The Approach

The Approach 


The four-step delivery – it’s as easy as 1,2,3.4.

The four-step delivery is a great way for bowlers to learn sound fundamentals and approach their way to a smooth delivery. It’s as easy as 1-2-3-4, just like walking down the street. As a matter of fact, that’s what bowling really is, just walking and swinging your arms. The only difference being, you have a weight in one hand, your bowling ball, but if that ball fits your hand properly, it will feel as light as a feather.

Ok, we are ready to take that approach, but have no idea where to start. There is a simple method to the approach madness. Since everyone’s steps are different, including your teammates, all of you will start somewhere different on the approach.

To find your perfect starting position for that perfect delivery, follow this guideline to help you find the strike line.

1) Finding the perfect distance to start the approach:

Walk to the foul line; turn around with your back to the pins and place your heel in front of the center dot about two inches. Take four and one-half steps back from the foul line and turn on your toe to face the pins. This is the starting point, adjust as needed.


2) Starting point for the strike line:

Start in the center of the approach and place the toe of the non-ball-side foot in-line with the big dot (board 20) in the middle to help you line up. To start, use the second arrow for your target as this is where most house shots play. If your ball hooks too much or not enough, you may have to move to the left or right to hit the head pin consistently.

Adding motion to the approach (your delivery) will be another task, but once mastered you will be knocking down more pins. Remember it’s just like walking down the street while swinging your arms by your side. The ball will continue through the swing naturally, so you don’t have to muscle or help the swing at all. Let it swing freely.


Four-step delivery – free swinging motion

  •  Get into your stance
  • First step - push ball into swing at same time as first step. (demonstration shown is for a right handed bowler, so it’s right foot and ball movement together. It would be opposite foot for a left handed bowler)
  • Second step - during the down swing, the opposite arm will go out to the side for balance and at the completion of the step the ball will be near the ball-side leg.
  • Third step - the ball continues into the backswing and will be at the top of the backswing at the completion of the step.
  • Fourth step (slide) - as the ball swings forward, the ball-side leg moves behind the bowler with the foot rolling on its side. The ball is released as it passes the ankle of the slide foot.



After releasing the ball, follow through towards the target bringing the elbow above the shoulder. Stay in a balanced position and watch the ball until it rolls over the target and into the pins.

NOTE:  It is important to reach out and fully extend the arm so the elbow finishes above the shoulder. This completes the motion of the armswing and reinforces the direction toward the target.


Following these simple steps will give you a great start to your approach and help you knock down more pins than your opponent. Don’t forget, it’s as simple as 1,2,3,4, walking down the street.