Article Contents

  • 1. Spareshooting
  • 2. Angles
  • 3. Versatility
  • 4. Specific practice for pattern lengths
    • 4.1. Short oil
    • 4.2. Medium oil
    • 4.3. Long oil

One of the most prevalent misconceptions I’ve dealt with in recent years, particularly with youth bowlers and their parents, is that you need a sport shot out on the lanes for any practice to be worthwhile. There’s this general opinion out there among higher-performing youth and competitive adult bowlers that for a practice to be useful, it should be on a sport shot.

While it is true that a sport shot’s inherent difficulty is very helpful in identifying flaws and improving your skill set, it is not actually required. Unless the goal of your practice is to improve your understanding of a particular pattern in a particular center, the variables in this sport dictate that any pattern you practice on today won’t necessarily be the same tomorrow and certainly not in a different center.

That said, in the time between the development of reactive resin and the bright idea to label patterns based on their oil ratios, lots of bowlers learned the skills needed for tough conditions by practicing on easier ones, simply because they had no choice. Back to 2014: because not all centers of this era are willing or able to put out sport shots on demand for practice, bowlers need to know how to make the best use of their time on a house shot when that is the only thing available to them.


It should go without saying that spareshooting is of primary importance when you are going to face tough conditions. Unfortunately, many bowlers are lured into the trap of hooking the ball at spares on a house shot. It might be easy if that is what you are used to, but the investment in learning to shoot spares dead straight on all conditions pays off on sport shots.

Transition can be confusing enough for strikes on flatter patterns, so the last thing you want to be doing is guessing when throwing a spare as well. The fun little secret associated with throwing a plastic ball straight at all your spares is that no matter what oil pattern is out there, you don’t need ...

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Tyrel Rose

About Tyrel Rose

Tyrel Rose is Bowling This Month's Director of Content. He is also currently the Head Coach for Team Canada, with over 20 years of experience coaching bowlers of all levels. Tyrel is an NCCP Competition Development level and USBC Bronze Certified coach, and a former Canadian national champion.