They say experience is the best teacher; you have three things that will teach you to be better at your craft. These would be: experts or professionals, failure, and practice.
Bowling isn’t an exception either. Kids who start bowling at a young age, especially in centers like AMF or Strike Bowling will develop techniques. Their brain plasticity will allow them to develop muscle memory that can be heavily relied on later in life, allowing the youngsters to reach pro levels earlier than most people.
But what if you start bowling, say, at 25 years old? By then, your brain wouldn’t be as effective in coding new muscle memory. The good thing is there are kind people on the internet that share their experiences and are willing to spill the secrets to better bowling techniques. Here are some of them.
Just like what it says, your thumb directs the ball to its destination. Expert bowlers notice that the ball generally follows the direction of the thumb.
For beginner bowlers, they can always start pointing their thumb towards the center of the pins or the lane, and the ball just rolls forward upon releasing it. More experienced bowlers take advantage of this by giving the ball a sideways rotation to achieve a “hook”.
It’s a good rule of thumb to follow the first tip on this list (get it? *rule of thumb*). But there’s also a better way of making sure the ball stays on its path until it hits all nine pins.
Most people will try to aim for the centermost and front pin, or at least the two adjacent pins. Veterans of the sport advise beginners to try to place the ball in the center of the lane instead of trying to target a pin that is 60 feet away.
This method helps beginners focus on other things like correct posture and swing, and minimizes the complexities involved in hand-eye coordination.
There’s a good reason why indicators are present in a lane. It’s to help beginners or veterans focus on closer targets instead of the head pin that’s farther away.
If you pair this technique with tip number two, you’ll have a better aim at the pins. It also helps you estimate the amount of force you put in your throw. Our brains usually command muscles to give extra force when throwing an object farther. This technique lessens muscle strain.
The most common mistake beginner bowlers make is trying to force their arm to act like a bat that will hit the bowling ball sliding across the lane. This is wrong.
Your arm and the ball should act like a pendulum, with the shoulders and the wrists the only two things that are contracting when swinging the ball. While beginners might find it hard to do this at first, they’ll eventually develop the necessary arm strength later on.
Swing the ball back gently and at the point where the ball feels weightless, keep your grip firm on the holes, then let gravity pull the ball down and forwards. The shoulders should not resist the rotation, but at the same time, only has enough contraction to keep it from being dislocated.
The forward momentum will send the ball towards its destination, and you can add a little “tap” or push before leaving your hand. Your next games will be easier.
Sometimes, people will find it easier to hold the ball using two fingers, and they’re not exactly prohibited from doing so. However, this will only lead to wrist injuries, and the latter is something you don’t want to happen if you want to be a professional bowler.
By gripping the ball with three fingers, you also get a better feel of the weight. If you play like this for very long, you will eventually be able to manipulate the rotation, and successfully make your first hook.
What do you think of these tips? Are there any more you’d like to add? Feel free to comment below!