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Success In Fall Bowling Leagues, Originally Posted: 8/15/2011; Updated: 9/8/2023

If you are an experienced player averaging perhaps 180 or less and in need of getting ready for success in fall bowling leagues, then a few quick tips on your physical game, on preparing your existing bowling ball equipment, and getting in a little productive practice will surely help. Your success in fall bowling leagues begins with sharpening your skills and tuning your game.

It helps to develop an organized structure by which to practice regardless of your skill level. By the way, you should try to get in at least three or four dedicated practice sessions where you can work on your key components of your game both individually and with your certified bowling instructor and/or with teammates so you motivate one another to get ready for the season.

Professional bowlers work to maintain a high standard of performance. You can easily do the same by managing your time on the practice lane wisely. If you are planning to bowl for one hour, the following fundamentals can be addressed for about 10 minutes each so you are sure to practice important keys to your game:

Set-Up: Make sure you set your spine angle with a slight forward tilt so your shoulders are vertically above your knee caps. Avoid setting your bowling shoulder too low in comparison to your basic set-up. Dropping the shoulder too low in the set-up, even an inch too low, can cause an undesired variation in your swing path and also can cause a less effective bowling ball release. Set-up is critical to making a good approach.

Footwork: Reduce tension in your legs before taking your first step. Walk softly or lightly to the foul line and avoid digging into the floor and lunging into your slide step. Continuous movement with smooth tempo are important to allowing your arm swing sufficient time to do an effective job. Even if you are a player with relatively fast footwork, do not exceed your usual pace of walking to the foul line. Walk softly in practice so when you are in competition and get excited, you will not revert to hurried footwork and make errant deliveries.

Balance: Keep your upper body torso from exhibiting unnecessary movement while walking to the foul line. If you are a power player and allow your bowling shoulder to open excessively in your back swing, try to avoid sudden and abrupt movement and over exaggerating the shoulder movement. During each delivery in a practice session, maintain consistent swing tempo, even when shooting at spares. Keep your head as motionless as possible throughout your approach to the line and while you are releasing the bowling ball. Head movement must be restricted to avoid an up or down movement, a tilting movement to the side, or turning your head and eyes away from your target abruptly. Maintain a consistent elevation with your bowling shoulder from the floor while you walk to the line so your swing path will be in position to repeat shot after shot.

Swing: Work on a consistent trigger movement to initiate the swing and move the ball smoothly into the swing. If you use a long pushaway, make sure you trigger the movement early enough and do not retard the movement by holding the ball while you walk. If you allow your ball to fall straight toward the floor when beginning the swing, try to avoid using too much arm tension forcing the ball to the top of the back swing. Arm tension is the number one key to making ineffective releases. When your bowling hand reaches the top of your back swing, make an effort to allow it to drop into the forward swing smoothly and consistently without "grabbing" at the ball and increasing tension in your hand just prior to the critical moment of release.

Release: Check your forward swing arm position so you do not rotate the ball before your release requires the rotation. Regulate the moment of release by keying your thumb to exit the ball at the same relative position to the heel of your bowling shoe as you slide into the line. The amount of energy you impart onto the bowling ball by your hand during the release process should be consistent from delivery to delivery. A good key is to focus on speed control releasing each shot with the same launch velocity.

Finish & Focus: Work on holding your form at the line after you release the ball until your ball passes the targeting arrows. If only for a split second, hold the form and balance position after you release your ball to ensure you are ending your approach in a good finishing position. Do not minimize the importance of focusing your eyes on your target with intensity and concentration throughout each delivery. Place full commitment to hitting your target.

Check your existing bowling balls for readiness for the new season. There is no need to purchase a new ball for very dry lanes or for spares if the coverstock of your old ball is in decent shape. If your existing equipment has only minor nicks or surface scratches, then retain the ball which is in the best overall coverstock condition.

To further fine tune your old bowling ball, you can screen the ball with fine grit pads such as with 2000-4000 Abralon pads and then polish the surface so the ball will have decreased surface friction and so the ball will skid easily on dry portions of the lanes. Another strategy is to screen the surface with 1000 - 1500 grit pads to create slightly higher levels of friction and therefore more traction in oil if you feel the ball in its current condition will skid too far.

Every arsenal should have a reactive resin coverstock, either a solid reactive coverstock or a pearl reactive coverstock, if not both, to react strongly in the mid-lane and on back end of the lane. Reactive resin and particle coverstocks may be restored by resurfacing them and preparing the given screening procedures to enhance the type of ball motion you seek.

In cases of new bowling balls, just as is the case with older equipment, you can modify the ball surface in the pro shop with surface screening strategies and with use of select polishes to enhance the motion capabilities these bowling balls possess. It is surprising how few bowlers routinely clean, polish or screen the surfaces of their equipment to prepare for given levels of competition. Try and carry polishes and cleaners in your accessory pouch so you can clean and prepare the ball surfaces after use and before your next session on the lanes. always recommends you consult with your personal, certified coach/instructor or a local bowling professional at least one time when beginning preparations for success in fall bowling leagues. Your coach can help you monitor the key components of your game and set you in the right direction with purposeful practice sessions. Use your practice time wisely and work on the keys which have proven to work for you in the past. Work on your strengths and weaknesses will reduce.

A disciplined hour of practice working on key components of your physical game will help you sharpen your skills and improve your technique. Practice as often as possible if you expect good results. While you are visiting today, please spend time searching our extensive menu of products at If you wish to make a purchase, simply follow our easy online order instructions. Thank you.

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