Article Contents

  • 1. Lineup roles and considerations
    • 1.1. Leadoff
    • 1.2. Middle
    • 1.3. Setup
    • 1.4. Anchor
  • 2. Team dynamics issues
    • 2.1. Leadoff
    • 2.2. Middle
    • 2.3. Setup
    • 2.4. Anchor
  • 3. 10 tips to successfully navigate team dynamics
  • 4. Closing thoughts

Last time, we focused on bowler self-perception; this time, let’s delve into team dynamics.

To start, we’ll talk a bit about the roles on a typical four-person team: leadoff, middle, setup, and anchor—each of which requires certain mental and physical characteristics. (Five-person teams will usually place the “extra” bowler in one of the first two roles.) We will then also look at team dynamics and expectations.

Lineup roles and considerations


This is not necessarily the highest average bowler on your team, but the leadoff bowler should be the most consistent. This will often be the bowler who is a good spare shooter and who can read the lanes and provide useful information to the rest of the team. On one of my teams, my leadoff bowler averages 170, but it’s a consistent 170 with the potential for occasionally shooting higher.


Depending on the mental fortitude and physical game quality of the bowler, this will either be someone who could be your least consistent or your most consistent bowler. The least consistent bowler is usually one who you want to “protect” by sandwiching him or her between two solid bowlers, to avoid performance anxiety. Conversely, the middle bowler might have ...

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Joe Hoenig

About Joe Hoenig

Joe Hoenig is a USBC Silver coach and a graduate of the Dick Ritger Bowling Camps. A Licensed Master Social Worker by profession, Joe works full-time as a Clinical Trainer and Educator for a health insurance plan and takes his love of teaching and bowling onto the lanes, coaching both youth and adult students of all ages and skill levels. Additionally, Joe is a volunteer coach for the Suffolk County, NY Bowlympics youth travel league, which calls South Levittown Lanes its home.