In this recurring feature, I’ll be answering questions from Bowling This Month readers, or questions I’ve received from bowlers I work with, that might not require the depth of a full-length article, but that can definitely benefit more than just the person who happened to ask. Think of it as a Dear Abby column for bowlers.
If you have questions, please leave them in the comment section below so that I can address them in a future article. Please note that I can only answer a few questions each time, so if your question is not answered this month, please be patient and I’ll be sure to address it in a future installment of Coach, I’ve Got a Question!
I’m a senior bowler and I’m having trouble converting spares. I’m currently averaging 204, but I’m missing three to four spares a night (sometimes more on a bad night). I’ve been having trouble with my timing recently, but I slowed my approach and my first shot has improved dramatically, but my timing on spares still appears to be off. I use a plastic ball on most spares, but I do notice my ball speed is 2 to 3 mph faster on spares. How can I improve my consistency?
This kind of problem is certainly not limited to senior bowlers, but it can be exacerbated as we age and lose some mobility. First, it’s not uncommon to see your ball speed be a little higher on spare shots, due to the ball hooking less (and slowing down less). I wouldn’t worry about that discrepancy, nor do I think it is causing some of the inaccuracy. The timing issue, on the other hand, could very well be the main contributor.
Generally speaking, early timing often forces bowlers to miss outside, while later timing tends to cause pulls to the inside, particularly on spares. If your timing is inconsistent, you’ll miss in both directions. Given that you’ve already slowed down a ...
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