Bowling Tips and Techniques Articles

In-depth instructional articles aimed at helping you knock down more pins!

Bowling tips articles

Today's top bowlers, pro shop operators, and coaches need access to the best information in order to be at their best. Sometimes, just one key tip or new technique can mean the difference between success and failure. That's why we strive to deliver you the absolute best bowling instructional material available anywhere.

The modern sport of bowling requires mastery of so much more than just the physical game. Today's top bowlers can only be at their best by having in-depth knowledge in a wide variety of bowling-related topics. Bowling balls, drilling and layouts, the mental game, health and fitness, lane play, ball motion, coverstocks, oil pattern transition, and arsenal selection are all now critical components for bowling success at the highest levels. All of these important topics are covered regularly by Bowling This Month.

Of course, that's not to say that the physical game is no longer important; in fact, it's quite the opposite. With the extremely wide variety of playing conditions encountered by bowlers today, a consistent and versatile physical game is a prerequisite for bowling success! That's why we continue to devote a significant portion of our content on the physical game, including the latest in biomechanical research for bowlers, analyses of the various styles that make up the modern game, and all the standard physical game topics like footwork, the release, timing, balance, and the armswing.

Bowling This Month is very fortunate and proud to have among our contributors some of the best and brightest technical minds in the sport. If you want to learn about the sport of bowling from the best, you're at the right place. Our contributors try to cover all the topics that matter most to today's competitive bowlers.

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"I often get ask when participating in Pro Am events what is the place to go for coaching, technical bowling information, or generally how to improve knowledge of the game. I always point them towards BTM, as the knowledge I have learned from BTM's authors and coaches have helped me improve and take my game to a much higher level, including a PBA regional title! Topics from the physical game, to lane play, to ball motion and the mental approach are all covered. It is a must for all serious bowlers who want to improve and continue learning more about the sport we love."

- Stephen Haas (bowler, PBA regional champion, and Bowling This Month subscriber)

Newest Bowling Tips and Techniques Articles

A discussion on the PBA Tour, life on the road, and how to make the jump to the pro level

The PBA Youth Movement

With the PBA Tour kicking off again, I thought it would be a good time to sit down with a few of the young up-and-coming players to get their thoughts on some topics related to bowling at the professional level....

Understanding layouts, pin placements, and response to friction

The Layout Effect: Myth or Magic?

In our travels, it appears more and more that there is an underlying confusion as to how much effect layouts truly have on ball reaction. In visiting numerous pro shops, bowling forums, and informational websites, it is apparent that bowlers...

Work backwards to separate cause from effect

Problem or Symptom?

In bowling, it can be easy to forget that what seems to be a problem is usually a symptom of an underlying issue. For example, when someone (see below) says, “Geez, I keep pulling the ball,” the real problem most...

The Top Five Things You Can Do to Improve in 2018

It’s a new year, and it’s time to take a look at what you can do this year so that you'll finish 2018 better than you started. Here are my top five suggestions on where to focus your efforts. Check...

Insights and reflections on competitive bowling

On the Outside Looking In

Thank you to all of you who continue to comment on my last article, as well as those of you who have emailed me asking for more thoughts. While I no longer bowl in tournaments or competitive leagues, the recreational...

Sensible strategies for better bowling in the new year

Your New Year's Resolutions

We love the holidays, but let’s face it: they can be stressful, what with all the planning and spending and overeating and visits to and from relatives. Thankfully, the holidays have come and gone, and the time for gift-giving, stale...

Bowling Tips and Techniques Article Directory

The table below lists all of our bowling instructional articles. If you are looking for articles about a specific topic (such as spare shooting, for example), you might want to look at our category-specific article directory pages, which are linked to at the top of this page.

IssueArticle TitleAuthorTopic(s)
The PBA Youth Movement
The Layout Effect: Myth or Magic? and ,
Problem or Symptom?
The Top Five Things You Can Do to Improve in 2018, ,
On the Outside Looking In
Your New Year's Resolutions
15 Pounds vs. 16 Pounds
The Basics of Improving Your Bowling Game - Part 2
Practice: Not for the Fainthearted
Targeting: Modern Bowling's Overrated Priority
Sweat the Small Stuff!
Troubleshooting Your Bowling Game - Part 2
The Long Road Home
Some Random Thoughts on Pin Carry,
The Bowling Flow Channel
The Basics of Improving Your Bowling Game - Part 1
Lessons Learned,
Building Effective Bowling Teams
The Resurgence of Urethane Bowling Balls,
Common Injuries and Dysfunctions of the Lower Body - Part 1
Troubleshooting Your Bowling Game - Part 1
Welcome Back to the Sport of Bowling - Part 3
Bowling in the Zone
Managing Your Intensity for Improved Performance
The Coaching Round Table: Four Steps vs. Five, Sport Pattern Tips, and Better Adjustments, ,
Finding the Right Posture for Your Bowling Game
Let Go of Me!
The PWBA Round Table: Conquering the Challenges of the 2017 Season,
Bowling Timing: It's Not a Clockwork Universe
The Dead Zone Revisited
See the Clues, Make the Moves,
Preparing for Bowling Success
A Look at the 2017 USBC Open Championships
Improving Your Release
Common Conditions of the Arm and Shoulder - Part 2
The Fundamentals of Target Line Adjustments
Free Swinging to Success
An Interview with Pete Weber
Physical Game Adjustments: It's the Little Things!
Common Conditions of the Arm and Shoulder - Part 1
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Improving Your Mental Game
Do It Your Way...
Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn
Movement Patterns and Feedback in Bowling Training Sessions,
Improving Your Swing Plane
Modern Bowling Coaching Dilemmas
Exercises for Preventing Rotator Cuff Injuries in Bowlers
Help Your Coach Help You,
An Interview with Ron Mohr
The PWBA Round Table: Tackling the PWBA Off-Season,
Pin-to-PAP Distance and Its Effect on Bowling Ball Motion,
One, Two, Three, Four
Playing the Percentages
Off the Top of My Head - March 1997
Off the Top of My Head - August 1996
Welcome Back to the Sport of Bowling - Part 2,
Ouch! Common Bowling Injuries and How to Avoid Them
The PWBA Round Table: Targeting Tips and Gripping Accessories,
Feeling Anxious? Squeeze Your Way to Success!
The Use of Kinesiology Tape in Bowling
Improving Your Balance
Gearing Up for Another Bowling League Season
Nine Common "Mistaykes" Made By Bowlers
Five Focus Areas for Tuning Up Your Physical Game
Welcome Back to the Sport of Bowling - Part 1
The PWBA Round Table: Physical and Mental Toughness,
The Seven Common Problems That Can Hurt Your Bowling Scores, ,
The Use of Poseable Mannequins During Bowling Motor Skill Training
Making the Case for Limited Layouts
How to Practice at Home
Some Thoughts on Bowling Ball Surface Wear and Lane Oils,
The PWBA Round Table: Bowling Ball Selection and Matching Up,
Team Bowling
Bowling Ball Balance Hole Fundamentals,
Role (Roll) Models
Reducing Your Knee Pain - Part 2
Gutters, Twigs, Bank Shots, and Sucker Bets - Part 3
Duplicating Thumb Holes for a Consistent Release
The PWBA Round Table: Improving Weaknesses and Practice Regimens
Unlocking the Bowling Talent Code - Part 3
Equipment, Ball Reaction, and Lane Play
Closing Out the Game
Getting the Tournament Team Lined Up - Part 2
The Five Cs to Better Bowling
Modern Timing vs. Traditional
How to Create a Longer Swing
Getting the Tournament Team Lined Up - Part 1
Steps to the Learning and Coaching Process,
The Decision to Change Your Game
Taking a Bowling Skills Inventory
Entry Angle Assessment
Reducing Your Knee Pain - Part 1
This Ball is Too Weak, This Ball is Too Strong, This Ball is Just Right!
Achieving Your Goals in 2016
Unlocking the Bowling Talent Code - Part 2,
GPA: Practice with a Purpose
A New Take on the Four Hole Grip
In Pursuit of the Elusive, Perfect NOTHING
Training Recommendations for Younger Individuals
Creating Comfort on Difficult Lane Conditions
The Seven Deadly Sins of Joe and Jane Blow - Part 3
Your Competition Personality
Unlocking the Bowling Talent Code - Part 1,
Common Physical Errors - Part 3
Every Bowler's Goal
Building Skills
Counting Boards
Bowling Ball Strategies
Training Recommendations for Older Individuals
Competitive Bowling and The Art of War
Know Your Enemy - Part 2
Know Your Enemy - Part 1
Jedi Bowling
Working the Inside of the Ball
Getting Your Young Student or Child Ready for Fall League
Tournament Lane Play Preparation,
Training Your "Don't Give Up" Muscle
Common Physical Errors - Part 2
Gutters, Twigs, Bank Shots, and Sucker Bets - Part 2
Balance From Start to Finish - Part 2
Balance From Start to Finish - Part 1
Will Upper Body Strength Training Ruin My Swing?
The Expense of a Missed Opportunity
What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been!
Determining Your IBSSN (International Bowling Skill Score Number)
The Effectiveness of the Three-Point Targeting With Quiet Eye System,
Three-Point Targeting For Advanced Lane Play,
The Secret Weapon of Champions
Defining the Game Through Biomechanics
A How-To for Adjusting Ball Speed
Choking Under Pressure - Part 2
Using the Quiet Eye to Avoid Choking
Using a Quiet Eye is the Key to Improving Target Accuracy
Can Monkeys and Ballet Dancers Help Us Improve Bowling Performance?
Gutters, Twigs, Bank Shots, and Sucker Bets - Part 1
Targeting for Left Eye-Dominant Righthanded Bowlers
Patterns in 3D
Keeping Up With the Times
The Seven Deadly Sins of Joe and Jane Blow – Part 2
Getting Your Hand Behind the Ball
The Key
Reading the Lanes - How Are You Adjusting?
Curing the Choke
Improving Your Finish at the Line
Bowling in a Parallel Universe
Common Physical Errors – Part 1
A Case of "the Yips"
Mastering Multiple Hand Positions
Ball Motion Gap Analysis,
Choking Under Pressure - Part 1
Random Coaching Thoughts
Bring Your Best Approach to the Dance
Neurology and Bowling
Going for the Gold
Making a Ball Change On the Fly
Surface Management: What's Your Number?
An Early Swing Can Bring Early Elimination
Teams That Play Together Well Win
The Easy Side of the Lane
Charting a Path to Success
Where and How to Apply Tape and How to Score on Wet/Dry House Shots,
The Timing Ideal
The Follow Through
How To Properly Recover From Your Workouts
Staying Lined Up - Part 2
Astronaut Training
The Spaces Between
Going To the Picture Show
The Shadow Pin Spare System
Follow Through Low, Long, and Outward
Gamesmanship, Mental Toughness, and Impeccable Concentration
Staying Behind the Ball Better and Getting the Most Out of Practice Sessions,
The Bowler's Shot Cycle
Breaking 900
New Research on Self-Talk, Visualization, and Perception
Chicken Winging
What I Did On My Summer Vacation
Achieving Tunnel Vision
An Anatomical Approach to Fitting and Drilling
Grip It and Rip It vs. Stroke 'Em and Smoke 'Em
New Rules for Staying Competitive
Get Your Mental Game Fitness in Shape
Have You Seen My Timing Lying Around Here Anywhere?
Speaking the Same Language
Four-Tenths of a Second That Can Change Your Life - Part 1
How to Transfer Energy Cleanly
Four-Tenths of a Second That Can Change Your Life - Part 2
Stocking Stuffers
Quick Fixes and Preps for the Upcoming Season
Tricky Lanes and Coaching Selection,
Staying Lined Up – Part 1
The 3x3 Box
How to Achieve Greater Consistency
Tough Enough
See It, Hear It, or Do It?
Get a Grip
Weather Conditions and the Speed of Your Ball
Your Popoff Valve
What is the Cause of Your Back Pain?
Attacking the USBC Nationals Pattern
Dear Diary - Part 2
Dear Diary - Part 1
Observations from the USBC Open Championships
The Max Y Grip by Drill Tech Enterprises
The Left is Frustrating - Part 2
Getting Back in the Saddle
The Left is Frustrating - Part 1
What's Your Shot Shape?,
Taming Your Dragonflies
Is Social Media Use Affecting Your Bowling?
The Constant of Execution
Effective Decision Making
There's Oil on Them There Lanes
Last Minute Advice for Junior Gold
Rev Rates, Carry, and the Areas Where Less Accomplished Bowlers Should Focus to Excel
How Specific Muscles Contribute to an Elite Release,
Never Shoot a Single Pin Again
Important Things to Know About Your Body as a Bowler
To Cardio or Not to Cardio...
The Seven Deadly Sins of Joe and Jane Blow - Part 1,
Stop, Look, and Listen to the Lanes!
Mythbusting - Part 1
Fast and Furious Changes in the Game of Bowling, ,
Random and Blocked Practice Strategies
Bowling Tape as an Art Form
Who Says Bowling Isn't Physically Demanding?
Is Big Hook Really Necessary?
Calculating a Downswing Angle
The Bowling Diet - Part 2
The Bowling Diet - Part 1
Is it Time to Call it Quits?
How to Feel the Friction
Anatomy of a Perfect Swing
New Year's Resolutions for Bowlers
Athlete or Bowler?
Pay Attention to Your Feet!
Suffering the Bowler Blues?
Release Timing
Bowling Under Pressure
Don't Straighten Up, Straighten OUT!
Being Superman
The Bowler-Built Box
Words Can Be Dangerous
Matching Ball Motion Shape to Breakpoint Zones,
An Interview with Marshall Holman
Attributes of an Outstanding Collegiate Player
One for the Money
Fast Feet Equal Better Shotmaking
How Four Top Open Championship Bowlers Found Success
Pitching a Fit
The Effect of Plugging and Redrilling on Bowling Ball Mass Properties
Sports Performance vs. General Fitness Training
Off the Top of My Head - October 1995
Ten Incredibly Quick Minutes
Getting Lucky
Building an Efficient Bowling Machine
Sparemeister - Part 3
Sparemeister - Part 2
Sparemeister - Part 1
The One-Three Key
Performance Analysis to Improve Your Game - Part 2
Exorcising Your Mental Ghosts
Demystifying Ball Manufacturers' Websites
Let's Play Twenty Questions
Anatomy of an Elite Release
Should Coaches Rely on Cameras or Watchful Eyes?
Off the Top of My Head - September 1995
Stuff To Do, No Matter What - Part 3
Stuff to Do, No Matter What - Part 2
Stuff to Do, No Matter What - Part 1
Lane Play Alignment
Off the Top of My Head - August 1995
Proven Techniques for Effective Breathing and Targeting
Ball Speed and the Right Equipment,
How to Become a World Class Player
Random Thoughts
Bowling By the Clock
Off the Top of My Head - July 1995
I Just Wanna Bowl!
Writers’ Thoughts on Timing and RG,
The Long Term Development Model
Mapping the Location of Oil
Lane Play and Consistency - Part 2
Lane Play and Consistency - Part 1
The Relationship Between Lane Play and Oil Patterns
Thumb Timing
Exercise Smarter, Not Harder!
How to Arrive at More Meaningful Analysis Data
Producing a Smoother Ball Motion with the LSL and SLL Layouts
Changing Hand Positions
How to Knock 'Em Dead in Baton Rouge
Warm Up Once, Line Up Forever!
The Walkabout,
Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?
Performance Analysis to Improve Your Game - Part 1
An Interview with a Pro Bowler Turned Coach
Versatility Accomplishes Greater Consistency
Common Questions About Reaching Breakthroughs
Commentary and Perspectives on the Art of Instruction
A Discussion on Surface Preparation and Maintenance
Learning From Defeat
Is it Me or the Lane?
The 12/5/3 Bowler Development Model
The Kinetic Chain
Increasing Your Carry Percentage
Can You Fly This Thing?
Get Your Game's Foundation Rolling
Coaching Discussion
Some Simple Guidelines,
Functional Strength Training For Bowlers
Shoulds and Should Nots - Part 3
Shoulds and Should Nots - Part 2
Shoulds and Should Nots - Part 1
Pins Don't Have Karma
What Makes a House Shot Typical?
Coaching Overload
Coaching the Disabled Athlete
Shape Shifting,
"Wired In" to the Competitive Bowler,
Drop Your Damn Shoulder!
Lane Launch Pad - Part 3
Lane Launch Pad - Part 2
Lane Launch Pad - Part 1
Layouts: Aesthetics vs. Effect
The Thinker, the Squirrel, and the Volcano - Part 2
The Thinker, the Squirrel, and the Volcano - Part 1
Green Bowling
Should Coaches Help Athletes Instruct?
The Seven Deadly Sins of the Mental Game
In a Slump?
Our Body Clock
Magic Coaching
Your Bag of Tricks
The Cure for Early Turn and Over-Turn - Part 2
The Cure for Early Turn and Over-Turn - Part 1
Altering Your Physical Game FAST
Lofty Goals
Ball Weight, Ball Speed, Pin Carry, and Wrist Braces,
The Evil Drift
A Mind as Tough as Steel
Odds and Ends on Coaching and Competing
Test Driving Your Ball With Blueprint
How to Train on a House Shot
How to Best Spend 10,000 Hours
Tackling Your Weaknesses - Part 3
Tackling Your Weaknesses - Part 2
Arsenal Analysis
The LASER Adjustment - Part 3
The LASER Adjustment - Part 2
The LASER Adjustment - Part 1
To Be At Your Best, Do Less
Tackling Your Weaknesses - Part 1
What is Your Bowling Forearm Doing?
The Ron Clifton Scoot
The Dishwasher and Other Bowling Tools
Laser Focus
The X-Factor in Bowling
How Far Should You Slide?
Little Changes That Can Make a Big Difference - Part 2
Little Changes That Can Make a Big Difference - Part 1
Seniors on Steroid Balls
Reconceptualization of an Elite Release
Work the Inside of the Ball or Stay Behind It? Part 2
How to Read a Program Sheet - Part 2
How to Read a Program Sheet - Part 1
Assessing Lift and Forward Spine Tilt
Testing Pre-Shot and Post-Shot Routine Effectiveness – Part 2
Understanding Bowler Delivery Parameters
Lining Up Off Everyone Else
How to Design a Productive Practice Session
El Dorado and El Diablo,
Matching Up Trumps Good Bowling
Where is Your Next Level?,
Slump Busting
How Perception Impacts Performance
Demonstrating Ball Motion
The Well-Accessorized Bowler - Part 2
The Dance
Prepping You and Your Equipment for Nationals and Is Drifting Okay?,
Bandwidth Feedback
How the Ball Goes Through the Pins
Storm Introduces the Vector Layout System
Starting From the Ground Up - Part 1
Starting From the Ground Up - Part 2
Backswings and Fast Feet
At the Core of Fast Improvements and Higher Level Performance
Working Through a Slump
Seven Misconceptions,
Lights, Camera, Action - Part 1
Lights, Camera, Action - Part 2
Getting Conflicting Advice, and What’s More Important: Technique or Results?
Are You Prepared to Be at Your Best?
Training Two-Handed Players,
Take Charge with Technology - Part 1
Recognizing and Producing the Matching Up Process,
A Game of Risk
Bowling Ball Surface Management
The VAR-E System
Is the Bowling Season Really Over?
The Ledge,
Starting From the Ground Up - Part 3
When to Make the Bat-Call
The Art of Unlearning,
The T Word - Part 1,
The Cycle
The Well-Accessorized Bowler - Part 1
Testing Pre-Shot and Post-Shot Routine Effectiveness - Part 1
Reno, Here I Come!
What to Do in Your Spare Time...,
Start to Finish - Part 2
Start to Finish - Part 1
Keeping an Open Mind
TOPS 3: Tiered Oval Process - Version 3
Resistance: The Other 25%,
Work the Inside of the Ball or Stay Behind It? Part 1
Off the Top of My Head - June 1995
Consistently Performing Layouts
Off the Top of My Head - May 1995
Ball Weight
How Coaches Can Best Apply Feedback
Reaching a Higher Level
The Non-Physical / Non-Mental Game, ,
Starting From the Ground Up - Part 4
Playing Without a Parachute
Handling Adversity
Tiered Taping
The T Word - Part 2
A Review of the Dick Ritger Satellite Camps
Off the Top of My Head - July 1996
The Dead Zone
Coaching Spotlight with Frank Buffa