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"The Bowling Book"

Improve Your Score With Style
If you are reading this article, I am assuming that you are interested in improving your average. Further I am assuming that you are not already a 190 or better bowler...

I am a 210 average bowler and have averaged over 200 for over 10 years. I am a certified Level I coach and have coached a lot of people helping them to increase their averages as much as 50 pins!

While I am no genius when it comes to bowling, the old adage, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" holds true when it comes to bowling. I have had several coaches who have all led me down their specific paths, and have found that no matter how much I tried to imitate them; ultimately I needed to have my own style...

What is bowling style? Style is the way that you approach your bowling shot. What you do before you get on the approach, what you do when you get on the approach, how you hold the ball, how you make your approach, and how you release the ball. Wow, that was a mouthful! :) Basically style is how YOU throw the ball down the lane. I do not know you and have never seen you bowl, so I cannot tell you what your current style is. However, I can give you basic pointers on what you need to do so that you are more consistent in your style, thus improving your scores on the lanes.

Answer the following questions:
  • Are you serious about getting better?
  • Are you will to do what it takes to get better?
  • Do you have the time to put in to improve?
If you can answer yes to the questions above, then you are ready to work on your style and form. If you cannot, then you are in bowling to have fun... That is not a bad thing... But don't think that without working at it you are going to improve (that statement is true with anything you do, by the way). There is not a lot I can do to help you at this point, so just go out and have fun, bowl what you bowl and enjoy it... it is fun!

If you answered yes to the questions above, then this article is for you.

To improve your bowling, you will need to develop your own style of bowling. This is not to say that you have to invent a style, you just need to find one that you are comfortable with. Some people like the 4 step approach, others the 5, for example. Style is a personal thing... to an extent. Good form is almost a requirement for consistency. You can read and practice all kinds of people's styles and still not bowl well. At some point in your career as a bowler, you will need to make a decision on what you are most comfortable with and go with that. Usually this is not the same as one person's style, it is a combination of all of the styles that you have seen and attempted to mimic.



Before you get to this point, however, you will need to watch bowlers that are better than you (preferably higher average bowlers) and mimic there styles to the best of your ability. Also, don't be afraid to ask a higher average bowler for some help. However, if you begin to ask several different people for help you will probably become confused and frustrated as each of these higher average bowlers has a style his/her own. You are better off talking to a single individual whom you think that you can imitate or that has a style that you think that you can handle doing. Don't be discouraged if you ask for some help and the person doesn't want to help you, find someone else. Most of the higher average bowlers that I know are willing to help out when they see someone taking an interest in the sport.

Once you have begun to imitate someone else's bowling, you will need to watch what you are doing from the point when you approach the ball return to get your ball all the way until you deliver the ball. It is important to recognize that the only part of bowling that you can control is the delivery of the ball. How the ball reacts on the lane you cannot control (for the most part), how the pins fall you cannot control. You can control your release, where it is thrown, and how hard it is thrown, that is all. This is what style is all about.

In general there are three parts to a bowling shot. Pre-shot (prior to getting on the approach), approach (steps), and release (how the ball is released on the lanes. Your style is a combination of these three. You may be a quick bowler, pick up the ball and go. You may be a slow bowler, study the lane, wipe your ball, stand on the approach and rethink everything, slow steps and slow release. You may be something in between (most bowlers are). Your style will determine your consistency. If you are a quick bowler one time, a slow bowler the next, and something in between the next time, you will never be consistent. Style is the all important piece of the pie that you need in order to improve your consistency, and thusly your scores.

Your scores will improve with the improving of your style. I have always found that by being consistent in my bowling style, I have much better games. When I am inconsistent, especially when I get angry, my scores reflect that also.

I hope that this article has helped you to understand the importance of style in your bowling. Without your own style, that you are comfortable with, you will have a hard time maintaining a good average. But always remember that bowling is supposed to be fun!!! So don't get so frustrated with your style and or score that you don't have fun...




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