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Take Dead Aim At Your Bowling Target

Updated 7/17/2020

A simple and quick tip to help your bowling accuracy is to develop the technique of taking dead aim at your target. That’s right, take dead aim!

This notion of dead aim is certainly not a new one. This phrase has been used in golf, rifle shooting, and likely other endeavors for many years. In bowling, taking dead aim means making a full commitment to hitting your sighting target every delivery.
It is human nature to think our way around physical tasks. The challenges with that are that we may not fully trust our instincts or our physical capabilities. We risk becoming too mechanical with our physical motion and not trusting ourselves to be as fluid and coordinated as we can be as a bowler.

If we think about the mechanics of making an approach and every step and every movement of our swing and release while we are actually making an approach, then we will never achieve our full capabilities. This same notion holds true when sighting a target on the lane. If you think instead of how you are walking and swinging the bowling ball and not placing focus on your target, your accuracy may suffer.

Our brain is the real key here. I do not believe in muscle memory. It is our brain that remembers muscle motion. All we can do is train our muscles to respond with physical movement and be prepared to function efficiently when called upon by our brain.

Think about riding a bicycle. If you have not ridden a bike in ten years and then jump on one, it is not your muscles that recall how to ride the bike, it is your brain.

It is not too late for any bowlers, (seniors, adults or children), to train the brain to carry out physical activities. The science of "Neuroplacticity" refers to changes in neural pathways and nerve cells in the brain. These pathways and nerve cells compensate for changes or adjustments in a person's activities or environment. In short, your brain can be trained to accomplish new physical activities at any age.

Training our brain to keep our eyes focused sharply on where we want the ball to travel down the lane is an essential ingredient for success when bowling in competitive, pressure situations.

By drawing a bead on your sighting target and being fully committed to delivering your ball precisely over the target, your brain will communicate the right messages to your body so you achieve the desired result.

Of course much of this is predicated upon proper alignment to your target and on good physical game fundamentals, but the objective is to make a full commitment to hitting your mark.

For example, if you sight at the 2nd arrow from the edge of the lane for your strike ball delivery, then make a concerted effort to keep a keen eye on your target as you walk to the foul line and deliver your bowling ball. After releasing the ball, continue keeping an eye on your target and observe the delivery path your ball has taken and if your ball rolled exactly over your target.

Typically, if you take a peek too soon after delivering your ball because you are worried about the result when it impacts the pins, then know this - it takes less than a second for your ball to reach the sighting target at the bowling arrows and about 2.5 seconds plus or minus 3 seconds to reach the pocket. So, you can easily keep a sharp eye on your mark on the lane until the ball passes the mark before looking to see where the ball ends up on the back end of the lane.

Accuracy in bowling comes from discipline with your physical game fundamentals and from your mental strategy of committing to hitting your target. You can bet that the professionals we see on TV are interested in making a good shot and delivering their bowling ball squarely over their aim point, so why not you?

Practice the strategy of watching your mark on the lane on each delivery. Make certain you are aware exactly where your ball passes by your mark (your sighting target on the lane) or whether you missed left or right. In time, your control will improve and you will trust making lane adjustments during competition as needed.

Take dead aim at your target and watch your scores benefit accordingly.
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