Article Contents

  • 1. I keep hearing that I need to watch my ball motion, but I don’t know what to...
    • 1.1. Put tape on your PAP
    • 1.2. Find/create distance markers on the lane
    • 1.3. Dedicate time in every practice
  • 2. As a lefty, can my bowling balls be more susceptible to oil, since there aren’t...
    • 2.1. More surface
    • 2.2. Flippier layouts
    • 2.3. Tighter angles
    • 2.4. Oil removal
  • 3. How can I set a goal and know that it’s the right one for me? I don’t...
    • 3.1. Dream big
    • 3.2. Set the goals
    • 3.3. Choose benchmarks

In this recurring feature, I answer questions from Bowling This Month readers. If you have questions, please leave them in the comment section below so I can address them in a future installment of Coach, I’ve Got a Question!

I keep hearing that I need to watch my ball motion, but I don’t know what to look for or how to improve. Any advice?

There are several elements of ball motion that you’ll want to start looking for, and each of them takes some practice. Much like you would work on your footwork in one practice session and your armswing in another, bowlers can also isolate the different areas of ball motion to practice their observation skills.

First, here’s a primer on what you are looking for when it comes to ball reaction:

  • How long does the ball skid? This is essentially how long the ball is traveling in a straight line off your hand.
  • Where is the breakpoint? This is not just the board of the breakpoint, but also how far downlane it occurs.
  • Where does the ball roll? How far before the pins does the ball appear to straighten out?
  • How does it go through the pins? Where does the ball end up as it rolls off the pin deck?

This is a lot to take in over the three seconds that the ball is on the lane. Like any other kind of skill, it takes time and dedicated practice to improve your observation of these ball motion elements. Here are a few things you can do in practice to help improve your observational abilities.

Put tape on your PAP

Your pro shop operator can help you find and mark your PAP, and then you can approximate it during your practice sessions moving forward.

While observing the motion of the tape won’t give you specific information about the ball motion phases, it will help you visualize the ball’s flare and how the roll changes as it goes down the lane. This is especially useful when bowling with a ...

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Tyrel Rose

About Tyrel Rose

Tyrel Rose is Bowling This Month's Director of Content. He is also currently the Head Coach for Team Canada, with over 20 years of experience coaching bowlers of all levels. Tyrel is an NCCP Competition Development level and USBC Bronze Certified coach, and a former Canadian national champion.