What exactly is a "slump" in bowling? Well, it's what happens to all of us at some point or another during our bowling years and it's not fun at all! If you're not bowling up to par for several weeks and can't figure out what you're doing wrong, then you are in a Slump! But don't PANIC!! When you panic and start worrying about your average going down, or that your team is losing games because of you, it will get worse.
The key is to realize that something has changed but in order to figure it out you ned to stay CALM and realize that you're NOT alone. When I was a beginner, I always tried to figure out what I was doing wrong which was very difficult. I decided to just focus on the things I needed to do correctly in order to execute a good shot. Here are some check points I've listed below. Make sure you focus on doing these things correctly.
1. Walking slow and straight
2. Having the trailing foot more in back of you rather than out excessively to the side.
3. Checking your hand position for the 10:00 or 11:00 release.
4. Getting the ball out over the correct target.
5. Being square to the target and staying on balance.
6. Making sure you are not dropping the bowling shoulder.
7. Having a nice smooth pendulum swing, no jerky movements.
8. Attacking the pins with confidence so your speed will be good, and consistent. If you're getting disgusted with your
performance, it could affect your speed and if you are going too slow, the ball will hook too much for example.
9. Check the bowling ball FINGER grips for being too loose or too snug. If you have gained or lost weight, you need to check those, otherwise your release may not be able to be good.
10. Check THUMB hole for being too lose or too tight.
11. Check if the ball is skidding rather than being in the ROLLING phase when entering the pocket.
12. Counting your steps so your timing is good and in sync with the arm swing.
13. Are you trying too hard or worried about not bowling your average?
14. Check the finger grips for not being too loose or too tight.
Here are a few things that may be happening that you may not be responsible for that may be the culprit:
1. Is your ball performing the way it's supposed to? Maybe it is oil soaked and it's time to get some of the oil out of the
2.. Has the weather changed? Is it harder to get the ball to hook? Play from the outside line more directly into the pocket.
If you focus on the check points, the problem will eventually correct itself. You can also have a friend come along with you during your practice sessions and take a smart phone video of you. Then you can examine yourself from the back so you may be able to see any issues.
If you are having family issues, try not to take it to the lanes with you. You are only there for a few hours and having that time to get your mind off it and relax a bit could actually help you solve the issue.
If you bowling in a lot of tournaments and usually win prize money, take a break for a few weeks so you won't lose fee money just waiting to get out of your slump.
If you prefer, ask a friend in the league that bowls better than you to come down and watch you for a few frames. They may be able to spot the issue right away so you can back to getting those high scores again.
If you are still bowling under average after several weeks of practicing these check points, don't beat yourself up! We tend to talk negatively when we are not at our best which can make things worse! If it goes on longer than a month or so, it may be time to talk to the PRO in the pro shop for a lesson or two. Tell the pro the issue you are having and they will get you back on track! This too will pass!
Join me next week when I'll be discussing "The Bowling Hand".
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.