30 Days To Becoming A Better Bowler – John Gaines Coaching Corner

I know, it sounds like one of those crazy infomercials that come on at 3AM doesn’t it. But truth be told if you dedicate just 30 days to practicing, you can become a much better and more consistent bowler which will raise your average. It will only take twice a week for 30 days. Eight practice sessions. And those practice sessions do not have to be more than 30 minutes each if broken down to a focused 30 minutes.

Week 1: Physical Game- When practicing the physical game, I am not concerned about the score at all. I see way too many bowlers worrying about the results rather than the process. If the process is correct, the results will happen. I mostly work on tempo and timing when working on my physical game.

Week 2: Lane Play- Another key to becoming a better bowler is learning to play different parts of the lane. I will take two different balls and start around the first (5 board) arrow. When I throw three strikes with each ball from the first arrow, I will then move to the second (10 board) arrow and do the same thing. Then again moving to third (15 board) arrow and again trying to throw three strikes with each of the balls

Week 3: Spares- This one is one of the easier practice weeks because I only bring in one ball which is my plastic balls for spares. My “spare” day of practice might be the most valuable time spent on the lanes. It takes a lot of pressure of the first ball knowing that if I do leave a ten pin, I have confidence I’m going to make the spare. Now I know I don’t have to throw a triple because I missed a spare. And there are days where the scoring pace is low and spares are at a premium. Walter Ray Williams Jr is prime example of this. He doesn’t have to throw a 6 bagger every game to keep up with the big strike balls because he hardly ever misses a spare. To keep things interesting I try to pick off just the 7 pin and 10 pin off a full rack. When I can do this five times in a row, my spare game is in good shape. And if you’re lucky enough to have machines and scorers that can set up certain spare combinations, use it!

Week 4: Mental Game- Mental game can be practiced anywhere. It just takes a quiet place and some mental imagery. Put yourself in your favorite place. Someplace where there is peace and happiness. Remember what that feels like so that if you are struggling during a particular night of bowling or at a tournament, bring yourself to that place. It will have a nice calming effect and allow you to clear your head and focus on your process for the next shot. For me, when I’m getting ready for a big tournament, I try to remember past successes and what my mindset was and what it felt like at that time. I also remind myself that if I’ve done it before, I can easily do it again.

So now you have a 30 day eight session plan. There is no shortcut in sports. It’s about muscle memory and repetition. It takes some work and dedication. Stick with it for the 30 days and I bet you become a better bowler.

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