- 1. Warming up
- 2. Practice challenges and games
- 2.1. Game of Arrows
- 2.2. Cherry-Pick Challenge
- 2.3. Sparing Challenge
- 2.4. Straight Lines Challenge
- 2.5. Launch Angles Challenge
- 2.6. Low-Ball Challenge
- 2.7. The Clean-Up Challenge
- 2.8. Double Dutch 200 Challenge
- 2.9. The Three and You’re Out Challenge
- 2.10. The Call-It Challenge
- 3. Conclusion
Note: This article is only available to Bowling This Month subscribers.
Using your practice time on the lanes effectively is essential to consolidating technique changes and to fast-tracking your skill development. If your training only consists of getting lined up and bowling a bunch of strikes, then you aren’t making the most of your time outside of leagues and tournaments, as you aren’t challenging yourself to learn new skills or work on your weaknesses.
This article is going to look at different challenges and games you can use during your practice time, with the aims of having you play different parts of the lane and getting you to throw shots that won’t be used in normal circumstances, while also raising your level of skill with what you can do with a bowling ball. They can also be fun to do with your practice partners to keep pushing each other to win these games-within-a-game.
(Please note that everything in this article relates to righthanders. If you are a lefthander, please reverse the moves and board locations, as needed.)
Before you bowl in any circumstance—in league, in a tournament, or in practice—you need to warm up your body to prepare it to bowl. Walking in off the street and then bowling your “A-game” straight away may be possible for some athletes, but this can lead to injuries, as you are subjecting your body to a strenuous activity without properly preparing it for action. There are many ways to warm up, and Heather D’Errico has routines available here that are great.
Once your body is feeling ready, you might want to spend some time doing drills to fine-tune your release, timing, or overall technique. Drills in any sport are an important part of skill development, and common bowling drills include the foul line drill, swing and slide drill, and the three-step drill. Examples of some effective bowling drills can be found here, here, and here from Tyrel Rose.
Practice challenges and games
The following games are some ways you can challenge yourself on the lanes during practice. Many of them are also fun (and frustrating) to do with training partners for some friendly competition.
Game of Arrows
The Game of Arrows is derived from Around the World in basketball. In Around the World (which is sometimes also called Around the Key), you are shooting free throws ...
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