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Be A Clutch Bowler

By:, Originally Posted: 11/1/16; Updated: 1/12/2022

If you want to be known as a player who comes through when it counts most, you are seeking to become a clutch bowler.

If you can learn the keys in your game that will hold up when the competitive pressures call for performing well and striking to win a match or by striking out in the 10th frame to win a team game, as examples, you must become a savvy shotmaker.

Part of being successful in a clutch situation is to trust your decision in lining up to hit the pocket.

When you are lined up to the pocket properly based on the lane conditions and on your own delivery style, then it becomes relatively easier to trust in your abilities to make a quality shot.

Ball speed control is one factor in becoming a clutch performer. Another is swing tempo and your forward swing path aligned to deliver your bowling ball to your target repeatedly.

Good ball speed control helps in governing your ball skid distance to the mid-lane before transitioning from the skid phase of motion to the hook phase of ball motion.

Trust your swing tempo and your walking tempo. It is easy to succumb to hurried steps faster than your normal pace of bowling when faced with bowling in a clutch situation during competition.

If you have developed good footwork walking patterns, simply trust your movement to become repetitive and match with your swing tempo so when bowling “under the gun”, you can make effective shots and hit the pocket over and over.

Hitting the pocket is vital, of course, to giving yourself the greatest chances at striking.

Your job will become far easier in clutch situations if you develop a natural swing and one which is not forced but rather tension free and repetitive.

The same applies with good footwork tempo.

There are several other important factors in being a clutch bowler. Having a passion for winning and for executing good shots when you must do so is a matter of experience and talent, of course.

You must trust your game in key situations and rely on what you do best.

Visualize good performances in past competitions where you came through with the needed results. Allow your mind to command your body to make the shot you need when needed most.

Additionally, you must be able to make good releases and trust your hand action at the moment you release your bowling ball. You must do so repeatedly. Also, you must know your bowling ball equipment and use the right ball at the right time to get the ball reaction needed to hit the pocket when you must strike to emerge victorious. Using the right ball at the right time means knowing you have prepared the ball surfaces so they are ready for use in competition. All of these factors involved in becoming a clutch performer on the lanes require practice and require good decision making spontaneously as adjustments are needed during the course of the games you bowl in a given series of games in competition.


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