The Hamilton Pinoy Keglers   
Basic Bowling Tips
 Because of growing interests and an influx of new bowlers in our league  this year, the publication of these excerpts of bowling basic tips is timely and necessary. For veteran bowlers, this will serve as a back to basic check list to regain one's bowling form.

Are you Practicing or Training?
Rob Zikman

Confused about the difference between PRACTICE and TRAINING for the Sport of Bowling? Your preparation should be a mixture of both and you should plan how and how often you practice and train. Similar to Gym work, a one-day break between sessions is ideal and 3 times per week should be your target. This will maintain the neuromuscular development required to create consistent performance.

PRACTICE is scoring each time with every ball you bowl with the sole intention of playing your BEST shot EVERY shot. If your first ball is not a strike your next best shot is a spare. Score the MOST pins with every ball you bowl. Work towards that perfect feeling and try to execute each shot in the same manner! Constant repetition of that PERFECT feeling is the answer to becoming a better bowler.

TRAINING should be made up of sessions working on specific areas of your game e.g. Approach; balance; release; accuracy and spare shooting. Physical conditioning such as walking or Gym work is all part of Training. These sessions should last no longer than 1 hour and should be under the supervision of your Coach (if you have one)

On lane Training should be without scoring so that your total concentration is focused on your goals rather than being distracted by your scores. If cost is a factor to your desire to Practice more, you can often come to special 'low cost' arrangement with your Centre.

A good tip is when you start play ALWAYS bowl to convert a 7 or 10 pin with your first ball leaving the strike pocket in place for your second ball. When you reach the last frame in your game try and make a 'Turkey' to finish the game.

Soft Hands or Choking, The Choice is Yours.
Rob Zikman

The term 'soft hands' often heard golf commentary could be applied to our sport. It works like this..... the harder you squeeze the ball the more difficult it is to release the ball without letting the pressure off your fingers. Also your grip won't be consistent throughout your bowling session.

With the help of your partner try this simple exercise. With the palm of your bowling hand facing upwards bend your bowling fingers towards your wrist attempting to apply the pressure used in your usual bowling grip. Ask your partner to place their index finger across your fingertips at the first joint and firmly press against your fingers in the direction on your fingertips trying to straighten your fingers If your fingers flex under this pressure and your partners index finger slides over your fingers and then spring back to position you're very close to that 'soft hands' feeling that will create a smooth, clean release leading to more consistent shot making and better ball roll.

If you are gripping too firmly you will not be able to release your partners index finger unless you open your grip. This is duplicated during the release, so called 'choking' the shot - most evident in pressure situations.

To help develop 'soft hands' imagine an egg in your palm. Now imagine squeezing the egg with just enough pressure to have a firm enough hold without breaking it. Once you have mastered this technique you will develop a feel that will give you the desired 'soft hands'.

League bowling

League bowling is a group of people of all age groups, all walks of life and all levels of athletic skills. Leagues are organized with various numbers of teams consisting of all men or women or a combination of both.

These leagues meet on a regular scheduled basis, normally once a week, to compete against each other as teams. Some compete for prize-money, some for trophies, but all of them for the fun of bowling.

League bowling becomes a more equal form of competition because of its handicap system. An inexperienced bowler can compete with a bowler of more experience and skill and still have a chance to win.

League bowling is an inexpensive outing, giving you a chance to make new friends, compete on an equal basis and be assured that you will have lanes to bowl on each week at a time that is suitable to your own personal schedule. To put it simply, in relationship to any other competitive athletic event, league bowling is the best buy in town.

For the Health Buffs

1.The world health organization defines "light sports"; such as cricket, golf and sailing as those burning off 2.5 to 5.0 calories per minute.

2.Research revealed that bowling consumes 5.45 calories per minute.

3.Bowling therefore ranks alongside other moderate sports including swimming, tennis and horse back riding.

4.A bowler will traverse nearly 3 kilometres for every nine games bowled.

5.A bowler will swing a ball that can weigh anywhere from 6 to 16 pounds and make over 180 shots.

6.Tenpin Bowling exercises practically all the muscles and is a game, which can be played all year round by people of all ages.

Dropping Your Shoulder? Try This Simple Exercise
Rob Zikman

Stand up straight, arms by your side and without moving your head slide your right or left hand down your thigh and endeavour to touch your right or left knee. Not possible? By keeping your head still in the centre of your body you will avoid the 'dropping shoulder' syndrome plus create a straighter swing and better balance during your approach.

Remember NOT TO try anything new in League Play but arrange to visit your Centre to practice! The 'approach' is as important as the release of the ball. Rhythm and timing through the approach are crucial to achieving balance at the foul line, which is vital to making a good shot. I have seen many bowlers lose control of the delivery by rushing the foul line, 'muscling' the ball and being off balance at the point of release - even though they hit their target the result invariably reflects their position and state of control at the foul line.

There is no hard and fast rule regarding the number of steps that should be taken in the approach. This really depends upon the level of comfort of each bowler (although, I believe the more steps - the greater the risk of error). What is important, however, is to be anchored at the foul line, square with your target as the ball rotates through the swing and into the release.

Timing, as in all other sports, should be 'spot on'. Many great bowlers achieve the results they do, as their approach is consistent shot after shot. They are often pegged as 'boring' yet they win time and time again.

Consistency in approach is achieved by practice, practice, practice. Once you have developed a consistent approach, you will be in a position to concentrate on the other vital areas of your game.