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Bowling Set-Up Position


A good bowling set-up on the approach allows you to begin your movement to the foul line with good alignment, balance, and stability while swinging your bowling ball. It all starts with a solid set-up before taking your first step.

If you ever watch the pro bowlers on the TV, you plainly see how methodically they take their stance on the approach before beginning movement to the line. A clearly established “pre-shot routine” by the pro bowlers precedes any movement to the line to ensure an identical set-up procedure is taken every time they step onto the approach. Your mission should be one and the same.

Here are a few keys to developing a good set-up position on the approach:

1. Before stepping onto the approach, make sure you know precisely where you wish to position your feet and where your sighting target is on the lane. Pay attention to standing the same distance from the foul line each time you take your stance.

2. Place your sliding bowling shoe with the instep covering the board you choose to correspond with your sighting target. Point your bowling shoes slightly toward your sighting target with the toes in the same direction and spread your shoes perhaps one board apart for balance and stability.

3. Flex your knees forward placing the front of your knee caps directly over the toes of your bowling shoes. Flexing the knees slightly will bring the big muscles of your legs into play and create automatic leverage during your delivery. Maintaining knee flex throughout the approach to the foul line helps control the pace of your steps and stabilizes your upper body.

4. Lean forward slightly about 10 – 15 degrees aligning the front portion of your shoulders in a direct line over your knees. Place the bowling ball in your hand immediately in front of your bowling shoulder and as close to your body as is comfortable. The closer the ball is to your body, the more relaxed your arm muscles will be when supporting the weight of your bowling ball. Maintain this relationship of shoulders above the knees throughout your movement to the foul line to ensure good balance and stability while releasing the ball.


5. Keep your head level and the bottom of your chin level with the tops of your shoulders. Walk as though you are balancing a book on top of your head to avoid any unwanted or sudden upper body movements. Maintain this posture and keep your eyes fixed on your sighting target while walking to the foul line.

These five keys will certainly help you establish a solid stance position. Using a well-planned “pre-shot routine”, coupled with a solid stance position, leads to good shot-making.

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