There are many factors that contribute to being a good bowler—technique, consistency, keeping a cool head—but one is absolutely crucial: Aim! Bowling is, after all, a game of targeting, lining up your throw and sending the ball down 60 feet of lane to take down as many pins as possible. While the pros make it look easy, any beginner bowler who’s just thrown a gutterball can tell you that this “simple” game is a lot harder than it looks. If you’re new to bowling, are interested in joining a Richmond bowling league, or just want to level up your game, check out these tips for improving bowling targeting.
Your target is the pins at the end of the lane, so that’s what you should use to aim, right? Wrong! Looking at the pins is a common mistake. As previously mentioned, they’re 60 feet away, so lining up your shot based on such far away objects is not usually going to be very successful. Instead, you should pick one of the arrows smack dab in the middle of the lane and aim your throw directly over it. For righties, the second-from-the-right arrow is your best bet. If your left hand is dominant, choose the second-from-the-left arrow.
If you’re struggling to hit the “sweet spot” aka the pocket, use the dots leading up to the foul line to adjust your approach. The dots further back from the lane are your guidance, kind of like road or runway markings. For right-handed bowlers, position your left foot to the right of the middle dot. For left-handed bowlers, do the opposite—right foot just left of center. Experiment with this approach until you are routinely hitting the pocket.
When you throw a less-than-perfect shot, don’t waste the learning opportunity. Can you find a pattern in your throws? Are you always missing your shot to the same side? If so, you can remedy this problem by adjusting your approach to the left or right. For instance, if you keep missing to the right, move right. If you’re missing left, move left. This change in approach will help prevent your ball from hooking prematurely.
Last, but not least, take your time! There’s no rush, so take a deep breath, limber up, and take your time lining up your shot. Don’t just rush up to the foul line to throw; keep your approach smooth and consistent. With some practice (and a bit of trial and error) you can start hitting the pocket consistently. Once you do that, you’re well on your way to getting strikes.
Practice makes perfect, so come work on your bowling skills at Richmond 40 Bowl! We are the best bowling alley in Richmond, and we welcome bowlers of all ages and skill levels. Call us at 765-966-2641 for the current open bowling schedule.