How to Bowl

Bowling is a fun, relaxing game that can be satisfying (for players who know what they’re doing) or extremely frustrating (for players who don’t follow the correct techniques). Being a successful bowler is dependent on your ability to maintain the proper form and throw the ball consistently, as well as your capacity for staying mentally strong while bowling a game.

Choosing the Correct Ball

Your first step when learning how to bowl will be to choose the correct bowling ball. A ball that is too heavy will be difficult to throw, eventually resulting in fatigue and inaccurate throws. A ball that is too light will lack the power you need to knock down the pins. After finding the correct ball weight, it’s time to purchase a ball.

Although virtually all bowling alleys allow customers to rent or borrow bowling balls, using a rental ball is not ideal. Even if you use the same ball weight each time you bowl, differences in hole size and the general feel of the ball, including surface texture and finger hole texture, could throw off your game. If you plan to take bowling seriously, in any capacity, it’s important to purchase your own ball and stick with it.

Choosing the Correct Bowling Shoes

The same concepts that are true about bowling balls also apply to bowling shoes. Ignore the fact that bowling alleys allow you to rent shoes and purchase your own. When you own your own bowling shoes, you’ll wear them into your own feet, rather than somebody else’s. Be sure to purchase bowling shoes ½ size larger than your normal shoes. Having a solid, familiar contact with the floor will keep your mind off of your uncomfortable feet and on your actual bowling technique.

Learning from Your Friends and Maintaining Focus

Bowling is a social event in which groups of friends gather at the bowling alley to take turns bowling down a single lane. Although this can obviously be a lot of fun, it isn’t necessarily the best way to learn how to bowl. When you bowl with a large group on a single lane, you’ll often forget your previous mistakes by the time it’s your turn to bowl again. This gets in the way of developing muscle memory and focusing on the proper bowling techniques.

How to Bowl

How to Bowl

There are two solutions to this problem. First, you could bowl with likeminded friends who are equally interested in improving their bowling game. Collectively focus on the game, observe each other’s technique, and offer suggestions to improve everyone’s game. Second, you might consider bowling alone a few times, or at least reserving your own lane. This will allow you to bowl more rounds per hour and concentrate on the task at hand with minimal distractions.

Using the Proper Bowling Form

Bowling properly and achieving a high score is all about consistency and technique. Start by lining up just to the left of the center dot if you’re left-handed or to the right of the center dot if you’re right-handed. Hold the ball upright in front of your chest and bend your knees slightly. To throw the ball straight, keep your thumb in the 6 o’clock position. To throw the ball with a curve, hold your thumb at the 10 o’clock position.

As you approach the foul line, keep your body relaxed. Take a step with your left foot, then your right foot and then your left foot again. End with your right foot behind your left foot. Meanwhile, extend the ball behind your body and keep your body pointed straight forward. Aim for the arrow immediately to the right of the center arrow (if you’re right-handed).

There are a few other things to keep in mind as you toss the ball. As you release the ball, it should feel like you’re pushing it out and down away from your body. Keep your left hand extended in front of you to maintain balance. When you draw the ball back behind your body, make sure that it doesn’t elevate above shoulder-height. Slide forward with your left knee bent and your left foot forward and release the ball.

Your follow-through is also very important. After releasing the ball, point your hand towards the desired pin in a fluid motion. Watch the ball carefully and check for any potential flaws in your technique.

Bowling Techniques

Bowlers typically fall into three categories: Crankers, Strokers, and Spinners. A cranker will cause their body to meet the foul line before their ball does. This type of player bends his elbow in order to keep his hand below and behind the ball. The cranker relies on sheer physical strength to move the ball down the lane. Being a stroker requires a bit more finesse. With this method, your ball will reach the foul line at about the same time as your body. Spinners will bring their fingers to the top of the ball as they release. This allows the ball to ravel in a straight line regardless of the oiling of the lane.

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