Article Contents

  • 1. Weightless bowling balls
  • 2. Weightless backswings
  • 3. Patience is a virtue
  • 4. The payoff
  • 5. Conclusion

I am often asked what single thing separates the best bowlers in the world from wannabe bowlers who try to make it to that level but fail. Of course, there is no one single answer but if I am forced to narrow it down to just one answer I can. The best bowlers in the world repeat shots better than the rest of us.

There are vast differences in bowling styles and power among the best bowlers and nothing trumps being able to repeat nearly identical shots time after time. Not only do they throw more good shots than we do, they throw far fewer really bad ones. Sometimes we can make noticeable improvements in our scoring ability if we can just improve our bad shots.

Having answered this “one thing” question more than once, I decided to ask myself a question: what single obscure thing would help the most bowlers improve their shot repetition? Notice I said obscure. I wanted to identify something that was not so obvious to most coaches and bowlers in their quest for excellence but extremely helpful to repetitive shot making. The answer: weightlessness.

Weightless bowling balls

Since we throw the heaviest balls in sport, it is hard to think of them as ever being weightless without taking them to outer space but they can be. If we just hold our bowling balls in two hands and throw them straight up into the air and catch them, for a time they actually became weightless.

What is weight anyway? Don’t worry; I am not going into the theory of gravitation and Einstein’s proposed curved space time. Let’s just stick with Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton’s observations from the 16th century. Gravity pulls all things with mass to earth. We experience that as weight. The more mass an object has the more it weighs. A 16 pound ball has more mass than a 12 pound ball even though they are the same size. One is just made of heaver stuff.

One of the more germane experiments performed by Galileo for us bowlers ...

Ron Clifton

About Ron Clifton

Ron Clifton has been coaching at the professional level for 15 years. He conducts “Advanced Bowler Training Clinics” across the U.S. and is the inventor and manufacturer of Ron C’s Magic Carpet for thumbholes. Ron can be found on the web at