Practice Makes Perfect

With leagues getting into full swing, let’s take a minute to talk about practice. Practice is not another “three-game outing” to see how you size up with your established average in the league. The ability to improve is contingent on making efficient use of your time before the competition and we’re going to give you some drills that you can add to your practice routine to do just that.

One Step Drill

One of the most versatile drills in today’s game is the one step drill. It breaks down the finish position into small segments that ordinarily bowlers get wrong at full speed.

Start by taking your bowling ball to the foul line. Turnaround and face the settee. Take one and half steps and then turn around and face the pins.

Then begin your push away by getting the ball moving, slide with your slide foot, release the bowling ball and bring your trail leg around your slide foot, toe to the wall.

When you go into the slide, use the ball of your foot, not your heel. This will help increase your balance during the finish position. If you lead with the heel of your trail leg, this will open your hips resulting in missing your target. The one step drill is a great way to improve your release. It slows down the shot enough for you to really feel the thumb exiting the bowling ball first, then your fingers. Remember, this is practice. This drill is not meant to be done at full speed. You want to make small movements correctly.

Once you have this drill down, check out some variations of the one step drill to keep your practice routine fresh.

Spare Shooting

When it comes down to it, making your spares is the difference between increasing and decreasing your average. Not every bowler has the luxury of having the pinsetters set up individual spares.

Related video: Spare Shooting Practice.

Start by shooting at the 6 and/or the 10 pin and try not to hit the 3 pin.

Then try to hit the 3 pin without hitting the headpin.

Next, switch sides and repeat. Shoot the 4 and/or 7 pin without hitting the 2 pin.

And finally, shoot at the 2 pin without hitting the headpin.

Do this five times for each spare and you’ll see your accuracy increase in no time!

After you have completed these drills, get a partner and challenge him or her in a game of Low Ball. It’s good spare shooting practice and a great way to add a little competition in your practice routine.

Check out this related video, Playing Low Ball to Overcome Corner Pin Spares:

If you’re looking to shake things up in your spare game, check out Developing a Spare System. All you need is a plastic spare ball and the fourth arrow and you can make any spare, anywhere.

Remember, we compete the way we practice, and increasing your average takes hard work. Begin using these drills the next time you go out to practice instead of shooting for score and you’ll see your league average increase.

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