3 Tips for Understanding (and Tackling) the Mental Game of Bowling

Teens at bowling alley

There’s a lot more to being good at bowling than just hand-eye coordination, technique, or skill. The best bowlers also excel at the mental aspect of the game! If you’re looking for ways to improve your bowling game, check out these mental tips and tricks from the pros here at Richmond’s best bowling alley, Richmond 40 Bowl!

Find your pre-shot routine (and stick with it)

Once you’ve been bowling for a while, you may start forming habits when you prepare to take a shot. For some bowlers, it’s wiping the ball a certain number of times with a shammy cloth, or maybe taking a deep breath and exhaling before taking the shot. Whatever it is, create your routine and then be sure to do it every time you’re up. Much like a basketball player bouncing the ball before taking a free throw, executing your routine lets your body know it’s time to bowl. 

Visualize your desired outcome

Visualization is hugely important to sports psychology, whether you’re playing basketball, golfing, bowling, or anything else. To improve your bowling game, force yourself to take a moment and imagine throwing the ball, releasing it, and watching it roll down the lane, hooking at just the right moment and sending the pins flying for a strike. By visualizing what you want to do, you’re more likely to actually do it. If, on the other hand, your focus is worrying about shooting a gutter ball, you’re more likely to sabotage your own shot. 

Relax and focus

Even if you don’t compete in a bowling league, you may feel pressure when it’s your turn to bowl, whether you’ve flubbed your last couple of turns or you’re on a tear. As challenging as it may be, it’s important to let go of the last shot (good or bad) and return your mind to a state of calm before you take your shot. Try controlling your breathing to calm your mind, and focus on visualizing the desired outcome of your current shot. By focusing on the here and now, you’ll be able to let your practice and muscle memory take over instead of over-thinking it. 

Do you have any mental bowling tips that help you succeed? Practice makes perfect, so visit us at Richmond 40 Bowl to work on your game!