Are you tired of losing bowling games to your friends, loved ones, and co-workers and can’t wait to beat them and earn some bragging rights?
Are you a beginner bowler with the hopes of becoming a pro someday? Do you bowl often but want to increase your skills even more?
Whichever category you find yourself in, there’s only one thing to do: improve your game. Like every other sport, you’re going to have to practice a lot to get better at bowling.
Unfortunately, you may not always be able to visit the bowling alley as often as you wish.
In that case, you need to find a way to improve your bowling skills at home. If you’re not exactly sure how to do that, keep reading!
Bowling Practice Drills
Since you’re not in a bowling center, most of your practice routines will center around drills and perfecting proper body movement. Remember, spectacular bowling moves require both the mind and body to execute.
The following are bowling drills you can perform in your own home to improve your game.
1. Practice Your Swings
Your arm swing routine is one drill that actually might be better to practice at home. After all, you don’t want to be the odd person swinging his/her arms awkwardly in public.
To complete this drill, sometimes called a foul line drill, stand in front of a full-length mirror and imagine that you are standing right behind the foul line with the bowling lane in front of you. Pull back into the backswing position and release, as if you were completing a throw with a real bowling ball.
As you practice your forward swing, notice when the “ball” leaves your hand and adjust this timing if necessary. Make an effort to maintain control of your hand position all the way through the swing to the finish position.
Pay close attention to your arm movement and hand position and be sure to refine your technique adequately. This way, you will quickly achieve the muscle memory that’s required to perform a great swing the next time you’re playing with an actual bowling ball.
If it’s difficult for you to practice throwing without having a bowling ball in your hand, try using a tennis ball instead. This works especially well if you have a hardwood floor, but it can work on carpet as well.
You can even put on your bowling shoes to really feel like you’re at the lane! Try adding in leg movement, taking advantage of the opportunity to perfect your slide leg and increase stability in both your left and right foot.
2. Stay Limber
More often than not, your bowling skills are only as good as your muscle movement. This means you’ll get better if your body is at peak conditioning.
To keep your body in perfect shape and improve your performance in the bowling center, try to stretch every day and perform different exercises specifically for bowlers. Work on your cardio and weight training.
It would do you a world of good to create a mini gym in your home. If you can’t create a home gym, try to focus on push-ups, sit-ups, and going to the gym for a proper session whenever you can afford to.
3. Practice the Athletic Approach
This is an athletic drill that can help you avoid squeezing the bowling ball and release it more accurately. You can practice this drill anywhere around the house.
Simply try not to stand too upright, bend each leg, and flex your knees a bit. Now, try to keep your head still and upright, imagining that you are standing right before the foul line.
The next step is to pretend to release the ball and swing all the way through to your finish position. Pay attention to your different hand positions and aim to relax your fingers while keeping them steady.
The more you practice this drill, the steadier your core becomes. When releasing the ball down the lane, it’s always crucial to keep your upper body movement steady to help your swing.
4. Practice Footwork Timing
Another simple drill you can practice at home that will improve your skills immensely is footwork timing. Timing is one of the key elements of bowling, so this drill can greatly affect the outcome of your next bowling game.
Most people who struggle to improve at bowling almost always have their footwork timing wrong. So while you’re home, you can practice how to pace your footsteps.
The ideal footwork before releasing the ball is one step per second. When practicing, try to count in your head to reduce distraction.
The aim of this drill is to help you time your run to perfection.
You can either practice a 4- or 5-step approach. Usually, a 4-step approach is recommended for beginners while experienced pros can perform the 5-step approach with relative ease.
Let Bowling Become a Part of You
If you ever watch an interview with a successful athlete, one thing you will notice is that they almost always mention how the game is a part of their life.
Whether it’s basketball, soccer, or bowling, the results are the same. The more you embrace the game, the better at it you’ll become.
So how do you do that? It’s simple, really.
Discuss bowling with your friends who love the game as well. If you can’t find any, you can join an online forum where bowling enthusiasts gather to share experiences and talk about the game.
You can also watch videos of bowling techniques and tips, and watch tournaments on YouTube to immerse yourself in the game just a little bit more.
To Hire or Not to Hire a Bowling Coach
If money is not a problem, you can hire a bowling coach to help improve your game at home. You can check online to find bowling coaches near you.
Hiring a coach is one of the most effective ways to get better at bowling. Not only will a coach teach you the basics, but he/she can also identify the various facets of your game that need improvement and offer personalized tips.
It’s one thing to practice your swing in front of a mirror, but if you’re not doing it right, you still won’t improve your game much. A coach will help make sure you’re practicing your drills correctly, teach you the most relevant movements that will help you improve quickly, and they can even help you pick the right bowling shoes for your feet.
Lastly, try to practice at least a little bit every day — after all, practice makes perfect. You may not always have the time to swing your arm in front of a mirror with a demanding job and a family that needs your attention.
However, you can still manage to stretch and dedicate a few minutes to perform your workout routine to ensure you’re always in great shape. Some aim to do a full circuit of drills once or twice a week, with a shorter stretching and workout routine on the other days.
Bowling is an exciting game that can keep you fit along with providing some fun time with family and friends.
It’s not worth the effort if you can’t play well, though. This is why you need to practice as often as you can to improve your game.
The drills and routines mentioned above are fairly easy to do. You also don’t have to buy any special equipment to practice at home.
As you continue to practice at home and improve your game, make it a point to bowl in a bowling center as often as you can. This will ensure that all the work you put into practicing at home can be harnessed quickly.