Tips and Suggestions for Mid-Level Bowlers – Part 3

The chicken wing, being yourself, and making moves

Tips and Suggestions for Mid-Level Bowlers - Part 3

In my last two articles (available here and here), I covered a collection of tips and suggestions aimed at helping mid-level bowlers—defined as those who average between 165 and 190—take their games to the next level.

This month, we’ll continue the series by covering three additional areas of interest for intermediate-level bowlers: avoiding the “chicken wing” release and follow through, being yourself, and making moves. Let’s get started!

The chicken wing

Before we define the infamous chicken wing, let’s back up a bit to discuss a potential cause of this error for mid-level players. Many beginning to intermediate bowlers I work with hurt their own cause by making one huge but easily corrected error: they are too far from their target.

Let’s use our favorite hypothetical bowler, Jasper, as an example. Jasper always wants to stand in the center of the approach, with the tip of his slide shoe on board 20 (the center of the approach, better known to some as “the big dot in the middle”). He walks a straight path to the foul line, so he also slides on board 20. So far, so good. But what is he aiming at? The first arrow—the 5 board!

Talk about an impossible situation. Finishing at 20 and trying to hit 5? Think about this for a moment. When a ball passes a bowler’s slide foot at the release, the center of that ball should be roughly seven boards away from the tip of the slide shoe. If the target is board 5, and the bowler walks a straight path to the foul line, he’ll need to start and finish his approach with the tip of that shoe ...

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