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Bowling Tips


2004: October - November - December
2005: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December
2006: January - April - July - October (Tips are now Quarterly)

2004

  • October's Bowling Tip:
    The "comfort zone" is the foundation for competition at your highest level.  The comfort zone can be best described as beginning your approach with tunnel vision - a stated of mind exuding confidence in the task at hand.  It involves the relaxation of both mind and body, which makes it possible to repeat shot after shot in your best form.  Relaxation must reign from the moment you pick up your ball to the moment you step up to the approach and assume your stance. 
    Courtesy of "Bowling Execution" by John Jowdy
     
  • November's Bowling Tip:
    When aiming to establish a pre-shot comfort zone, remember that relaxation is the key.  Keep all muscles free of tension and keep your body in proper alignment.  Let physics and gravity, not muscle, do all the work for you.
    Courtesy of "Bowling Execution" by John Jowdy
     
  • December's Bowling Tip:
    Awareness and intelligence are two important keys to success.  Awesome physical strength can sometimes be beneficial, but the better bowler will play to the demands of the lanes and deliver accordingly.  You cannot overcome lane conditions on a consistent basis unless you adjust to the lane conditions.
    Courtesy of "Bowling Execution" by John Jowdy

    2005
     
  • January's Bowling Tip:
    Concentration is the ability to focus on the subject at hand.  In bowling, the prime objective is to put the ball in the pocket.  This must be the uppermost in the thought process.  Transforming concentration into reality is to draw a picture in your mind, wherein your strike shot enters the pocket and demolishes the pins.  This is the power of positive thinking.  Think positive and the results are more apt to be positive.  Positive thinking is the most basic element for concentration and confidence.
    Courtesy of "Bowling Execution" by John Jowdy
     
  • February's Bowling Tip:
    Awareness and intelligence, concentration and confidence are components that make up half of a bowler's mental game.  The ability to read lanes and conform to what the lane dictates as well as knowledge of equipment are equally important.  Reading lanes is probably the most difficult task facing bowlers.  Oil patterns are not detectable by the naked eye.  The changing oil patters are due primarily to increased activity in certain playing areas.  Balls that are designed to create friction on the lanes wreak havoc on lane conditioning and has further complicated oil patterns.

    Courtesy of "Bowling Execution" by John Jowdy
     
  • March's Bowling Tip:
    Without "good footwork," developing a favorable bowling form is all but impossible.  The bulk of your game relies on your steps, in particular the execution of a proper swing.  In fact, by developing good footwork, you are literally laying in a big percentage of the groundwork required for effecting a good swing.
    Courtesy of "Par Bowling: The Challenge" by Thomas Kouros
     
  • April's Bowling Tip:
    To develop "good footwork," one must consider the number of steps, the length of the steps, the cadence of the steps, the direction of the steps, the incline of the steps and the power step.
    Courtesy of "Par Bowling: The Challenge" by Thomas Kouros
     
  • May's Bowling Tip:
    Number of Steps - With little exception, the number of steps in your approach is determined by your height and the nature of your swing.  The primary question here is whether or to take four steps or five.  Little consideration is given to any other number.  The four-step approach is often referred to as the fundamental approach.  It allows the ball to be moved from the beginning of the swing to the maximum height of the backswing in three steps, and from the maximum height of the backswing to the point of delivery (by means of the downswing) in one step. And so it is with five, six, seven or eight-step approach.  In every case, THE BALL IS MOVED THREE STEPS BACK AND BEFORE THE LAST STEP IS TAKEN.  This formula is ideal for swing-step synchronization.  Although the four-step is fundamental and the simplest, about 75% of top bowlers take the five-step approach.  The extra step can generate additional speed, especially on dry lane conditions.
    Courtesy of "Par Bowling: The Challenge" by Thomas Kouros
     
  • June's Bowling Tip:
    Length of Steps - Since the majority of bowlers take five steps, and because the last four steps of the five-step approach are almost similar to the four-step approach, the five-step approach will be used to demonstrate proper spacing between the steps.  The first step is merely a starting movement; the foot moves forward and assumes the weight of the body.  It simulates a short walking step (heel-toe)  The second step is the "key-step" because the ball is placed into the swing with the movement of this step.  This step should also be kept short to allow one to more easily control and adjust the ball placement.  The third step (taken heel-toe), the ball is into the swing and the bowler's approach is now well on the way. Since you need to start building momentum in your approach, you need to lengthen your stride and this begins with the third step.  The fourth step (taken heel-toe) should continue this momentum building process, therefore should be slightly longer than the third step.  Finally, the fifth step, before it begins to slide should be similar to the fourth step in length, but not longer, which results in overstride.
    Courtesy of "Par Bowling: The Challenge" by Thomas Kouros
     
  • July's Bowling Tip:
    Cadence of the Steps - The interval between the taking of each step is know as the "Cadence of the Steps."  Just as in dancing, the interval between each bowling step is taken in accord with a "specific beat."  Cadence is crucial to the flow and repetitive aspect of the bowling approach.
    Courtesy of "Par Bowling: The Challenge" by Thomas Kouros
     
  • August's Bowling Tip:
    Direction of the Steps - Though it may seem simple on the surface, it is amazing to discover the amount of problems bowlers have walking a direct and proper path to the foul line.  The critical problems is referred to as drifting, which is one of the most common faults found in bowling and is caused primarily by a poor ball placement and/or a poorly executed swing.  To start, a player should be aware of the board on which the sliding step is on, as well as being able to identify the board that foot was on in the stance.  Any drift of the feet away from the target is normally counterproductive to precision shot-making.  As far as perfection goes, the sliding foot should finish up by pointing somewhat to the target, an remain there for several seconds in a fully balanced and unstrained position.
    Courtesy of "Par Bowling: The Challenge" by Thomas Kouros
     

  • September's Bowling Tip:
    Incline of the Steps - Refers to the height each step reaches, how each step makes contact with the approach floor and the manner in which the weight is distributed over the foot.  In normal, everyday walking stride, the feet do not achieve a height of more than two inches at any time.  Nor should they in the bowling approach.  Furthermore, like a normal walking step, bowling steps should be taken with the heel contacting the surface first and then the toe; all but the last step that is, which is taken toe-heel so as to afford a slide and a gradual "braking" process.
    Courtesy of "Par Bowling: The Challenge" by Thomas Kouros
     

  • October's Bowling Tip:
    Power Step - A power step is a short step taken with the toe first.  It is used to strongly push off to the next step (with the ball and toe of the foot), which, in turn, adds to the body's momentum.  In turn, this sudden propulsion of the body creates a strong swing impetus which substantially increases swing leverage.  Keep in mind the reason a power step does not inhibit the approach is because it is a short step and the body's weight never shifts back onto the heel, which it would do if the step were of normal length.  Most often the power step is best used to advantage on the next-to-the-last step.  Here, with the ball having reached the top of the backswing, the quick cadence and sudden thrust of the toe pushing off the approach, adds to the swing leverage of the ball for potentially stronger release.
    Courtesy of "Par Bowling: The Challenge" by Thomas Kouros
     
  • November's Bowling Tip:
    Knowledge of equipment is perhaps 50% of the mental aspect for a bowler and is more important than some might believe.  As an amateur bowler, you would be wise to look to the lanes you are going to bowl on to extract all the information possible  Watch for reaction of the ball on every lane condition  Memorize the reaction of every ball in your arsenal  Is your ball hooking too early in the heads?  Is your ball skidding too far?  Is it breaking into the pocket too sharply or breaking behind the 1-3 pocket a bit late?  To remain competitive, you must learn to read the ball reaction and use the proper equipment.  When professional bowlers become unsure of the balls they are using, they are never reluctant to check out the equipment that other successful bowlers use.  They are also wise to stand behind competition and scrutinize the reaction of their balls and the lines they are playing.  After all, this is competition.
    Courtesy of "Bowling Execution" by John Jowdy
     
  • December's Bowling Tip
    To be competitive in today's bowling game, a bowler must have a complete arsenal: balls that hook at different lengths down the lane to maximize scoring.  This can only be accomplished with balls that have different cores and shells.  You can make each ball react differently by altering the shell, core and method of drilling.  Some balls will go long and flip hard on the back-end.  Others will go long with a gradual arc on the back-end.  Some are designed to hook early with a strong back-end and others hook early with a smooth reaction on the back-end.  Experience will tell you which ball to use to match up to different lane conditions for maximum striking power.

    2006
     
  • January's Bowling Tip
    Practice - The old adage "practice makes perfect" can, at times, be an exaggeration.  Although practicing one's craft is a great work ethic and undoubtedly a worthwhile pursuit, it can be detrimental if it isn't done properly, particularly in bowling.  Practicing your bowling is an absolute must, however,. must do it properly to derive any benefit to your game.
    Courtesy of "Bowling Execution" by John Jowdy
     
  • April's Bowling Tip
    Practice - Successful bowlers execute properly and duplicate correct movements, so practice can only enhance their chances for continued success.  Conversely, for those who are experiencing difficulty, rehearsing deficiencies that have crept into their games will only intensify and prolong their agony.  They practice their mistakes so much, and they learn to make those mistakes so well, they can replicate them 9 out of 10 times in play.  Don't keep practicing when what you need is help.
    Courtesy of "Bowling Execution" by John Jowdy
     
  • July's Bowling Tip
    Practice - Maintain a comfortable style.  One of the most important aspects of practicing is remaining natural.  Do not become robotic.  Many confused bowlers, hell-bent on perfection, often turn to books, gadgets and programs that attempt to turn your game into a scientific model.  These efforts create mechanical maneuvers and turn bowlers into automatons, particularly in clutch situations.  Rigid deliveries usually produce chaotic results.
    Courtesy of "Bowling Execution" by John Jowdy
     
  • October's Bowling Tip
    Practice - In selecting time for practice, make certain you are able to isolate yourself from a crowded area.  It is difficult to practice seriously with surrounding bowlers and noises that hamper your concentration.  The majority of bowling centers have "off" times that might be better for practicing.  If not, ask management to assign you lanes that are somewhat isolated from those in use.  Additionally, serious bowlers should use video cameras to detect flaws and work out glitches that are impeding progress.  This is especially recommended for those who have no access to a coach.
    Courtesy of "Bowling Execution" by John Jowdy
     

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Missile Tournament Club
AMF Valley View Lanes * 12141 Valley View Street * Garden Grove, CA * 92845 * (714) 898-2507

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Page last updated 11/12/2007