Article Contents

  • 1. On-lane training strategies
  • 2. Zonal proficiency training
  • 3. Release variation training
    • 3.1. Ball speed variation
    • 3.2. Manipulating the degree of axis rotation
    • 3.3. Combining your skills
    • 3.4. Improving your rev rate
  • 4. Alternative spare shooting strategies
    • 4.1. An alternative strategy for the 3/6/10 (2/4/7 for lefthanders)
    • 4.2. Throwing a backup ball?
  • 5. Closing remarks

In my last article, I presented a self-evaluation exercise to help bowlers review their overall commitment level and gain insight into how well their goals align with their training actions. Specifically, I provided an avenue to review one’s commitment to four domains: on-lane training, preparations and maintenance, tactics, and competition enhancement.

This article provides training guidance within the first domain of on-lane training. My goal is to elaborate on how a bowler could increase their commitment in this area in an effort to improve purposefulness through more effective training strategies.

As a coach, whether preparing individuals or teams, I’ve found that developing proficiency takes time. As you work through becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable, you can develop proficiency playing all lane zones. Unfortunately, too many bowlers simply practice in their comfort zones, never placing themselves in uncomfortable areas. Preparing to play any part of the lane is the most important element of lane play versatility. This requires a mindset to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Being comfortable with any line, from 2-to-2 to 30-to-15, is essential to reach your full potential and be ready for any lane play situation.

I’ll elaborate with an example from one of my assignments to prepare national teams for major events. It was a short-term assignment with little time to develop skills, which left us with some lane play liabilities. During one major championship, a review of the topography map paired with the phase of transition suggested a specific zone would yield the highest score. As I explained the situation, the bowlers were willing, but they were very uncomfortable. When I heard, “I have never tried a line like that,” I knew we were in for a challenging game. And it was. When you are not prepared to play a needed zone, it ...

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Joe Slowinski

About Joe Slowinski

Joe Slowinski, a USBC Gold Coach, is a freelance bowling coach who works with bowlers around the globe. He is currently on assignment with the Philippines. Slowinski is the former Director of Bowling at Lincoln Memorial University, where he served as Program Administrator and Head USBC Collegiate Men’s and NCAA Women’s Coach. The Portland, Maine native has served as the Administrative and Men's Head Coach at Webber International University and served for four years as a Master Teaching Professional at the Kegel Training Center. Slowinski is also the former Director of Coaching and Coach Certification for the National Sports Council of Malaysia. He has coached international teams at the World Championships, Pan American Games, South American Games, and European Championships, helping Belgium win a Gold medal at the 2022 EBF Championship of Champions and coaching Brazil to Gold medals at the 2015 Pam American Games and the 2014 South American Games. He was the 2018 NTCA DII/III Coach of the Year and the 2010 NCBCA Men’s College Coach of the Year.