Ever see those people at league who average 230 and above day in and day out? There is a method to their high average madness – and shot repeatability is a major key to that success.
The ability to repeat a shot with accuracy often reflects a bowler’s work on their bowling mechanics. This consistency can pile up strikes quickly and can also be used as a foundation to successfully make small adjustments when the lane condition changes.
So how do you hone your shot repeatability? In this article, we’ll talk about 5 distinct categories that need to be solid for a consistent shot.
1. The Approach
As mentioned, making sure your slide foot ends up in the same spot is crucial for you to repeat shots.
While subtle, proper balance during the approach provides an important base for the rest of your shot. Below are some quick tips to increase your balance throughout your approach:
- Your stance – ball-side foot should be slightly behind the opposite foot.
- Your knees should be slightly bent
- Tilt your shoulders slightly forward
- Put the ball between shoulder and chin
- Make your wrist firm to support the bowling ball
- Keep your first step short to begin your momentum
3. Arm Swing
While obvious, it’s important to point out how critical the arm swing is to a consistent shot. To create a great arm swing, there are two fundamental areas to focus on – the circular motion of the arm swing and the direction of that arm swing.
A great swing will look like your arm is drawing part of a circle – not over extending to release the ball and not snapping up too rapidly. It should be a smooth, circular motion that doesn’t pull your upper body where it doesn’t want to go.
Another fundamental of your arm swing is the direction of the swing. The motion should travel straight back and forward – not allowing the ball to go behind or away from your body.
4. Hand Position
While you may be balanced and have a great arm swing, your hand position needs to be reliably consistent. To start, focus on keeping the hand under and behind the ball throughout the arm swing. From there, it’s important to remember these tips:
- Keep a firm wrist
- Release your thumb first followed by your fingers
- Extend your follow through toward the target
5. The Finish
The grand finale! When you finish your release, it’s important to keep your arm up until the ball hits the pins. This helps in completing the shot and watching your ball motion.
Practice, practice, practice
Ready to practice? Here are some great tips to try in your practice time outside of league:
- Isolate – Break up your approach, arm swing and release to focus in on shaping specific areas of your physical game
- Illustrate – Try working through your entire shot without a ball.
- Target – When you feel like you’ve got your physical game down, see how consistent your shots can be. Choose a target on the lane and continue to watch your ball till it hits the pins. Repeat your shot to see if your ball is travelling down the same path.
As you get these mechanics down, your shots and your certified average will thank you. When mastered, you’ll be able to pile up those strikes!