Article Contents

  • 1. Release versatility
    • 1.1. Release skills
  • 2. Off-lane release training
    • 2.1. Setting up
    • 2.2. Execution
  • 3. Straight release training
  • 4. Modern release training
  • 5. Conclusion

Throughout most of its history, bowling has been a sport where bowlers only enhanced their skills within the confines of a bowling center. This has begun to change in recent years, particularly in the past 12 months, as many bowlers found themselves looking for creative ways to train with bowling centers closed.

For bowlers still in a situation of either a lockdown or some sort of isolation, finding a way to carry on with our physical game training without being on the lanes has become more important than ever. Even if you are able to play in a bowling center right now, I can’t stress enough the importance of your off-lane training. It will maintain your current level, as well as speed up skill acquisition, to help get you to where you want to be much more quickly.

While off-lane training is crucial to every aspect of your game, bowlers have most notably only been focusing on two areas:

  • Physical fitness: Most professional bowlers have some kind of fitness regimen these days. Amateur bowlers are also starting to take this seriously. It’s very easy to let this slide if you don’t know when you can get back into a bowling center or have limited access to a gym. Home workouts and regular exercise have become the norm for those in isolation.
  • Mental game: Whether we’re talking about your mental strength in competitive play scenarios or your tactical and strategic awareness, these can and should be trained off-lane through visualization and other techniques. We hear many coaches in all sports talking of an athlete being physically fit but not yet “match fit,” which refers to mental and tactical preparedness.

Finally, the focus of this article is your physical game skill set. Many bowlers do almost no off-lane training for their physical game, but there are tools out there that can help. In fact, an enforced layoff from on-lane activity may be the perfect opportunity to add to your skills!

Release versatility

How versatile you are will definitely have a bearing on how successful you will be at your chosen level of competition. Starting with your release capabilities, how many different types of releases do you have ...

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Andy Penny

About Andy Penny

Andy Penny has coached several national teams and operated a pro shop for over 35 years. He is a USBC Gold coach since 2009, a BowlU Skill Development coach since 2013, and an ETBF Level III coach since 2017.