According to the dictionary, the word consistency means the following:
CONSISTENCY- Keeping the same principals and habits; harmonious in agreement; agreement or harmony among the parts or elements of a thing.
Yes indeed, this is what we would all like to achieve in our bowling! But how does one achieve this is the big question? Let me remind you a little about the equipment we should be using.
1. Let us begin with the BALL and SHOES. I hope by now you are using your own ball and shoes. If not PLEASE get these as soon as possible! DO NOT use alley balls or shoes. To become consistent, you need to be using the SAME equipment week after week. As a rule of thumb, your ball weight should be about 10% of your body weight, so if you weigh 160 pounds for example, because 10% of 160 is 16 , so therefore you should try to use a 16 pound ball. If you're a new bowler, I recommend getting a "conventional grip" drilled in your new ball to start (drilled up to the second knuckle on the fingers). This will allow you to grip the ball better so you won't drop it. After a year or so after your fingers are stronger, you can buy a new ball or have the old one re-filled and re-drilled into a "Finger Tip Grip" (drilled up to the first knuckles on the fingers). As previously mentioned, DO NOT buy a very aggressive ball to start because they hook a great deal and are more difficult to control. Ask the local pro in the pro shop for help. They know what each type of ball can do and will be able to better assist you instead of just getting a ball online.
2. Buy a "WRIST DEVICE"! Some pro shop proprietors will let you try out different ones if you can bowl on a lane close to where the pro shop is located. This device will help hold the wrist firm so you can be more consistent in your release. It will help with your "Muscle Memory" in having the SAME FEEL over and over again.
3. Keeping the SAME SET-UP or ROUTINE that you do over and over again is also very important in achieving more consistency in your bowling game. Think behind the approach before you even remove your ball from the rack so you know what it is that you want to achieve. Before they turn on the lanes for practice, I always do some light stretching and I try insert my fingers into the bowling ball holes to make sure the fingers feel just right. If I need to, I'll have time to insert or remove tape to get the proper feel.
Once the lanes are turned on :
I begin my routine as follows:
1. Take my ball off the rack, put it my non-bowling hand, dry my bowling hand over the blower, and wipe the ball with my towel.
2. Check to the left and right to make sure no one is next to me and then I step onto the approach on the proper board or dot.
3. Insert my 2 fingers into the ball, and the thumb last.
4. Rest my bowling arm elbow onto my hip (to help take some of the ball weight since I use a 16 pound ball) and I keep my hand flat to start.
5. Move my bowling arm slightly out to the right so I will have body clearance on the downswing.
6. Flex my knees slightly so they are already bent when I begin my walk along the approach.
7. Fix my eyes on my target.
8. Count to four.
9. Begin my walk along the approach and counting my steps as I walk-1,2,3,4, and slide on the 5.
10. Release the ball lofting it out onto the lane and never looking at the pins until my ball hits my target down the lane and passes it slightly. Then I watch the ball as it hits the pins making sure the ball is following the correct path.
It is VITAL that you have a good routine similar to this. If you hold your wrist slightly different, that is fine because every bowler is different. But just make sure you are consistently doing it the same way each time until it is time to make a little change because of the changing lanes.
Do all your things the same way over and over to develop this Muscle Memory so that it becomes second nature to you and over time, you won't even have to think about it because you will do it automatically. Your bowling will improve greatly by have a consistent routine.
When you go practicing, include having a good routine along with other things you are practicing. Don't overlook this one!!
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Join me again next week when I'll be discussing "Are you having a bad night at the lanes"?
Good Luck and High Scoring!
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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.