Ten Tips

You've probably heard these before, and you will without a doubt hear them again as much as we bowlers like giving advice.  Each one of these alone is pretty simple.  Performing all of them at the same time is another story.  The idea is to practice each so that they become automatic.  You shouldn't have to think about any of them when you start your approach... This requires lots of practice.

1. Concentration
Without concentration all of the other steps are useless.  Distractions, problems at home, school, or work, discomfort (such as tight clothing), and many other things contribute to you losing concentration at that last second.  Try counting mentally in your head from 1 to 3 (for 3 step approach bowlers).  Then synchronize your counting with your approach.  Doing this helps you focus on bowling and helps your timing.


2. Shoulders Square
For consistent deliveries, keep your shoulders square to the foul line at all times.  A "dropped" shoulder can send the ball wide every time.  This often happens when you rush your approach or have too high a backswing.  Maintain a moderate approach speed and be aware of your shoulders during delivery.


3. Back Straight
This is one of the most difficult things to learn how to do automatically.  It seems natural to bend over when you set down a 3 1/2 pound object but it's very important to keep your back reasonably straight for a consistent delivery.


4. Arm Straight And Near Body
Bending your arm at the elbow and swinging it away from your body are main contributors to an inconsistent game.  A slight bend at the elbow to obtain lift is alright, as long as the inside of your elbow is pointing down your lane.


5. Knee Bent
It might seem natural to begin your slide with a bent knee, then straighten it as you release the ball.  Although this will get you more lift, it's just one more thing you have to get perfect for consistent bowling.  Stay down at the foul line for higher scores.


6. Slide Straight
Maintaining your balance is necessary for proper ball delivery.  In order for this to happen, you have to keep your approach and slide perpendicular to the foul line at all times.


7. Follow Through
This is probably the single largest contributor to consecutive poor releases.  It's not hard to bowl an entire game before you realize that you are not following through.  Freeze your arm after release and check it's position after your ball crosses over the mark, it should be about head high with your thumb pointing over it's own shoulder.


8. Watch Your Ball Cross The Mark
It doesn't matter whether you focus on a mark, or on an area of the lane, as long as you focus on something. "Hold that pose" until your ball crosses over that mark, this will ensure that you are not rushing out of your approach.


9. Practice, Practice, Practice
And when you've finished doing this... practice some more.  It's hard to be consistently good at anything, especially if you only do it once a week.  Get a friend to watch your approach, or if possible, set up a video camera.  You'll be surprised at what you see.


10. Have Fun!
I put this in here just in case the other nine don't work. You don't have to average 200 or higher to have a great time!