10 Basic Tips for Playing Bowling

It can be affirmed that Bowling is a sport of challenge, as much if it is practiced in a ludic way as in competition.

The practice of this discipline involves developing an individual technique as complex as you want, and it combines facets such as: physical agility, concentration, precision and physical-mental interaction in the coordination of the sense of rhythm, balance, muscle control and especially emotional, including above all confidence in ourselves.

These guidelines or tips for playing bowling that are reflected here, result from a personal appreciation on the experience that this author has on the world of the bowling, and the intention that only is pursued is, to summarize and to contribute very basic ideas, that allow the bowling player to improve his game.

Toddler throwing a bowling ball - Title Picture for 10 Basic Tips for Playing Bowling

1. Good physical and emotional condition

A cold, feeling of hunger or thirst, tiredness or sleep, etc., always operate and negatively affect the mood and willingness to play.

If you have to compete and you feel bad physically or emotionally, it is better to play another day.

The optimal emotional predisposition in this game has much similarity to golf, to apply the best inertia and precision to the ball should not be euphoric or excessively relaxed.

2. Choosing the right bowling ball

The the perfect bowling ball that best suits our way of playing is fundamental. We must choose a bowling ball which, due to its weight and position of holes, does not impair our ability to reproduce the shot correctly during the successive games we play.

  • Some incautious or inexperienced players choose balls of 15 or 16 pounds, thinking that it will be easier to get full nothing further from reality, excessive weight, subtract maneuverability and therefore precision; you can get many consecutive full with a ball of 10 pounds, if you throw with enough power and precision;
  • If you are a beginner, when buying your first bowling ball you should keep in mind the question: what does a ball cost? Because you shouldn’t buy the most pricey bowling ball from the start.
  • If you can’t find a comfortable ball to play or the one we know by its serial number is always removed, it is advisable to get advice from the technical staff that machines the balls and acquire a ball to our measure (weight, drills and even color);
  • The balls for public use are drilled in a standard way in almost proportional function, ball weight with the weight and strength of the player, so, in this way, a ball of 8 and 9 pounds for children will have small holes, proper for these, like the heavy balls of 15 and 16 pounds, will have the widest and separate drills, especially designed for large people who have large hands and fingers also large or thick. We must choose the balanced compromise between weight comfort and precision;
  • Do not choose a ball to play 2 or 3 games that does not allow you to play 8 with absolute comfort.
  • If you search for the perfect left handed bowling ball, then you should buy a un-drilled ball that will suit your gaming profile but the most important is the drilling, which should be made by a professional.

Therefore, it is obvious to choose a ball according to our physiognomy, this will allow us to tune comfortably the ball in full and finish off with sufficient smoothness and precision.

3. Wear proper shoes

Performing gentle general and specific warm-up exercises on the trunk and joints that are going to be most worked on for at least 5 minutes is very convenient. The body cannot be rigid to play and the muscles must be warm and elastic, that is, willing to work and sweat the shirt.

Also during this warm-up and without realizing it, we allow the shoes to reach the right temperature to play:

  • if you start to play immediately after putting on shoes, you will suffer the effect of “cold sneakers”, they will probably not slide correctly and there will be some hook or stumble similar to what happens when you throw without realizing that you have stepped on some liquid, with the consequent loss of points in that throw and even injury. Or at least the suggestion of the player, that in the successive throws will throw with fear; consequently, the player will be playing well below his average and his potential capacity.

While we warm up, it is important to verify the state of the track in the area where the race and the launch is executed:

  • a dirty track will complicate the correct execution of the launch;
  • if it is not very dirty, we will be able to clean it with a cloth humid in alcohol;
  • but if the dirt is very extended, it is better to ask the technicians of maintenance of the bowling alley to clean the track adequately, since these as experts that are, without a doubt will understand and will accede to our request;
  • if this happens in official competition, it is convenient to warn to the organizers the observed problem.

So, choosing and wearing the proper bowling shoes is a must.

4. Concentration

The concentration must be as complete as possible:

  • any circumstance (blows, screams, whistles, an improper approach by another player, horrible horns on the next track, etc.) that can produce an alteration of the concentration during the phase prior to the launch, must make us desist from it, it is convenient to place the ball in the pocket and complete the concentration again before throwing.

It is convenient to choose the most favorable and adequate moment to throw:

  • it is totally unadvised to carry out a precipitated throw between two players eager to throw, the calm respect of the times of throw is fundamental and thus it is necessary to make it known if it is necessary.

It is always necessary to give the turn to the court of our right if the player was already prepared to throw or if we coincide even catching the ball.

5. Approach race

The approach race is approximately 80% of the success of the throw:

  • the incorrect execution of this movement (which defines in a few seconds the execution of each throw) negatively marks the resulting movement of the arm with the hand, and surely, the final result obtained.

This race must be done with short steps to ensure balance and be completed without haste or changes of pace, this ensures fluidity and time needed to swing the arm well, remove the hand correctly and place the ball in the mark with the same intensity.

A well executed race also minimizes a small error in the placement of the ball on the chosen mark.

Many players miss the shot because they make a very fast and hasty run convinced of applying more power to the ball to get full.

Others move the body backwards at the time of throwing, this technical defect usually leads to a failure of precision in the placement of the ball.

The approach race can well be compared to the movements of a classical ballet dancer, who makes her movements with smoothness, coordination, without pauses or changes of rhythm, with the muscles of the body with some tension but working with elasticity and fluidity.

Only when the bowling player assumes the approach race and the execution of the throw as a dance, is when it begins to progress.

6. Hand position

The position of the hand that throws the ball must always be the same, and will be defined within the technique, which we consider more comfortable and advantageous for its fluidity and effectiveness demonstrated in the workouts that are made to that effect.

The hand must be synchronized with the movement of the body and the pendulum of the arm.

The effectiveness of the bowling ball throw depends very much on the complete realization of the pendulum, which, in addition to achieving a more powerful throw with less effort, ensures better reproducibility, so that the progression in learning is greater to take better advantage of the workouts.

7. Movement of the arm

The movement of the arm that throws the bowling ball must be synchronized with the race and the balance of the body, likewise, must be executed without haste or sudden changes in rhythm:

  • it is essential to always pendulum the arm with the same intensity, to pull the arm forward at higher speed and place the ball on the desired mark.

8. The other arm

From the first moment until the end, the other arm also contributes to the balance of the body in the approach race, many times we do not take it into account and involuntarily and sometimes without realizing it, we cause the body to destabilize on the side of the arm that throws the ball, failing therefore the precision of the throw:

  • Initially it must be helping to support the ball (in a natural and unforced way) by the inferior part and opposite to the other hand;
  • during the steps it must be extended and separated from the body to help the balance;
  • and at the moment of bowling ball release it also contributes to improve the balance and precision of the throw, making of counterweight when moving backwards and downwards something closer to the body.

9. The psychological factor

It has a very direct influence on the player and the development of a game. The player must try at all times to throw without pressure and stick to the technique to not be carried away, neither by the demoralization by any failure or by the deceptive euphoria that some plenary seduces an excessive and sweet relaxation.

The player during the game, must realize how he is playing, if he is doing well, must try not to change anything to stay in that line of regularity, and if he is failing, must warn what is wrong and how to correct it quickly so as not to sacrifice the game. To do this, the player must have assimilated the knowledge and practice of this game.

Often in competition, after the third or fourth game, the tracks are not in the same oil state, the first symptoms of physical and mental (moral) fatigue appear, and the ability to concentrate decreases, so the players make more precision errors in both balls.

For this reason, the player must be mentalized in advance in dosing his forces, because these contribute decisively to maintain high morale and a regularly stable concentration, at the same time must use intelligence to adapt to that track that is no longer as at the beginning, and to maintain regularity in the average when the others go down.

It is essential to mention here, that to be concentrated in our game, we must ignore all those attitudes and comments always made by some players, often intended with mischief to de-concentrate, especially after we had reached several consecutive plenary sessions.

One last practical piece of advice:

  • When you are competing and the pressure is on you, forget about the scoreboard, the opponent’s scoreboard, the opponent’s scoreboard, the audience and everything outside yourself;
  • Take refuge in the technique because it is your best ally, how? review in your head calmly the basic pillars of the technique, apply it! do it because you have done it many times and you know how to do it.

10. Accuracy

Precision is the final result of the correct accomplishment of all the previously described sections, the success of this precision depends and is summarized without a doubt, in a physical and psychological predisposition conjugated with a determined ambition of full and final.

In this sport (as in any other), being mentally motivated and wanting to play can be summed up as the golden rule.

Therefore, if we assimilate all the knowledge and try gradually to reproduce it in practice, it is very likely to achieve a high precision in the game, with the consequent satisfaction of the player who will consider the practice of this sport, as an attractive and enjoyable entertainment.


I hope that this text has invited you to reflect on perhaps somewhat forgotten aspects; and as I said at the beginning, these basic bowling tips it will help you to improve your game.

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