With any elite level player, it’s important to tailor practice to include versatility and challenge. The best players are challenged both in competition and in practice and they learn to become successful using whatever tools are available. The use of coaching tools will accelerate a player’s learning curve and quickly develop and/or allow someone to recall necessary technique.
There are countless tools to train a bowler’s physical game, some commercial and some personal. A series of popular tools available to anyone are “Bowl U” Skills Development Tools including a feel trainer, an axis trainer, a swing trainer and a power trainer. Each is designed for specific parts of a player's swing but can be used many different ways to develop a player’s skill set.
If you are having trouble hitting a target on the lanes, use tape to assist with accuracy drills. Placing one-inch tape on specific boards and at specific distances on the lane will create a practice range for measuring accuracy. Use two foot-long pieces of one-inch flagging tape to straddle a breakpoint down lane and practice getting the ball to the same spot. Use the same type of tape across the front of the lane to practice distances for loft control.
Flagging tape around a range finder can improve accuracy and consistency.
Cones are a great for training the physical game on the approach or accuracy and ball motion on the lanes. A player struggling to align their footwork laterally can place small cones on the approach (within peripheral view) to correct a step pattern. Placing cones on the lanes can do the same as tape, it will train accuracy and measuring distance.
Aligning step patterns and practicing accuracy is different when including visual aids.
Ball motion is probably the most difficult challenge for players working toward the elite level. Taping a piece of yarn or thin string at the foul line and to a breakpoint can outline zones on the lane that bowlers can practice hand positions and accuracy with. Outline multiple zones and challenge yourself and others to accuracy and consistency drills.
These are just a few tools to train elite performance. Be creative and develop something that’s as unique and specific as the individual; chances are it will help in more ways than one. Remember, always get the center's permission before crossing the foul line and be safe on the lanes.