With the advent of a new year I’d like to talk about a topic that most bowlers are still lacking in, and that is the failure to use a structured practice plan to hone their bowling technique.
How many times will bowlers continually go down to the lanes and just throw shot after shot, make note of their score and finish having learned nothing about their game?
Each practice session must be a goal driven event where you set forth to do something that you planned before you even arrived at the bowling center.
This year make an effort to include some drills and pick out some of the flaws in your game and work on them. Maybe learn the one-step drill and become proficient at it. Take a spare you struggle with and try some different techniques for knocking it down, whether it be a physical adjustment, or a lane play adjustment (or for some a mental adjustment, let go of that anger before you step up to shoot at the spare). This tip will lead to progression, rather than stagnation or worse, regression.
I hope all my readers have had a happy and safe holiday season, and I wish you all the best in 2012.
So what parts of your game are you going to work on in 2012? Please comment below.
Whether you target at the arrows or any other place on the lane it’s important to focus on your target for longer than a split second. Focusing on the target for a longer period will translate to better accuracy, and better physical mechanics. I’ve found with a lot of youth bowlers with the get up and go fast fast fast attitude, this is a great way of “tricking” them into slowing down and getting set before they deliver the ball. I have no doubts that this will translate well whether you are an adult or a youth.
I’d recommend starting by staring down your mark and counting to yourself (or aloud) 1001, 1002. Then deliver the bowling ball. If you use a focal point down lane to line up your shot you can do the same thing for this point as well. So you’d go focal point for a 2 count, and then back to your closer target for a 2 count, then deliver the bowling ball.
Go ahead and try it and let me know how it works for you by leaving a comment below.
Bonus Tip: Take Your Time
I see a lot of bowlers who feel rushed when they get on the approach. You should take an amount of time you need to get yourself set. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, this is your turn. Go through your pre-shot routine and make the most of each delivery.
Proper orientation of thumb tape can be the difference between a clean exit of the thumb hole and one that drags. One common mistake I see is putting bowling tape in upside down.
This mistake stems from the fact that the thumb tip is shaped like the end of the tape and the assumption is that the tape is to be positioned like the shape of the thumb. The real reason the tape is rounded at the top so you don’t feel or peel up the corners as your thumb is inserted or exiting the hole.
When done correctly the round part of the tape should end up near the top of the hole. I suggest placing the first piece just below (1/8″-1/4″) the beveled part of the thumbhole.
As you can see from the pictures I personally use white textured tape in the front, but I also use 2 black pieces offset in the back. Feel free to experiment with your tape textures and placement until you get a feel that is comfortable for you, but white in the front should be a good starting point for most people.
I am yet to meet a bowler that wouldn’t benefit by using bowling tape. If tape doesn’t fit in your thumb hole (becomes too tight), get it opened up a bit so you can at least get a couple pieces in there. You don’t want to be surprised the first time your thumb swells as it will inevitably happen during competition and you’ll have no easy options in place to fix it. How delightful it will be when you can just remove a piece of tape and continue knocking down the pins effortlessly.
If you don’t have any tape you can grab some at your local pro shop or online here.