Bowling improvement doesn’t happen magically. Experience helps, but repeated mistakes can lead to bad habits. You get better by teaching your body how to handle the ball. Increase your bowling skills with these 10 practice drills to develop your capabilities in the right ways. Do any drill ten times during a bowling practice session for maximum effectiveness.
Athletic Approach Drill
Focus on your athletic posture during your approach. Don’t stand too straight. Instead flex your knees slightly. Concentrate on keeping your head upright and still, especially while releasing the ball. This helps you keep your upper body movements steady.
Footwork Timing Drill
Practice a 4- or 5- step approach. Pay attention to pacing your footsteps consistently. Count slowly during the approach to allow one second per step. Be careful to time the last two steps carefully to avoid hurrying on these most crucial steps.
Swing Start Drill
Work on starting your swing correctly. In a 4-step approach, move the ball steadily outward and downward starting before the first step. Be mindful of pacing to avoid rushing your swing. Practice the same free-flowing motion with very little arm tension at the start of the swing every time.
Swing Path Drill
Do swing path drills. Focus sharply on your sighting target and swing the ball both back and forward along a path toward the target. Then, follow through with your hand and elbow behind the ball along the sighting path.
Hold at the Foul Line Drill
For 10 times, focus only on holding your position at the foul line until the ball passes your sighting target. Sticking to this habit helps you achieve a disciplined attitude toward the rest of your form. Also, going for an ending position that is balanced positively affects all the motions you make leading up to this end.
Target Alignment Drill
Practice lining yourself up with the target to improve your accuracy. Place your left foot 5 boards left of your target (if you are a right-handed bowler). Then, hold the ball at the center of your body before you begin your approach. Continue with the swing as usual.
Blind Bowling Drill
When you are bowling normally, you need to look at the target consistently to achieve accuracy. However, you can do practice drills where you close your eyes after you align yourself with your target. Concentrate on maintaining good form rather than aiming at the target for this drill.
Isolate your swing movements by kneeling with your bowling-side knee on the ground. Deliver the ball toward the target using your arm only. This helps you improve your balance and develop a more natural swing.
Set up a spare. Line up straight with single-pin spares. For multi-pin spares, determine the key pin to line up with and aim at; it is the pin closest to you in the formation. For spares, hold your wrist looser and line up your thumb with the key pin. Release the ball straight and end-over-end.
At-Home Release Balance Drill
Stand in front of a full-length mirror to practice your release. For this one-step drill, follow the same form you would normally follow on the final step of your approach. Focus on maintaining balance, because you can’t deliver the ball to the target accurately, powerfully and consistently if your body isn’t balanced throughout this last step.