Bowling Tips: Aiming for AccuracyBowling Tips | Rich Wallace | September 30, 2010 at 8:33 PM
When you’re staring down your target, calming your body and mind as you prepare to throw the next strike…what are you aiming for, exactly? Are you taking aim against the pins that are at least a distant sixty feet away? Were you a sniper in a previous life???
Bowling offers, if nothing else, an extremely wide variety of methods, strategies and styles in chasing the almighty pin-fall counts. When attempting to gain focus on your overall delivery, it may sometimes feel as though it’s just you and the pins with some wood lying there between here and there.
Luckily, there’s a lot more if you happen to look down just a bit. You may have noticed that there are some marks on the lane including a series of dots and some arrows. Those aren’t just there for decoration, my friend…those, are your secret weapons when it comes to aiming your bowling ball toward its goal.
Pin Bowling vs. Spot Bowling
When starting out, it may seem that the best approach when trying to knock down any target, is to aim for the main target itself. Not to say that this approach isn’t worthwhile, but it’s not very efficient if you can shorten the length of your target. Clear as mud, yet?
No, I’m not asking you to break the rules and begin your approach half-way down the lane. Rather, I’m asking you to aim at the marks on the lane instead of the pins. By doing so, as you learn your style and your bowling ball’s trajectory, you can essentially predict where the ball will travel and finally end up if you aim for a shorter target.
Pin Bowling may be defined as taking aim on the actual pins as you prepare for and begin your approach and delivery. While focusing on the pins themselves, you are attempting to plot the course of your bowling ball the full sixty plus feet from the point of release.
One of the most common issues with Pin Bowling is, if you start making adjustments, it’s a bit difficult to “‘mark” where you have actually made those adjustments as again, your target is quite some distance from you. That alone, makes it a bit challenging to “nail” the sweet spot and find your consistency.
Spot bowling consists of locating and aiming for a mark on the lane, rather than the actual pins. Whether you choose to aim for the set of dots just before the foul line, or the series of arrows 15ft into the lane, these targets a lot closer to aim for than the sixty foot target if you’re using the pins.
With spot bowling, adjustments that may be required can be made on the actual marks, or “spots”, on the lane making it easier to tweak your aim and your overall delivery. For example, the diagram above is actually very similar to my bowling trajectory and by aiming my ball at the arrows, it is much easier for me to adjust my aim if I’m not hitting the pocket as consistently as I would like.
If I end up making contact with the pins a bit high (hitting too much of the headpin than the pocket), I know that I can switch my aim to about two boards to the right of the arrow or move my feet over a board or two to the left during setup. If I was Pin Bowling, it would be much more difficult to gauge exactly where to aim if I simply went off pin location.
Keep Changing Conditions in Mind
The lanes are forever changing whether that be due to the inevitable breakdown of the oil in the lanes or other uncontrollable factors. Even if you finally find that sweet spot, it’s not guaranteed to be there for the next throw so you must be prepared to continuously adjust your aiming and positioning. Don’t get lazy and assume that one strike in one location will bring you a perfect game as long as you stay there.
What Say You?
Do you find pin or spot bowling to be a more effective method of aiming your shots? What other methods can you think of that may be even more helpful for new bowlers in finding accuracy?