Article Contents

  • 1. Regardless of what’s standing, shoot something else
  • 2. Tips on shooting the bucket
  • 3. Tips on shooting the washout
    • 3.1. The PBA washout (1/2/4/6/10)
  • 4. Conclusions

This philosophy will, if you use it faithfully, practically assure you don’t miss a single pin spare again.

It’s not that you don’t know how to shoot the 2 pin or the 4/7, for example. You absolutely know how. You’ve done it hundreds or maybe even thousands of times. So, what’s going on? Why is it that once we think we have”it,” “it” goes away? It’s not the bowling gods being angry with you, I assure you. (Although I think they definitely do get even with people who manage their average).

I believe the number one reason for missing single pin or other makeable spares like the 6/10, for example, is a lack of concentration. You’ve shot the 10 pin a couple of times before in your bowling life and made it. You know where to stand and which ball to roll and what target to use. You just don’t do it. You pull it left or send it in the ditch halfway down the lane. It’s a very rare occurrence that the lane condition fools you. It might happen, but it would have to be a very unique situation – one of the sport shots you haven’t seen, for example. And even if it was that, you’ll only miss once. After that, you make the adjustment and don’t miss again.

I mean the inexplicable miss where you know you screwed up so you act like you don’t care or you hurt your hand or the ball stuck on your thumb – sort of like looking for the hole in your glove after the grounder rolls between your legs to the fence.

Let’s take commonly makeable spares like the 6/10 or the 4/7. Occasionally you get to a place where you feel like you’ve never shot it before or worse, experience one of those times when you feel like you could chop it all day long (unless you tried to ...

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Susie Minshew

About Susie Minshew

Susie Minshew is a USBC Gold Coach, Master Silver Instructor, a regional PWBA champion, and past president of IBPSIA. She has authored two new books, Whoever Finds It First, Wins and Bowling Whisperer. Visit her online at