It happens all the time you throw a great shot, and you leave the 10 pin (for lefties the 7). Many bowlers will walk back to the ball return, and say “I can’t believe I didn’t strike, that ball was perfect”. The fact of the matter is you were either a little light, a little high, or just a little unlucky, whatever the case may be you still have a 10 pin standing there and the goal has to be to knock that pin down and stay clean.
Often times too many bowlers are focused on getting strikes and focused on finding their strike line, when in actuality that strike line is going to continue to change throughout match anyways. The one thing you can always control is throwing straight at that ten pin to ensure a clean game. Sometimes it takes putting things in perspective to prove the importance of the all mighty spare, and staying clean. Throwing a 9 on the first ball followed up by a spare on every single shot gives you a 190 game with a 570 series. Throwing with that strike mentality it is actually possible to throw 7 strikes in one game, and still end up with a 151 game without ever getting less than a 9 count all game. That mentality ends up giving you a whopping 453 series.
I think everyone out there is thinking ok you’ve throw out some crazy statistics to prove your point, but I’m not done yet. Let’s take a look at the first televised event of the year, and think about what was the difference in winning that championship. Match one Jason Belmonte vs. Sean Rash. Jason Belmonte misses the 10 pin which results in a LOSS to Sean Rash. Match Two for the title, Sean Rash vs. Mika Koivuniemi, Sean Rash misses the 10 pin, which results in a LOSS to Mika Koivuniemi.
I personally believe there are 3 keys to making the 10 pin when the pressure is on. 1. Clear your mind of the previous shot and tell yourself that shot is over, and you need to focus on making one shot at a time. 2. Focus on your target 3. If you’re thinking about anything else other than making one shot at a time, and focusing on your targer step off the lane, go through your pre-shot routine again until your mind is back to being clear and is focused to make one shot at a time.
Until next time Shred that Rack, but if you don’t, make your SPARES!