For a bowler, there’s nothing more thrilling than sending a perfect hook down the lane and watching all ten pins fall down for a strike.
It’s even more exciting and rewarding to string together multiple strikes in a row and ultimately achieve one of your best ever games or series.
But on the flip side, it can be demoralizing to miss your target, misread lane conditions, or make other common bowling mistakes that lead to open frames and ultimately poor scores.
If you’re like most bowlers and vary back and forth between the good and bad moments, you may be looking for how to become more consistent in your bowling.
This is a broad question and the answer may be different for different bowlers. However, there are some general principles that will help just about anyone, as well as some factors that you likely haven’t considered. Read on to find out more.
How to Be a More Consistent Bowler
First, there are some technical tips that will help you maintain a consistent shot.
Some points to remember which often lead to inconsistency include avoiding drifting on the approach, staying balanced, and keeping your hand placement consistent as you follow through.
But it isn’t all about repeating the same motion over and over again. Bowlers vary considerably in their stroke, but all have the capability of being a consistent bowler. So what else is there in the equation?
Reading the Lanes for Consistency
A crucial part of consistency is your ability to read lane conditions and adjust accordingly.
When you take your first practice shots, always keep the same starting position so you can more accurately read and diagnose the lane.
You want to learn how to make small adjustments at first, such as starting with a board to the left if you’re coming in high. In other situations, you may want to move a couple of inches back.
Another thing to keep in mind for adjustments is your ball speed. Make sure you aren’t inadvertently throwing harder or softer than normal, especially if you are in situation where nerves are a factor.
And now that we’ve mentioned nerves, that gets to our next major point.
Consistency: It’s All in Your Head
Well, maybe not all of it is in your head, as we’ve already seen. But for any bowler striving to become more consistent, the mental game is an unavoidable part of the puzzle.
There are particular habits you can develop that will help you maintain consistency, including visualizing a good performance, and maintaining a positive attitude and perception of yourself as a bowler.
You may be hesitant to believe in the power of this type of thinking or think it feels a little too “new-age-y” but countless bowlers will attest to its value.
Remember to reset after each shot and think consider every one in isolation; don’t let successes or failures cloud your thinking.
Another great way to master the mental game is to build a routine of a consistent pre-shot routine. This helps you stay positive and grounded in the moment and less susceptible to manipulation by emotions which can wreak havoc on your results.
If you encounter challenges or risk becoming overconfident due to a run of good shots, coming back to the same pre-shot routine each and every time helps reset and center your thinking, as well as the likelihood that you’ll perform well on the next shot.
Read more about these techniques in our bowling mental game ebook
Improve your Spare Shooting
In an ideal world, being consistent with your stroke would result in a strike every time. In reality, this will not happen, due to a combination of bad luck, difficult conditions, and small mistakes no matter how locked in we are.
So another great way to maintain your consistency in terms of consistent high scores and fewer duds is to make your spare shooting a priority. This may be the more boring side to bowling, but for the sake of improving consistency it is well worth your time.
Read our other article for our favorite tips to help improve spare shooting.
We hope that this article has given you a few things to think about for how to increase your bowling consistency. What do you think will be the most helpful? Do you have any other tips to add?