Early in my Blog, I discussed what should be happening on each step of a “Five Step Approach”, but these are only the motions. There are lots of other things that are involved besides these body movements. Take your time learning my BASIC PRINCIPALS and only do a few at a time in your practice sessions so you don’t get too overwhelmed.
2. BEND YOUR KNEES slightly at the stance and walk with them slightly bent up the approach to the foul line. When I first started to bowl, I bent them at the stance, straightened them back up to walk, and then bent them again at the foul line. I think the less you do, the less mistakes you will make.
3. Be STEADY at the foul line. What I mean by this is to have a solid foundation on the sliding left foot (Right foot for the left-handed bowlers) so you don’t get thrown off balance. This is also important for accuracy. If you are off balance, you may miss your target.
4. Keep your SPEED CONSISTENT. In the past if I had a crucial shot coming up and the adrenaline was flowing, I would tend to rush the line and go too fast. Be aware of this and take a few deep breaths to help relax any tension in the muscles and don't let that adrenaline get the best of you.
5. Keep the TRAILING FOOT more in back of you rather than to the side. It will keep your body more square to the lane and target. I’ve seen many a bowler put their leg out excessively to the side and it looks like their body has been contorted to the point where they may be hurting their back over time.
6. If you are missing your spares by only a little bit but know you got the ball out over the correct arrow or board, you may be DROPPING YOUR SHOULDER slightly. To help prevent this, I actually lift my bowling shoulder slightly at the stance. Doing this keeps it from dropping it at the time of the ball release.
7. HOLD YOUR POSITION and balance at the foul line. Stay low and have your body in an upright position after you release the ball until the ball hits the pins. Standing up immediately and letting the arm swing back and forth looks sloppy and unprofessional. Holding the position makes you more attentive to your target.
Check out my ebook available on Amazon/Kindle--"Let's Rev Up Those Bowling Scores".
Join me next week for Part 2 of "What Do I Need To Know About Bowling"?
Good luck and high scoring!!
What is Proper Bowling Etiquette?
In my opinion, this is a very important part of bowling. Lots of people who have bowled for years do NOT know about this subject. For all bowlers, please be courteous of other bowlers whether practicing on your own, or in a bowling league. Bowling etiquette is important because it makes the game much more enjoyable for all the players if they follow all the rules.
I do think it’s up to the team captains to let his team mates know about:
1. Being ready to bowl when it’s your turn so you don’t hold anyone up. If you need to use the rest room, get a snack, or bring a money envelope over to the league treasurer for examples, please let a team member know so if you're not back to your set of lanes when it's your turn to bowl, your team will have the option to skip your turn and keep the rhythm going (and then you can just take your turn when you have returned), or they can just wait for you to get back.
2. Staying on your own approach and lane and don’t wander off your bowling area onto someone else’s lane. I have seen this happen. Some bowlers back up to watch their shot and almost run into someone trying to bowl on the lane next to them, how rude! It's best to wait at the foul line until your shot is completely finished, then turn around and walk back to the ball return.
3. When having several balls in your bag, please do NOT keep them all on the rack at the same time. Please keep them down below the rack or in your bag until you need one of them, and then switch. Some people get upset if there are too many balls up on the rack because when the balls come back after a shot, they can come up the ball return very quickly and knock one of the balls off and could hit someone’s foot if someone is standing close to the ball return!
4. The bowler to the RIGHT always has the right of way because sometimes bowlers get up onto the approach at the same time. Over the years, sometimes when I was already set up to bowl, another bowler stepped up onto the approach, and totally threw me off. I wasn’t expecting it and I felt rushed and ended up with a lousy shot. If this happens to you, let them go and just step back. Then set yourself up again so you will have a great shot. It took practice, but I have disciplined myself to do this. After you finish bowling that frame, you can politely go over to the person and explain the bowling etiquette or tell the team captain to do so.
5. NOT yelling or talking loudly if a bowler is set up to bowl. It’s extremely distracting!!
6. NOT eating or drinking when in the sitting area or near the lane. Eat at the tables provided in the back part of the lanes.(It’s also good practice that if you bowl with your right hand, practice eating with your left hand and visa versa). You might not be able to hold onto the ball after eating some greasy French fries!
7. Leaving wet boots and shoes out of the bowling area!! Stepping in any moisture can make bowling shoes stick on the lane and if you step in any wetness with your sliding shoe, there's a good chance that you might go over the foul line or fall onto the lane.
8. NOT using someone else’s equipment without asking them first.
9. NOT putting your hand down in the ball return if a ball is stuck. Contact the front desk area who always has a mechanic on hand that will do the job.
10. When someone on the opposing team gets a strike or makes a difficult shot, give them a high five and don’t “Boo” them even though you want your team to win the game. Always show good sportsmanship. People don’t like a sore loser.
11. Lastly, NEVER ask a bowler if they have ever bowled a “300” game if they are getting a string of strikes (which is 12 consecutive strikes and the highest score one can achieve in the game of bowling). It’s considered a “Jinx” and they will most likely miss the next strike. They will also blame you, and rightly so. Bowling a 300 is not an easy thing to do and I would love to see anyone do it, even if my team has to lose the game! The first time I saw a live 300 game bowled was in a tournament I went to in Mexico City. It was so exciting!!
There is one other thing I think is worth mentioning. Always do your best and be honest about your game. There are people some refer to as "Sandbaggers". This means that they are decent bowlers but don't always do their best. They only bowl their best when a game calls for it. They keep their average low on purpose to get a large handicap and when a game is close, then they bowl well so they can win the game. We all want to win games, but please do NOT be a Sandbagger. You are not really being fair to yourself because you will never know what your real average would be by resorting to this unfair tactic.
In general, always do your best and be a good sport. Be courteous to other bowlers in your practice sessions and in your league!
Join me next week when I will be discussing my “What Do I need to Know About Bowling”-Part 1
Good luck and high scoring!
In bowling, and as in any sport, to perform your best and have good stamina. It’s important to be in good physical condition and bowling in itself is a great exercise because you can burn about 200+ calories in an hour using an 8-16 pound ball and you can actually build some muscles in your biceps by holding the heavy ball, and the quad muscles get stronger walking along the approach and holding your form after the ball is released.
These exercises I have listed below are the ones I like to do and they help keep my fingers, arms, wrists, and legs in good shape, which in turn helps me to achieve higher scores.
1. Finger Pulling: This exercise will help keep your fingers strong so you can hold onto the ball and don't drop it since it is somewhat heavy. You can also work your way up to get a Finger Tip Grip drilled in your bowling ball which will give you better leverage and lift for more striking power. To do this, clasp the fingers of both hands together and try pulling them apart holding them for about 10-15 seconds
2. Tricep Stretches: Any kind of stretching is great before doing any type of sport. It loosens up the body and muscles to prevent any injuries. To do this one, touch your back with your right hand. Then grab the back part of the elbow and pull gently for a nice stretch. Hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side. I usually do this at the lanes just before I bowl to help get my muscles loosened up and release any tension.
3. Bicep Exercise: This helps to make the biceps stronger if you don't have any hand weights. Hold your palms together, (bowling hand facing up) and press down with the opposite hand and push up at the same time with the bowling hand. Hold for the count of 15 or 20 seconds.
4. Aerobics: Bowling is an "anaerobic" exercise meaning that you don't really sweat much while doing it, so I feel it is important to get some aerobic exercises in during the week. They are a great and fun way to stay in shape and I try to do them at least 3 times a week for at least 20-30 minutes which allows me to get a good cardio workout. I used to get tired by the end of the 2nd game but after doing cardio I have more stamina and energy for that 3rd game, and my score is much higher. Walking is also a great way to get exercise and easy on the joints if you're not walking really fast. The legs do a lot of work while you're bowling so keeping them in shape is really important. If your prefer biking, that's also a great cardio exercise. You can make it harder to pedal which will make the quads stronger.
5.Ball Squeezing: This one helps keep my wrist and fingers strong. Just hold a small rubber ball in your bowling hand and squeeze it with your fingers 10 times. Then hold the last squeeze for at least 10-15 seconds. This gets your fingers stronger to help you hold onto the ball, especially if you use a finger tip grip or plan to get one in the near future.
6. Bicep Curl: If you can, buy a pair of 5-10 pound dumbells or some resistant bands. Lift with each hand to the count of 10 to start, then work your way up to 20 or more. You can also do some push-ups if you like. Do weight lifting every other day, because it’s important to let your muscles rest a day in between. You can do weight lifting every day if you are working different muscle groups. If you don't have any weights, you can put some groceries from your pantry in a bag and just lift that.
7. Squats or Deep Knee Bends: You legs play a very important part in your bowling game and they need to be strong. To do this leg exercise, put your arms out in front of you and lower your body into a deep squatting position (as if you were going to sit down in a chair). Don’t let your knees go past your toes or you could injure your knees. Repeat this squat 10 times and work your way up to 20-30 repetitions. When you get good, you can hold weights in your hands and do them. This will help the quadrisep muscles to get stronger, to help you achieve a deep knee bend when releasing the ball onto the lane. Squats also help with stability and good balance.
You can also incorporate other exercises like Jumping Jacks, Swinging the legs back and forth, arm swings, and sit ups to keep the core strong. Try getting yourself into a good exercise routing so it becomes part of your day like brushing your hair and washing your face. You can also do some stretching, deep knee bends, and arm circles at the lanes before you begin your league practice session. Doing these will help to loosen up some of the muscle tension in your body after a long day at work, and it can also help prevent getting any injuries.
Because Bowling is a physical activity, there are so many health benefits that can be gained from being in a weekly league:
vessels and builds up over time which doesn’t leave much space
for blood to flow. LDL is caused from things like smoking, eating
foods high in fat, family history, and inactivity. Regular physical
activity like bowling can help lower bad cholesterol by 15% and
can raise HDL (the good cholesterol) by 20%. HDL carries
cholesterol away from the arteries back to the liver where it
that makes bones become thin and more brittle. This condition is called “Osteoporosis”. People who have this condition are at a much greater risk for broken bones if they should fall. Bones are living tissue and will change for the better when forces are placed upon them. The weight of a heavy ball can help bones become more dense over time and help maintain healthy strong bones.
* Burning extra calories: Everyone knows that a body in motion will burn more calories
than a body at rest. Before I joined a league, I was a couch potato. Getting out there each week, I have lost a bit of weight and feel great. You can burn 80-100 calories for every 20 minutes you are bowling, and bowling three games a week is like walking a mile.
I know exercising will help your scores improve like they did for me. Reading my blog shows me that you are a bowler that really wants to improve, so why not get into better physical shape as well. I believe that in the long run, looking better and feeling better will also help your bowling scores to get better!
Join me next week when I will be discussing an important topic that some bowlers have no clue about, even people in leagues, “What is Proper Bowling Etiiquette”.
Good luck and high scoring this week!
How Do You Release a Bowling Ball?
Now that you have practiced your timing (the walking and arm movements together) and you feel comfortable on where to stand for your strike ball, it is time to discuss the “BALL RELEASE”. But first, insert your fingers into the ball and make sure it doesn't feel too loose or too tight. if it's not comfortable, take tape out of the hole or insert tape as I spoke about in Blog Post on April 26, 2021 all about Equipment.
Walk up to the foul line with your ball and assume the position as if you just finished your slide. Swing the ball back and forth a few times and then just let it go. Do this several times until you have a feel of the swing. Then do it again but let the ball go.
To begin, now take your ball and step onto the approach. Insert the fingers into the bowling ball first, and then the thumb last and place your non-bowling hand under the ball to help support its weight, or as I do, rest the elbow on the hip to help support the weight of the ball with the non-bowling hand underneath the ball.
As you walk on the approach, remember on the slide to try to get LOW with a deep knee bend and have the body UPRIGHT and shoulders mostly SQUARE to the target (use the 2nd arrow as a starting point).
To RELEASE the ball, release it smoothly onto the lane as you get to the end of the slide and on the DOWNSWING when the ball is down by your left ankle. Pretend you are landing a plane and loft out onto the lane, NOT into it, as the ball will lose power if it hits the lane too hard. Think of pushing the ball onto the lane rather than throwing it. The THUMB needs to come out first, and then LIFT with the fingers which help rotate the ball. Keep the arm close to the body and bring it upward toward the ceiling so your hand can come up and touch your right shoulder to insure a good Lift. Remember to place the trailing foot out behind you or just SLIGHTLY out to the left. The left arm needs to go out to the side to assist with your balance (do the opposite for left-handed bowlers).
1. STRAIGHT BALL RELEASE: In order to be able to throw a straight ball, you just need to keep your hand FLAT at the stance, throughout the downswing, and all the way through the release. Do NOT turn it at all. If you think of your hand as the face of a clock, holding it out in front of you with the palm facing side up, the thumb should be near the number 3 and your middle finger will be at the 12. Keeping you body square to the lane is also important. This release is great for spares because there is no hook involved. I use this release when going for my 10 pins (7 pin for the left handed bowlers).
2. 10:00/11:00 RELEASE: In order to throw a hook, you can hold your hand flat at the stance, through the back swing, and through the downswing. Then just at the point of release, turn your hand only (not the entire arm) so your thumb is at the 10:00 or 11:00 position on a clock face and your fingers straight up pointing to the pins (on the right side of the ball for right-handed bowlers). You also need to LIFT your two fingers toward your palm during the ball release. This turning and lifting action will give you a nice HOOK shot. (The lefty’s thumb will be at the 2:00 or 1:00 position and the hand finishes on the left side of the ball).
3. You can also try holding your hand in the 10:00/11:00 hand position at the stance, backswing, and on the downswing and release. Or try holding your thumb so it is at the 5:00 position on a clock and your pinky pointing at the 11 at the stance on the downswing and just before the release, turn back to the 11:00 position. It will feel awkward at first, but doing this will put a nice rotation on the ball and give it more REVOLUTIONS (turn). More revs will get more ACTION at the pins!
The idea is to try these different hand positions on the down swing and release to see what works best for you during your practice sessions.
When lanes change from oily to dry after a game or two, you may want to use the straight hand position if the ball starts hooking too much, so you’ll have more control and more accuracy.
Take notes in your notebook during your practice sessions to help you recall what you did just before you start bowling on your league night. There’s lots to remember and easier to just review your notes from time to time.
Check out my book that's available on Amazon/Kindle--"Let's Rev Up Those Bowling Scores".
Join me next week when I'll be discussing "What Exercises are Good For Bowling"
Good Luck and High Scoring!
How are Bowling Balls Made?
1. Rubber Balls They don't really make these anymore because lanes are no longer made of wood. They came in a hard or soft shell.You could probably get one at a yard sale, but most bowlers want to keep up with technology changes which helps them score higher, so today they prefer polyester or urethane bowling balls.
2. Polyester Balls-These balls have varying degrees of Hardness. Softer balls will start hooking sooner on the lane, and the harder surfaced balls will travel a bit farther down the lane before they begin to hook.
3. Urethane Balls- As time passed, the makers of these bowling balls realized that it made more sense to make a ball out of the same material that the lanes were made from. This material is much stronger and the balls hit the pocket with more power, but at the same time can be more difficult to control.
There are basically three parts of a bowling ball:
2. CORE: The core of a bowling ball is a liquid polymer resin blend which is poured in and around the weight block in this second mold. The molds are all the same size, but the concentration of the materials in this liquid is what allows the weights of the bowling balls to vary. This core takes several days to completely dry. (Look at your bowling ball if you have one and find the little dot which is the PIN. It shows you where the top of the core is). After the core is dried, the ball is taken out of this mold and put into a third mold.
3. SHELL: The shell of the ball is made of a liquid urethane which is pumped into this third mold. This liquid can come in a variety of colors and some even add scents like lemon, and blueberry! The liquid only takes about 5 minutes to harden and then the ball is removed from the mold and ground smooth with a lathe machine. A hole is then drilled to mark the position of the weight block (Where the PIN is), and this area is filled in with a colored resin (usually yellow or white). It is also put on a machine that finds the “Center of Gravity” and is indented slightly with a “punch” tool. After 24 hours, the ball is completely dried and hardened enough to have the company logo engraved which is filled in with a colored paste.
Lastly, the ball goes through spinners with hot, soapy water and polishing rollers. The completed ball is placed in a plastic bag, boxed up, and shipped out to bowling center pro shops all over the country. Some of these companies can make 5,000 balls each day!
They have a video online if you are interested in seeing what these molds and weight blocks look like. Just type in "How a bowling ball is made".
Most bowling balls have three holes that are drilled at the pro shop for a custom fit when you purchase a ball. There was also a fourth hole drilled for balance, but recently this fourth hole was declared illegal in US competition by the USBC-United States Bowling Congress. If your ball has a fourth hole, you might need to get this weight hole filled in with a resin material at the pro shop. Just check with your league president about this.
Join me next week when I’ll be discussing “How Do You Release A Bowling Ball"?
Good Luck and High Scoring!
Hello!! My name is Joanie. Although I'm not a professional bowler, I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.