Key Techniques To Master The Bowling Approach

Many of us enjoy bowling, it’s a great social activity and I’m sure many of us have passed an enjoyable evening playing with friends or family.

Key Techniques To Master The Bowling Approach

For others, bowling is a hobby that you may take a little more seriously. If you’re hoping to improve your bowling score there are a number of different bowling techniques you can adopt to do this. 

A bowling approach refers to the steps you took toward the foul line (the line you shouldn’t cross) and the swing of your arm which prepares your bowl.

It is thought that the approach and the swing are the single most important factors in improving your skills and bowling average. 

Which Approach Should I Take?

There are a variety of approaches to take, however, we will focus on the two most common ones: the 4-step and 5-step bowling approaches.

It’s as simple as it sounds, you need to work out how many steps you are going to take in your approach before you release the ball down the lane. Both are used by successful bowlers. 

The 4-Step Approach

When using this approach, you start your first step towards the foul line with the SAME foot as your bowling hand. Therefore, if you’re bowling with your left hand, move your left foot first and vice versa.

This means you’ll end up finishing at the foul line with the opposite side to which you started.

Swing In Pendulum Motion

Whilst taking these steps you will be swinging the bowling ball in a pendulum motion before releasing it at the end. Let’s look at the steps in detail:

Step 1: The Pushaway 

This is your first step. Make sure you and your body are facing towards the lane, extending your bowling arm towards it. Your arm should now be straight, make sure not to lean towards either side as this can really impact your bowl. 

Step 2: Downswing

This is when you bring your bowling ball back down towards your feet to prepare for the backswing. As you take your second step toward the foul line, the ball should be at your leg. 

Step 3: Backswing 

As you take your third step, you need to focus on bringing the ball back up again reaching its highest point behind your back. Remember to keep your arm straight! 

Step 4: Slide And Release

This is the last step in the 4-step approach. After you’ve swung the ball behind you with your backswing, it now needs to come forwards. Remember that this time you’ll actually be letting it go.

When your foot lands on the ground for your final step, the ball should travel past your leg and out in front of you again, pointing it at the lane.

Your foot should slide along the approach area towards the foul line as you start to release your thumb out of the thumb hole in your ball, where you finally release the ball down the lane. 

The 5-Step Approach 

The 5-step approach follows the same basic technique as the former, however with an added step at the start. 

Step 1: Trigger Step 

This technique begins with a short and slow step acting as a ‘trigger’ to move you into the subsequent steps mentioned above. With the previous approach, you begin the swinging motion with your first step. 

However, here you start moving your ball into a swing simultaneously as you take your first step. 

Step 2: Pushaway 

As you’re taking your second step, your ball is already started the swinging motion. 

Step 3: Backswing 

Prepare for the downswing by bringing the bowling ball back down from out in front of you to prepare you for the backswing. 

Step 4: Downswing

As before, when you start to take your 4th step the ball should be reaching its highest point behind your back in order to give the ball the most optimal swing. 

Step 5: Slide And Release

As the new final step, your ball now comes forward and your foot slides along the approach area surface towards the foul line, releasing the bowling ball

What Is The Difference Between Them?

The main difference between these two approaches is the obvious extra step. Some find that the 5-step technique allows them to move easily with the ball on the first step.

Key Techniques To Master The Bowling Approach (1)

As with any sporting technique, it’s very dependent on the person. The best thing to do is to try both techniques out a few times before playing a competitive game to see which works best for you. 

With both techniques, you must make sure that the swing of your bowling ball follows your walking path. This is especially important in order to keep good consistency in a game of bowling. 

We hope these easy-to-follow steps will help you!

Drew Kaufner