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Bowling Tips For The Recreational Bowler

Aug 17, 2007
Yearning to become a better bowler? Here's how to bowl your best game and bowl your mates over.

Get in the moment
Remember, bowling is a game. Leave your cares outside the bowling alley and concentrate on what you're doing. Not only will you have more fun, but your game will improve as well.

Have a ball
Choose your bowling ball with care. Pick a ball that is neither too heavy nor too light for you. It's a good idea to have a ball of your own because it will save you the time and effort of choosing from rental balls at every bowling alley you go to. Besides, if you like your ball and are comfortable with it, you're more likely to enjoy bowling and to do it well.

Step by step
How you approach the foul line is up to you. Some bowlers use three steps. Others use a four-step or five-step approach, which allows the bowler to develop more momentum and makes the ball seem lighter.

It's hip to be square
For a consistent delivery, keep your shoulders square to the foul line and keep your back straight. At first you may have trouble remembering to do this, but keep reminding yourself, and it will eventually become automatic. Keeping your back straight doesn't mean that your upper body should point straight to the sky at all times. You may have to bend slightly when you release the ball, but you should bend from the waist instead of bending your back.

Around the bend
When throwing, don't bend your arm or swing it away from your body. Keep it relatively straight and close to your body. It's okay to bend your arm slightly at the elbow as long as the inside of your elbow is pointed down the lane.

Relax, don't do it
Don't rush your approach to the foul line, or you'll have trouble maintaining proper position and keeping your balance.

Get close...
...to the foul line, that is. You should be about six inches from the foul line when you release the ball. This will lift the ball a short distance over the foul line before it touches the lane, allowing it to go farther. If you release the ball too far from the foul line, it will lose speed before it hits the pins.

Easy does it
Keep your fingers, especially your thumb, relaxed as you hold the ball. Don't squeeze your fingers or grip the ball too tightly, or you'll mess up your throw. This is another good reason to have a ball of your own that fits your fingers properly. Use finger inserts if the holes on your ball don't fit right.

The art of letting go
You should release the ball as it is moving past the ankle of your sliding foot, that is, the foot you take your last step with. If you are right-handed, you slide with your left foot, and if you are left-handed, you slide with your right foot. As you slide, or take your last step, you need to bend your knee to get the ball low enough to pass your sliding ankle, then straighten the knee as you release the ball. This is a difficult movement to perfect, but your coordination will improve as you practice.

As you bend your knee, you can bend your upper body 15 to 20 degrees forward. Remember to bend from your waist and keep your back straight!

Remember, remember
Always remember to follow through. This completes the movement and increases the power of your delivery. To check if you're following through, freeze your arm after you release the ball. Your hand should be at the level of your shoulder or higher, and it should face the target.

Eyes on the prize
Keep your eyes on the target at all times. This will keep your head steady and your body properly aligned.

Think it through
If you're not happy with your game, ask yourself what you might be doing wrong. Analyze your movements from the moment you take your first step to the moment you let the ball go. Whether you're playing or practicing, think about what you're doing. Be aware of the position of your shoulders, back, and throwing arm.

Be yourself
Develop your own style and don't try to copy another bowler. Your game depends on how well you can make your own movements work. That said, it would be helpful to watch the games of professional bowlers on TV and pay close attention to they way they move. Seeing how the pros do it might help you identify and correct your own mistakes.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://bowling.unique-articles.com where you can learn more about bowling and get more bowling tips.
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