How To Bowl – From The Perfect Posture To Follow Through

July 29, 2009


Bowling is one of the best ways to improve fitness and coordination while having fun with your family and friends. It’s a lot more than simply throwing a heavy ball down a long bowling lane…it’s one of the most complicated and competitive sports around. By learning how to bowl the proper way, you’ll gain confidence, have more fun, and beat the competition!

Without further ado, here are some useful tips to improve your game:

1. Have perfect Posture
In bowling, posture counts! Keep your head up, looking straight at your target. Your shoulders should remain square to the foul line, especially through the swing.

2. Grip the ball properly
If you use a house ball, make sure the thumbhole is loose fitting.  The thumb often swells a little during bowling and if you’re forcing your fingers into the holes before you bowl, they’ll probably get stuck!  If you have your own ball, have your finger holes custom drilled by your pro shop.  If your thumb routinely swells, it may help by wrapping it in bowler’s tape.  If your hands sweat, be sure to carry a towel to wipe them on and then use a little rosin to dust your hands.  If you have a difficult time gripping the ball, your pro shop can insert grips into the finger holes.

3. Remember where you are
For right-handers, a good place to start is 2 arrows right of the middle. For left-handers, start 2 arrows to the left of the center. Adjust your position right or left after you have bowled a couple of balls, depending on where your ball ended up.

4. Focus on your target
Make up your mind where you’re going to aim.  If it’s your first ball, aim to bowl so that it will hit the right of the front (#1) pin first if you’re right handed, or to the left of it if you’re left handed.

5. Breathe
Take three slow, deep breaths to make yourself relaxed. It’s common to feel anxious before bowling… but the more comfortable you are, the more control you will have over your ball.

6. Smooth moves
The speed and power of your ball are determined by the way you carry yourself to bowl. Position yourself so you will take four consistently paced steps to throw the ball.

7. Slow down!
One of the most common traits beginner bowlers have in common is to rush. It’s important to have some speed to deliver the ball properly, but too much speed is the #1 reason for both gutter balls and 7-10 splits in beginner bowlers!

8. Maintain your balance
Remember to remain upright and focused on your target as you approach the foul line. Keep your shoulders square as you use your leg as a counterweight to keep your balance during the release.

9. Releasing the ball
Keeping your arm slightly bent at the elbow, retract your arm behind your body, cradling the ball in your hand.  Keep a smooth straight arc from back to front.  Be careful of arcing around your body and back…that’s a common habit in many new bowlers! At the low point of your swing, release the ball.  A relaxed arm and wrist make for an effective shot!

10. Following through
Keep your target in sight and your arm continuing its arc forward even after the ball has been released. Just “letting the ball go” and pulling your arm back will roll the ball off-course.

The most important thing to remember when learning to bowl is to have FUN! By learning proper bowling techniques you will make the game much more enjoyable for yourself and for those who bowl with you.

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