Showing up to bowl for a score during your training session may be fun, but it doesn’t help improve the fundamentals required for improvement. In this premium video, Scott Pohl, owner of On Track Pro Shop, simplifies and breaks down the game in small pieces with three drills designed to make it easier to feel the proper way of shotmaking.
Kneel Down Drill
This drill is designed to let you know how the ball is supposed to feel when it comes off your hand during the release. Taking the steps out of the approach and kneeling at the foul line while releasing the ball accomplishes this without the wear and tear associated with a complete shot.
Give yourself room at the foul line to allow the ball to hook by setting up near the gutter furthest from your target. Place the bowling ball on the lane when you are ready to get started. Lift the bowling ball to your side and position your non-bowling arm to your other side with your thumb facing down towards the ground.
Keep your grip pressure as light as possible and start the arm swing by bumping the ball forward to initiate the swing. Let the momentum of the bowling ball carry your arm into its back swing. At the highest point of the backswing, allow the bowling ball to carry your arm down to achieve a loose arm swing. When you do this correctly you’ll feel the bowling ball exit your hand smoothly.
This drill is designed to help you feel good balance and stability when releasing the bowling ball. Start the ball while standing upright. Simultaneously, your non bowling arm should leave the bowling ball keeping the thumb pointed down towards the approach throughout the shot.
At the height of the backswing, begin the slide towards the approach. Follow through and release the ball off your hand, holding your finish position until the bowling ball rolls off the pin deck.
Ball Start Drill
The stance and ball start in bowling directly impacts the results down the lane. Practicing the start of the ball helps train your body and mind how proper timing is supposed to feel. One or two steps typically is associated with this drill. One step for four-step approach bowlers and two steps for five-step approach bowlers.
Scott is a five-step bowler, so he will start the ball swing on the second step. The non bowling hand lifts off from the bowling ball on the second step. The second step in a five-step approach bowler is where the cross over step occurs as well.
This helps your body get out of the way of the bowling ball as it passes toward the peak of your backswing. This is a key component for achieving a free loose arm swing.