In this article, we are going to discuss a vital part of improving your game: practice, practice, practice. Too many bowlers, the idea of practice could be a daunting or misunderstood task. We’re all guilty of throwing shot after shot for hours without a goal to accomplish or feeling like we don’t have enough time to work on our game.  Throughout this article, we’ll talk about what tools you can use to improve your physical game and how to best use your time when on a strict schedule. In addition, we’re going to lay out a detailed plan depending on how much time you have whether you have less than 20 minutes, between 20 minutes and an hour, or more than an hour.

The first and most important facet of practice is creating structure within your practice. Creating a plan will help you use your time wisely and get the most of your practice session. There will be two training details that will stay consistent with all three of the time options: drills and not keeping scores.

So, you have around 20 minutes for a practice session, and you’re looking to take full advantage of that time. Let’s start by splitting your 20 minutes into two ten-minute sections. The first ten-minute section will be dedicated to drills and pinpointing one aspect of your game you want to improve. For example, if you’re going to improve your balance at the line, do 10 minutes of one-step drills and focusing on a stable finish position. Once the first ten minutes have been completed, we now take what was focused on during the drills and incorporate that into a full approach to finish out the practice session.

Let’s now outline the structure for our 1-hour session. For this time frame, we will maintain the same focus for drills and further expand from there. This is the time you can better your game by working on something you consider a weakness. For example, if you struggle with creating an end-over-end ball roll, you can spend about 30-40 minutes of that practice session focusing on that improvement. The most prominent mistake bowlers can make when practicing is working on multiple changes at one time. When you take the time and dedicate your focus to one singular improvement, this will help you see a significant amount of progress in an hour-long session. If available, video recording your session is key. This way you can watch the progress and note improvements from start to finish.

Say you have 1-2 or more hours to practice. We’re going to start with utilizing the advantage of drills. No matter the amount of time you have, drills will always be a great way to start a practice session. This helps reinforce good mechanics and solid fundamentals. Once the drills have been completed, there are a few more elements that we can incorporate to get the most out of our practice. As you know there are many ways to manipulate a bowling ball, and within this allotted time, we can work on versatility. A few skills that can be developed are increasing and decreasing axis rotation, lofting the ball, increasing and reducing ball speed, manipulating rev rate, and increasing and decreasing axis tilt. If you can become comfortable with making these changes when the lane pattern is calling for it, you’ll have a better chance to maintain hitting the pocket as the lane continues to transition. We can now finish up this practice session with spare shooting. Working through a practice spare cycle is a great way to wrap up a practice session.

As we can see, practice is a crucial part of improving your game. These are just a few ideas that can help structure your practice and get the most out of your time. Practicing is not a one size fits all experience; you can get as creative as you like to better your game and enjoy your practice on the lanes.