Article Contents

  • 1. The 12/5/3 model
  • 2. 12 hours of on lane training (60%)
    • 2.1. Environmental diversity
    • 2.2. Release variability / versatility
    • 2.3. Physical game focus
    • 2.4. Zonal practice with launch angle and breakpoint variation
    • 2.5. Three-step training
    • 2.6. Holistic spare shooting
    • 2.7. Competition must have a learning focus
  • 3. Fitness training (25%)
  • 4. Sport psychology (15%)
  • 5. Closing note

Hong Kong recently played host to the World Youth Championships, which is contested every two years. It was thoroughly enjoyable to see future talent performing on bowling’s biggest stage. Sitting in my hotel after this event was the perfect time to respond to a question I receive often from bowlers who have aspirations to represent their country in such an event or compete professionally on the PBA tour.

World-class skills could be seen in the talented bowlers in Hong Kong. Many had been training for at least a decade and it showed with outstanding performances, including a record-setting performance by Wesley Low of the USA. Wesley established a new 18 game All Events record with 4,224 (234 average), besting the previous record held by Dom Barrett of England who torched the lanes in Orlando in 2008 with 4,153 (230 average).

Many bowlers tell me they want to become a world-class player. Yet, many are not really willing to sacrifice the amount of time or to engage in the training behaviors required to become an elite player.

The 12/5/3 model

The 12/5/3 model represents 20 total hours of training per week on and off the lane. Of the 20 hours, 12 are on lane work, five hours are fitness and conditioning, and three hours are sport psychology activities. Over the course of a year, this training will yield over 1,000 hours of purposeful development (i.e. 624 hours of bowling, 260 hours of conditioning, and 156 hours of sport psychology). The 12/5/3 will develop a holistic player and help prepare you to become your best over five to ten years.

The 12/5/3 illustrates a high level of commitment to becoming an elite player over many years. If it is impossible to commit to 20 hours, an individual can break up their total ...

Joe Slowinski

About Joe Slowinski

Joe Slowinski, a USBC Gold Coach, is the Director of Bowling at Lincoln Memorial University, where he serves 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. He was the 2018 NTCA DII/III Coach of the Year and the 2010 NCBCA Men’s College Coach of the Year.