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This chart was produced by the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) for their athletes. It is also given out on a multitude of bowling courses.


The graph provides an excellent visual comparision between the Can-Do attitude of the successful bowler compared to that of a person looking for an excuse, a way out, a way round the challenge. "If you say you can't, you're probably right" is a famous quote by Henry Ford, nothing is ever absolutely certain, though, so the chart puts a very small likelihood of success against the can't/won't attitudes.

Notice, however, that even at these lower level attitudes the bowler is quite close to a positive change - once he or she gets over the denial stage, realises that they don't know (but would like to learn) they can ask for help. A coach or a fellow team-mate can provide the help but the bowler has to be ready to accept the advice, if they are still stuck in the denial (can't/won't), the advice will fall onn deaf ears. this info is fo' real so pay attenion. (brian lol jk : ] )

Why throw a Hook Ball?
Why throw a Hook Ball?
Anyone can throw a ball straight down the lane and you can get a strike, but this style of play will limit most people to about a 170 average. Throwing a hook ball is one way of scoring more.

What's wrong with a straight ball?

Nothing. To say one style is wrong is insulting to those who choose to use it. Almost everyone who bowls probably learned with a straight ball to start with, because the other styles require skills which take time to practise and learn. We need to remember where we started from and - recalling the three 'stages' of man (crawling on all fours as a baby, walking on two legs as an adult and limping on three, the cane, in old age) - be aware the we may end up back there in the future.

But the question comes down to one of goals: what do you want out of your bowling, are you happy with a style that may limit you to about 180 or do you want a higher average? A ball delivered straight down the middle is likely to leave a split. The other limiting factor seen with the straight ball is deflection: the ten pins weigh over thirty pounds and, as the ball cannot weigh more than sixteen pounds, so your ball will encounter significant amounts of deflection as it hits the pins. As the ball deflects it becomes harder to 'carry' all ten pins, you will be likely to leave the center pins standing. So a straight ball delivery and an understanding of simple targetting systems can raise your average to around 180, what we call a 'spare-game' because if you make all your spares you will score around 180-190 each game.

Angle Of Entry


Many years ago someone conducted an experiment to find out what was the best way to strike. To make the results valid and repeatable they set up a ramp and rolled the ball - straight - at the pins. What they found was that the angle at which the ball rolled into the pins was very important: with the optimum angle they could roll strike after strike after strike. The key learning, however, was that this optimum angle of entry could not be created by rolling the ball straight down from the edge of the lane - to create that angle you must use a hook ball delivery.

To roll a hook ball the bowler must develop a 'release', getting the ball off the thumb and using the fingers to put side rotation on the ball. The ball will skid down the lane, through the oil, and the rotation will start to move the ball ("hook") towards the pins. Because the ball is rolling into the pins it is less likely to suffer as much deflection and more likely to carry the center pins.

# 1 For spares the straight ball release is ideal, keep it simple & less chance of hooking away off target
# 2 If the condition is such that the hook style is too unpredictable revert to the straight ball
# 3 The Helicopter shot actually uses deflection and spin to mix the pins up
# 4 A perfect hook ball only hits four pins! It hits the pocket (1-3 pins for a right-hander) and rolls through to hit the 5-pin then deflect into the 9-pin. All other pins are knocked over by other pins moving off the ball and into them.

From foul line to the pins is 60 feet long and your target is the "pocket". Missing by just one inch can make the difference between a perfect strike or leaving a corner pin.
Whether you are a beginner or a regular tournament bowler an understanding of the basic dimensions of the lane can help you make find the strike line faster and make more spares. All the spare and adjustment systems are based off these simple measurements, length, width, number of boards, distance to arrows etc. The following picture illustrates these lane dimensions.




One of the most effective methods of helping you become a better bowler is with the aid of videotape. It doesn’t take long and the results can be beneficial in many ways.

You will need:

  • Camcorder
  • Video tape
  • Piece of bowler’s tape
  • A friend to do the taping
  •  DVD OR VCR to replay your bowling

When taking the pictures there are two views that are easy to take and provide excellent vantage points. That would be from the ball side (right-handed bowler should bowl on the even lane…left-handed bowler on the odd lane). This way you don’t lose your feet behind the ball return.

Some instructors like the front view, but unless you stand on the lane…very dangerous; you can’t get a head on view anyway.

Take four or five video shots from the side making sure to get the entire body all the way to the foul line. Position the cameraperson near the foul line a few lanes away for best results. A few shots of upper body and lower body from the side might also be helpful.

When you finish from the ball side it is time to move behind the bowler for the view from the back. From this angle you should also take four of five shots of the entire body from first step to last…keeping the entire body in the picture frame. Then, do a few of just the feet and a few of the upper body as well.

The next angle to take includes the release, and this can be taken from behind also.

To do this, first put your piece of bowler’s tape on the ball. This will show the exact position of the fingers during the swing and particularly at the release point. Place the tape an inch in front of the finger holes (if someone had their name put on the ball it would usually go in the same place). Place the tape vertically not horizontally as a name might be placed on the ball.

During your filming from behind, use the zoom lens to catch the ball as it passes the ankle and is released on the lane. You will be amazed at how clear the tape is and how easy it is to see what your fingers are doing through the release area.

Now you are ready for your last angle. That would be one from behind and a little off to the ball side of the bowler. Here, you will follow the bowler to the line with the zoom lens and catch the ball as it is released and follow it down the lane. From this angle you can see the revolutions (again the tape helps here) on the ball, the target on the lane that it was delivered over, the ball entering the pocket and the pin carry. Note: For this shot you may have to retake the shot several times until the bowler makes a shot that he/she wants to view.

When you have finished make sure to date the tape and store it for easy access. You should re-tape every couple of months, or when the need arises.
I recommend that you tape yourself…when you are bowling great…when you are struggling…and when you are making a change in your game and want to be sure you are making headway.

Video taping is an inexpensive and effective method to keep your game sharp and move forward in your skill development.


Beware of the DARK SIDE

It comes out of nowhere…just when you least expect it. It takes control and you are at its mercy? Have you never taken the most smooth and effortless approach, and just at the moment of release…the DARK SIDE prevails? Of what do I speak?

You know, when some unknown force causes you to let go of the ball far too late and the hand goes way too far around the ball. The result is a ball off line and/or pathetically weak when it hits the pins. Yes, bowlers, anytime you let go of the ball – follow through and as you look at your bowling hand – you see the back portion of it staring you in the face, you can claim to have seen the ‘dark side’. Overturning the ball is an all too common fault many bowlers experience. If this is a problem for you, here are some potential solutions.

The source of the problem may be found in a number of areas.

  1. If, when you bowl and relax the thumb pressure, you drop the ball much too soon…add tape to the thumbhole for a more snug fit.
  2. ARM SWING: An arm swing that is controlled can also contribute to the overturning of the ball at release. It goes hand-in-hand (no pun intended) with establishing the correct grip pressure. To eliminate the control in your swing try this: Experiment to see if your starting position can be improved by moving up in ‘half-shoe’ increments. Take several shots at each new starting spot. You should find one fairly quickly that allows you consistency, balance, and a great release.
  3. One last word about the ’dark side’. Take a piece of white tape and put it on the back of your hand. After each delivery, check your hand in the follow through position. If you see the tape, welcome back to the ‘dark side’. If you don’t see the tape…THAT’S GOOD, and your bowling scores will reflect that positive change in your game.



A fellow bowler once took a series of golf lessons. One of the sessions was entitled; The Sand is Your Friend. Well, I am here to tell you that so is the 10 pin (7 pin for the left handers). Let me start by explaining why I believe leaving the 10 pin is not such a bad situation as some might think.

First, the bowler’s primary responsibility is to deliver the first ball of any frame and have it reach the pocket. Strikes are produced most often when the ball enters the pocket. However, it only takes a small change in the release or ball speed to have a ball that is in the pocket leave the 10 pin.The more often you are in the pocket…the more chances to strike, but also more chances on that off delivery to leave the 10 pin. Too often I have seen a bowler carry a couple of strikes and then leave a solid 10. The bowler gets upset that the 10 pin didn’t fall…fusses and fumes….then steps up and misses the spare. In many cases the rest of the game is affected in a negative way.

Secondly, there are only ten pins to knock down. On the first ball, if you get nine, you’ve knocked down 90% of the pins. Take a test in school, 90% is usually an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ at the worst; both great grades. Keep a positive frame of mind, step up and convert the spare. Still not a believer? Here are some helpful hints on how to better convert the 10 pin the next time you leave it.

  1. Stand far left and use the middle arrow as your target. (Left handers stand far right) By using the middle part of the lane you have a better angle of attack and there is generally more oil in the center of the lane to help the ball go long and straight
  2. Check your sliding shoe after you have delivered the shot at the pin. You should slide at or toward the channel side of the last foul line dot
  3. You may choose to use a ball that doesn’t hook as much as your strike ball
  4. You may choose to change to a hand position that encourages the ball to roll straighter. And by the way, often the fear of leaving the 10 pin and missing it affects our confidence on the first ball. Remember, you are very close to carrying a strike when you leave the 10 pin.



Something to consider that is often ignored, is the need to have an "accessory kit" of some sort in your bowling bag or, as part of your bowling equipment. Let’s look at what might be included in your ‘accessory kit’. Some of this material may need no explanation, some may. You may also have other items that you would include in your ‘kit’.

  • TOWEL: Use to wipe ball and dry hand. Best if the towel has two distinct sides. You then keep from wiping your hand on the side that is meant for the oil from the ball.
  • ROSIN BAG: Keeps the hand dry.
  • THUMB PATCH: Nu-Skin or Super Glue work well. If you use Nu-Skin and get tired of the nylon patches falling off, pack a two inch square piece of sheer panty hose and cut patches from it. The panty hose will allow you to cover the entire area and a little more…it also will adhere to the skin better than the nylon patches that come with the Nu-Skin.
  • MEDICATION: Advil, aspirin, etc.
  • EXTRA SET OF FINGER INSERTS: If you use the rubber inserts in your finger grips
  • SUPER GLUE: Anytime an insert (thumb or finger) becomes loose, you can put it back in place.
  • THREE BLADED BEVEL KNIFE: Like you find in the pro shop. Used to make subtle adjustments to finger holes or thumb holes.
  • RAT TAIL FILE: In case your thumb or finger holes get too small you can open them up with the file.
  • BOWLERS’ TAPE: White for the front and black for the back of the thumb.
  • TAPE TOOL: A special plastic tool that is designed to quickly put tape in and take tape out of the thumbhole. Can be purchased at most pro shops.
  • SAND PAPER OR SCREEN: This may be used in place of the ‘bevel knife’ to modify the size of thumb and finger holes.
  • BALL POLISH: Remember, you cannot alter the surface of the ball after you have begun your competition
  • RECORD KEEPING MATERIALS: Some bowlers like to keep records of how they did. Lane conditions, equipment used, scores, etc. A notebook or pre-prepared form works well.
  • EASY SLIDE: Be careful to use in small amounts and do not get it in an area where another bowler might accidentally step in it or get it on their hands.

BEING PREPARED gives you the best opportunity to perform at your highest level.


LIGHTS, CAMERA ACTION! (the mental game)

We have all heard that scenario before, and you may ask, what does that have to do with bowling? If you look at what it signifies to an actor or director on a movie set, you can better get a perspective as to how it pertains to our sport

LIGHTS. This means that the time is getting close for a masterful performance by the actors in the scene. All the props are in place and the scene is setup for the perfect 'take'. This is very much like the bowler in the settee area preparing for a delivery. It may mean waiting for the opponent or teammate to take their shot. It may be the time when you focus on what happened on the last delivery on a particular lane, or how the ball felt coming off your hand. As with the actor, you may be seated or standing during this phase.

CAMERA. Now the camera begins to whir and the actors assume their places ready for the 'take'. Only time now for a few short cues to make sure the lines are correct, the tone and inflection are appropriate, last touch of makeup and maybe a few deep breaths before it's showtime. In bowling this would be the time when you step up to the ball return and pick up your ball, dry your hand, wipe the ball, visualize your shot...whatever your pre-shot routine is, now is the time for your final dress rehearsal.

ACTION! With no hesitation the actors speak their lines and make their moves in accordance with the script. Their style is fluid, automatic and flawless. Here, there is no time for thought, it must just flow. This final performance is the culmination of many hours of practice and numerous dry runs. In bowling we are now on the approach setting our feet and body in the proper alignment to make the desired delivery. Placing our fingers and thumb in the ball for the exact and perfect feel. One more breath, a final visual of the ball's path and then it must be allowed to flow...go on automatic pilot. Just like the many rehearsals in show biz, if you have rehearsed well during practice, your final performance may be worthy of an academy award! So, the next time you hear LIGHTS, CAMERA, might just be getting ready to make the performance of you bowling life!

jeff's Top Ten Bowling Tips

#1 Concentration
I have concentration listed first because without it, all of the others will not happen. Distractions like girls named SLOAN ! (it's a insider thing), problems at home, school, or work, discomfort (such as tight clothing), and many other things contribute to you losing concentration at that last second. One thing i herd is wear a watch and count to 4. It's not necessarily the extra time that helps, but this gives you a familiar object to concentrate on, and it also improves your "timing". Watch the second hand count 4 ticks, then move your eyes to your mark as you begin your approach. This will work providing you don't have to alter the position of your watch arm too much.

#2 Shoulders Square
For consistent deliveries, keep your shoulders square to the foul line at all times. A "dropped" shoulder can send the ball wide every time. This often happens when you rush your approach, and (also often happens when your rushing to the snack bar cause your fat like me lol). Maintain a moderate approach speed and be aware of your shoulders during delivery for high score's.

#3 Back Straight
This is one of the most difficult things to learn how to do automatically, it seems instinctive to bend over when you set down a 16 pound object, but it is very important to keep your back reasonably straight for a consistent delivery.

#4 Arm Straight And Near Body
Bending your arm at the elbow and swinging it away from your body are main contributors to an inconsistent game. A slight bend at the elbow to obtain lift is alright, as long as the inside of your elbow is pointing down your lane, and not at the snack bar.

#5 Knee Bent
It might seem natural to begin your slide with a bent knee, then straighten it as you release the ball. Although this will get you more lift, it's just one more thing you have to get perfect for consistent bowling. Stay down at the foul line for higher scores.

#6 Slide Straight
You absolutely must maintain your balance for proper ball delivery. (and not drift over to the other side of the lane like some people i know, you know who you are don't ch) In order for this to happen, you have to keep your approach and slide perpendicular to the foul line at all times.

#7 Follow Through!
This is probablly the single largest contributor to consecutive poor releases. It's not hard to bowl an entire game before you realize that you are not following through. Freeze your arm after release and check it's position after your ball crosses over the mark, it should be about head high with your thumb pointing over it's own shoulder.

#8 Watch Your Ball Cross The Mark
It doesn't matter whether you focus on a mark, or on an area of the lane, as long as you focus on something (like... umm something ) "Hold that pose" until your ball crosses over that mark, this will ensure that you are not rushing out of your approach.

#9 Practice, Practice, Practice
And when you've finished doing this... practice some more.
It's hard to be consistently good at anything, if you only do it once a week. Get a friend to watch your approach, or if possible, set up a video camera. You'll be surprised at what you see!

#10 Have Fun!
I put this in here just in case the other nine do not work. You don't have to average 200 to have a great time!

AND ALWAYZ REMEMBER THAT "A Quitter Never Wins And A Winner Never Quits "

HAPPY BOWLING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


BIG UP'S TO G.A.B. IN FLORIDA (woooo my fav. bowling ally)

sorry sloan, ha ha i guess i forgot  to take this part out the first time. Well  I'm Sure You Found This Part easily so. I JUST WANTED TO SAY THAT I LOVE YOU !!!!!!!!!!