Article Contents

  • 1. Not practicing with a purpose
  • 2. Not recognizing the correct angle into the pocket
    • 2.1. What about ball motion?
  • 3. Not selecting the right ball
    • 3.1. Understanding your game
    • 3.2. Selecting a ball
    • 3.3. Building in variety
  • 4. Conclusion

After coaching and competitively bowling for more than 40 years, it has been fun and extremely interesting watching not only our game of bowling change over the years, but to also continue to see the progression of coaching techniques. In the older days, we would use phrases like “get that lift” at the release point, and “don’t drop that shoulder!” Today, we teach the opposite. I love the evolution we have seen over time, but some basics still need to be present to perform at an elite level.

In this article, we are going to explore three more common errors that amateur bowlers often make, probably without even being aware of them (click here for Part 1 of this series). We will be addressing a better commitment to proper practice, recognizing the proper angle into the pocket that will result in more strikes, and matching the ball to both your game and the lane conditions.

Not practicing with a purpose

Every day, bowlers go to their local center, bowl a few games, and only focus on their score. To paraphrase a very common sentiment from some of the best coaches in the world, all they are doing is making bad habits even harder to fix in the future. Work on a plan, have a goal, isolate the weaknesses in your game, and then practice them. The old saying of “don’t practice until you get it right, but instead, practice until you can’t get it wrong” is so true.

What does this look like? Let’s say that in last night’s league, you missed five out of seven 10 pins. This is your sign to go and practice 10 pin conversions the next time you get a chance to practice. When you go to the lanes, have a purpose: knowing what your weakness is, practice those 10 pins until you are comfortable. ...

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Carl Nichols

About Carl Nichols

Carl Nichols is a USBC Silver coach, PBA member, and IBPSIA member. He has over 40 years of combined experience as a coach and pro shop operator, including over 25 years of collegiate coaching. His interests include sports psychology, kinesiology, biomechanics, and ball motion mechanics. Outside of bowling, Carl enjoys boating, diving, flying, golf, and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.