We often think of bowling as something to do with friends on a wet Saturday afternoon, but as a popular sport it takes time and practice to be successful. There are simple tools that can help, and it’s about much more than simple brute force.
For a start, there are arrows on each lane to help you hit a specific pin, and your scores will go sky-high once you learn to add some spin to your ball. Work on technique and your game will start improving immediately.
The Right Balls
You’ll never play well with the wrong ball, so it pays to get it right. Men tend to bowl with a ball of at least 14lb and women 13lb. Your fingers should be able to fit into the holes without sticking and without having to hold on too hard. Above all, it should feel comfortable in your hand.
If the Shoe Fits
As with a bowling ball, your shoes should fit you and be comfortable. Take care of them and they’ll help your game by keeping your feet comfortable as you bowl – it’s one less thing to think about. Other accessories, such as a bowling wrist support, might also help, and specialist online retailers like Pete’s Pro Shop (http://www.petesproshop.co.uk/acatalog/wrist-supports.htm) will be able to advise.
Once you’ve begun honing your practical skills, make sure you are on top of the rules, too. For a full breakdown, check out the Rules Of Bowling.
Start by standing upright. Where you hold the ball will play an important part of where it ends up. Keep it slightly to one side of your body – the side of your strongest hand – and use the opposite hand to support the ball’s weight. The ball should feel like an extension of the arm.
Bend your knees slightly and relax the shoulders. Place your left foot (if you are right-handed) on the large dot in the middle of the lane, and using the arrows on the lane, aim slightly off-centre to avoid a split.
Approach the lane with four even steps, finishing with the foot that is opposite your bowling hand – so left foot if you are right-handed – to give you the best balance. Release it by flicking your wrist as the ball passes the leading leg.