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"The Bowling Book"

This Game Should Be Called "Spares"
Bowling is all about spare shooting. One of my favorite phrases when I am teaching bowlers is "this game should be called spares". I really believe that because without spares, all of those strikes that you are throwing are essentially useless.

Why do I say that strikes are essentially useless? The odds of you throwing 12 strikes (the maximum you can throw in one game) every game is next to 0%. Without spares you will be hard-pressed to maintain a good average (above 160). For example, if you are to throw a strike and then a 9-miss for your 10 frame game you will shoot 140, on the other hand, if you are to throw a strike and then a 9 - spare for 10 frames you will shoot 200. There is a 60 pin difference between the scores!

As it stands now, there is a lot more "glamour" around throwing strikes than spares. I venture to say that bowling is all about hitting your spares consistently. It is possible to throw 10 spares every game, not likely that you will throw 10 or 12 strikes a game. The game should have been called spares, then new bowlers would be more likely to be interested in learning how to pick up their spares than how to throw more strikes.

During practice (and teaching time for me), I always practice my spares. Every once in a while I will go out and practice throwing strikes, but I know that, in the long run, spares are my bread and butter. If I can't get my spares then I might as well pack up and go home.

My advice to you: Practice... Practice... Practice... your spares!





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