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Use Footwork To Keep Your Bowling Swing Close To Your Body

If you are a right handed bowler who wishes to make sure your forward swing remains very tight and close to your body, the answer begins with your feet.

Accuracy in bowling is developed through good footwork. One important component of a good swing is keeping the forward swing close to your upper body each delivery. Certain keys in your steps will allow this technique to happen.

If your right foot on your third step moves to the right, your swing will have to align itself around your trailing leg. This will place you in jeopardy of swinging your bowling ball away from your body in a “roundhouse” fashion where you create too much space between your sliding ankle and the inside edge of your bowling ball at the moment you deliver the ball.

A method to achieve a good four step approach footstep pattern for right handed bowlers (opposite for left handed bowlers) which encourages good balance and helps you keep your swing tucked close to your body is as follows:

1. The first step with the right foot moves straight ahead from it's initial positioning on the approach.

2. The second step with the left foot steps straight ahead, or slightly to the left, from your original alignment positioning.

3. The third step with the right foot steps to the left and directly under the center line of your body, under your chin, so you maintain balance as you prepare to slide into the foul line. Your non-sliding leg can then smoothly sweep away from the path of your forward swing to the opposite side of your body and remain in contact with the floor.

4. The final step slides under your chin or to the center line of your body and directly in front of your next to last step.

Sliding toward the middle of your body ensures good bowling balance, and your sliding leg will easily support the full weight of your body and create a stable and balanced platform in which to deliver the ball.


Your slide foot should enter the foul line area with the toe of your sliding bowling shoe directed toward the pocket down the lane.

The pattern of steps for this four step approach is, therefore, "straight on one, straight or slightly left on 2nd step, the 3rd step moves to the center of your body, and slide step moves directly in front of your 3rd step sliding under your body center.”

Of course, if you use a five step approach, the first step is straight to get you into motion, then the remaining four steps follow the above described pattern.

It helps to use the services of a professional bowling instructor if you are having problems with your footwork.

If a coach is not readily available to you, then ask a friend to serve as a "spotter" to watch the pattern of your steps. This can eliminate guesswork and help you develop a proper technique walking to the foul line.

The objective is to develop consistent footwork and retain good bowling balance while swinging your bowling ball as close to your body on the forward swing as you can. This technique will help you make good releases and maintain leverage for power in your game.