Improve Your Bowling Game & Score!
You’ve probably heard these before, and you will without a doubt hear them again as much as we bowlers like giving advice. Any one of these alone is pretty simple, performing all of them at the same time is another story. The idea is for all of these to become automatic so that you don’t have to think about any of them when you start your approach… This requires lots of practice (see tip #9).
As with any advice, use what you need and discard the rest. Don’t blame me if they don’t help, just send me a check if they put you on the pro tour!
I have concentration listed first because without it, all of the others will not happen. Distractions, problems at home, school, or work, discomfort (such as tight clothing), and many other things contribute to you losing concentration at that last second. One thing I do is wear a watch and count to 4. It’s not necessarily the extra time that helps, but this gives you a familiar object to concentrate on, and it also improves your “timing”. Watch the second hand count 4 ticks, then move your eyes to your mark as you begin your approach. This will work providing you don’t have to alter the position of your watch arm too much.
# 2 Shoulders Square
For consistent deliveries, keep your shoulders square to the foul line at all times. A “dropped” shoulder can send the ball wide every time. This often happens when you rush your approach. Maintain a moderate approach speed and be aware of your shoulders during delivery.
# 3 Back Straight
This is one of the most difficult things to learn how to do automatically, it seems instinctive to bend over when you set down a 16 pound object, but it is very important to keep your back reasonably straight for a consistent delivery.
# 4 Arm Straight And Near Body
Bending your arm at the elbow and swinging it away from your body are main contributors to an inconsistent game. A slight bend at the elbow to obtain lift is alright, as long as the inside of your elbow is pointing down your lane, and not at the snack bar.
# 5 Knee Bent
It might seem natural to begin your slide with a bent knee, then straighten it as you release the ball. Although this will get you more lift, it’s just one more thing you have to get perfect for consistent bowling. Stay down at the foul line for higher scores.
# 6 Slide Straight
You absolutely must maintain your balance for proper ball delivery. In order for this to happen, you have to keep your approach and slide perpendicular to the foul line at all times.
# 7 Follow Through!
I had these two words engraved on one of my bowling balls as a constant reminder. This is probably the single largest contributor to consecutive poor releases. It’s not hard to bowl an entire game before you realize that you are not following through. Freeze your arm after release and check it’s position after your ball crosses over the mark, it should be about head high with your thumb pointing over it’s own shoulder.
# 8 Watch Your Ball Cross The Mark
It doesn’t matter whether you focus on a mark, or on an area of the lane, as long as you focus on something. “Hold that pose” until your ball crosses over that mark, this will ensure that you are not rushing out of your approach.
# 9 Practice, Practice, Practice
And when you’ve finished doing this… practice some more.
It’s hard to be consistently good at anything, if you only do it once a week. Get a friend to watch your approach, or if possible, set up a video camera. You’ll be surprised at what you see!
# 10 Have Fun!
I put this in here just in case the other nine do not work. You don’t have to average 200 to have a great time!