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Quick tips to becoming a better bowler

Still throwing gutter balls? Bowling, like most other sports, requires time and practice if you want to improve your skills. So don’t worry if you’re not bowling a perfect 300 every game – you’ll get there with practice and dedication! We put together tips and tricks that will help increase your score and help you become a better bowler in no time.

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You already know how to choose the perfect house bowling ball. Now, we’ll help you figure out how to put your skills to use.

Get a grip!

When choosing the right grip, establish how you want to throw the ball. Is it going to be a straight ball or a hook/curve? Be sure to ask our pro shop for advice regarding the grip that best suits you – or ask any of our experienced league bowlers to evaluate your swing.

You’ll also want to be sure the span of your grip is comfortable, so there is no unnecessary strain in holding and handling the ball. Most importantly, choose whatever feels most comfortable!

Conventional grip

This is the standard grip and you usually see it in a “house ball” (a ball provided by the bowling center). It allows the middle and ring finger to slide into the ball down to the second joint, and the thumb to enter the third hole below. You’ll then have a firm grasp of the ball. Since it is so easy to control, this type of grip is used mainly by beginners who are throwing a straight shot.

Fingertip grip

This is a completely different type of grip that is used mainly by more experienced bowlers looking to throw a hook. The release of the ball with a hook is much different than that of a straight ball, so the fingertip grip is used to ease in a bowler’s fingers slipping out of the ball much easier. Only the tips of your middle and ring fingers (down to the first knuckle or joint) slide into the ball.

Got fast feet?

Know what “fast feet” means? It’s okay if you don’t. This is one of the biggest problems for a bowler.

Fast feet occur when your feet are ahead of the swing during or at the end of the approach. The bowler may feel a little off balance or may be turned sideways at the end of the approach.

The “fast feet” phenomenon may also concern other areas of the bowler’s game, such as dropping the shoulder, inconsistent releases, lack of follow through and inability to stay down with the shot and maintain balance at the foul line in the post-position.

Poor ball placement

Ball placement is essential to timing. Fast feet are related to poor placement of the key step (the first step in a four-step delivery and the second step in a five-step delivery). Another important issue is pushing the ball in an upward direction from a waist high position. When the heel of your step touches the floor, try to time your ball placement.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes

Another problem may occur if your shoulders are too far forward. This causes extra bend at the waist level and not enough bend at the knee level – so the ball reaches the lane too early allowing loss of leverage and an unbalanced feeling in the approach. To fix this, your shoulders should be erect and knees slightly flexed.

As you begin your approach, the knees should gradually deepen their bend upon sliding without causing any strain. At the end of the approach, your waist should be slightly bent forward. As a general rule, the deeper the knee bend when sliding, the less the waist needs to bend.

If you walk on your toes in this situation, you will have too much speed in the approach and your shoulders will be too far forward. This also causes loss of leverage.

Instead, you must place the heel first and toes last in each step. This way, the approach is smoother and you can slow down the entire approach. Since the approach builds momentum from the back to front movement of your feet, the leverage will increase.

Watch your step

If your key step is too long, this means that all your steps are too long and the swing will float through the approach resulting in no power. Usually, five step approaches must watch the length of a second step.

Try taking a normal walking step and the rest of the steps will fall into place. At a five step, the first step is for momentum and usually shorter than your normal key step.

Ready to show off your new skills?

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