Article Contents

  • 1. Observation
  • 2. Formulate a plan
  • 3. Commit to the plan
  • 4. Execute the shot
  • 5. Take responsibility for the result
  • 6. Reformulate your plan

In bowling there is much ado about the physical game and about equipment. Modern bowling, however, requires much more from successful players. It is no longer enough to have a great release and great timing, though both are still requirements of a great game. In modern bowling, successful players control not only their physical game and their emotions, they also have to develop a successful game plan based on observation, analysis, and a willingness to revise their plans as often as necessary, commit to the changes, and, above all, take responsibility for the results.

If bowling is more to you than just simple recreation, you need to create a routine for success. Beginning from the time you start shadow practice, you need to: observe, formulate a plan, commit to the plan, execute the plan, take responsibility for the results, analyze the results, and reformulate the plan. This sounds pretty straightforward until we look at the individual elements.


Observation is the tool that is most often overlooked by bowlers. We all observe the result of the shot we just threw unless, of course, we threw it badly and turned and walked away in disgust – not a good idea at all. Uninformed bowlers don’t observe anything until after they throw their next shot. What a wealth of information they miss!

Real observation is difficult. All of the other parts of bowling are either active (formulating and executing your plan), or reactive (revising your plan and taking responsibility). Observation is neither active nor reactive. It is receptive. Your brain needs to be open to information without any preconceptions. Let’s take a look at some of the opportunities that are there for you to improve your bowling through observation.

Observation should actually start before you ever leave for the bowling center, with the weather conditions. Weather conditions can affect lane conditions, particularly humidity. Is there anything about the weather that might dictate taking a ball with you that you normally don’t use?

Once you get to the bowling center, observation should start immediately. Are you bowling in a part of the center ...

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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.