Article Contents

  • 1. On-lane training
    • 1.1. No-step drills (release drills)
    • 1.2. One-step drills (slide drills)
    • 1.3. Three-step drills
    • 1.4. Full approaches
  • 2. Structuring my practice
  • 3. Off-lane preparation
    • 3.1. Mental training
    • 3.2. The importance of visualization
  • 4. Physical training
  • 5. Nutrition and hydration
  • 6. Closing thoughts

Competitive bowlers of all levels usually have a “tournament season” to prepare for. With this in mind, I wanted to share some of my strategies for preparing for the PWBA Tour season and discuss how you can use some of them for your own bowling.

When structuring my training plan for the upcoming PWBA season, I start with the end in mind. Here are some questions I ask myself:

  • What are my goals?
  • More specifically, what are my process-oriented goals?
  • What are my outcome goals?
  • What are the action steps that I need to take to increase my chances of achieving them?

I then break down my preparation into on-lane and off-lane segments. The on-lane work includes mostly drills, while the off-lane work includes mental training, physical training, and my nutrition and hydration habits.

This step is important because if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you “there,” but how do you know if/when you have arrived? For example, I always set a goal to convert at least 95% of my single pins and to have at least 80% clean frames. If I don’t have those goals, along with a couple other targets set and in the back of my mind while competing, there is a good chance I will not reach them.

On-lane training

First off, I focus about 75% of my practices on doing drills. This might seem like a lot, but it is important to me to make my game as solid as possible. I also use drills to practice and perfect new skills.

From December until now, I have been practicing my drills and skills on house shots, both fresh and burnt up. I have been able to practice lofting the left gutter cap, and I have also practiced playing outside of board five using my plastic ball. I will be practicing on different patterns as I get closer to the start of the season. The primary and ...

Valerie Bercier

About Valerie Bercier

Valerie is originally from Brampton, Ontario, Canada and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 2008 through 2012. She then attended the University of Rhode Island to finish up school and become a Registered Dietitian. Valerie is now a health coach and co-owner of Berberry Health & Wellness, LLC, as well as a PWBA Tour player. She took home the 2019 PWBA Rookie of the Year honors. Valerie is also a 10-time member of Team Canada.