Ten Pin Bowling Tips for Beginners


Bowling is a sport that takes much practice and critiquing to be able to advance your game to higher heights. Learning and practicing the different steps of not only how to bowl but also how to read shots and know which equipment suits you best will help a beginner move up the ranks and bowl better scores.

Choosing a Bowling Ball

  • Bowling balls vary in size, weight and finger hole positions. When choosing a ball, you should be able to comfortably hold and further control the ball with your fingers in the holes of the bowling ball. You do not want to choose a ball that is too light because you may roll the ball too far off line and may have the tendency to roll it too fast. To test the weight of a ball to see if it is a good choice for you, hold the ball with both hands with your arms extended forward and hold for at least five seconds. If you are able to do this while exerting at least some effort, the ball is most likely a good choice.

Body Positioning

  • To achieve the correct body positioning, your body first must be loose and well conditioned. It is important to stretch areas of your body such as your arms, legs, torso, fingers and hips prior to bowling. First, start by holding the ball in your nonbowling hand to achieve proper balance and to aid in correctly lining up a path for your approach. Start with your body square to the location of where the pins are. It is also important to keep your chin up and always be focused on your target.

Setting Up a Shot

  • A shot in bowling must include a good approach. It is helpful to pace your steps from the fault line back so you know exactly how many steps you need to generate a comfortable approach. A good distance to start is about 5 to 7 feet from the fault line. This will give you enough room to set up your approach, which consists of usually three or four heel-to-toe steps forward. On a bowling alley, there are dots and arrows across the width of the plane to help you align your shot. It is key as a beginner to pay attention to these markings to work on judging angles and release points to bowl a good shot.

Releasing the Ball

  • Releasing the bowling ball is all about timing and balance. Any slight misjudgment of either of these can easily throw your shot off into one of the side gutters. Practice your approach steps until you feel comfortable and can simultaneously swing the bowling ball forward to release without losing balance or momentum. Make sure to get a good back swing of the ball followed by a completed follow-through. Release the ball when it is closest to the ground when in the middle of your arm swing. With repetition, all aspects should become more natural and smoother when transitioning from one step to the next in a bowling shot.

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  • Photo Credit The Bowling image by Nikolay Kapustin from Fotolia.com
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