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Bowling Swing Alignment Tip

By:, Originally Posted: 5/15/16; Updated: 2/8/2022

If you are averaging between 160 and 180 and are looking for a bowling swing alignment tip, then swing the ball upward with your hand moving to the outside edge of your bowling shoulder in your follow through motion.

If you are a “stroker” type player using a minimal bowling ball hook and if you walk a straight line path to the slide area on the approach floor, you can position yourself on the approach in such a manner as to align the front of your bowling shoulder with your sight target on the lane.

When you follow through toward your target, your bowling hand should swing up so your bowling fingers end up at shoulder level or higher and to the outside edge of your shoulder.

This type of “square” alignment places your shoulders at a right angle to your upward swing path when following through to your target.

If you are a power player, however, hooking the ball a great deal and sliding further left (right handed bowlers - opposite for left handed bowlers) on the approach using the same sight target as does the minimal hook player, then your shoulders will no longer be parallel with the foul line as you slide and release your ball.

In this case, your shoulders will be in an “open position” relative to the sight target on the lane and your follow through direction will move upward toward your target and to the inside edge of your bowling shoulder.

This swing path motion will allow you to hit the target but at a wider angle than will the player using a slight hook delivery.

Also, your follow through motion will not be at a right angle with your shoulders line (it will appear to be following through to the left relative to your shoulders) so you can deliver your ball to your target and not too far right of your target.

These alignment techniques for the straighter, direction players and for the power players both apply in strike alignment as well as for spare alignment.

The point here is that the follow through motion can appear to move upward in several directions as the given player works his or her way through a game or through a series of games. The follow through motion varies depending on the alignment chosen and how much the given player hooks the ball.

There are no “cookie cutter” alignment systems placing all bowlers in the same alignment mode.

To use another sports example of the ball path direction varying from player to player, think of a baseball pitcher using the center of the plate as a sight target, Now also think of this pitcher delivering a 90 mph fast-ball with little or no movement as it travels from the pitcher’s hand and arrives at the plate center.

Then think of the same pitcher delivering a curve ball starting the ball at the edge of the plate or perhaps a little off of the plate and the ball curving and arriving at the plate center.

These are two distinct ball paths would be traveling in different directions but arriving at the same target at the plate.

This are the same challenges bowlers who hook the ball encounter when aligning to a specific sight target on the lane.

The straighter player can slide with shoulders parallel with the foul line and swing upward to the sight target at very near a right angle relative to the shoulders.

The bowler hooking the ball must slide into the foul line at a different approach location than does the straighter player but with shoulders slightly open and with the follow through moving toward the same target but appearing to swing upward to the left.

If understanding these alignment and delivery techniques is confusing, consult with your favorite bowling instructor to better learn which alignment positioning and follow through path your swing must make to hit your target on the lane. The lane conditioning oil patterns are typically what causes a bowler on a given lane to align to the pocket, as example, based on that bowler’s delivery style. Dry lanes can cause every bowler who uses a hook delivery technique to open the shoulders and swing to the sight target. Oily lanes can cause the same bowler to close the shoulders to a square position and slide with the bowling shoulder aligned directly in front of the target on the lane. Alignment is a phase of the game every bowler must face so the more you can learn about your game and how to line up at given targets will serve you well on your path to improvement.


Most Popular Articles To Improve Your Game:

Keep Your Bowling Shoulder Facing Your Target

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Swing Your Bowling Arm Upward Toward Your Sight Target

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