Article Contents

  • 1. Landing an airplane
  • 2. Causes of poor alignment
  • 3. Introduction of terms
  • 4. Calculating the laydown point
  • 5. Personalizing your alignment
  • 6. Taking it to the lanes
    • 6.1. Perception issues
    • 6.2. Ball motion versus intention
  • 7. Conclusion

Many people these days are aware of Pareto’s Law, which is better known as the 80/20 rule. It states that 80 percent of any result comes from 20 percent of the effort. This has been applied in many different ways and is related to other socioeconomic principles, but it can also apply to bowling. Looked at from the perspective of error correction, 80 percent of your problems can stem from just 20 percent of your overall game. For example, perhaps an error made in a single step can cause the entire approach to be off.

When it comes to accuracy, 80 percent of the problem can be solved by addressing a single issue: alignment. The importance of alignment—having the body properly set up to project the ball on the desired path—can’t be overstated. We can view alignment as your body position before you start walking as well as how you make your approach to the foul line so that you maximize your chances for success. 80 percent of accuracy issues can be solved with proper alignment.

Landing an airplane

Many bowlers walk inconsistently or rely on correcting or adapting their swing to the target they are trying to hit. Even advanced players can do this, but they’ve done it so much that they have compensated completely in their game. It simply isn’t the best way to go about things.

As Juha Maja asked in his article on footwork, is it better to have a single approach with multiple swings, or an approach that changes alignment while using a single swing?

I’ll ask you to consider landing an airplane. When a plane is landing, the first task of the pilots is lining up with the runway. They are completely aligned well before they reach the ground. A pilot aligns the plane in the descent and then works with speed and altitude for a stable, consistent (and safe) ...

Already a premium member? Click here to log in.

Ernesto Avila

About Ernesto Avila

Ernesto Avila is a professional bowling coach who is currently the Head Coach of the Peru national team. He is a Panam Bowling Master Coach, a USBC Silver Coach, and an ETBF Level 3 Coach.