Article Contents

  • 1. What is the shot cycle?
  • 2. Step 1:  The pre-shot routine
  • 3. Step 2:  The approach
  • 4. Step 3:  Watch and learn
  • 5. Step 4:  Decision-making time
  • 6. Step 5:  Relax and enjoy

Bowling is classified as a non-cyclical sport, because the repetition of movements are dispersed and varied, unlike rowing or running or cycling. That said, the sport is much more repetitive than team sports like basketball or baseball and there is very much a cycle to a bowler’s performance in league or tournament play. Bowlers that want to master the sport need to understand how to shift their focus within the cycle in order to really bowl to their potential.

What is the shot cycle?

A bowler’s typical cycle looks like this:

  • Bowl the frame
  • Wait
  • Repeat

Within this very basic cycle framework, bowlers are required to shift their focus several times in order to stay on top of both their physical execution and their adjustments. Most people consider “focus” to be the ability to concentrate on a particular thing at a particular time, but they almost never consider that the ‘thing’ is not always the same. One of the classic ‘focus’ exercises it to stare at a particular object for 10-15 seconds without becoming distracted. This, however, limits focus to simply being able to concentrate on a single external stimulus. Almost nothing in life works like that.

For example, when you are driving, you must focus on lots of different stimuli happening in the environment around you, but you must also be aware of the pressure you have on the gas or brake pedal. Driving requires being focused externally on lots of different stimuli and internally on one or two. If you end up narrowing your focus too much on something in particular happening around you, like rubber-necking at an accident, you’re more likely to have one yourself. On the other hand, if you let your focus run wild and start day-dreaming or texting, you are also more likely to have an accident.

Bowling, like driving, requires being focused on the right thing at the right time. Focus on the wrong things (otherwise known as being distracted) and you will miss out on information that will help you adjust, or you will simply ...

Tyrel Rose

About Tyrel Rose

Tyrel Rose is an Instructional Designer and Coach Developer. He is the former Head Coach for Team Canada, with almost 20 years of experience coaching bowlers of all levels. Tyrel is an NCCP Competition Development level and USBC Bronze Certified coach, and a former Canadian National Champion. Follow Tyrel online at his coaching Facebook page.