The pre-shot routine is a fairly well-known mental tool that most high-level bowlers use to improve their performance. From a simple deep breath to a multi-step process, each one is unique.

Once you’ve formed the base of your pre-shot routine, or even if you are just forming it, here are some helpful tips to improve the effectiveness of each step:

  • When visualizing your shot, always include the ball going through the pins for a strike, not simply hitting your target at the arrows.
  • When using self-talk, use the first person and say, “I’ve got this,” rather than, “You’ve got this.”
  • Use a trigger, such as tapping the ball, to establish a rhythm in your stance that will match the rhythm of the approach.
  • Remember to breathe at the same rate whether you are in a pressure situation or are completely relaxed. Focus on slower, deeper breaths to center yourself before starting the approach.