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Click on the video to learn how adjusting your target on the lane can change the ball’s roll.


the arrows and see how the ball rolls. Pick a target beyond the arrows and see what happens when the ball rolls longer. Again, these drills should be practiced without consideration of hitting the pock- et. It’s more important to understand how these adjustments aff ect the ball’s path. Once you’re comfortable with one or more of these variables, you can start using them to hit the pocket when your normal path to the pocket isn’t working.


DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE LANE Click on the video to better understand the value of playing different parts of the lane.

release, then practice several frames in- creasing loft and several decreasing loft. Observe how the diff erent releases aff ect the ball’s path to the pocket.

ADJUSTING TARGET DISTANCE: Most bowlers use the arrows, which are 14-15 feet from the foul line, as their tar- get. If you look closer on the lane it will help the ball get started sooner, the eff ect

being somewhat similar to adjusting loft. The farther down the lane you target with your eyes, the longer the ball will roll. This will feel uncomfortable at the start, but you’ll get a feel as to whether this type of adjustment helps your game.


Get lined up to strike, then change your target. Pick a target fi ve feet closer than

PLAYING DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE LANE: Once you’ve practiced the fi rst four adjust- ments, you’ll be better equipped to try play- ing diff erent parts of the lane. You can play diff erent parts of the lane without incor- porating the other adjustments by simply changing your angle. But chances are you’ll have to implement one or more of the ele- ments you’ve added to strike from diff erent parts of the lane. The key is that you need to get comfort-

able playing from diff erent spots on the lane. If you normally play up the second arrow, can you strike bowling up the fi rst arrow?


Start with your normal shot. If you nor- mally play around the second arrow, strike from that spot. Move to the fi rst arrow and strike from there. Repeat at the third and fourth arrows. Finally, as you move from one arrow to the next, begin incorporating some of the

other techniques you’ve been practicing. If you are bowling up the fi rst arrow and the lanes are a little drier, you may have to increase your ball speed, increase your loft or change your hand position. Experiment with what changes you have to make to fi nd the pocket. Don’t be intimidated. Even 160-170 average bowlers can do this if they practice. This doesn’t mean you have to play

diff erent parts of the lane consistently or often, but you need to be comfortable on diff erent parts of the lane if conditions dic- tate you play there.

SUMMARY: Again, no one is expecting the 180-average bowler to move three arrows and change ball speed, loft and hand posi- tion on the same shot. This practice routine will help you determine which adjust- ments suit you best. In my own case, I’m better at (and more comfortable) changing hand positions. Conversely, I rarely change my target distance. So, if my ball isn’t doing what I need it to do, the fi rst adjustment I’m going to make is to change my hand position. You may fi nd that the adjustment you’re most comfortable with is changing ball speed. While practicing the fi rst four

techniques, try bowling a game from arrows 1 through 4. See how you can use your new versatility to succeed without simply going to your bag for a diff erent bowling ball. See what you can do diff erently physically to make the ball do what you want it to do.

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May 2013

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