As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. (Affiliate Disclosure Statement)
Every decent bowler knows that the same methods and approaches will not work every time, every house and every lane is going to be different. A determined bowler will need to find bowling adjustments to make sure they keep their game up to par and learn how to deal with different conditions; even if the problem is having a bad day and nothing else.
A best practice to employ in bowling adjustments is your sighting; where you are focusing your eyes as you throw the ball.
Sighting Your Bowling Target
Sighting the target is important in bowling adjustments. When you are on the approach with a bowling ball in hand, where are you looking? Some people are pin bowlers, meaning they look at a pin they want to hit and go from there. This isn’t usually the best method, however. The most common way of sighting the target is to look at the bowling arrows on the lane and adjust your stand (where you start on the approach) accordingly. The goal of sighting the arrows is to aim your ball so that it will roll over the intended arrow and follow the best path to the pins. How you throw the ball, the speed, and the amount of hook you throw will help determine what arrow you aim at; as well as whether you are going for a strike or a spare.
How to bowl on heavy oiled lanes?
Usually, if the lanes are heavy with oil then they haven’t been used since they were oiled. Different levels of oil on the lanes will affect how your ball rolls and your end game. Making bowling adjustments by sighting your target differently can help to adjust for that problem. To help cut through the heavy oil, you may want to have a shorter skid on your ball before it goes into the roll phase so it will cut through much of the oil first. To do this, you might want to try adjusting your sighting of the arrows by setting your sight several inches in front of your target or arrow. This bowling adjustment will have you already naturally compensating and throwing the ball out further to reach the target.
Other bowling adjustments tips
As with the strategy for heavy oiled lanes mentioned above, you can also adjust your bowling target by sighting several inches behind your target or arrow. Performing this bowling adjustment will have you releasing the ball sooner and producing a longer skid before the bowling ball goes into the roll motion at the end.
If sighting targets in your bowling adjustment isn’t working, you can also try to reconsider where you are starting on your approach. Just a simple, slight move left or right with your feet can make a large difference. Don’t try to make too big of an adjustment at first as that can completely throw off your came. Study how your ball is reacting when you throw it, where it is landing and where it hits the pins. This will give you the knowledge of which direction you should begin the slight shift in footwork for your bowling adjustments to work in your favor.
Bowling Practice Drills
Bowling practice drills are a great way to make improvements to your game. A good one should focus on one fundamental technique and should be easy to learn but hard to master. If you’ve been looking for something to reinvigorate your practice routine, then why not give one of these a try?
Drop shoulder drill
This drill is designed to get your body used to the extra lateral (side to side) movement of your spine experiences during your approach to the foul line. It will ensure that your posture is perfect for bowling a strike as well as keep you safe from a back injury
To begin, get in your normal approach position, except this time, place the ball on the ground below where it would typically hang from your arm. Rotate your forearm until your index finger is pointing forwards and hold this stretch for three to five seconds.
Next, bring the ball up off the ground and into position. If you’ve successfully maintained the posture you had when the ball was on the floor, your spine should be tilting laterally and naturally. The better you get at this drill, the quicker you should be able to get your body into a safe and effective set-up position.
This drill is great for getting used to the balance and form that are necessary for having a perfect release. This drill can be done at the bowling alley, but it’s recommended that you take some time to do this at home in front of a mirror, so you can work at getting the form correct.
To begin, assume your normal set-up position. Then, without taking any steps, move your bowling ball into push away position (out in front of your body with your bowling arm completely extended). From here, let the power of gravity bring your ball down in the style of a swinging pendulum.
When you practice this, you should be focusing on creating a smooth and even backswing without “yanking” the ball down or forcing it into the release. Once you’ve got this mastered in front of a mirror, focus on incorporating it into a real delivery.
Developing Your Own Drills
If you know of a particular problem you have with your bowling game then why not come up with your personalized drills? To do this, single out one area of your technique that you’re struggling with, and break it down into its most basic components. Who knows your drills might be of use to others as well, so don’t be afraid to share tips with your friends!
Make bowling practice fun
Let’s face it. Not everyone wants to practice at getting better at bowling or just practice in general. We just want to go to the lanes and bowl strikes again and again. Well, the only way to bowl consecutive strikes is to practice. Kind of a catch 22, huh? But the practice is important. I think we can all agree on whether we want to or not. Have you ever heard that saying…”How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice.” The same thing applies to bowling…you have to practice, practice, practice. So to help make bowling practices a bit more exciting and fun, here a just a few ideas on what you can do.
Why Get a Bowling Coach
If you are questioning why you should get a bowling coach, then the appropriate question you should probably be asking yourself is ‘how important is bowling to you’? If you only plan to bowl from time to time, in a social setting with friends every few months, then you probably wouldn’t necessarily want a bowling coach. However, if you plan to play in the league and/or tournaments, then that means that you are likely more serious about your game and want to make sure you perform the best you can.
Bowling is a technique, skill, training, knowledge, and practice
Bowling is a sport. It is not a game of luck, but one of technique, skill, training, knowledge, and practice. A bowling coach is necessary if you plan to do well in your game and technique. Yes, some are born with bowling talent, but that doesn’t mean that they still don’t need the assistance of someone who knows a lot more about the game than they do. No matter what skill level you are, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or even advanced player, a bowling coach will only be beneficial to you and your game – and your teammates. Here are some things bowling coaches can teach you that you might not have thought about
Proper Bowling Balls
Having the proper bowling balls is an essential part of improving your game and technique. Too heavy of a ball can cause injury and will affect your game. Likewise, the light of a ball can result in injury as well and will diminish your game. A bowling coach will work with you to help you find the perfect bowling ball(s) for your body and game.
Understanding the Game
If you bowl at all, then you most likely know the basics of strikes and picking up spares. However, a bowling coach will be able to teach you techniques that are appropriate for your body and style so that your body works with you instead of against you. A bowling coach will also be able to instruct you on all aspects of the game, helping you to adjust to pick up more difficult spares and ways to throw the ball with the most accuracy possible. They will be watching your form and helping you to improve upon it.
Understanding Lane Conditions
A lot of beginning and even intermediate bowlers do not understand the importance of being able to read the changing lane conditions. The lanes are oiled, but the oil patterns and amount of oil on the lanes change throughout the games, especially in league and tournaments. A bowling coach can help you learn how to adjust as the lanes adjust and suggest different bowling balls to help in those situations.
These are only a few of the things a bowling coach can help you with, but there are a lot of other important factors not mentioned here. Briefly, a well-educated bowling coach can also help you to prepare physically and mentally so that you will work out the muscles you will be using in your game to keep from getting too tired and how to manage stressful situations.
A bowling coach is a good idea for most every player. You can pretty much bet that every professional and/or successful bowler has had some kind of professional bowling coaching along their way.
The 3 Basic Finger Grips For Bowling
There are 3 different ways that you can hold onto a bowling ball and each one affects your release differently.
The conventional grip
If you have ever used a house ball at the bowling alley then you are familiar with the conventional grip. In this type of grip, the fingers and thumb are inserted into the bowling ball up to the second knuckle joints. Typically, it is recommended that bowlers learn this type of grip when they first start bowing because it is the easiest grip to use and it provides the most control on the ball. This grip also provides a greater feeling of security and confidence.
The fingertip grip
In the fingertip grip, the fingers are inserted into the ball only up to the first knuckle joint. This increases the distance between the fingers and the thumb which gives the fingers more time in the ball. Because the fingers stay in the ball longer, more ‘lift’ is given to the ball giving it more power when it hits the pins.
The fingertip grip is harder to control than the conventional grip but gives more power when the ball hits the pins because of the spin that is imparted on the ball. More strength and control are needed when using the fingertip grip so it should not be used until a bowler has reached full control over the conventional grip.
The semi-fingertip grip
The semi-fingertip grip is very similar to the fingertip grip with one slight difference. The fingers are inserted into the ball so that the lip of the finger hole is halfway between the first and second knuckles. The extra bit of finger in the ball gives more feeling of security as the conventional grip while still having the power of the fingertip grip. One drawback is trying to maintain the grip so it doesn’t slip to the first knuckle.
Making The Most of Bowling Practice
The purpose of practicing your bowling game is to improve, not just in hitting strikes, but in all aspects of the game. This can include things such as picking up spares, adjusting your approach, working on your release, and much more. Having specific goals for your bowling practice will go a long way toward becoming a better bowler.
Bowling with a friend
So if we have to practice, might as well make it fun. What’s more fun than bowling with a friend? Especially if you have a friend that has the same skill as you or, better yet, who is better. Because if they are a better bowler, then you can learn from them and get better yourself. Also, having someone with you will break up the repetitive feeling you might experience when bowling alone. You can bounce techniques off of each other or share practice tips. But the biggest benefit has to be that you will have someone to watch your form and spot anything that needs to be fixed.
Where to begin
The first thing to do is to set up a practicing schedule. Keep in mind that you do not need to – and probably shouldn’t – work on the same thing at every practice. Choose certain practice sessions to work on specific areas. For example, if you practice three times a week, then break those practices into definite goals such as one day work on picking up spares and finding the pocket for strikes, the next session work on your approach and release and for the other session work on your overall game – as if you were shooting a real game.
Making the most of a frame
One important consideration to keep in mind is not to waste your money or time by resetting the pins if you didn’t get a strike or whatever you were going for. Instead, imagine the pins are still there and aim for the spot to get that strike or spare or whatever you are practicing on.
When practicing spares, you can choose to intentionally leave spares and splits to practice picking up, or you can concentrate on one pin that is the hardest for you to get, such as the seven-pin for example. Each frame, concentrate on throwing just at that particular pin or pins that you have the most difficulty picking up and then continue to do so even if you do pick it up. This way you will be developing your technique and accuracy for picking up the seven-pin (or whichever you are shooting for) which will improve your game and ability to pick up those spares.
More than just spares and strikes
Working on your approach and release are also important. This is something that should be practiced until it feels so natural you barely even have to think about how to adjust to shooting for a spare. Your approach should be smooth, as should your release. Practice your release for different sets to see how you adjust. Many bowlers will throw their ball harder at certain spares or to try and get a strike, when that may not be necessary if you have your approach and release worked out.
The importance of practice is not always about getting those strikes. It is about improving and perfecting every aspect of the game and your performance. Every ball counts, so it is important that you practice spares, splits, and your approach and release so that you will be ready for anything when you are playing.
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.
Adjustments and Launch Angle | USBC Bowling Academy
USBC Certified Gold Coach Karen Pullman and Team USA Assistant Head Coach Kim Terrell-Kearney give advice about how to make adjustments to your ...