Article Contents

  • 1. What slumps are not
  • 2. What slumps are
  • 3. A slump checklist
  • 4. 1. Are you hitting your targets?
    • 4.1. Missing breakpoint target (but not front target)
    • 4.2. Missing the front target
  • 5. 2.  Are you stable at the foul line?
  • 6. 3. Is your ball rotating the same way as usual?
  • 7. 4.  Have you changed your swing?
  • 8. 5.  Is your footwork consistent?
  • 9. 6.  Are you trying too hard?
  • 10. When is a slump not a slump?

Every bowler at every level goes through a slump now and then. A slump is not just having a bad night at the lanes or a bad tournament, but several bad nights or tournaments. It’s not unusual to hear a bowler say that he or she has been in a slump for several weeks or even months and I have seen many a bowler drop out due to the frustration.

Dr. Dean Hinitz wrote an article in the May 2013 issue of BTM titled “Slump Busting: Find your way out starting with an inventory.” In that article Dr. Hinitz wrote “waiting for a shift in the bowling weather might work, yet it is an extraordinarily passive approach to changing one’s life. There is no reason to wait for one’s fortunes to change when you can actually control your future.”

I could not agree more. Notice his prescription is not to take two weeks off and quit, but to take a mental and physical inventory, so you can see what’s missing. I will leave the mental inventories to Dr. Hinitz because he is the best of the best at that part of any athlete’s game. I am going to work on an inventory or checklist for the physical side your game.

Maybe with the help of this checklist you can shorten your next slump or end the one you are in. Nothing can shorten a slump faster than a good coach, so if you have that resource available to you then, by all means, use it. If you are a tournament bowler, it makes much more sense to pay a coach $100 for the cure than to waste $1,000 or more in entry fees and expenses waiting for something to change.

What slumps are not

Slumps are not an excuse for a lack of skills. As a professional bowling coach I have had the pleasure of helping lots of bowlers work through slumps. Bowlers whose skill level ranges from the PBA and USBC Halls of Fame down to champion youth bowlers all ...

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Ron Clifton

About Ron Clifton

Ron Clifton has been coaching at the professional level for 25 years. He conducts “Advanced Bowler Training Clinics” across the U.S. and is the inventor and manufacturer of Ron C’s Magic Carpet for thumbholes. Ron can be found on the web at