your target. You may want to think of your target as the line from your hand, through the center of the alley and to the center of the seven pin or the ten pin.
7. Take a few deep breaths breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe in confidence, focus, relaxation and and let go of any anxiety, distraction, self doubt or negativity when you exhale. Take one very deep breath before you start your approach.
8. Depending on how you are psychologically wired, you will either have just one thought in your mind. Or, you may want to use what I sometime refer to as "the empty mind," where you simply trust your inner athlete to get the job done. I suggest you experiment with these two aforementioned techniques and determine which "mental gear" is right for you.
9. Next, focus all your attention on your target.
10. You may want to imagine your target in your favorite color.
11. For many bowlers, the above techniques will help to create a hypnotic trance which replicates "the zone." That is, you are relaxed, confident, focus, trusting your body and your mind, in the here and now, enjoying the challenge and increasing the probability of your dream becoming a reality. (Making the spare is your dream at this moment.)
12. If you want to learn more about using self-hypnosis to improve your bowling score. Click on this link.
For individual coaching, you can also reach me directly at 888 580-ZONE or at email@example.com