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Three Poor Bowling Tips

Not every bowling tip you hear about is proven to be good ones. In fact, many older tips still around from decades ago are not as effective today because of the advancement of knowledge and coaching techniques emerging in recent years.

There are still good tips which were around in the 1960’s, however, which still are useful today. If you are trying to learn the game and are interested in picking up tips which can help you right away, then, as a rule of thumb, avoid these older tips and pay attention to currently accepted techniques so your chances at improving increase.

Here are examples of three poor bowling tips from years past with the antidotes taught today:

1. “Reach out as far as you can” - the old school teaching was to reach out as far as possible in an incomplete attempt at following through.

Today, reaching-up is a clearer concept compared to reaching-out because it avoids risking a lunging motion with your upper body at the foul line.

Lunging causes your head and shoulders to move well beyond the foul line so far as to pull your trailing leg off of the floor and you end up sliding on one leg with little or no body stability or balance while you are delivering your bowling ball.

Work at keeping your bowling shoe on the step before your slide sweeping away from your swing path but in constant contact with the floor and do not allow your head to thrust in front of your sliding leg knee cap. Keep your head up and steady and then reach up, not out.

2. “Take very slow bowling steps” - by walking too slowly and pausing between steps breaks down any momentum you can build during your approach, usually causes your backswing to shorten, and you cannot generate much ball speed at all, at least without trying to whip the ball fiercely at the last moment.

Keep your steps moving and gradually increasing in pace in subsequent steps. Building momentum walking at a brisk but steady pace and allowing your legs to flex at your knees each step will create a long enough of a slide step with sufficient power and leverage to give you a chance at delivering your ball with accuracy and with good balance.

Keep your steps moving so you generate good bowling ball delivery speed.

3. “Play the 2nd Arrow” - The ten board, or more commonly referred to as the 2nd arrow, is a good starting aiming point when targeting the pocket. As a new bowler, it is a good place to sight when you align yourself in the middle of the approach and walk a straight path to the foul line.

The 2nd arrow is not a permanent sighting point, however. The lane conditioning process applies oil to the surface of the lane and usually a blend of oil near the 2nd arrow on both sides of the lane tapers off from the 2nd arrow toward the edges of the lane and increases in volume between the 2nd arrows in the center portion of the lane.

Using the 2nd arrow as a starting point if you deliver a straight ball, or perhaps a modest hook, is an OK place to initially align yourself. You must, however, be ready to adjust laterally in positioning yourself on the approach and use other sighting targets as the lanes change.

Lanes change due to oil breakdown. This breakdown occurs predominantly in the front ends of the lane where the greatest amount of oil conditioner is typically applied to the lane surface and where your bowling ball passes most frequently.

When the lanes breakdown, higher friction areas on the lanes appear and your bowling ball will gain increased traction when rolling through these high friction areas.

An increase in surface friction causes your ball to change its motion as it travels down the lane and playing the 2nd arrow as a primary target will no longer be effective.

Medium dry lane conditions can require some players with the ability to hook the ball reasonably well to use the 3rd or 4th arrow sighting targets, as example, or perhaps further inside than these aiming points.

The point is that the 2nd arrow is a good place to begin but do not expect to camp out there if you bowl several games because the lane conditions will change and adjustments will certainly be needed.

Older bowling tips can be misleading. Although there are some older tips which still have merit, it is best to use the modern methods taught today because they match best with modern lane surfaces and bowling ball equipment.

As in any sport, coaching techniques improve through the years and athletes skills improve as well. It is fun to think contemporary and pay attention to what will work best for you and your game.