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How To Improve Your Practice Bowling Sessions

It is amazing how advanced bowlers will practice without any game plan or without any useful practice structure or purpose. If you wish to learn how to improve your practice bowling sessions and get the most from your time spent on the practice lanes without wasting valuable money set aside for practice, then kindly consider the following keys to guide you in doing so:

  • Develop a Practice Plan

  • Physical Game

  • Equipment

  • 4. Lane Play


Any successful coach or coaching school in the past and in the present always develop an organized process or structure by which students are guided to practice their bowling. The most successful players practice with the end in mind! Professional businessmen will not begin a new venture without a detailed business plan. Professional bowlers, those who compete regularly on the pro tours and make a living doing so, practice with an intent to focus on specific areas of the game to maximize in an organized fashion to benefit from the time spent on the practice lane. Why not you?

If you are among those who have not developed a specific structure by which to practice, an outline with keys to working on important components of your game, then we highly recommend you do so right away. Prepare your own checklist containing a simple outline of the physical components of your game, include your bowling equipment, and finally include in the outline your routine for lane alignment, targeting, and lane adjustments so you are able to rehearse these important keys to your game on the lanes and away from competition. You can develop one larger outline containing all key headings or one per heading on four separate outlines to be used at various practice sessions. An organized structure is one way in learning how to improve your practice bowling sessions and is an integral key to sharpening your overall skills.

You can easily spend time working on your outline, if you will, and spend a dedicated amount of time during each practice session on each sub-element in the outline. As example, when working on physical game elements, develop perhaps four keys to your game and spend about 10-15 minutes per key element working on specifics techniques your coach has suggested to strengthen those elements on your path to progress.

In your physical game outline, create a heading for "footwork", "timing & arm-swing", "balance & posture", and the "release & finish position". Four headings with three elements under each heading such as "tempo", "direction", and "length of steps" under the "footwork" heading, as example, for a total of perhaps twelve total components included with the four headings essential to keeping your game in top shape is highly recommended. Each component in all four headings could, as another example, can be practiced for about 5 minutes per component, or for one hour in total, to get the most out of your physical game skill-drills during your practice session. Of course, you can modify the time spent on each component per practice session but it is important to rehearse each component key to your overall improvement in each heading of your outline each time you practice!

Practice your strength, not your weakness! Practice doing it right, not replicate what you have done incorrectly in the past! Practice in regularly spaced intervals or days of the week as to train the memory of the muscles in your body to repeat automatically. It is, of course, always a great idea to work with a certified U.S.B.C. coach in your local area or with a skilled and experienced pro shop operator or with a local bowling professional with a good reputation for coaching. The cost of professional instruction is far less than the cost of bowling balls, in most cases. Why not invest in your bowling future, develop a practice plan with your coach, then work on the components of your plan or outline when you spend time on the practice lane?

Your bowling outline for success should also include a section for equipment. It is of importance to practice with all or most all of your bowling balls on a given lane condition and calibrate or compare the ball motion of each ball to one another. It is vital to understand your equipment and when and where each ball best matches to your game and to the lane conditions. Try and understand how length potential ratings on each ball react in comparison to one another. Compare the hook potential ratings of each ball. Learn how best to match your bowling balls to the break point on the lane and when to change equipment prior to or during given sessions in competition.

Practicing with various bowling balls should also entail changing the coverstock preparations and compare one ball to another. Using a variety of grit pads on a high-speed spinner will help you understand when to alter the surface of each given bowling ball to best match to conditions you frequently encounter in competition. Practice with non-polished surfaces and with polished surfaces. Polishes may be applied to ball surfaces with a low grit and textured preparation under the polish or with a fine grit preparation under the polish. Compare each ball to other balls in your arsenal until you have a thorough understanding of how each ball will react on given conditions.

The same reasoning holds true with layout patterns. Try and understand how various drill patterns affect your ball motion and recognize when to switch bowling balls during competition. This process of structuring your equipment in a similar manner as structuring components of your physical game will lead to a complete and meaningful practice session and to getting desired results in competition.


Finally, add lane adjustments and alignment techniques to your outline. Practice playing angles on the lane which you will eventually encounter in competition in addition to playing your favorite or most natural angles. Practice making a series of "parallel adjustments" which require adjusting your feet alignment and your eye alignment at the on-lane target and move across the practice lane in both directions as to better familiarize yourself with playing angles not comfortable to your eye. A good goal is to make certain there is no angle targeting the break point with which you are unfamiliar.

If you practice the areas of your game where you are strongest and work to eliminate areas where you need improvement, then the "pieces of the success puzzle" begin to fall into place. We hope these tips help and encourage you to develop your own "practice plan of action."

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