When you look at the outlanes, there is a small post that has, I believe, three different options to move it. First thing you can do is loosen the nut underneath the playfield at that post, and move the post to the lowest hole. That closes the outlane a bit and allows the ball to potentially bounce out of there as opposed to run down the outlane easier. Those holes are pretty tight, by the way, and it's a little bit of a pain to move them, but you can do it..
Another thing is making sure your flippers are positioned appropriately. When you look at the tips of the lower flippers you will see small holes/imprints in the playfield. If you look at the top flat part of the flipper and were to draw an imaginary line, it should match out with that hole /imprint. Some people call this "slightly droopy flippers" but that is how this game was designed to have them. Now, that said, some people like to have the flippers dead square to those holes/imprints, but that is there personal preference/decision. The positioning of these flippers like this (as above, slightly droopy) enhances your ability to get those far lateral shots (like control center and helipad) a bit easier, and you will find that gameplay becomes surprisingly much more fluid when the flippers are positioned like this.
It is relatively widely agreed that for whatever reason, that right ramp is just difficult to dial in.
Sometimes you hit it so smoothly, especially when you're not actually needing that ramp for some goal. But when you're aiming for it purposefully, it can be oddly challenging. So don't think that that is a individual problem you're having, haha.
I think you will find that at first, just trying to focus on progressing through paddocks you will find yourself going for the shots that you need and eventually becoming more familiar with how to shoot across the playfield. Once you feel as though you're progressing well through the paddocks, then you can start to get creative with strategy on some of the other side modes and multiballs, etc.
As chuckwurt above mentions, try loosening up your tilt bob (or as he also suggests, just take the thing out for a period of time). Bumping and nudging this game, and most games in general, will keep that ball alive. You have to get just a little bit aggressive with the games if you really want to keep that ball alive and keep playing. This is a known thing that you need to kind of learn and get used to. Sometimes, on a really long game, you actually might get physically tired from all the bumping and nudging, but you will notice that as your ability to bump and nudge lessens, so will your length of ball time...
It's such a great game. As an above post asked about...I have GDZ and love it, there's no doubt about it...but JP is still the king in my book.