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 Post subject: How would you teach spare shooting
 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:23 pm Post Number: #1 Post
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I have run into a problem. I am a collegiate coach and have been coaching for 8 years at the Bronze level. Juniors, adults, high school . This is my first jump into collegiate. I would like to see how you teach spare shooting to your students. 3,6,9? 4,8,12etc. Most of all, I am amazed at how much these collegiate, on scholarship lady bowlers DO NOT know about the sport of bowling, and their OWN game. Maybe I am expecting to much. But at tournaments I see teams, Valpo, Neb, Central Missouri etc, are very efficient as I would think any team at that level would be. I am under the impression that when you are choosen to bowl with a college/University, that you know a little about your game and how to adjust. I am just interested in seeing if there is a standardized way most of you coach spare shooting. Also, I am amazed , as I said, at how little these bowlers know about the art of bowling. I would think at this level they would know their own game. It amazes me that they don't know how to read patterns, decide how to play and above all, they do not know how to break down lanes in team competition. I know they probably haven't been shown due to the easiness of THS conditions and the hardest they bowl on is some sport patterns which don't even compare to the NCAA patterns we are shooting on. Thanks for the advice and input. Bowl well.

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 Post subject: Re: How would you teach spare shooting
 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:58 pm Post Number: #2 Post
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First thing to remember, these are still kids bowling. They may have some ability, but knowledge takes time. After all, that is why they are in college. In juniors, a lot of people have parents and coaches that are too hands on, especially if possible scholarships are at stake, and are robots with someone else working the controls.

To me, spare shooting is more of a personal approach as opposed to a one approach works for all. I am assuming your bowlers are using plastic also. What I do is approach each spare as a straight and direct shot. If I am shooting at the 10-pin, I will shoot cross lane and angle my body pointing to my target path. I will then walk toward that path and release the ball to my target (doesn’t matter if one starts at 20, 25 or 30). If it is a 7-pin, I do the same thing, just pointing to the left. All other spare combinations are just variations in between.

But that is just the physical side of things. The mental side is even more important to me. That is to know how to attack multi-pin spares. One example is the 3-6-10. I see too many people shoot at the 3-6-10 by hooking their 10 pin shot. Sounds fine in theory, but what happens too many times is the ball gets too far right and ends up taking too sharp of an angle to the left towards the 3-pin. This leads to chopping, especially chopping the 3-6 only. I like to have the ball traveling more straight back on this spare to allow some deflection to make sure the 10-pin is picked up. And this is just one example. All combinations need to be thought about and have a plan of attack for each before the physical practice can start.


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 Post subject: Re: How would you teach spare shooting
 Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:58 am Post Number: #3 Post
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A few thoughts off the top of my head ...

I'd recommend taking your students for a tour of the lane and pin deck so to speak. For example the first and last lanes where you can walk the length of the lane.
Let them actually see the pins at the pin deck for an up close and personal look at the distance between the pins. Couple that with supporting text on the Layout an Dimensions, the board numbers the pins are on, the board numbers between the pins (all of the pockets).
I went looking and found this succinct article by Jef Goodger at
http://bowling.about.com/od/bowlingcent ... nsions.htm
Viewing the lanes from the back, one can see the result of ball traffic through the lanes.
This is just to reinforce the elements the ball will encounter as the lanes are bowled on.
Let them feel the oil, the tapers, the dry.
Reinforce the fact that the more they can remove the lane condition from being a factor the better


Have them read Ron Clifton's "Kick ball for strikes and spares"
at http://www.bowl4fun.com/ron/tip42_files/tip42.htm

Have them watch Richard Shockley's video discussing spares (paying attention to his comment of the rules of spare shooting)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0JxYTo6 ... YQ&index=7

Discuss the concept of dividing the pin into zones, for example a simple set would be center, left, and right (also good for light pocket, high pocket etc strategies)

Like spmcgivern I favor a straight ball, however some athletes might not be immediately versatile if at all, so they have to know themselves and you have to know them too. A base ball pitcher does not throw a curve ball or slider to first base though.

If practicing a straight ball release, I'd advocate using a ball that HOOKS A LOT so as to magnify errors (the goal is to perfect the shot). That is how Dave Ferraro learned and what he wrote in his book with Mike Aulby.

Use on lane targets connecting the dots so to speak
Discuss when the odds heavily favor hooking a ball, as in the 3-6-9-10 for a rhb or the 2-8 and others. Discuss the touch 'em all spares. The concept of the Key Pin

Practice picking the corner pins off of a full rack (low ball). If you are luck enough to practice in a center where you can dial up a spare that's certainly a plus

Good drill

Attachment:
Ingenious Simplicity of the 5 to 5 Drill.jpg


Although as I said, I favor a straight ball when the odds favor it.
I think I would be inclined to expose the students to a variety of methods/theories and allow them to try them and evaluate them and perhaps create their own hybrids. This arms them with information and allows them to see the pros and cons as they pertain to them. Have them explain their findings and choices and rationale.
Have team sessions discussing what they have found and determined, information sharing.

Joe Slowinski wrote an article "The Dynamic Spare Shooting System"
http://bowlingknowledge.info/index.php? ... &Itemid=46


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 Post subject: Re: How would you teach spare shooting
 Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:30 pm Post Number: #4 Post
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Sometimes I hate other people ;). I made what I thought was a decent response, only to be completely obliterated by John. Well said and better yet, well supported.

I do have only one comment. While I agree with the above as a lifelong spare shooting plan. In coaching a college team, I would try to focus on the plastic ball straight line method (2-8s and 3-6-9-10s are examples of exceptions). You will have enough to deal with without having to help 10+ people develop their own style of spare shooting. If the method doesn't work with a couple, maybe work with them on their own style. But by being the coach, hopefully you can extoll the benefits of a plastic ball on the sometimes difficult collegiate patterns. Then again, many of the collegiate women I have dealt with can shoot straight at spares with a Nano too.

My 2 cents. Not trying to discredit anything or anyone. I coached a college team one year and it was somewhat difficult and frustrating.


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 Post subject: Re: How would you teach spare shooting
 Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:11 pm Post Number: #5 Post
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Quote:
spmcgivern wrote: Sometimes I hate other people ;). I made what I thought was a decent response, only to be completely obliterated by John. Well said and better yet, well supported.


Your response was more than decent, it was succinct and full of good information. You baked the caked and I frosted it with the recipes of others.

Do you know how the Wizard of Oz got back to Kansas?
I blew up the balloon :lol:

Your second response reflects the wisdom that you possess founded in the crucible of experience!

I have a habit of overfilling the tea cup. I've long since replaced all of my table cloths with old newspapers ;)

As for my bluster ...



In this neighborhood we all learn from each other.



p.s. People that know me never ask me what time it is unless they want to hear the history of the calendar.

I only hope I get things right and when I do not or when I'm incomplete or obtuse, folks correct me in a civil fashion. There are a lot of folks on this forum that have more knowledge under their fingernails than I have in the sawdust between my ears.

Take care and thanks for what you bring to the forum.

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The short poem Desiderata contains words of wisdom for us all.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ih-HTtMtwek
John


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 Post subject: Re: How would you teach spare shooting
 Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:43 pm Post Number: #6 Post
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I agree with the information posted about spares and teaching them so I will move on. In regards to your expectations: you have to remember that not all junior programs have coaching; not all juniors get(want) coached.

I have been coaching the local Jr Gold Program for about 2.5 years now. I see this with them. The ones that are interested in bowling AND want to be better than most, they bowl. They learn, they soak up all the information the coaches teach. But they still struggle with spares.

If I were coaching (with what you are seeing), I would change my expectations in the beginning. After the beginning of the year, I would have plans in place for the bowlers that don't how to make spares or know their own game to learn them both. I would only take this from my FRESHMEN. While I was out recruiting, I would make sure that my incoming athletes knew my expectations and started learning before they showed up.

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 Post subject: Re: How would you teach spare shooting
 Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:16 am Post Number: #7 Post
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I agree on the spare shooting specifically on sport patterns straighter is greater...take the lane out of play when shooting most spares. But I think halfaclue has a good point about your expectations. Last year total bowlers at Jr Gold (the highest total to date) was around 2000 bowlers across all 4 divisions. Although this is just a sampling of youth bowlers who challenge themselves on sport patterns when you subtract the bowlers who are already in college, the bowlers who are not going to college and the bowlers who are sometimes years away from college, you can see how quickly the pool of talent shrinks. If your program isn't established as a highly competitive bowling school, guess what? The pool just got smaller and the majority of the bowlers you have left to draw on don't have the knowledge and experience of bowling these tougher patterns. Also remember that these young adults have expectations of their own and that is the expectation of YOU coaching them to be more knowledgable and a better bowler. Going forward in future recruiting look for bowlers who have talent (albeit raw), passion, competitive spirit, and most importantly are coachable. Good-luck and enjoy the ride.


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 Post subject: Re: How would you teach spare shooting
 Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:02 pm Post Number: #8 Post
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There is a wide variance in skill levels and knowledge when it comes to youth bowlers. Very few youth programs actually teach anything about being competitive. They are more social based. A lot of programs have almost nothing at all. If you ask even the more experienced youth bowlers about targeting, oil patterns and spare making they give you the deer in the headlights look. The bowlers can not even tell you how many boards there are and communicate in bowling terms. Many programs that I have seen just let the kids bowl and may provide an occasional tip here or there. There is a severe lack of serious coaching going on. Another factor in college bowling that should be mentioned. I know some colleges that could care less if the person on the bowling squad knows anything about bowling the freshman year. The school primary interest is in academics. They figure the coach can teach what is needed for them to bowl. Some coaches that I interact with want to know grade point averages, rank in class, SAT/ACT, community service etc. About the 8th thing they ask is can they bowl? Then they go "of course they can they come out of your program". We run one of they very few professional competitive youth programs in the country. No league, do not keep averages or scores, no teams, no recaps, no standings, no league functions at all. It is pure training from the ground up. 99% of all work is done on Sport Conditions for 3 to 4 weeks for each pattern. We layout static displays for demonstration, do video classroom analysis and hands on training. Documentation and training materials are given to every student and they are trained with them every session. Why do youth not know about bowling... Most youth programs do not teach what is needed and take the time to do the work. Saturday youth bowling starts a 9 and ends by noon and many centers do not allow coaching while the youth league is going on! Everyone goes home or to the mall afterwards?

Robert

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