The Youth Bowling Round Table: Early Practice Habits, the Value of Cross-Training, and Grip Considerations

The Youth Bowling Round Table: Early Practice Habits, the Value of Cross-Training, and Grip Considerations

Welcome again to Bowling This Month’s Youth Bowling Round Table. In this recurring feature, we are taking aim at questions related to youth bowling. We talk about youth bowlers, skill development, getting ready for tournaments, and other topics of interest to young players, their parents, and coaches. We feature trusted Bowling This Month contributors from various backgrounds to lend their expertise and opinions on questions each month. If there is a question you’d like to ask our panelists, please feel free to comment below and we will try to address it in upcoming segments.

This month’s topics include cross-training with other sports, how much bowling is too much, and the case for switching to a fingertip grip early. Special thanks to this month’s panelists, Juha MajaAndy PennyHeather D’ErricoDean ChampJoe Hoenig, and Tyrel Rose. Let’s jump in.

How much bowling is too much for a young bowler? What are your thoughts on early practice habits, leagues, and competition schedules?

Dean Champ

I think there should be a balance between allowing someone who is keen enough lane time to keep them engaged and hungry, while not over-bowling and running the risk of injury or burnout. For skill development, practice is important, and especially deliberate or “deep practice,” where it is targeted and purposeful. Working on your technique and getting solid fundamentals should be a priority, and patience is required as changes are implemented—even if it comes at the expense of scoring in competition.

Joe Hoenig

Passion for our sport should certainly be encouraged in a youth bowler, but for the sake of that bowler’s longevity, we also need to avoid burnout. I recommend a maximum of one youth league (traveling if possible), one coaching session, and two quality ...

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