Know Your Enemy – Part 2

How do you decide on an adjustment to get lined up?


Last month, we talked about enemies. Once you learn to recognize them, you can use their successes to help your game. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you just couldn’t get lined up? Did you notice that a few bowlers were just killing the lanes while you left corner pin after corner pin?

The next time this happens, instead of randomly trying different adjustments, notice who is being successful while you struggle. Do the bowlers who are carrying have anything in common? Are they using polished or dull equipment? Is forward roll working or is side roll more effective? Are they all playing similar lines? Are they throwing the ball faster or slower than you?

If you consider some of the different types of adjustments that you can make: hand position changes, speed changes, ball changes, angle changes, playing a different part of the lane, loft, moving your eyes closer or farther from you to name a few, it is apparent that you have to change something to find your most effective adjustment for the current lane condition. If you have two hand positions, two ball speeds, three bowling balls, four different parts of the lane, two different lofts, and four different places for your eyes to look, you have an almost overwhelming number of adjustments: 2 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 2 x 4 = 384 possibilities for adjustments. With eleven strike balls per game, this means that it would take you nearly 35 games to try all the possible combinations! Not many tournament formats give you 35 games to get lined up!

So, how do you decide on the particular adjustments you should use to get and stay lined up? Your ‘enemies’ can help. If you notice any similarities among the bowlers who are the most successful on any given occasion, you can use that information to increase your own success. Before you can do this, however, you must first look at your game realistically to decide how effectively you can adapt what is working for them into your own game. What can you do to emulate them? What can’t you do? Here’s where your real enemy, the one between your ears, comes into play. Its name is Ego.

In order to be as successful as you can be in bowling, you have to know what you can and can’t do and formulate a plan for increasing your options in the future. The ...

Rob Mautner

About Rob Mautner

Rob Mautner is a USBC Silver Level Certified Coach. Rob can be found on the lanes coaching and bowling in Las Vegas, Nevada.