Article Contents

  • 1. Setup consistency
  • 2. Coaching
    • 2.1. Your coach should have an extensive knowledge of bowling
    • 2.2. Know that a good coach is not necessarily a high-average bowler
    • 2.3. Don’t assume that all high-average bowlers are good teachers
    • 2.4. A good coach has to know how to coach
    • 2.5. A coach should never try to make you into a clone
    • 2.6. You and your coach must have a rapport
    • 2.7. How much should you pay for lessons?

Most of my students are mid-level (also known as intermediate-level) bowlers, which I define as a person who averages between 165 and 190. Mid-level bowlers tend to share certain positive traits. For example, their four-step or five-step approach is fairly smooth, with no hesitation between steps. They’re all so-so spare shooters. Their averages are directly related to their ability to convert spares, which is directly related to the number of pins they tend to leave standing when they don’t strike.

These students are uniformly dissatisfied with their bowling, and all are spending good money on lessons because they want to improve. As their free time permits, mid-level bowlers put in the hours needed in order to improve and are willing to listen to and follow direction. If you’re a mid-level bowler, this article series is for you.

These articles will focus on ideas and concepts that mid-level bowlers can use to break through to the next level. They won’t be in any specific order—I won’t start with your pre-shot routine and finish with you sitting on the bench after you’ve completed a frame. Many readers will be thoroughly familiar with the topics I discuss; many others will have an “Aha!” moment. As time passes, I’ll try to cover a lot of ground, but if you have a topic you’d like to see addressed, please let me know and I’ll try to accommodate you.

The first thing every mid-level bowler—actually, any bowler—needs to know is this: you need a coach. Professional baseball players have coaches, right? So do football players, ice skaters, runners, dancers, skiers. I think you get my point. It’s difficult—maybe even impossible—to diagnose your own bowling problems, even if you use video.

You say you’re bowling well and don’t need a coach? Wrong. You can definitely become a better bowler without a coach standing by—at least to a point. Nonetheless, you need someone in your corner who knows your game backward and forward and will be ...

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Phil Regan

About Phil Regan

Phil Regan, a USBC-certified Silver coach, has been teaching bowling since 1964. Retired from corporate life, he coaches bowlers of all levels in the northern California area and competes on the PBA50 and PBA Regional tours. Phil can be found online at