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Walk A Bowling Fine Line

If you are averaging 170 or less, perhaps you should walk a fine line on the approach and pinpoint precisely where you wish to slide. It can be surprising how many fairly good bowlers are unaware precisely where they slide into the foul line relative to where they begin their approaches.

Your strike and spare deliveries all require good walking lines so you do not walk away from an intended sliding board at the foul line. Walking your lines is key to achieving a good arm-swing and accuracy when delivering the bowling ball. A good objective is to slide on a predetermined board at the foul line, regardless of where you initially align yourself.

Limiting the amount of drift, either to the left or right, to about two boards from your the initial set-up alignment works pretty well for most bowlers.

There are players (typically very accomplished bowlers) who walk as many as five boards away from their initial alignment positioning on the approach. These bowlers know exactly where they intend to slide before taking an approach and factor the drift into their walking pattern when selecting a sighting target.

Train your steps to arrive precisely on the board where you intend to slide for maximum accuracy.

As stated earlier, it is important to walk consistent lines regardless of where you align your self on the approach, for spares or for strike deliveries.

Walking consistent lines with the same pace of steps from shot to shot allows your arm swing and release to also become repetitive, which will help you build overall accuracy with control of your bowling ball.

A simple practice method to check your walking lines is to place a piece of bowling tape on the approach where the instep of your sliding bowling shoes completely covers the given board in your stance position. Track the same board up to the foul line and place another piece of bowling tape slightly behind the foul line on the same board.

If you walk a perfectly straight line path, you will slide on the same board where you began. If you drift slightly off of the straight line path, try to repeat the same walking pattern at least ten consecutive deliveries and check your sliding foot after delivering your bowling ball.

You should be repeating the same walking path every delivery, not varying more than a board if you truly wish to develop a successful walking pattern.

Next, move the tape pieces across the approach to the board where you line up when trying to make the 10 pin spare (right handed bowlers - opposite for left handed bowlers). One piece of tape should be where you take your stance position and the other where you think you will slide.


Deliver ten consecutive deliveries and check your walking path and sliding board after each delivery. If you are not walking the same line path as you do for strikes when positioned more closely to the center of the approach, your drift pattern is not consistent and your swing path may be adversely affected.

There can be no doubt about your walking path anywhere you align yourself on the approach. Be a “stickler” for walking accuracy and practice under some experienced coaching guidance if you find your walking lines vary more than a board or two and you are having problems controlling your amount of drift.

Accuracy in bowling is developed by good footwork. The direction you walk for strikes and spares is as important as the length of each stride and the pace of each step. Challenge yourself to walk consistent lines and watch your accuracy improve.