As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. (Affiliate Disclosure Statement)
Bowling is a great way to get exercise while also having a fun time. Here are some top tips for bowling beginners, as well as for anyone who has never bowled before.
Find the right bowling ball
Bowling beginners don’t need to spend a ton of money on the latest bowling ball or heaviest for that matter. It just has to be controllable. When choosing a bowling ball, it’s important to select a weight that is appropriate to the bowler’s strength and ability. This is true at any age. A ball that is too light or heavy will not only affect your game, it can also cause muscle soreness or injury. To the light of a bowling ball will have you throwing it too quickly, which can ‘jerk’ your arm and shoulder. A ball that is too heavy, will take more exertion and drag your throwing arm down, likely resulting in sore muscles or even worse.
Holding the ball correctly
A lot of bowling seniors and beginning bowlers may not realize how important the stance and how a bowling ball is held is to a better game as well as preventing soreness. Many beginning bowlers that are new to the game make the mistake of holding the bowling ball at waist level. While this may seem more comfortable, it affects both the way the ball is delivered down the lane as well as the back, shoulder, and arm.
Holding the bowling ball at the waist has the bowler automatically in a position to be leaning forward as they start their approach, which compromises the release of the bowling ball and accuracy of the game. It can also put more strain on the back as the bowler bends over more and the arm and shoulder as the bowler will need to use more force to give the bowling ball proper momentum.
Hook bowling ball beginners
The right equipment for hooking a bowling ball is very important. Just like a mechanic or plumber has the right tools for the right job, bowlers also need to have the right equipment to get the job done. That’s why to hook a bowling ball you have to have a bowling ball built to hook. Sure you could just take a house ball and crank it with your arm to get the same effect but what will happen is you won’t have any control over the ball. No, the bowling ball you need is one with a specially designed core and coverstock. Back in 70’s urethane balls were what got the job done. These days bowlers can choose from much more technologically advanced bowling balls that generate more power and wider hooks.
Bowling practice is so essential
The ability to hook a bowling ball is not easy but can be done with practice. The secret to making the bowling ball hook properly is inconsistency. Learning to hit the pocket the same way every time is what makes hook bowling so effective. And that’s why bowling practice is so essential. To be consistent in the pocket you have to practice. You might not like it but practice pays off in the end because once you can be consistent, you will see a noticeable increase in your strike percentage.
The ball release is the key
It is a common misconception that to hook a ball the wrist initiates the process and the wrist movement of turning the ball gives the ball the curve it needs. But this is not true. While the wrist can be involved with a slight 15-degree turn, the source of the hook comes from the fingers as you release the ball. As the ball comes off of your fingers it imparts torque to give the ball the rotation it needs to hook. So as you start coming out of your backswing to release the bowling ball, the first thing to focus on is the thumb coming out of the ball. The ball needs to roll off of your hand and by letting the thumb come out of the ball first, that’s exactly what will happen as the bowling ball continues its motion.
I used to think that you had to put a massive spin on the ball to get a bowling ball to hook just like the pros. But it much easier than that. The key is to time the release just right so you get that motion from the thumb to the fingers. Then to give the bowling ball a bit more reaction on the pins, if you ‘lift’ your fingers out of the ball, it will produce the power in the back end to create a pretty exciting strike.
How To Raise Your Bowling Average
One of the main things a bowler continues to work on is how to improve their bowling average. Your bowling average is not just important to you as an individual, but also for the success of your team as well. If your average is very inconsistent, this could damage the team’s ability to win leagues and tournaments. There are several techniques to improve your bowling average.
How to improve your bowling average?
Bowling practice is the most important way to improve your bowling average. The more practice you put in, the better you will become. However, there are different types of practice strategies that could and should be used in combinations if you are serious about improving your bowling average. Practicing only for strikes is okay as long as you mix it up with other techniques as well. Plan out your practice schedule so that one session you work on the game overall, including your approach and release, another session you work on your spares, and another where you work on hitting the pocket.
Picking Up Spares
Picking up spares is often overlooked by new bowlers but it is a crucial part of improving your bowling average. Many bowlers don’t always necessarily take into consideration how important this is until they look at the scoreboard and see how many points they could have had if only they had picked up those spares. When practicing on just picking up spares, don’t aim for the pocket. Instead, aim at either a spare pin that you know you have difficulty picking up (such as the ten pins) or aim off of the pocket to leave pins. This way, you will be developing your skills at going after certain pins, learning whether or not you need to release the ball harder or softer for certain pin spares, and whether or not your approach for certain spares needs work.
When you are practicing on your strike zone and hitting the pocket, take note of your approach as well as the speed with which you release the bowling ball. To improve your bowling average, the ability to get strikes is important. Finding the pocket is not always the easiest thing to do, especially after the league has been going and you’re on game three and the oil patterns have changed on the lanes.
Not everyone bowls the same of course, so you will need to find the rhythm and method that works best for you, which is why practice is so important. For example, you may not need to throw for a strike at the same speed as you throw for a spare, so it is important to take note of your speed and how it affects your strikes and spare pick-ups.
To improve your bowling average, you might want to consider bowling lessons. Bowling lessons can be beneficial to both beginners and advanced bowlers as well. A bowling coach can help a beginner learn how to control the ball, work on their approach and release, and give tips on form and picking up spares. For an advanced bowler, bowling lessons can help by being a refresher course that can generate better form and a refresher on the aspects of the game.
To improve your bowling average, practice is key. But, remember to practice different types of games and strategies as well to help improve your overall game and not just one aspect of it.
Improving Bowling Accuracy Through Footwork
When we’re talking about improving your bowling accuracy through footwork, we’re not referring to ‘fancy footwork‘. The majority of people in the world do have a self-conscious mode and somewhere in the back of their minds, they worry about how they look as they make their approaches. However, this is not what we’re referring to here when we talk about bowling footwork.
Bowling footwork refers to the placement of your feet during your approach. How and where you place your feet have a huge impact on how your delivery works; whether or not you get that strike or spare you’re after. Bowling footwork also refers to the accuracy of your game and ultimately your bowling average.
Everyone has the style that works for them or not. Some people take long slow strides as they make their approach while others may crouch low and practically run towards the foul line. Neither of these approaches or the numerous other combinations of approaches, are wrong, as long as you are using your bowling footwork to your advantage and understanding how it works.
What is bowling footwork?
So, you’re thinking, what is bowling footwork anyway? It’s a simple concept actually, but not one that’s necessarily easy to follow. Bowling footwork is the ability to make sure that you are always placing your feet in the same spot for all of your shots. This will vary somewhat depending upon what you’re going for, but for the most part, you need to make sure that you are always placing, starting at, and following through on the same boards and/or marks each time for the same shots.
It’s a simple concept really; although it’s one of those things that’s easier said than done. When you find the perfect spot to stand and make your approach and release, then this is where you likely need to keep practicing. There will be times when you will need to change your bowling footwork to accommodate for lane changes and picking up certain combinations; however, the more you practice at this, the better and more natural it will become for you.
Develop your technique and bowling footwork
The practice is the key to making sure you develop your technique and bowling footwork to improve and maintain your game and average. If you start in one frame on the 20 board, then the next frame (for the same shot) on the 16 board, it stands to reason that your ball is not going to be released in the same area and your shot will be different.
During practice sessions, experiment with different stances and where you place your feet. Pay attention to your approach to see whether or not you travel from side to side or if you go in a straight line. Once you’ve figured out how you approach the lane, then you will be able to concentrate more on your bowling footwork to make sure that your approach will always be the same. Again, keep practicing the same footwork once you’ve found it. Practice it over and over until it becomes second nature to you. Then you will notice a great improvement not only on your game but in your confidence level as well
How to Pick Your Own Bowling Shoes
Buying your bowling shoes is one of the best purchases you can make to improve your bowling game. Having bowling shoes that fit comfortably means you can stay focused on your game and not on your gear. Also, consider the fact that renting bowling shoes isn’t cheap anymore.
So how do you decide on the best shoes for your feet? It’s not as hard as you might think but it isn’t by just going out and getting the cheapest bowling shoes at the nearest store. I am not saying the price isn’t a consideration but you can’t choose them solely by them either. The main thing is to know what your needs are and what kind of budget you are working with.
So how do you determine your needs? It all starts by knowing how much you plan on bowling. So someone who only bowls once a month will have different needs from someone who is in a bowling league. The recreational bowler isn’t going to be spending hundreds of dollars on bowling shoes.
The best thing is to get the best shoes that fit your budget. You can always upgrade later as needed as you get more serious about the sport. The main priority is to get a pair of bowling shoes that are comfortable.
Does owning your bowling shoes over renting bowling shoes make a difference? The simple answer is yes because bowling is a game based on concentration and focus. So the less you have to worry about the more you can concentrate on your game.
What Every Bowling Bag Should Have
Part of being a great bowler is to have the proper equipment and supplies in your bowling bag. You never want to be in a situation where not having something like grip tape, can cause you to have a bad release which leads to losing the game. By being prepared with the right supplies, you can focus on your game and not on your equipment.
I have omitted the bowling ball, bowling shoes, and bowling bag as these should be already considered the “heart” of your equipment list. Each bowling accessory list builds on the previous list. So you should start by stocking your bowling bag with the “must-have” list then move to the next list of bowling accessories and so on.
Must Have List
- Grip tape – helps the thumb come out of the ball easier and keeps it from slipping out prematurely.
- Bowling towel – useful to wipe excess oil from your bowling ball.
- Ball cleaner – keeping your ball clean means keeping it in top shape to last longer and perform better.
- Grip sac – helps keeps hands dry so your bowling ball doesn’t slip.
- Skin patches – when blisters happen, these will come in handy.
Good To Have List
- Easy slide – this is a light powder/resin when applied, allows the thumb to easily exit the bowling ball.
- Shoe brush – when your shoe pads start to stick and you losing your slide, a quick brush of the pads can help.
- Shoe covers – these are also known as “booties”. These slip over your bowling shoes when you need to leave the bowling area so that the bottoms stay clean and free from debris when you return.
Could Use List
- Tape insert tool – this is useful if you have difficulty applying tape into your ball or frequently apply tape into any of the finger holes.
- Accessories carrying case – if you have a lot of small accessories, this can keep all of them from getting lost inside your bowling bag.
- Round rasp file – sometimes you may need to make some adjustment to your thumb hole during a game. Using this file can help open up your thumb hole to allow for more room.
- Wrist support – these come in a wide variety of styles and support options. Generally, the purpose of wrist supports is to keep your arm and hand in alignment and provide a consistent release.
Being A Good Sportsman (Tips For Bowling)
Bowling is a competitive sport, both as individual players and as a teammate. While winning is the ultimate game, how you play the game and interact with teammates and opposing teammates goes a long way in your overall game, moral of your teammates, and the entire event. Good sportsmanship is important, not just because it’s polite, but because it will also help you to improve your game; no matter how bad a night you might be having. Poor bowling sportsmanship is not only a handicap for yourself but to your teammates and others around you.
Control your temper; mind your bowling sportsmanship manners
This is the most important, and for some perhaps the most difficult, area of bowling sportsmanship to keep under control. If you are having a bad frame, a bad game, or even a bad night, it’s hard not to get frustrated and angry. You are probably upset with your abilities and inability to meet your standards, and then you may feel like you are letting down your teammates as well. This only adds to the frustration and anger – which also leads to more mistakes and making others uncomfortable.
How many times have you seen bowlers miss a spare or some other important frame and get so angry they start cursing, kicking the ball return, hitting the chairs, and so forth? Not only does it make that person look ‘bad’ and show off their bad bowling sportsmanship, but it also distracts their teammates and others around them. Their teammates will be a bit nervous from the display of anger and may feel more pressure to do well, which can lead to more mistakes. When everyone is on edge because of someone’s bowling sportsmanship showing negatively, it affects everyone’s game, not just that bowler’s.
If you are angry and can’t seem to find your mark, control your temper, and concentrate on what went wrong and how you can correct it on the next frame. Remember, no matter how good a bowler is, everyone has bad games and bad days. The best bowling sportsmanship to display is to behave and encourage others while being calm so that you can discover what is going wrong in your game.
The power of positive reinforcement
Showing good bowling sportsmanship involves keeping up the moral. It is a good habit to always support your teammates, no matter if they have an excellent game or are having an off night. Showing support and sympathy to opponents is also another good bowling sportsmanship tactic.
The more supportive and encouraging you are to your teammates, the more they will be responsive and able to calm down and concentrate on their game. Having a bad game is bad enough, especially when you know your team is counting on you. However, knowing that your teammates understand you’re having an off game or day, but are still supportive of you will go a long way in not only improving the game but also in the overall moral and enjoyment of the sport.
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.