How to throw a bowling ball – Three simple techniques to become a Pro

How to throw a bowling ball
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Are you frustrated that others can bowl better than you? Does your ball veer off into the gutter? Want to improve your game?

Don’t worry, help is here.

You can quickly improve your bowling by trying some simple suggestions.

But before you try and improve your technique think about getting the right equipment. A good bowling ball is worth its weight in gold. Or maybe you have your own bowling ball, but it’s worn out. For help with this, click here.

OK, so once you have a good bowling ball, then try out these three tips on how to throw a bowling ball.

How to throw a bowling ball

How to Throw a Bowling Ball Straight

Try and imagine that you are sliding the ball along the lane. Visualize an imaginary line all the way down the center of the lane. You can make it fun by imagining that line to be moving fluorescent arrows leading the way. Don’t concentrate too much on the pins. Gently slide the ball along that imaginary line. If you are right handed, you may need to move your imaginary line a little to the right. And the opposite for left-handed. Try to position yourself a little to the side of the lane to get the ball to roll down the center. Can you see how the person in the photograph is positioned so that the ball will go straight?

Image Courtesy: Bowlingtechniques.net

Take a few steps back, let the ball swing behind you and walk up to the line. Bowl along the imaginary line. At this stage the important thing is to master the technique. So, keep it nice and slow and easy. Relax, rather than tense-up. It’s frustrating when the ball rolls off into the gutter. What you have to remember is that the lane slopes slightly towards each gutter. The best way is to keep it straight. If the ball strays, try to adjust your position – and your line – just a little to improve on this.

Bowling straight is also vital when you are shooting at spares. So, master this technique.

How to Release a Bowling Ball

Let’s just think about the process again.

Retreat a few paces back from the line. Gently - very gently - allow the ball to swing back. Then walking slowly towards the line, using the natural momentum of the ball, swing the ball forward along the imaginary line. Keep it slow. Keep it low. Release the ball nice and gradually just as it comes up from the swing. Follow along with your arm. Follow the imaginary line mentally as it leads to the pins. Keep the ball low. Imagine that you are sliding the ball just above that line. But keep the ball moving along the imaginary line. Don’t swing it high and drop it. Try to keep it low and let it slide along nice and easy. You’ll naturally bend your knees as you do so. Notice how the person in the picture keep it low and smooth. If you hear the ball thud, then try a more gracious swing.

Image Courtesy: WikiHow

Here is something to remember. Try and avoid wrist movement. Hold your wrist so that the ball goes straight. Not tense, just firm. Avoid wiggle that sends the ball off in an unintended direction. Keep that wrist behind the ball from beginning to end. Some people tuck their leg in behind them as they approach the foul line. This helps line up their body so that the ball goes straight. You need to grip the ball with your thumb and two fingers.

Image Courtesy: Tweedtenpin.com.au

How to Throw a Bowling Ball Faster

Try not to bowl too hard when you are a beginner. It takes more balance when you bowl faster. This can have a negative impact on the techniques that we have already discussed.

Bowl straight first. Next, concentrate on releasing the ball properly. When you do, the ball will go faster. Think about it – if you are still hanging on to the ball instead of releasing it, then you are slowing it down. Practice the technique of rolling close to the floor and releasing it nice and smoothly. Once mastered, you can start to speed up. But don’t run before you can walk. 

Does your bowl lack speed? Are some pins left standing? There are some things that you can do.

Lengthen your swing. Experiment with holding the ball a little higher than normal in your set-up position. Up to a ball height higher. The increased swing arc will provide more speed. The ball will have more impetus. Don’t try and ‘push’ the ball. Let it gain momentum with the swing. Just before you release the ball, use your palm to give it a little push-off. Remember to keep a nice relaxed arm swing. You can increase your pace as you move towards the line. This will mean the ball travels faster at release. As you become more experienced you can put your body behind the ball. This will give it more force.

Now that you know the secrets of how to throw a bowling ball, you can try them out. Don’t be afraid to hire a lane all to yourself at a quiet time. Since it’s good to see techniques demonstrated, you can view this video about bowling straight.

Notice how the bowler starts from a few paces back. He tucks his leg in behind him. And he stops just short of the line. But most of all, notice how graceful his movement is. It’s as if the whole bowl is one single process.

Just so you know, once you’ve mastered bowling straight, you can start to improvise. Many good bowlers hook the ball – they get the ball to roll a little off center and then curve back into the middle of the pins. Remember to enjoy yourself and relax. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes. It might be a little uncomfortable at first, but if you keep applying these basic rules, you will improve.

In no time, you’ll be bowling like a pro.

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