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Tips & Techniques
So, Where Do You Start?
When you step up to bowl, your pre-shot routine should start with the alignment of your feet on the approach. This is important for two reasons:
  1. You can make adjustments at this point to be sure your ball gets to the strike pocket.
  2. When you successfully hit your target and get a strike, you will know where to stand to do it again!
There are three aspects to review when discussing the position of our feet when we first step on the approach: left-right position, front-back position and the relationship of the feet to each other.
First, the left-right position.Which foot should we use? I highly recommend the foot opposite the ball-side (left foot for right-handed bowlers and right foot for left-handed bowlers). Why? I'm glad you asked...there are two points on the approach that are important to ensure a consistent direction to your delivery. Where you start on the approach and where you finish. If you check your side-to-side position in your stance then find yourself left or right of that point at the finish, you have 'drifted' away from your starting position. Drifting a few boards is acceptable if it is consistent with every delivery and the only way to measure this drift is to check your start and finish position using the same foot for both.
The front-back position is simple. You want to finish as close to the foul line as you can comfortably. Finish too close and you risk committing a foul. Finish too far back and your ball spends an unnecessary amount of time getting to the pins. The more time the ball spends on the lane, the less energy remains to take out that pesky 10 pin (7 pin for you lefties).
Lastly, the relationship of the feet to each other. I recommend the ball-side foot be placed back about half the length of the opposite foot with about a 3" seperation between the feet. Why? The ball-side foot drops back and carries the hips and the shoulder with it. This 'open' position allows the ball to swing easily past your side and also permits a higher backswing. A higher backswing? How? Another good question...try this...stand upright with your arms down to your sides. With your shoulders square, slowly swing your arms back as far as you can. You will find that you are limited on how far your arms will go. Now rotate one shoulder  (preferably the ball-side) back about 30 degrees. You can now make a complete circle with your arm. When bowling, this allows for a free and easy backswing.