Article Contents

  • 1. The basics
  • 2. Physical tips to increase hook
    • 2.1. Axis rotation
    • 2.2. Rev rate versus ball speed
  • 3. The real sticky points
    • 3.1. Alignment
    • 3.2. Visual angle through the front
    • 3.3. Playing the back versus playing the front
  • 4. When to move inside
    • 4.1. Equipment considerations
    • 4.2. Left versus right
  • 5. Conclusion

One of the most common issues I’ve dealt with as a coach is teaching people how to hook the ball more. It’s something that pretty much every bowler wants to do. Recently, in a post on the Bowling This Month Facebook page, we asked our readers what the one thing is that they want to improve in their bowling games. One of the most common responses was learning how to play inside. Since the two topics of hooking the ball more and playing inside go hand-in-hand, one can’t be addressed without the other.

With that in mind, let’s go through the process of generating “more hook” and explore what that actually means. Then, we can discuss some of the challenges that straighter players face when trying to play farther inside, and go over how to improve that aspect of your skill set.

The basics

Before starting, let’s be clear about the two ways of thinking about “hook” in the game of bowling. There is the right-to-left or lateral hook that most bowlers see as the main form of ball motion, and there’s also the front-to-back hook that is referred to as earlier or later hook. When people ask about creating more hook, they mean the lateral kind.

This article would lose all sense of purpose by diving too far into the tactical side of things—what causes and influences hook, etc.—but understand that creating hook in the right parts of the lane requires a mix of high and low friction. The right amount of lateral hook is often influenced by how much friction we are seeing on the lane, which completes the real question bowlers are asking: How can I move more inside in order to find a bit more oil when it’s too dry?

The answer is both physical and mental.

Physical tips to increase hook

The bowling release has plenty of variables, which I discussed at length in my recent series about manipulating ball motion. The most important variables when discussing playing inside are axis rotation and rev rate. More specifically, it’s the relationship between your rev rate and your ball speed, combined with the direction of your ...

Tyrel Rose

About Tyrel Rose

Tyrel Rose is Bowling This Month's Director of Content. He is the former Head Coach for Team Canada, with almost 20 years of experience coaching bowlers of all levels. Tyrel is an NCCP Competition Development level and USBC Bronze Certified coach, and a former Canadian National Champion. Follow Tyrel online at his coaching Facebook page.