The ultimate shot in bowling is the strike. This is when the bowler knocks down all 10 pins on their first ball. In league bowling, the players with the most “X”s on their score card could be considered the MVPs. “X” is what reflects a strike on a scorecard. Anyone can get a strike once, even a beginner. It takes some true skill to be able to get strike after strike. Here are some helpful hints to get those multiple strikes.
1) Foot placement is the first key to bowling a strike. Many bowlers do everything right, except for this and wonder why they can’t seem to get a strike. In fact, their stance is off. The first thing that is important to take into consideration is whether you are right or left-handed.
Right-handed bowlers should make sure that their left foot is aimed directly toward the front pin. This means the right foot would be to the right of that front pin. Some bowlers find they have a tendency to approach the pin with the right foot first. This is a mistake. If you feel your foot placement may need work, ask a friend to videotape how you approach the shot. If your right foot is the one aiming at the front pin, your shoulders will try to compensate for this by twisting, ruining your shot, and possible hurting your shoulders or back!
2) Approaching the shot. Once you have perfected your stance, hold the ball in your right hand in the starting position. Step forward with your right foot, then the left. As you take the second step, your arm swings down. Gravity will be doing some of the work at this point. Step again with the right, sliding it behind your left leg. Now for the delivery. This may be a moment of truth for those who don’t know how to properly release the ball.
3) Releasing the ball. Many bowlers release the all either too early or too late. Too early, your arm is still in the middle of the movement of bringing the ball forward. Too late, the upswing is already complete. Both of these errors may lead to a ball that may not even make it halfway down the lane, before losing the strength it needs to knock pins over.
Also be prepared to deliver the ball over the foul line. Your thumb leaves the ball first as you aim for the middle of the lane, keeping your eyes on that front pin the whole time. When you lower your eyes, your upper torso and shoulders follow, affecting the shot. Looking down too soon may even cause a gutter ball.
Following these tips on getting a strike should help you improve your game a bit. If you are still in doubt, pay attention to the great players at the alley; what do they do when they get a strike? Can you point out the tips in this article?
Note: This article was written with the right-handed player in mind. For lefties, the opposite sides apply.