Now that you know where to aim in bowling, it’s time to learn the proper stance, which is crucial to ensure a good approach and release of the bowling ball. This article will get you started by explaining how to set up correctly for your shot.
Distance from the Foul Line
Since you will want to release the ball right at the foul line (without crossing it, of course), you need to be sure to start at the appropriate distance. Thankfully, the lane markings in the approach area are there to help you and you can use a simple exercise to find the proper spot.
Go to the end of the approach area and stand about 2 inches away from the foul line, facing away from the lane. Then take 5 regular steps back towards the seating area. This is the distance where you should start.
Setting Your Feet
At this point, use the guide dots and the boards to set your feet. Your starting spot should be consistent for every first ball you throw.
Since every bowler has a slightly different track, as some bowl relatively straight and others hook the ball into the pocket, there are no easy answers as to where to place your feet.
A good rule of thumb for a right-handed bowler is to place the inside of your left foot on the center dot, and for a left-handed bowler to do the same with the right foot. Then stand with the other foot slightly behind it and about 2 inches apart.
As is the case with many things in bowling, you will adjust your foot positioning based on trial and error.
Proper Body Position
Assuming you know the basics of the bowling grip, insert your fingers into the ball and use your non-bowling hand to support it from the bottom. It’s now time to get your body into the right position for a good bowling delivery.
Your stance should be relaxed, upright and balanced. Your knees should be bent slightly, as overly stiff joints don’t move as easily. Keep your head raised and stare ahead towards your target.
You should hold the ball roughly at waist height, although the exact location depends a bit on the bowler. Feel free to hold it a bit higher if that feels more comfortable, as long as you aren’t holding it all the way up at the shoulders. Never hold a ball below your waist.
Most importantly, be sure to hold the ball out to the same side of the body as your bowling hand. (Meaning right-handed bowlers should hold it out to the right.)
Many bowlers like to hold the ball in the center of your body, but this is problematic, as you will be forced to move your arm on an uneven plane. As you will learn, the bowling motion shot is like a pendulum, and holding the ball off to the side facilitates a smooth stroke.
Next Article: Mastering the Bowling Approach