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  • Bowling Etiquette
  • Tips to Improve your Bowling

  • Observe a one lane courtesy rule. Don't step onto your approach until after the person who's using the lane next to you is finished rolling their ball.
  • Don't make any loud or sudden noises while others are on the approach. They're most likely trying to concentrate.
  • Don't bring drinks into the approach or pit area. Wet shoes can ruin yours or anyone elses approach.
  • Have a happy heart. It's contagious.
  • Don't use profanity, it ruins others' time.

  • Using Insert Tape
    • The use of insert tape for the thumb hole is very important. Having a good grip on the ball is a necessity to a relaxed swing. Using white textured tape on the gripping side of the hole seems to work best. It gives you something to hold onto without really having to grip tightly. A recommended fit would have your thumb exit the ball smoothly without hanging up or slipping off. This will also allow for a smooth and loose arm switch which helps greatly in repeating shots. If the ball feels like it is slipping, add a piece of tape. If you feel that it is a little snug, remove a piece. This is much easier than altering your grip.
  • Preparing Your Shoes
    • Brushing the slide portion of your shoe from heel to toe with a wire brush will decrease slide and improve leverage. If even less slide is desired, brush side to side.
  • Getting the Right Hook
    • When getting an over/under reaction. That is too much hook when missing a little to the right, and not enough hook when missing left. Try using a green scotch bright pad on your ball just enough to remove the shine. This will mellow the reaction and give you a more consistent reaction.
  • Keeping Your Eye On The Target
    • Keeping your eye on your target from start to finish will eliminate many inconsistencies in the approach. You would be surprised how difficult it is to do three times in a row, let alone a league night or tournament. Remember, start to finish without losing sight of it.
  • Spare Ball
    • The big hooking balls that we all own these days can make if very difficult to pick up spares. It is always a good idea to have a secondary ball for this. It should be a mild reactive, urethane or plastic ball depending on how straight you would like it to go. Plastic is the most popular amongst the pro's.
  • Target Practice
    • A swing that is loose and always close to the body while going back and forward is the best way to repeat strong quality shots. While practicing, roll ten smooth shots at the ten pin. On the eleventh shot move back to your strike line and roll another just like you were shooting a ten pin. You will find that the ball comes of your hand smoothly right on target. It is a good exercise especially when learning to play an inside lane. Give it some time and you will see a difference.
  • Be Yourself
    • When practicing or bowling a tournament we all have the tendency to stray from our game when things don't feel right or are going poorly. DON'T DO IT. The best thing to do is to stick with your game and let the chips fall. Work on technique and smoothness. This will usually bring the feel back. If it is practice, this is not a problem. If it is in competition it can be. But remember if you vary from your game and do something different you will have a harder time coming back to your comfort zone. So take your lumps while trying to work it out and it will pay off with a much more stable and reliable game in the future. Stick with it!
  • Practice Thoughts
    • In order to make consistent shots, you must have a plan. Take the time between shots to analyze exactly what you want to do with your next delivery, whether it be your push-away, your footwork, your timing, your follow-through, etc. Focus on one thing only. Key on it and make your delivery. Once you step on the approach and get set, you should be on your way within a second or two since you are only thinking of one thing. You will most likely find that your mind will want to have several thoughts. Don't give in. One thing at a time. Practice it and you will see improvement in that one area very quickly.
  • Follow Through the Arm Swing
    • The follow through is just a continuation of the arm swing outwards towards your target as the ball comes off your fingers. A well executed release will give you a good follow through. If the ball is released correctly your arm will unhinge at the elbow and your hand will come up to the side of your head.
  • A Loose Arm Swing
    • The key to a loose arm swing is to keep your grip in the ball relaxed. In order to have a relaxed grip on the ball, your ball has to be drilled and fitted correctly. If your thumb hole feels loose, it will cause you to squeeze the ball and muscle your swing. Inserts in the thumb and finger holes can help give you a more secure fit. If you have a large webbing at the base of your thumb, add extra bevel at the top front edge of the thumb hole for a better fit.
  • Wheeled Bags and Flying Don't Go Together
    • When flying out of town for a tournament it is a good idea to leave those wheel bags at home. With a full load of balls, it is no match for baggage handler long toss competition. If you feel you must travel with it, box your balls, put your clothes in your wheelie bag and carry it on. Otherwise it is about a 50/50 chance that your bag will not survive the trip.
  • Ball Maintenance
    • With the proper ball maintenance your new reactive resin or particle ball can live a long life. In general it is a good idea to clean your ball after every session. After 10 to 20 games, the ball should be either re-polished or sand to the way you are most comfortable with. After 40 to 60 games, it should be resurfaced. The reaction of the ball will stay more consistent this way. It can get a little expensive but it is cheaper than replacing it.
  • Need a Little More or Less?
    • Spot closer to the foul line to achieve earlier ball roll; spot farther down the lane to delay the ball's hook.
  • Before League
    • Whenever possible, shoot at the corner pins in practice before a league or tournament session to get a reading on how to play those shots.
  • Spare Shooting
    • To flatten out a shot when playing a spare, bend your wrist backward, ie., "break" your wrist and think of releasing the ball with the thumb and fingers coming out together. Otherwise, execute normally and maintain natural ball speed.
  • Need More Ball Speed?
    • Ball speed can be generated by modestly lengthening the swing arc or by putting the ball into the swing a tad earlier to create a more rapid approach tempo.
  • Good Knee Bend?
    • Think "drop and drive" to encourage a deeper knee bend followed by an authoritative follow-through.
  • When Under Pressure
    • When under pressure, think of making a good shot, not a great one. Emphasizing perfect execution is not only asking too much of yourself in such a situation, it is not even necessary.
  • Can't Carry The Corners?
    • Ever hear "why is everybody carrying but me?" There is a reason for this. There is a very fine line between knocking them all down and not. This is usually a very simple process. If hitting the pocket on a regular basis and carry is less than 40%, try moving your eyes closer to the foul line on the same target line you are using. This will get the ball into an earlier roll which could fix the problem. If this does not seem to work, move your target down the lane a few feet. This will usually give the ball a little more skid and produce more power towards the back of the lane. Remember that carry is not luck, it is produced by being lined up correctly. One person is not luckier than the other. They are just lined up correctly. It's not how many times you hit the pocket, but how.
  • Knowing the Oiling and Stripping Schedule
    • Know the oiling and stripping schedule of the center to anticipate lane conditions changes. A lane that is freshly cleaned and oiled represents a condition that is most volatile and will require quick and frequent adjustments as the oil carries down the lane.
  • Experience Gained from other Sports
    • Experience gained from other sports can carry over to help you bowling game vice-versa. For instance, bowlers who also play golf often equate how timing, tempo and fluidity of movement are the keys to generating power in lieu of brute strength.
  • Before Any Shot
    • Before any shot in competition, give some thought to what you are trying to do. Careless shots are wasted shots even if the results are temporarily okay.
  • Develop Good Practice Routine
    • Analyze your delivery and think about what you are doing when you practice. Feel your good shots when you make them and imprint it into your mind so that you can repeat them. Use visualization to practice off the lanes and go through the delivery in your mind making perfect shots.
  • Ball Weight
    • Simple suggestion . . . don't go for the heavier ball automatically. Try a lighter ball and work you way up till you find one that is comfortable for you. A ball that is too heavy isn't going to perform as well as one that you can control/hold easily. Leave the weight lifting to the Gym!!! Have Fun!!!
  • Creating an Earlier Roll
    • If you are attempting to stay behind the ball longer to create an earlier roll, try this. Try leading the ring finger through your target line. This will usually delay the motion of coming around the side of the ball.
  • The Release
    • Now, we're into one of the most important factors in building a solid game! The release is extremely important. Many bowlers have such bad fundamental habits but still manage to bowl well because they have a strong release. Having equipment that is perfectly matched to you, is critical. You can have thousands of dollars worth of equipment and have a great approach and arm-swing and still bowl terrible. The release is about 70% of your game. This is the area of bowling that dictates how your bowl is going to react. Some bowlers feel that changing releases is vital to bowling well (Only recommended for the very advanced bowler). Others believe that you use the same release time & time again to build consistency and let equipment help with lane conditions.
  • Balance Body for Solid Finish
    • On the last step bend your knee to get down lower to the lane and slide your foot straight towards the foul line making sure it doesn't turn. Think of it as sliding into a deep knee bend. Counter balance your body be moving your non-sliding leg sideways to the opposite side of your bowling arm.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice
    • When practicing, try not to keep score. Just concentrate on your weak areas and find tune your good ones. There is no reason to go the lanes and continually try and throw strikes when in the league you missed 6 or 7 spares that you should have made. Maybe you should be practicing that, or something else you're weak at.


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