A Few Extra Pins
People who I don't coach regularly, but who do keep asking me for advice, on the other hand, are looking for a "quick fix." Something that they can "instantly" grab on to and work on right away
A Multi-Dimensional Bowler
As technology advances in the sport of bowling, it demands that the humans who play it make necessary changes to adapt to them. Would you rather be a "one-dimensional" or a "multi-dimensional" bowler who can play under all the varying conditions?
A Simple Sparing System
The simplest and most commonly taught sparing methodology for beginners is "The 3-6-9 Rule." It is an easy way to determine where and at what angle you need to throw the ball to pick up spares. The important thing is that you will have a foundation upon which to build your spare shooting.
A Terrific Sparing System
The importance of developing your own spare system cannot be emphasized enough. I've written about it from the standpoint of the 3-6-9 or 2-4-6 methods taught in coaching classes. I also mentioned that while they are good to start with, you may have to develop your own based around those systems.
About Bowling Posture
Posture isn’t something routinely looked at during ordinary practice sessions; but, it’s the one thing that affects the length and speed of your steps. This, in turn, plays a major role in timing, rhythm, and leverage.
About Lane Targets
It's really surprising how many bowlers don't know much more than. "aim for the second arrow." That's the reason one of the first things I teach my students are the marks on the lane with regard to targeting.
About Playing The Bowling Lanes
Thus, my interest in listening to his comments while watching the elite women compete for positions on Team USA. Here's some things I picked out that I'm going to try out since they pertain to my actions on the lanes:
Adapting To The Modern Game
This article is aimed at those of us who learned to bowl 15 to 20 (or more) years ago and who have not changed our thinking or updated/adapted our individual styles to the modern sport of bowling.
Adjusting For Your Bowling Center
Most bowling centers have settled on a certain way they set their lane dressing machines and will not vary from it. The variances in conditions from lane-to-lane, from one side of the house to the other, and from one time of day to the next, are caused by many factors that people tend to overlook.
Adjusting Hand Positions
A bowler doesn't have to know all the technical details of how the lane is oiled, what type of oil is being used, or what pattern is laid down. They just have to know how to adjust so they can get a better shot to the pocket and carry.
You cannot, and should not, stand in one spot and throw to the same mark game-after-game. People are always asking me, "how can I learn to read the lanes?" or, "how do I know how much I should adjust?" The answer is, "you don't" to both, and something similar to other questions of the same ilk.
Adjustments For Your Bowling Game
We may never get the right combination every time we bowl, but I'm pretty sure we'll be increasing our chances to shoot better than someone who doesn't try anything. Maybe not this time, but overall.
Adjustments Have To Be Made
It never ceases to amaze me that people will continually moan and complain about the conditions we are bowling on without trying something different. The saying goes, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over; but, expecting a different result."
Adjustments That Seem Weird
Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Whatever the case, at least I tried everything I could to try to get my scores up during the league or tournament.
An Awareness Of My Game
I believe what is happening to me now is that I am thinking not so much about, "what do I have to do to correct about my bowling;" but rather, "what do I have to do to improve my bowling."
Are You Exercising?
If you don't have a regular program of exercise, the summer (May/June) is an excellent time to start one.
Attitude, Control, Accuracy, Consistency
To be a great bowler, you do not have to copy the way other bowlers throw their ball; what you need to copy is their "Ack-Ack;" (A-C-A-C) - Attitude, Control, Accuracy, and Consistency.
Axis Rotation and Axis Tilt
Every bowler will bowl under varying conditions even if they only bowl in one bowling center. Depending on the lane conditions you have at any given time, your ability to change your Axis of Rotation and Axis Tilt can give you an advantage over other bowlers.
Basic Bowling Lessons
While putting my notes on paper, it occurred to me that many of my readers might be in the same situation (just learning to bowl), or may want to learn some pointers of how to teach other "first-timers." Thus, this article.
Basics Cannot Be Over-emphasized
"To be a good bowler, you must have the basic fundamentals solidly in place." Once you decide to get serious about the sport of bowling, you've got to start by "throwing away" any pre-conceived notions and bad habits that you've developed and/or learned; and basically, start all over again.
Be Prepared For Bowling
In our experiences, we have seen too many people complaining about the lanes and/or approaches not being like "back home," or not being able to concentrate on their bowling because they needed some tape to put in their thumb hole.
Be Yourself When Bowling
Concentrate on getting your balance, timing, and leverage sharpened to the highest level possible. Be comfortable in your own uniqueness and you'll be more successful than if you try to copy someone else's form.
Before Changing Bowling Balls
Us “Average Joe’s” then, have to depend on our knowledge and wits to try to overcome the varying conditions that we have to bowl under. Having an arsenal of bowling balls is a good idea; but, what do we do if we don’t have that solid arsenal built up yet?
Bowling Adjustments During Competition
I'd like to give you an example of the thought processes I go through as I bowl. In a typical night of league, I am constantly trying to find an area on the lane where I have an easier time getting my ball to the pocket.
Bowling Ball Weight, Fit, and Grip
If you have any aches and pains in or around the areas of any of your body joints or your hands, take a look at the three aspects I covered today. There's something wrong with your style and how you're throwing the ball if you're having these aches and pains.
Bowling Ball, Angle, Release, Speed
No matter how much oil is placed on the lanes or the pattern that's laid down, you will have to make adjustments every time you bowl. There are more options in this day of high-tech balls then there were 40 years ago, but you still have to learn how to adjust comfortably with these options.
Bowling Changes Do Help
A recent email from Larry illustrates what happens when we think we're going back to our old way of bowling, but actually don't. We get a mixture of styles that help to improve our overall bowling for the better. A result of trying new things.
Bowling Footwork And Posting
In previous articles, I've provided hints about developing a free armswing and improving your timing, rhythm, and tempo. This article covers hints and suggestions for improving your footwork and posting. Once you've put all these elements together, you should see a marked improvement in your game.
I realized that a lot of those games helped us to improve our skills with the basic game. It may have seemed that they were only "kid's play," but, in actuality, our accuracy, coordination, and confidence rose by, literally, leaps and bounds.
Bowling Improvements Summary
The end result of my improvements has been that the ball seems to hit the pins with more power and the pin action is nothing short of "amazing." I get more "messengers" (or "scouts") coming from seemingly out of nowhere to kick out the ten pin or the four pin.
Bowling Is Not An Exact Science
There's a mindset that tends to prevail in the bowling world I'm involved in. This may be what's working against me and preventing me from getting to the next level of my game.
Bowling Timing, Rhythm, And Tempo
Bad timing leads to a bad armswing which leads to improper footwork, and therefore, difficulty in holding your post at the finish; in others words, a badly thrown ball which you really can't expect to carry the strike although you thought you deserved it even if it was a badly thrown ball.
Change Is Sometimes Better
In order for a person to accomplish great things and/or become successful, they must push themselves beyond their norm.
Coming Back To Bowling After Surgery
If you ever have a time when you have to stop bowling, you might want to think about "re-inventing" your game upon your return. Again, it's only my way of thinking however, if it may improve your current bowling game, why not at least give it a shot?
Concentrate On One Thing At A Time
Do you have a tendency to try to concentrate on "everything" at once in order to bowl good? If you are attempting to do this when you bowl, it is a pretty sure bet that you are having trouble with your game. How can anyone improve if they are trying to concentrate on so many things at once?
Develop A Sparing System
By "mastering," I mean that you would work with it, practice, and then, change it to fit your style of bowling. Believe me when I tell you that there are, literally, thousands of variations for each particular sparing system.
Develop Leverage In Your Bowling
Don't use "Brute Force" to muscle your way through a bowling game. Modern technology has made it so that you'll be able to enjoy a tension-free, relaxed game that will keep you bowling for many yeas into the future.
Developing A Free Armswing
As mentioned in my previous article, developing a free armswing is the first component in increasing your ball speed. The modern sport of bowling demands that if you're going to score high consistently, you must develop a free armswing in order to release the ball smoothly on the lane.
Developing Solid Foundatiions
Regardless of your style of bowling, there are some fundamental techniques that must be fine-tuned in order to establish a solid foundation for your bowling game. Once this has been set, you will be able to effectively develop your timing, accuracy, and consistency.
Developing Your Armswing
There is nothing like a consistent and smooth armswing. It is parallel to your strikeline, close to your body, and seemingly effortless when you set the ball on the lane. You just know that it's a strike as soon as you let it go.
Diagnosing Bad Timing
Thanks for your kind words and your faith in my articles. It's difficult to diagnose a bowling problem without actually seeing you bowl. I'll give you some general tips that you can try during your next practice session. See if they work for you.
Don't Overthink Your Bowling
It is important to point out that competition is not the time to straighten out your game. If you find yourself worrying about all the little things when you are bowling in a league or tournament, you may find yourself scoring worse than if you just threw the ball down the lane without thinking.
Early Timing - Not Fast Feet
"IT" is your ball arriving at the foul line ahead of your final step and commonly referred to as, "early timing."
Easy Bowling Instructions
I don't have a lot of time for all the details; I just want to go out with my friends every once in a while and bowl fairly well. I also don't want to buy any equipment because the balls at the center and the rented shoes are just fine for the amount of times we go.
Effective League Practice Time
Taking a hint from that example, articles that I've researched, and bowling lessons I've taken, here's a simple "Choc-list" for your league or tournament practice session:
Forgotten Tips For Bowling Better
Some of these "other points" I learned when I was a junior bowler and, the others have been gained over the years of my bowling experience.
Four Beginner Bowler Mistakes
Here's the "Choc-List" of what I believe are the mistakes that hinder, rather than help, beginner bowlers from advancing as rapidly as they could if they want to improve their bowling scores and/or averages:
Get Out Of Your Bowling Sandbox
This was the first time for me to bowl in competition outside of my two "comfort zone" bowling alleys in pretty close to a year. Like a lot of bowlers, I have my favorite places to bowl and, nowadays, I very rarely venture out.
Hand And Wrist Positions
In fact, if you look at just about any competitive sport, the best players are the ones who can overcome the different conditions placed before them. They've learned how to choose the right equipment and make adjustments for any obstacle placed in their way.
Hints For Sparing
It is when multiple pins or splits are left that many beginner bowlers tend to have problems deciding where to aim and throw for the spare combination. Here, then are the general guidelines that will make it easy for you line up quicker and have more confidence with which to pick up your spares.
House Balls and Rented Shoes
I'd like to give some tips to those of you who will continue to use bowling balls and rental shoes provided by the center that you patronize. Whatever your reasons are, no explanations are needed because I realize "that's just the way it is."
How To Grip The Ball
"Get a grip." Are they talking about bowling? I like to think so because there are three basic types in bowling - the "conventional, "semi-fingertip," and the "full fingertip." As you progress through your game, you will eventually settle on the one that feels best for you.
How To Read The Lanes
Back to our league and tournament competitions at the local level. We do not really "read the lanes;" what we really do is "read our ball reaction to the lane condition."
I Adjusted Too Late
Recently, I have fallen into an old habit that is causing some of my league averages to suffer. I suspect that it happens to everyone so I should not feel so badly; however, that is not an excuse for staying in the habit.
I Have Limited Practice Time
In between practice times and league nights, do as much "shadow bowling" as you can. The living room, hallway, and yard have proven to be dependable venues for my off-lane practice sessions.
If You Don't Have A Spare Ball
The urethane ball bowler who cannot afford (or refuses) to get a second ball and the plastic ball bowler who cannot afford (or refuses) to get a second ball but has the ball leverage drilled like in the late-60's and early 70's.
Improve Your Accuracy
A bowler has got to go beyond just throwing to the second arrow and hoping that the night's lane conditions will happen to let them score higher.
Improving My Bowling
I have known of these four bad habits for quite a while. Though I have made a lot of progress with them over the years, I am determined that this will my banner year for improving my bowling and plan to beat them once-and-for-all.
Improving Your Bowling During Summer
Whichever type of bowler you are, the summer may be a great time for you to "tune-up" your game by making some major changes that will assist you in raising your average next winter season. What have you got to lose?
Increasing Bowling Ball Speed
That powerful motion has to be demonstrated in your fully extended arm and relaxed shoulder muscles. Your footsteps have to be at optimum timing and rhythm with your armswing. You'll have to develop good physical mechanics in your approach and release. Your "posting" has to be perfect.
Interesting Details To Know
These are small details that not everyone discusses, but, they are important to your knowledge of the sport of bowling.
Interesting Details To Know Again
Following on the heels of my article about small details to remember about your bowling game, here's a "Choc-List" of four more of these "minor" details:
Is It Me Or My Bowling Ball?
I like the way Norm Duke put it once in an interview (not an exact quote), “Is it the lane? Is it the ball? Is it my line? It’s got to be me, because that’s the only common factor involved with each throw.”
Know Your Breakpoints
Unlucky? Unfortunate? I think not. I am not doing something correctly. After all, there are others who are scoring well
Let's Find A Bowling Coach
What should you look for when you need an auto mechanic, plumber, doctor, or other professional? If you're like me, you ask your friends for referrals, go talk to them directly, ask questions, feel them out, and when you feel assured that they will do a good job for you, hire them
Loosen Up Your Bowling
In Hawaii, the expression is, "Shaka." This means, “Hang Loose.” Stress-free. Easy. Relaxed. So, when you bowl, “Shaka, Brah.”
Lumps, Bumps, Corns, and Hard Skin
It's a fact of life that your fingers and thumb will have to toughen up the more you bowl. Grab that shovel, hammer, pick, or axe and see how much you can do with it until your hands harden up to the task. Blister City, right?
Modern Day Bowling Techniques
Coaching methodology's changed quite a bit over the years because of how technology has changed the equipment we use. Also, a ton of research has gone into analyzing the human body while bowling and into the physics of a bowling ball (round objects).
More On Pre-Bowling Exercises
Bowling is a physical activity, so it behooves everyone to do some type of warm-up before throwing that first ball down the lane.
More Warm Up Exercises
I've received comments that by doing the "non-strenuous" exercises suggested in the article, Warm Up Exercises, some people felt a little bit of pain as their muscles stretched. I can only caution everyone that although these exercises are not very physical in nature, they do serve their purposes.
My System For Beginner Bowlers
My style of coaching is to keep each session to the simplest plan possible. I feel it's the best, albeit, not the most satisfying (to some students and spectators) methodology.
No Control For Lane Conditions
Bowlers cannot control the conditions they will have to compete on. All they can do is try to be aware of the circumstances that could affect them and compensate as best they can to score high.
Not Enough Time Exercises
Like many things that are good for us, we know what needs to be done; however, we are too busy going about our daily life to get involved with a scheduled 1 to 2 hour discipline. It's the old "not enough time" excuse.
Old Versus New Techniques
a generation of bowlers has grown up learning the sport with newer and up-to-date techniques and subtleties compared to bowlers from the “pre-synthetic“ era.. Many of us learned to bowl with rubber or urethane balls and the techniques we used were a little bit different then what are needed now.
Suffice it to say that hard rubber bowling balls, wooden lanes, and oiling the lanes from gutter to gutter and from the foul line to the end of the pin deck are now part of bowling folklore, never to be seen again in modern bowling centers.
One Bowling Ball, Several Reactions
Instead of having multiple bowling balls of the latest technology, we have only one "older model" and/or several "hand-me-downs" that friends have given us. The tip today is quite often overlooked but, it will help the bowler to create the effect of having several types of different bowling balls.
Parameters Of A Perfect Bowling Strike
"If all the pins fall down, that's the proof that all the factors for throwing a perfect pocket strike were met; if pins remain standing, that's the proof all the factors were NOT met."
Physical Or Mental Practice?
Some of my peers advocate teaching it from the very beginning while others say physical first, then, mental when the student is ready - my opinion sided with the latter based on my coaching experiences.
Posting, Posting, Posting
What is happening now is that we know when we make a bad shot. We can watch other bowlers fall off their shots and hang corner pins and we look at each other knowingly. We do not get angry with ourselves when we hang corner pins because we know that we did not throw the ball well.
Practice With A Purpose
"Practice, practice, practice" and "Practice makes perfect." We've all heard it, but, how many of us do it?
Practicing At Home
At the very first coaching session, I always give my students a list of things ("exercises") they can do at home to sharpen and keep their bowling senses sharpened. These exercises are not physically demanding and don't take a lot of time away from whatever it is you are doing.
Practicing Your Bowling Accuracy
Practice sessions should be focused on improving your overall game rather than the single-minded purpose of stringing strikes.
Pro Bowling Tips
After listening to more details, Larry and I concluded that PBA and elite bowlers think and make adjustments at a much higher level than us “regular” bowlers.
Releasing The Bowling Ball
There are several ways of releasing your bowling ball. Each one can, and will at times, perform better on the lanes than the other releases. I will describe them in this article and you can decide which may be the best for you.
Keeping track to make sure that the computer is keeping your bowling score accurately is your responsibility.
Select & Fit A Bowling Ball
Today, then, I go back to the beginning and give some hints about how to select a bowling ball. If you are already an experienced bowler, I think these tips will help you the next time you coach someone who is just getting interested in our sport of bowling.
Selecting A House Bowling Ball
There are three questions regularly asked when beginners select a bowling ball for the first time: "How heavy should my ball be?", "How should I grip the ball?", and "How do I know it's a correct fit?"
Six For Success Begins
Does it seem as if your bowling is not improving in spite of all your practice? Do you have your goals and priorities in line but feel as if something is blocking your path to success? Do you often think that you are not doing the things that you know you should be doing?
Six For Success Ends
"Six For Success Ends" contains the last three problems and solutions of my "Choc-list" begun in "Six For Success Begins." Please go back and read the first three. Thank you.
Small Steps Larger Bowling Scores
Build on the skill set you currently have, improve them, then build on that set of skills, and so on, and so on. The results you achieve in the long-term will be much larger than even you thought they'd be.
Solid Practice Routines
We all have to practice to become better bowlers. Are you the type that only cares about how high your practice score is or are you the type that ignores the score and works on improving the fundamentals of your game? If you are the latter, than this article should be of interest to you.
Some Basic Bowling Terminology
Not surprisingly, a large majority of people already know that bowling is where you roll a ball down a lane, knock down some pins, and score points.
Some More Warm-up Exercises
We will finish off today with a few more. Do not, however, limit yourself to only those that I've mentioned. If you find more, and want to do so, add them to the list. Remember, though, to take things easy, don't ever force anything, and never overdo it.
Targeting For Bowling Spares
Up to this point, we've gotten them in their basic approaches, releases, and finishing position. The next step will be to start them on targeting for their spares.
Tenpin Bowling Specifications
Every bowler should have a working knowledge of the parts of the lane and the basic dimensions and specifications. It makes explanations easier for coaching the basic fundamentals of the game; and, for the bowlers to make adjustments quicker as they become more experienced.
Tenpin Bowling Specifications Finished
Last week, I covered the lane, the approach, dots and arrows, and pin placements. This week, I'll conclude with bowling ball and pin specifications.
That Pesky Ten Pin
It just seems that the 10-pin is coming more and more frequently. On any given night, everyone in the league will leave three or four a game. Watch the PBA on television and even the pros have trouble with that pesky pin. We all seem to be pounding the pocket and leaving them "all over the place."
The 10 Pin Tap
Nothing bothers and frustrates people more than to hit the solid 1-3 pocket and leave what is known as a "tap," "a ringing ten," or other various names, some of them not being repeatable in public.
The AYS Have It
I always emphasize to my students that they should "admire your shot." That is, they have to be able to hold their final step and position for at least three seconds after they deliver their ball on the lane.
The Bowling Steps And Delivery
The 4-step and 5-step approaches are the more commonly used deliveries in the sport of bowling. On your next trip to the bowling center, experiment with the different steps and see which will be most advantageous and easy for you
The Insanity Defense
Then, yesterday, I said to myself, "self, are you stuck in a rut, here?" And self said, "absolutely!" Took several deep breaths, closed my eyes, and it came to me. Try different styles and see if you can spot the bad habit.
The Perfect Bowling Armswing
In other words, one of the equations for improving yourself in the sport of bowling is - consistent armswing equals accuracy equals more strikes and spares equals higher scores equals higher averages.
The Power Step
Could this be why I'm losing leverage in my release? Could this be why I seem to be hitting a plateau in my bowling average? Why is it that I am leaving every pin in the back row on most nights that I bowl?
Things I've Tried Recently
Today's article is a summary of a few of the major things I have tried over the past couple of years in order to "re-invent" my game.
Timing Is Everything
The greater majority of people will have either early-timing or late-timing; the former resulting in a weak rolling ball, and the latter causing you to pull the ball left of target. Either way, your chances of getting a strike are very much against you.
Timing Lost, Timing Gained
Your timing is off and everything you try just doesn't seem to help. You feel like an elephant tip-toeing across thin ice - not only uncoordinated but, you're looking awkward on the approach as well. In spite of all your practice, you will undoubtedly get these moments.
Tips For The Recreational Bowler
The term "recreational bowler" refers to a person who goes bowling once-in-a-while with family, friends, the company, or some other special occasion. This person's main interest lies not in the score of the game but in socializing and having a good time.
USBC Nationals Here We Come!
On thing is for sure, I have a more organized game plan this year and I will be sticking to it. I have studied, learned, and have been able to execute better by applying those theories
Versatility and Shot Making
Overall, the experience reinforced what I stated in a previous article and that is, a good bowler cannot be a "one-dimensional" bowler.
In the sport of bowling, it tends to build up in your joints or muscles, primarily the areas of your shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands. Micro Trauma is, simply stated, "an injury caused as the result of strain on parts of the body built up over a period of time."
Watching The Top Women Bowlers
Women bowlers have had to develop very solid fundamentals and accuracy in their bowling game in order to compete at the national (and international) levels. They are much closer to the style we need to improve our games at the local bowling center.
What Should My First Ball Be?
One of the most frequently asked questions from beginning students is, "What bowling ball should I buy?" With all things being about equal (no major injuries or ailments, etc.), my answer is, "Start with a plastic ball and a finger-tip grip."
What's Going On While Bowling?
Can you imagine what the Pros are doing? Compare that to what you're doing. The difference between your average compared to higher average bowlers encompasses many factors in the modern sport of bowling. This is one of the keys to taking your game to the "next level," whatever that may be to you.
Will New Bowling Equipment Help?
Don't be jumping to spend your way out of a slump by buying up all the products and gadgets out there. What good is brand new equipment if the bowler hasn't learned how to bowl yet?
Working On The Right Things
My buddy, Larry, hits the nail on the head again. He certainly puts things in perspective when he emails me. Here's his latest recommendation ---
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This article talks about an "approach" from the beginner's point of view. Its main purposes are to help determine how many steps are taken as well as how far back from the foul line to start.
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