Adjusting your approach.
common problem among fellow bowlers is the lack of consistancy
in their approach. I was told once that "if you start
with bad ingredients, you'll bake a bad cake". The same
holds true with bowling. If your approach is inconsistant, or
you cannot adjust your approach position or speed, you
severely limit your ability to adjust to ever changing lane
conditions. So, you've got your new ball, your new shiny shoes
and that dandy new bowling bag yet you still can't seem to get
that ball further down the lane before it breaks or, the ball
seems to just roll way too fast and never gets the chance to
break into the pocket. What to do?
A. Jelinek (ak331@cleveland.Freenet.Edu) provides the
following lesson that was taught to him:
is a helpful tip on footwork and making the ball react earlier
and later on the lanes.
Sunday I was practicing with a friend of mine. He is a senior
bowler who tried the tour in the early sixties. He was taught
by one of Cleveland's greatest bowlers, Steve Nagy. Needless
too say, I respect his judgment a lot.
use a conventional four step approach. I usually start almost
on the back of the approach, so I usually take long steps. He
had me move my feet closer to the foul line. To find this new
starting point, he had me start at the foul line and take 4
1/2 normal walking steps. This is a technique I have read
about, and seen many newer bowlers use, but up until Sunday
had never really tried it myself. This new starting point was
a good foot closer to the foul line.
low and behold, with this new starting point, my feet were
obviously slower, shorter and the ball reacted earlier. He
described this as the "normal rhythm of walking". By
starting further back on the approach, I was not using the
normal rhythm of my body. I was able to start further back on
the approach to make the ball go longer, or move my feet up on
the approach and make the ball hook earlier.
night in my traveling league, we went to a very tough house
for righties. The lanes are dry in the heads, and the ball
just dies by "rolling out" on the back ends. The
only place to play the lanes is deep inside of 15. This
doesn't allow the ball to roll out. Well I used my Crush/R
from around the 16 board with almost no belly and straight at
the pocket. I was able to start with my feet closer to the
foul line and throw the ball slow. This kept the ball in the
only oil that was on the lane. With the knowledge I had from
Sundays practice, I was able to make the ball react nicely
when my feet were close to the foul line. The ball hit very
hard because it would "ride the oil" and finish
flush in the pocket.
the end of the night the inside shot had dried up. I moved my
feet back on the approach and played my normal shot. Just as
the doctor ordered, the ball hooked later and still crushed
the pocket. I shot 680 on a shot were righties struggle to
others might use this helpful tip to move the break point of
second part of the approach is your "drift factor".
In other words, most of us don't walk a straight line to the
foul line. Most of us tend to "drift" either to the
left or to the right. The most severe cases have the bowler
ending up in the exact same spot at the foul line no matter
where they start out at. Ok, so you're drifting, what can you
do to adjust or compensate? One way is to use the arrows to
O'Brien (SJO10E@psuvm.psu.edu) provides the following to help
you adjust your game to your "drift factor".
yall, i just learned about this network today and thought yuns
could use a little tip. try this system next time you go to
practice. It's the system as taught by dick ritger ( the fifth
all time winningiest pro with 20 victories) i was taught these
methods when I was 13 and improved my average by over 40 pins
in just two years.
first thing, you must find out in order to use this system is
how many boards you drift on your delivery. I'll describe it
as though your a right handed bowler. put the inside of your
left foot on the 20th board ( center dot) and make your normal
delivery. Look down at the foul line and notice what board the
inside of your left foot is on. It's probably not the 20th
board (center dot). Determine how many boards you drifted and
in what direction. If your drift exceeds 4 boards, work on
getting it less than 4 boards.
you must determine how far to the right of your left leg you
release the ball. It's typically 6,7,or 8 boards. how do you
determine this? Put a piece of paper over the tenth to 20th
board at the foul line. Stand at the foul line with the inside
of your left foot on the 20th board. Assume your release
position and swing the ball back and forth 3 times. On the 3rd
swing release the ball and notice what board it indented the
paper. How many boards to the right of the 20th is this.
your ready to learn how to play the 10-10 or any other
an example: assume you drift 3 boards to the right and release
the ball 6 boards to the right of the inside of your left
in order to play the 10-10 line, you must stand on the 19th
board on the approach. 10+3(drift)=13 13+6(release)=19
remember that if you drift to the left it would be -3 therefore
you must start on the 13th board. 10-3(drift)=7
luck and i hope this helps in your alignment. If you would
like me to write more instruction on angles, alignment ,ball
weights, spare methods,etc respond to this article.