When you're on a vacation for a few weeks, or perhaps if you don't join a league during the summer months, here are a few tips to help you keep up that Muscle Memory you've been developing and to keep you in shape when you aren't able to get to the bowling center.
Walking, Biking, or Jogging are great ways to get in some good exercise to help keep up your stamina. I also find it helpful to do lots of STRETCHING. It's one of the best exercises you can do to relieve tension from the body. I like to do them at least 10 minutes a day or for however long I have time in the morning and evening. It should feel good while you are doing these stretches, do NOT force anything, just nice and easy. These should also be done before any other exercises you may be doing to warm up the body to help avoid any injuries.
Isometric exercises make muscles contract so they can get a good workout without bending your joints. Try some of these I'm listing below so your ball doesn't feel like it weighs a ton when you do get back to the lanes:
** Stand with the back of your feet and body up against a wall with your arms down at your sides.Then place your palms against the wall and press hard holding for about ten seconds. You can work up to more seconds over time. This is a great workout for the back part of the upper arms, the Triceps.
** Hook your left and right finger tips together and then try pulling them apart. Start out with a gentle pull and then try to pull slightly harder each time you do this exercise. Hold the pull for about ten seconds or more.This is great for strengthening the fingers, especially if you are planning on going from a Conventional Finger Grip to a Finger Tip Grip.
** Stand in a doorway with your feet spread apart. Raise your arms up to shoulder height and try pushing your hands against both sides of the door frame. This will help strengthen the arms, back, and shoulders.
** If you have a one ball bowling bag, keep the ball in it and take it in your hand and just swing it back and forth while you're assuming the Delivery Position. If you have a two or three ball carrier, then just put one of the bowling balls or a few heavy items in one of those reusable grocery bags equaling the weight of your ball and tie the handles tightly together. Try following through with your arm looking at an imaginary target. You can aim for a spot on your couch and let it go if you want. Repeat this swinging back and forth motion several times.
** Most people have some of that blue painters tape (it doesn't leave any stick residue when you pull it up) or some masking tape in their garage. You can pack the roll in your suitcase if you're going away. Set up a lane and a foul line with the tape on a rug to form the letter "T". See photo below, compliments from a photo in Dawson Taylor's book "Bowling Strikes".
** Using a pen or marker, mark where you want your 1st step, 2nd step, 3rd step, and 4th step to be on the long piece of tape. Now set yourself up and go through the motions as if you were walking along the approach on a real lane and stopping to look down making sure your footwork is correct.The lady in the picture is using an ironing board iron to have a little weight in her hand. Most hotels have an iron.
You may have other exercises you like to do, but please do your best to do some of these during your time away from the bowling center. If you don't do something, it may take a few weeks for you to get back into the rhythm again which could cost you a few pins in average by the end of the season.
Join me back here again next time when I'll be discussing "How to Increase Your Rev Rate"?
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
I don't know if you have ever heard of Anthony Robbins. He's a famous Life Coach and motivational speaker. In one of his many book, he writes about Six Needs that everyone must have in order to feel fulfilled and happy during their life.
1. CERTAINTY-- When we are certain about things in our life, then we feel comfortable. We avoid pain and feel pleasure when things are going just right and we feel somewhat at peace and in control of things. But when we have too much certainty, then things can get predictable and become a bit boring. That's when the second need comes into play.
2. UNCERTAINTY-- When things are uncertain in our lives, we can become stressed, scared, or even nervous. But it can be a good thing because uncertainty gives life some variety or even an element of surprise. Uncertainty can actually help us grow more mentally. Certainty and uncertainty are opposite but at the same time, they compliment each other.
3. SIGNIFICANCE--All humans have the need to feel significant or different in some way to set themselves apart from everyone else. But by doing this, then we all have to feel needed in some way, which brings us to number four.
4. CONNECTION & LOVE--Everyone needs to feel loved or connected to others in some way in order to feel totally fulfilled. Significance, and Connection & Love are also opposite and complimentary of each other.
5. GROWTH-- Everyone needs to Grow in some way to feel like they have a purpose for being here on this earth. Things are either growing or dying, there is no in between. If you're not happy, it's probably because you have stopped growing.
6. CONTRIBUTION-- All of us need to contribute to this life in some form or another in order to "Serve the Greater Good". WE need to do things that we know are right and that will make us feel good and give us a sense of belonging.
People us different VEHICLES or ways to attain these six basic needs. Most of us use positive vehicles, but some of us may resort to using negative ones.You can basically pick out anything in life that you do and rate it against these six basic needs on a scale from 1-10 (10 being the most fulfilling). If it's something you don't really enjoy, it will probably come in at a rating below 4 and if it's something you love to do, the ratings will probably be at least a 7-10.
I'm sure you are wondering at this point, how does this apply to the sport of bowling? Obviously I love Bowling, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this Blog, and you love bowling too otherwise you wouldn't be reading it. I thought it would be interesting to write how all of my six need are being fulfilled psychologically by bowling every week. and see if you can relate to most.
I feel CERTAIN that I will always try my best every time I bowl, I feel a level of UNCERTAINTY because the lanes are different each week which makes me feel challenged. Each week, I say to myself "Who knows, I may finally get that 300 game I've been striving for tonight". For a new bowler, the uncertainty may the worry they may feel wether or not they can hit their average that night. I feel a certain level of SIGNIFICANCE because I am usually the high average woman bowler in my leagues by year end and it makes me feel good and important, which sets me apart from the others. I feel a level of CONNECTION because I am part of a team that works together to try and win games to finish in the top three league positions. I know I'm GROWING because I talk to the pro shop guy and other bowlers who average higher than me and get results by following their advice about certain issues I may be having at the time. For people who are just starting out, they have even more room to grow because they still have lots to learn. I feel that I am CONTRIBUTING to my team because I feel I can help win games and it gives me a feeling of accomplishment. People come to me with questions in the league, and writing this Blog about bowling and knowing I'm helping lots of people become better bowlers, gives me a very higher feeling of contribution.
Try rating your own 6 needs on a scale from 1-10 on how you feel about bowling and see where your levels are.If your levels are high on the scale like mine, that's a good thing because then you'll be more likely to improve in a shorter amount of time!
I want to wish all my followers a very Happy Thanksgiving! If you took some time off from work this wee, go bowling with the kids so they can see how much you are improving!
Join me back here next week when I'll be discussing How to practice when you're away from the lanes.
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
The Chameleon Oil Pattern
The 5th oil Pattern I want to discuss is the "Chameleon Oil Pattern". It's a tough one to play on because there are a lot of different angles you can play from and like a chameleon, you must keep changing your angle and sometimes the ball you are using. It looks like this:
The pattern is 39 feet long and the darker area on the picture is where the heaviest oil will be. The scoring is usually low to medium depending on your style and the ball you are using.
Large adjustments may be needed so my recommendation for Strokers is to stand on board 5 and start from there, and moving in five board increments to the left as the oil wears off. Play between the 5th and 15th board and you can try playing more directly into the pocket when the pattern is fresh.
Tweeners should start a bit more to the left of the Stroker and needs to be more accurate on their target, or the ball may get stuck in the oil and not come up into the pocket.
Crankers can start in the center of the lane or even slightly left of center, and play the inside track. It will be a tough pattern in the beginning but get will get easier as you go along. You may need to move even farther left and play a deeper line. It may be good to also change to a ball that breaks farther down the lane if you have one, otherwise the ball may cross over to the 1-2 pocket, or you may wind up with a few splits.
As with any oil pattern, as the oil breaks down and carries farther down the lane, you could even change to a straight ball if you have one. If you bowl the same oil pattern in one bowling center and then go to another center and play the same pattern, it can vary slightly depending on the lane oiling machine.
As always, let your ball be your guide and make notes for yourself when bowling on these different patterns as to what is happening and what adjustments you are making because it can be confusing, especially if you're a new bowler.
Do try bowling in some tournaments when your confidence is good because that will help you to really improve on these different oil patterns. Don't be fearful, everyone who is a great bowler all had to start out somewhere, and they improved by bowling in different centers practicing and participating in these tournaments to get a lot of experience on several types of lane conditions. How will you know your full potential unless you push yourself outside of your normal comfort zone?
Join me back here again next week when I'll be discussing "Understanding the Mental Game of Bowling"-Part 1
Good Luck and High Scoring!!!
There are several things a person might be doing wrong if their timing is or something else is off, which can mess up the swing as well as the footwork and resulting in a poor score. Here are a few items you'll need to be aware of so it won't happen to you:
1. Rushing the Line (going too fast)---
When you're a new bowler, or it's the first night of the new league for example, or you're going for a crucial shot, sometimes we get excited and we let that adrenalin flow get the best of us and we may walk too quickly. Be aware of this and try to walk at your normal pace (unless the lanes are changing and you need to on purpose). Walking too fast causes the body to be out of sync with the arm swing and the body will reach the foul line ahead of the ball causing an unwanted muscled swing. When the timing is off, it can also cause you to have bad balance and a poor release without a good loft.
2. Holding the Ball out in Front---
You should always remember to hold the ball out to the side so you will already have the clearance of the body when the bowling arm comes down and back. If you hold the ball out in front of you, you have to loop it around the body which can be inconsistent. After I get my fingers into the ball, I rest my elbow on my right hip and swing the ball out slightly to the right. (Lefty's do the opposite). This will lead to a more consistent swing.
Beginners tend to drift toward their target. That is ok if you only drift a board or so off from where you started, but remember to look down at the dot or board you are standing on and after you release the ball, look down again to check that you are not drifting too much because if you land in a different place each time, you will not be able to hit your target consistently!
4. The Push Away---
The direction you push the ball away, is the direction that the back swing is going to be. Remember to keep your shoulders square to the target and push the ball out directly in front of you, not slightly to the right or left.
During the release, the ball loft should be past the foul line by at least a foot or more so the ball won't cause a foul shot and loss of pins if it's released too close. You should also try to stay down after the release for a few seconds until the ball passes the target. Try not to "pop up" after the release and try not to swing the bowling arm back and forth which looks sloppy. Staying down and holding the release position looks more professional.
6. Follow Through---The follow through comes after the push away, pendulum swing, and ball release. After the ball release it is important to continue coming up with the arm and hand toward the ceiling. Your bowling elbow should come up near your ear, or you can touch your back with your bowling hand after the ball release to insure a really good follow through.
7. Dropping the Ball---
The foot must already be sliding as you release the ball. If the ball is improperly fitted, you could drop it causing a loss of power by the time it reaches the pins. Let it become part of your routine to check the tape in the holes before you start any bowling to insure a good fit each time you bowl, because sometimes the thumb or fingers can swell slightly. Add or remove the tape as needed, don't be lazy and think just because the ball had a good fit last week, that it will be the same this week. Our bodies do change.
8. Bad Balance---
As I previously mentioned in an earlier blog post. after you release the ball, the non-bowling arm should go out to the side and your foot should stay more in back of you and on the floor rather than out to the side, to help keep your balance, especially if you're a beginner. As you get better and your balance improves, you can keep your foot up off the floor and slightly out to the side, just not excessively. If your balance isn't good, it will be difficult to consistently hit your target.
Just be aware of these things and others I have mentioned in earlier posts so you can quickly get past these mistakes and get back to focusing on the game and doing well as you are meant to do!
Join me again next week when I'll be discussing the "Chameleon Oil Pattern".
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.