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Emotion Can Change Your Bowling Motion

If you want to get the best out of your game, learn to keep your composure under pressure. Avoid the highs and lows of emotion when you bowl and adapt a tempered and consistent disposition.

The players who are able to remain calm and retain composure in pressured bowling situations are the ones who typically enjoy the most success.

Be a cool customer. Work at not losing your temper or getting overly emotional, regardless if things are not going your way or if they are very much going your way.

Once you realize maintaining an even keel on the lanes is your best bet over the long run, you will begin to see the benefits will work to your advantage.

Every athlete, every bowler, loses their temper or composure now and again. Getting emotional is a human trait. Controlling your emotions so they do not change your physical game, even though you are brewing on the inside, will help you retain good tempo on the lanes. It will help you think clearly and can help you sustain making a series of good deliveries when you are bowling under pressure.

Losing your emotion can definitely affect your bowling motion. This means, tensing up for any reason will change your physical motion due to a rush of adrenaline which can directly and adversely cause your arm and leg muscles to react differently.

When you suddenly tense up, your arm and leg muscles strain and the pace of your arm swing and steps will change. You may find your neck and shoulders tighten from a surge of anger or emotion and a poor shot occurs because of this change in your body.

When you cannot relax, you will not reason as well. It is difficult, if not impossible, to prepare to make a good shot due to anger or despair. You might hurry your forward swing and make a poor release. You might overturn the bowling ball or change your loft distance inadvertently.

Any of these changes in your physical game might cause you to lose your good tempo or a good bowling ball reaction and thereby change what may have been a positive outcome.

A huge mistake is to miss the pocket when you have been lined up previously or whiff an easy spare because you lost your cool. You must train your mind and your body to overcome emotion on the lanes and allow yourself to perform to your best standard each time you bowl.

Anger is not the only emotion which can throw off your game. Getting too high and excited after stringing strikes can cause you to force a poor delivery. Instead, continue the same shot pattern which had been working until that point and try not to vary your rhythm.

If you are anticipating winning your match or the event you are competing and not focusing on one good shot at a time, it will alter your physical motion and the shot pattern which had been working to your advantage previously.


The most common reason bowlers get emotional is due to the dreaded and unwanted “tap” on a perfect pocket hit. Nothing can frustrate you more than hitting the pocket solidly after making a good shot and the corner pin remains standing. Worse yet, your opponent gets a lucky break and you get mad because you did not carry.

If you learn to avoid flying off the handle when things do not go your way, the amount of time it will take to get back into a good bowling stride shortens and that will inevitably lead to positive results down the line.

Focus instead on what it takes to win, to make a good delivery, stay in the moment, accept what happens as a reality of the game, and forget bad breaks or poor shots.

Do not take the bad breaks home with you but rather leave them behind and focus on your next opportunity to succeed.

If you advocate keeping a calm demeanor and containing emotions while you are in competition, you give yourself the best chances at winning.