Bowling Tip Of The Day - June 19, 2013
While a perfect bowling game is 300, most bowlers don’t actually expect to have an average of 300. In fact, that’s quite impossible. However, having a 200+ bowling average is highly admired and aspired to. So, what is the secret to obtaining that elusive 200 bowling average?
If your bowling average is below a 185, it will be difficult to achieve the 200 bowling average mark – at first. Typically, bowlers do not achieve significantly higher averages right off the bat, so it is important to understand that if you are bowling less than a 185 or 190 average, it will take some time. Even at a 190 or 195 average, it can still take some time to reach a 200 bowling average.
One of the most important things you can do to improve your average is to practice, and we’re not just talking about basic practicing. Several factors come into play that dedicated and serious bowlers need to take into account and understand how to deal with when they happen. For instance, you may be great at getting those strikes, yet struggle when it comes to certain spares. Getting those spares are an essential piece to achieving that 200 bowling average, and basically, improving your game. If you can throw three strikes in a row, but then can’t pick up any spares, then your game and average will continue to suffer. Therefore, it is imperative that you practice constantly on picking up those spares.
It is also important that you understand the difference when the lanes change. This could be from going to different houses to bowl as well as the oil patterns changing throughout the league and/or tournaments. Many bowlers have two or more bowling balls that they use in games. The reason for this is that some bowling balls work better under certain conditions, such as changes in the oil patterns, than others. Other bowlers have a ball they use strictly for their first shot, their pocket or strike ball, and use a different ball for all spares. This isn’t to say that you definitely need to have two or more bowling balls, however, it’s important to understand the lanes and how you bowl in comparison with how your bowling ball or balls work in different conditions.
Maintaining your bowling ball is another critical aspect to help achieve that 200 bowling average and improve your overall game and average. Over time (and it doesn’t take much time), your bowling ball will develop oil patterns and grooves. Making sure that you always clean your ball after each game (some bowlers do so after each shot with a rag) and taking it for regular ‘check-ups’ at the pro shop will help to keep your bowling ball in tip-top shape which will help to keep your average improving.
Being able to read and adjust to lane conditions and their changes is essential as well. Working with a bowling coach is a good idea to help you understand how to read and adjust to the varying changes that can happen during league and tournament. You can reach that 200 bowling average with a lot of practice, patience and understanding for the sport.
To help achieve and maintain good bowling accuracy, it is important to make sure that you stay on target with your bowling shot. Essentially, and generally speaking, staying on target with your bowling shot refers to your balance and the placement of your feet.
One mistake that some bowlers make is not allowing themselves to relax somewhat during their approach. You have probably seen some of these approaches where the bowler makes his or her approach with straight legs and then bending in half at the waist to throw their ball. Not only does this really affect a person’s bowling accuracy, it can actually cause injuries as well. Straight legged bowling screams out for sore back and leg muscles (and other complications) as well as making the bowler’s game suffer.
A good technique to keep in mind is to make sure that your sliding foot is lined up correctly. To do so, as you slide towards the foul line, your sliding foot should be aligned with your throwing arm. The key to bowling accuracy in this technique is balance, and if you have your non-sliding foot aligned with your non-bowling arm then you are throwing your balance off way out of whack.
Picture this scenario. You position yourself correctly on the lane, bend slightly at the knees and make your approach. So far so good. However, when it’s time to release the bowling ball, you are actually crossing your body; throwing the ball with your throwing arm crossed over your non-sliding foot. This will cause you to lose some balance, no matter how good of a bowler you are, and can cause a lot of problems with your bowling accuracy, not to mention some sore muscles later.
When a bowler crosses their bowling arm across their non-sliding shoe, they are throwing their self off balance whether they realize it or not. This not only cause problems in bowling accuracy, but it also can cause the bowling ball to be released in the wrong spot as well as diminishing the speed and accuracy of the shot.
Leverage is another important factor in improving and keeping a good game and bowling average. Leverage is obtainable by the proper balance. Without balance, all things have troubles reaching their goal. For every negative there is a negative and for every positive there is a positive – generally speaking. With that in mind, consider your approach and how you release your bowling ball while paying attention to where your feet and arms are placed.
Remember to relax your body a bit before throwing your ball. Do not make your approach on straight legs and bend at the waist to throw the ball. This will only hurt your game, and possibly yourself. Make sure that your sliding foot is aligned with the shoulder of your throwing arm so that the shot is smooth and balanced. Pay attention to where your foot slides towards the foul line and where your throwing arm is in alignment so that you can help to achieve the best bowling accuracy possible.
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 mind 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 their own 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, nor 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.
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. Obviously, 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 out 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. Obviously 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.
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 out in one frame on the 20 board, then the next frame (for the same shot) on the 16 board, then 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.