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Hit The Bowling Pocket

If you are averaging in the range of 170-185, improving your number of pocket hits will help improve your scores. Hitting the bowling pocket is the number one objective you must embrace if you wish to increase your ratio of strikes per frames bowled.

Whether you bowl in leagues or tournaments, getting lined up to the pocket is vital to good scoring.

Usually it is a good idea to first align yourself to the mid pocket if you are unsure about a given lane condition. Once you get the feel of how your bowling ball will react, you can dial in more closely to solid pocket hits. That is if the oil conditions allow you to get a consistent ball reaction.

Trying to hit the pocket with a perfectly solid hit has the potential to cost you if you are not familiar with what will happen if you miss your mark slightly.

Since you have the opportunity to strike when you hit the pocket regardless if your ball contacts the pocket solidly, a bit high, or a bit light, hitting the pocket is a priority.

Those players who can figure the lane conditions quickly, make an initial alignment to the pocket, and adjust when the conditions change, are the players who will have the greatest chances of scoring throughout the given competitive session.

Of course, if you hit the pocket, your pin leaves when not striking become makeable spares. If you “jam the nose” or miss the head pin entirely, you leave difficult or low percentage spares to convert.

Leaving routine spares, one pin spares ideally, when not striking places you in a position of reducing the number of open frames during competition. Reducing open frames allows you to capitalize on the times you do string strikes when hitting the pocket.

The two important tasks any competitive bowler has is to first align themselves to the pocket and then make necessary adjustments as needed to continue hitting the pocket.

If there is a third key to good scoring, it is certainly becoming a superior spare shooter. Missing common spares does not bode well for improved scoring.

Practice techniques for aligning yourself to the pocket. Get familiarized with the local lane conditions where you bowl most often. Learn where you should spot on the lane to play the oil blend most effectively.


Get to know what happens when you miss slightly left or right of target. Try to play a 3 board area/range and then aim in the middle of that range so you reduce the tension of trying to be too precise in rolling a delivery over your spot.

Once you establish your initial alignment to the pocket, it is a matter of making gradual adjustments as the oil breaks down and the front end of the lane causes your ball to begin hooking sooner than when you first began your session.

You will also notice the oil carrydown will cause your ball to skid longer on the back end of the lane so slight adjustments will become necessary as your session progresses.

Hitting the pocket must become your key objective. Increase the percentage of pocket hits and you will also increase your ratio of strikes to deliveries. More strikes coupled with easier spares to shoot will yield improved scoring.