What does it mean to bowl like a pro? For many, it’s as simple as striking a lot or scoring high. For others, it’s about looking a certain way, often by emulating the style of one of their favorite bowlers. Whatever it means to you, bowling like a pro is mostly about achieving success.
PBA and PWBA stars are the gold standard for many bowlers as they develop their skills and seek to attain greater and greater heights within the sport of bowling. For coaches, these are also models that we hold up as examples of what to do (and sometimes what not to do), in hopes of aiding bowlers in achieving their goals.
The problem with all of this is how vague the term “bowl like a pro” really is. Over the coming series of articles, we’ll look at all of the physical, mental, and tactical elements of bowling at the highest levels and try to sort out some of the inconsistencies we are faced with. For example, why do all the top pros look different, while coaches talk about specific technical elements that should be consistent? How can a pro bowler be both mentally tough and also prone to angry outbursts?
Over the course of the series, we’ll talk about several elements of what it means to bowl like a pro:
- Technical efficiency
- Shot repetition and versatility
- Mental toughness and resiliency
- Ball motion
In each of these cases, we’ll discuss exercises and training techniques that you can use to improve in each area and hopefully get you in touch with your own unique attributes that can contribute to your own style.
To start, we’ll focus on what these words mean and why your style and your technique are two different things.
Technical efficiency versus personal style
A bowler’s technique is made up of the biomechanical movements that are used to impart speed and revolutions to the ball. If humans could be perfect, there would be no wasted movement or inefficiencies in the system. But we’re not perfect, and neither are professional bowlers.
Professional-caliber players have this efficiency of motion, despite often having one or two idiosyncrasies in their approach that seem to fly in the face of what the textbook teaches. For example, ...
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Image Credits: Bowler images courtesy of PBA LLC.