How to Pick Up the 10 Pin – Methods for Left and Right Handed Bowlers

Picking up the 10th pin in bowling is probably the most feared and dreaded spares to convert.

And unfortunately, it is one of the most common pins that comes as an obstacle in your way to make a spare.

There are different methods and theories recommended by experts but it’s actually hard to figure out which one is the most helpful.

If you are struggling with this problem I am going to give you a solution by explaining how to pick up the 10 pins.

First of all, I would recommend doing practice more and more. It’s because the method I will description requires huge practice. However, you also need to know some reasons we miss the 10th pin.

How to Pick up the 10th Pin?

The process is different for bowlers of left-handed and right-handed players. So, they have to follow different rules in order to achieve their aim.

But first, as I mentioned before, we need to learn from the mistakes people usually do. Here I am shortly explaining.

  1. Most common mistake we do is drifting off of the desired walking path. The main reason to face this problem is the initial alignment of the approach.
  2. Most bowlers have a tendency to drift to the center while approaching which reduces our chance to throw at the right angle.
  3. The final reason is a bit controversial. It is because of delivering the ball at a faster speed. The professional bowlers always try the 10th pin with a more speed shot but it isn’t an ideal way for the beginners/intermediate players. Suddenly a change in speed generally misleads the ball to a different aim. The professionals are proficient to hold their aim, angle, and control even at a higher speed rate.

Pick up the 10th pin for a right-handed bowler

For the right-handed bowlers, you will have to follow only the 5 steps given below.

Find the spot all the way over to the left and stand there to make the first approach.
Stay flexible and place the foot on the 1st darkened dot.


Now keep your concentration on the center arrow (4th arrow) and throw the ball across it.


At this point, release the bowling ball in a 12-6 straight up (Remember to use down motion).


While executing the previous step cut off your arm swing and shorten it before the release is complete. (Using a plastic ball will be more helpful as it hooks the least amount)

Pick up the 10th pin for a left-handed bowler

For the left-handers, it’s better to throw their natural hook shot with their strike ball. Being a left handle I prefer aiming through the 3rd arrow and hook right through the 10th pin.

Note: If you have a big hook you can try it over the 2nd or the 1st arrow. I am not comfortable with the 1st or 2nd arrow but it depends on the users.

You can also check this video for a visual guide – How to Pick Up the 10 Pin

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