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.