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Mastering the Bowling Approach: Key Techniques

You’ve learned how to grip the bowling ball, and you know where and how to stand. Now it’s time to learn how to make your bowling delivery so you can start racking up those strikes!

This article will focus on a crucial aspect of the bowling delivery, the approach. The approach simply means the steps you take towards the foul line and the swinging of your arm to prepare for your shot.

The 4-Step and 5-Step Approaches

The first thing to decide on is how many steps you are going to take in your approach. The most common bowling approaches are the four-step and the five-step, and there are successful bowlers who use each one.

Although both are fine approaches, we will stick to the four-step for the remainder of this article, as we feel it is easier to learn and more comfortable for beginners.

Planning Your Steps

With a four-step approach, you will be taking the first step with the same foot as your bowling hand.

This means that a right-hander’s steps will go right, left, right, left. (The proper foot to finish on is the opposite of your bowling hand.)

A left-hander will start with the left and finish with the right.

The Pendulum Motion

With these four steps, you will simultaneously be swinging the bowling ball with your arm before releasing it at the end.

You should think about your motion as that of a pendulum, with the bowling ball making a smooth, natural motion without being forced and traveling straight back and forward instead of off to either side.

Here are the four steps alongside the corresponding components of the armswing.

Step 1: The Pushaway

As you are making your first step, you extend your bowling arm and point the ball toward the lane. This is known as the pushaway. Your elbow, which was bent at the beginning of the stance, should now be straight. Be sure to point your arm straight forward, not to either side as this can mess up your shot.

Step 2: Downswing

After the pushaway, the bowling ball comes back down as you prepare to make your backswing. When your foot touches the ground for the second step, the ball should be down around your leg.

Step 3: Backswing

Next, you continue the on with the backswing and raise the ball again. When you are making your third step, the ball should be at its highest point behind your back and your arm should be straight.

Step 4: Slide and Release

Your fourth and final step is slightly different from the previous three. After the backswing, the ball comes back forward, but this time you will actually be letting go of it. Also, your foot will slide along the approach area surface towards the foul line as you make your release.

When your foot touches down for step 4, the ball should be going past your leg and out in front of you once again. At this point, your thumb should be coming out of the thumb-hole and you should be starting your turn.

Next Article: The Bowling Release Explained

What's next?

You could raise your average 10-15 pins just by focusing on one usually neglected part of your bowling game. Learn More Here

One Response to Mastering the Bowling Approach: Key Techniques
  1. Sylvia morgan
    April 8, 2016 | 7:08 pm

    Can a bowler just stand at the foul line and bowl or should he make the the normal approach as ecery one else does

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