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Approach And Timing- Five Step

Excerpt from Bowling Fundamentals - Second Edition By Michelle Mullen


For some bowlers, starting with the non-dominant foot is just easier. A right-handed bowler who prefers to start with the left foot simply takes an extra step with the left foot, without any ball movement on the first step, and then performs the four-step approach starting with the second step. A left-handed bowler takes an extra step with the right foot without any ball movement at the start. Therefore, in a five-step approach, the second step is the key step.

Whether you take a four-or-five step approach, the ball initially needs to move out with the key step. In a four-step approach, it's the first step; in a five-step approach, it's the second step. The key step for a right-handed bowler is on the right foot; the key step for a left-handed bowler is on the left foot. 

Starting with the key step, the timing is the same in both the four-and five-step approach. This is why the first step of the five-step approach can be referred to as the zero step. It is simply an extra, get-started step without any movement of the ball. Therefore, the five-step approach is a modified four-step approach with an extra get-started step before beginning the four-step timing. Remember that the key step on a five-step approach is the second step.


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Five-step approach, left-handed bowler (reverse for right handed): a) first step with no ball movement; b) second step (key step), ball goes out; c) third step, ball swings down; d) fourth step, ball swings back; e)fifth step, ball is released and arm follows through.

Mullen, Michelle. Bowling Fundamentals- Second Edition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2014.

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