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Bowling Accuracy Is In The Feet

Experienced bowlers can benefit from brushing up on the same good footwork fundamentals as do beginning bowlers. In fact, I once heard a renowned instructor say that accuracy in bowling is in the feet. Thousands of bowlers today can improve their accuracy by improving their footwork.

Learning the keys to good footwork is as important for beginners as it is for more experienced bowlers. Developing a synchronized arm swing coordinated with your steps is an important key in your bowling. Also, knowing where you walk and which board on the approach floor you will slide on is vitally important if you wish to become an accurate player.

There is a board where you should slide which directly corresponds with where your bowling ball first contacts the lane surface. This board also corresponds with a proper delivery path (angle) to your sighting target based upon your delivery technique.

Let’s choose a simple example to expand this notion of improving your accuracy. This example applies to a “stroker” type delivery which produces a very modest hook delivery. Power players can simply add a board or two wider angle to their target on the lane, but the premise of knowing where to slide remains the same.

Let's say you are player using a modest hook delivery and select the 2nd arrow (10 board) as a sighting target on the lane based upon the lane condition. In this example, you need to slide on and cover the 18 board at the foul line with the instep of your sliding bowling shoe and with the toe of your shoe fairly aligned to the pins. The instep of your sliding bowling shoe should cover the 18 board but leave open the 17 board.

If your swing is tucked in closely to your body as your ball swings into the delivery zone, your ball can exit your hand and first contact the lane surface just beyond the foul line on the 13 board on its way to the 10 board sighting target at the bowling arrows. The center of the ball would be on the 13 board and the inside edge of your ball would be very close to your sliding ankle.

With a disciplined forward swing path during your approach and with steady hand action in your delivery motion, sliding on the 18 board at the foul line will allow you to consistently deliver your bowling ball onto the 13 board on the lane surface, also known as your release point.

Your ball can then easily travel toward the 10 board sighting target allowing enough of a delivery path angle to steer your ball down the lane to the break point and then into the pocket.

As you can tell, the simple formula can be as follows:

Slide on 18, release point 5 boards toward your bowling shoulder on the 13 board, roll your ball over the 10 board (2nd arrow).

Remember that the 20 board corresponds to the center guide dot on the approach and at the foul line. If you use this simple system of alignment, you have created an alignment which will make it easy to roll your bowling ball over your target time and time again. This alignment system is constant with your sliding board and your release point board, but you may have to slightly adjust your sighting target board based on the lane condition and which area of the lane you choose to play.

Here is the real key in all of this - you must slide on the same board to get the same release point and to hit your target consistently. If you vary your walk from delivery to delivery, you change your release point and hitting the target at a consistent delivery path becomes difficult.

Sliding on various boards due to walking inconsistencies will cause you to miss your target on the lane. If you slide on 20 board on one delivery and on 16 board on another delivery, your release point changes and your delivery path to the 2nd arrow also changes . This inconsistency in a walking pattern adversely affects your ability to hit your chosen target and your accuracy will suffer accordingly.

It is easy to understand, therefore, that if you slide on the 18 board, as in our first example, on one delivery and then on the 20 board on another delivery, and on the 16 board on yet another delivery and expect to roll your ball over the 2nd arrow at the same delivery path, you will be very disappointed in the outcome.


Keep your forward swing tucked in closely to your body and you will regulate your release point consistently. If you know where you will release the ball onto the lane surface based on where you slide, you can select the proper sighting target for strikes and spares and for changing lane conditions.

If you learn to allow just the right amount of delivery angle (your delivery path to your sighting target once your ball exits your hand) based on the lane conditions, then coordinating your sliding board, your release point board, and your sighting target board is an easy process and your bowling accuracy will certainly improve.

Everything is based on good footwork regardless of your skill level. Accuracy is based on walking consistent lines and knowing precisely which board you will slide on regardless of where you align yourself on the approach.

When you practice, work on sliding on the same board each delivery until it gets to be second nature. Make certain you can do so from any alignment position on the approach to best simulate competitive conditions. Full commitment to walking your lines will improve your game.

By accepting this notion that accuracy is in your feet, you will become a good shot maker and playing the lanes will certainly become a less daunting task.

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