Here are a few more basics that you need to know in order to keep improving your game. Practice these one at a time during your practice sessions and begin to incorporate them into every game. The more games you bowl, the more these principals will become automatic and you won’t have to think about them.
8. TIMING is #1 in Bowling so try to COUNT YOUR STEPS as you are walking on the approach so you get a nice rhythm and you do the same thing each time. When I don’t count, I find that my timing does get off and I end up going a little too fast, or too slow. Your consistency changes if your speed keeps changing.
9. LOFT TO THE SAME AREA ON THE LANE- You need to really REACH OUT and LOFT the ball about 2 feet out onto the lane after the release. DO NOT drop it right at the foul line. If you throw a large hook, it will probably end up in the channel by the time it would have reached the pins. To practice this, you can place a small towel on the lane a few feet from the foul line and keep practicing to land your ball smoothly onto the towel.
10. LAND YOUR BALL SMOOTHLY onto the lane, not into it hard or you’ll lose striking power by the time the ball does hit the pins.
11. Keep your EMOTIONS IN CHECK! This means if you miss a spare or a needed strike, try not to lose your cool and get angry. I used to do this all the time when I first started bowling and ended up doing poorly because I let my anger get the best of me. I would stay focused on what I did wrong rather than what I needed to correct for the next frame. Remember to take each frame separately. If you had a bad shot, just try to figure out what you did wrong before it’s your next turn so you won’t have a repeat of what you just did, and just move on. Don’t dwell on past frames since you can’t re-do them. Take a few deep breaths to help you stay calm and focused!
12. Getting a GOOD LIFT on the ball is really important. Try to keep your middle fingers a little stiff so they stay in a slightly bent position. If you can, try and touch the back of your right shoulder (Left shoulder for left handed bowlers) each time after you release the ball which will also insure a good LIFT. Good lift also put more revolutions on the ball which equals more action down at the pins.
13. TRUST IS A MUST OR YOUR GAME IS A BUST! What this means is to trust your ball to hook back into the pocket area, as long as you got it over your correct target. You don’t need to force it or do anything fancy with the ball. DON’T try to AIM it , just do the normal 10:00 or 11:00 release and give the ball a chance to work.
14. THINK BEFORE YOU GET UP ON THE APPROACH- Once you know where you are going to stand and where your target should be, then step onto the approach and just “FEEL” the shot.
Some of these basics are easier said than done, but you need to stay focused and in control to be successful in bowling. Only you can control your game, so learning these things early on will help you to improve more quickly.
Join me here next week for a discussion about “Lane Oil”.
Good Luck and High Scoring this week!