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Are You Really Hitting Your Bowling Mark
Hitting your mark means if you are properly aligned on a given lane condition, then you should be able to deliver your bowling ball into the pocket or at your key pin in the spare you are targeting. The term "mark" simply refers to your sighting target on the lane.
So if most successful, if not nearly all successful players, use a sighting target, we should determine where this target is located on the lane. The most common aiming point is located at the bowling arrows.
Generally speaking, it is easier to take dead aim at a target closer to you than at a target in the distance, like sighting the pins 60 feet away on the pin deck. Since the arrows are only about 15 feet from where you slide on the approach, it makes sense to use an intermediate mark, the arrows, when sighting with your eyes rather than staring way down the lane near or at the pins.
Remember that you can select a mark on the lane at the location of the arrows such as a specific board on the lane. If you are sighting at the 10 board, you are sighting at the 2nd arrow. If you are sighting between arrows, then specify in your mind the board number you are using as your mark, both for strike and spare deliveries.
Science has proven that humans can be right eye dominant or left eye dominant and that more people are sight dominant in one eye or another as opposed to a smaller number of people who see precisely where they focus their eyes.
To determine if you are successfully rolling your bowling ball over your mark at the arrows, it is usually best to have a trusted friend, teammate, or experienced bowling coach be a "spotter" and after you deliver a ball; the "spotter" calls out which board precisely the very bottom part of your bowling ball contacts the lane at the arrows. This tangent point between your ball and the lane surface is the common reference point in hitting a target or mark.
If you are aiming directly, as example, at the 10 board and see your ball rolling over the 10 board (2nd arrow from the side of the lane nearest your bowling shoulder) and your "spotter" calls out the 12 board, then you know that you are missing inside of your mark and likely need to aim at the 8 board in order to compensate and actually hit the 10 board mark.
If you are aiming at the 10 board and you think you rolled your ball directly over the 10 board but your "spotter" calls out the 8 board, then you know you are missing outside of your mark and likely need to adjust your sighting mark to the 12 board in order to hit the correct mark.
If you are missing your mark only one board, or perhaps two or more boards, pinpoint where you need to adjust your sighting mark on the lane with the use of the "spotter" system whenever possible. The "spotter" is stationary and can watch the bottom of your bowling ball from the very moment it comes off of your hand until it passes over the given board near the arrows. The "spotter" can easily communicate which board your ball actually rolled over. That is why using a "spotter" is a reliable method to double-check your sighting accuracy.
Of course, if you know for certain you rolled your ball over your mark and still missed the pocket or missed a spare, then you must adjust your alignment. Knowing exactly which board at the arrows your ball contacts versus what you actually see is valuable information. Your adjustments are based on real-time targeting and alignment.
Also, it needs to be said that the nearer to the foul line that you sight your mark, the more accurately you will see the ball in relation to your mark. The further down the lane you sight, the less accurately you will see the ball contact your mark.
If you wish to be certain, get some help from an experienced bowling instructor to develop your own personal system of alignment and adjustments.
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