Sunday, September 16, 2007

OK - so how do I know where to aim?

One of the first things you want to establish is a "home" position on the approach. From here you'll make any alterations for attacking spares, or adjusting to changing lane conditions.

Going back to the diagram of the lane markings:

you'll recall that the lanes are 39 inches wide, and each board is about one inch wide, so there are 39 boards across with #20 being the center board (#1 is on the right for right handed bowlers, and on the left for lefties).

The basic rule-of-thumb for beginner bowlers is to set up around board 15-17, trying to put your ball such that it rolls over the third (from the gutter, in) arrow. So, how do you "set up"?

For a four-step approach, if you're right-handed you put your NON-BALL foot "on" board 15 (it will have a dot) such that the inside edge (facing your other leg) is also along the crack between board 15 and 16. Your BALL foot should be 2 inches apart (two boards!) and half-way "back". In a five-step approach, swap the roles of the ball and non-ball foot. (In case it wasn't clear, by "BALL" foot, I mean the foot on the side of your body that's has the ball: right foot for righties, left foot for lefties. I try to use ball and non-ball so as to avoid having to give separate references for each handedness).

Here, the set up for a left-hander is with white feet, for a right-hander, grey.

Next, as you complete your delivery, follow through with your ball arm such that the ball "goes over" the third arrow. If things are aligned for your stance (and ignoring horrible lane conditions) you should hit close to if not in the pocket.

Some things might require additional alterations. First, if you have a small or large frame then board 15 might not be the best fit. Move inward if you have a larger frame (if the ball is crossing the head pin too much, i.e., "going Brooklyn"), or out if you have a smaller frame or the ball isn't reaching the pocket. You might also be drifting (I'll tackle that in another post).

With some experimentation you should find things centering around one particular board, and can use that as your "home" position for pocket-target shots. From this, every single adjustment can be made - for spares, splits, and to handle changing lane conditions. Try it out!

No comments: