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How To Improve Your Bowling: Practice With Purpose


It is amazing how many highly skilled bowlers will practice without any game plan or without any useful structure.  If you wish to learn how to practice with purpose, then kindly consider the following keys to guide you in doing so:

  1. Develop a Practice Plan
  2. Physical Game
  3. Equipment
  4. Lane Play
Any successful coach or coaching school in the past and in the present always develop an organized process or structure by which students are to practice their bowling.  The most successful players practice with the end in mind!  Professional businessmen will not begin a new venture without a detailed business plan.  Professional bowlers, those who compete regularly on the pro tours and make a living doing so, practice with an intent to focus on specific areas of the game to maximize in an organized fashion to benefit from the time spent on the practice lane.

If you are not among those who have not developed a specific structure by which to practice, a matrix or outline, then we highly recommend you do so right away.  Prepare your own checklist containing a matrix of the physical components of your game, bowling equipment, and the process of alignment, targeting, and lane adjustments so you may rehearse on the lanes and away from competition.  You can develop one master matrix containing all four headings or four matrices, one per heading.  An organized structure is one way in learning how to practice with purpose and is an integral key to sharpening your overall skills.

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You can easily build your own bowling matrix or outline, if you will, and spend a dedicated amount of time during each practice session on each element in the matrix.  As example, when working on physical game elements of the matrix, develop perhaps four keys to your game and spend about 10-15 minutes per element working on specific keys to strengthen those elements on your path to progress.

In your matrix addressing the physical portion of your game, create a heading for footwork, timing & arm-swing, balance & posture, and the release & finish position.  Four headings with three elements under each heading such as tempo, direction, distance of steps as example, for a total of perhaps twelve components essential to keeping your game in top shape can be practiced for about 5 minutes per element, or for one hour in total, to get the most out of your physical game practice session.  Of course, you can modify the time spent on each element per practice session but it is important to rehearse each element key to your overall improvement in each heading in your matrix each time you practice.

Practice your strength, not your weakness!  Practice doing it right, not replicate what you have done incorrectly in the past!  Practice in regularly spaced intervals or days of the week as to train the memory of the muscles in your body to repeat automatically.  Plan your work and work your plan!

In your matrix or bowling outline for success, include a section for equipment.  It is of importance to practice with your bowling balls on a given lane condition and calibrate the ball motion of each ball in comparison to one another.  It is vital to understand your equipment and when and where each ball best matches to your game and to the conditions.  Try and understand how length potential ratings on each ball react in comparison to one another.  Compare the hook potential ratings of each ball.  Learn how best to match your bowling balls to the break point on the lane and when to change equipment prior to or during given sessions in competition.

Practicing with various bowling balls should also entail changing the coverstock preparations and compare one ball to another.  Using a variety of grit pads on a high-speed spinner will help you understand when to alter the surface of each given bowling ball to best match to conditions you frequently encounter in competition.  Practice with non-polished surfaces and with polished surfaces.  Polishes may be applied to ball surfaces with low grit and textured preparations under the polish or with a fine grit preparation under the polish.  Compare each ball to other balls in your arsenal until you have a thorough understanding of how each ball will react on given conditions.

This process of structuring your equipment in a similar manner as structuring elements of your physical game will lead to a complete and meaningful practice session and to getting desired results in competition.  It is remarkable how many highly skilled players have no established or organized practice regime or routine and eventually peak in their performances without ever rising above where they have landed.  Skilled players who make the leap to the next level are those who practice with the end in mind, have a plan of action, practice with discipline, and develop an arsenal which utilizes budgeting restrictions most efficiently.

Finally, add lane adjustments and alignment techniques to your matrix.  Practice playing angles on the lane which you will eventually encounter in competition in addition to your favorite angles.  Practice making a series of "parallel adjustments" which require adjusting your feet alignment and your eye alignment at the on-lane target and move across the practice lane in both directions as to better familiarize yourself with playing angles not comfortable to your eye.  A good goal is to make certain there is no angle targeting the break point with which you are unfamiliar.

If you practice the areas of your game where you are strongest and areas where you need improvement, then the "pieces of the success puzzle" begin to fall into place.  We hope these tips help and encourage you to develop your own "practice plan of action?"

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