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5 Common Mistakes New Bowlers Make & How to Avoid Them

5 Common Mistakes New Bowlers Make And How To Avoid Them - Bowlingview

Bowling, although often viewed as a casual pastime or a fun social activity, is a sport that requires a blend of finesse, precision, and strategy. The path to becoming a proficient bowler is not a straight path but one filled with unique challenges and numerous common mistakes that can limit progress.

This article will delve into understanding these obstacles, highlighting how they can be mitigated through strategic planning, consistent practice, and an unyielding spirit of perseverance.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to improve your game or an experienced player striving for mastery, this comprehensive guide aims to provide valuable insights to enhance your bowling journey.

Mistake 1: Incorrect Bowling Grip and Release

Mistake 1, Incorrect Bowling Grip and Release, is remarkably common among beginners and detrimental to overall performance.

This mistake involves improperly placing the fingers or releasing the bowling ball, which can significantly affect the ball’s trajectory and speed, and, ultimately, your game score.

Explanation of the mistake

The first common mistake that many new bowlers make is the incorrect grip and release of the bowling ball. This is often due to either an inadequate understanding of the right technique or discomfort due to the weight of the ball.

An improper grip can lead to inconsistent shots and even potential wrist injuries. When the ball is not released correctly, it can result in a lack of control and accuracy, affecting the trajectory of the ball and overall scoring opportunities.

Tips on the correct way to grip and release the bowling ball

To grip the bowling ball correctly, first, locate the three holes. Place your thumb in the largest hole, while the middle and ring fingers should rest in the two smaller holes. Your fingers should be inserted until the second joint, which provides a secure grip.

This is known as the conventional grip. An alternative method, the fingertip grip, requires only the tips of the middle and ring fingers to be inserted in the holes, providing enhanced ball control and spin.

As for the release, the ball should be swung back and then forward in a smooth, pendulum-like motion.

At the bottom of this swing, your thumb should release the ball first, followed by your fingers, imparting the necessary spin on the ball. Remember, the release should be smooth, not forced. Practice these techniques to improve your game and avoid common newbie mistakes.

Mistake 2: Bowling Without Proper Aim

The second common mistake bowlers often commit is bowling without proper aim, a misstep that can significantly impact their scores and overall performance.

Explanation of the mistake

The mistake of bowling without proper aim is a common one among beginners. This error stems from the misunderstanding that bowling is simply about power and rolling the ball down the lane.

However, bowling is a precision sport, and correct aiming is integral to scoring well. The mistake usually manifests as the player focusing solely on the pins at the end of the lane, neglecting to use the lane markers that provide critical guidance for aim.

This can lead to inconsistent throws and lower scores as the ball may not follow the intended path toward the pins.

How to improve aiming techniques

Improving your aiming techniques in bowling begins with a keen understanding of the lane. Each bowling lane is marked with a series of arrows and dots that can guide your throw.

Start by aligning yourself to these markers, setting your feet’ position according to the intended path of the ball. Utilize the arrows as your target rather than the pins, aiming for the arrow that aligns with the pocket (the space between the 1 and 3 pins for right-handers, 1 and 2 for left-handers).

In the beginning, you may want to try different approaches to see which gives you the most consistent results. Continual practice and adjustments will help fine-tune your aim, leading to improved accuracy and higher scores.

Mistake 3: Neglecting Bowling Etiquette

A third common mistake many bowling enthusiasts commit is neglecting bowling etiquette, an aspect that extends beyond mere gameplay and touches upon the respect and consideration we show to our co-players.

Explanation of the mistake

The third common mistake that bowlers often commit is neglecting bowling etiquette. This mistake isn’t about the technique of the game but about the unsaid rules that maintain harmony and respect among players.

Examples of these etiquettes include not stepping into other players’ lanes, waiting for your turn, and refraining from distracting other players.

Neglecting these etiquettes can not only disrupt the game but also lead to conflicts and misunderstandings among players. Understanding and following bowling etiquette is crucial to maintaining a respectful and friendly atmosphere during the game.

Important bowling etiquette to remember

Mastering bowling etiquette is essential for a harmonious playing experience. Firstly, it is crucial to remain in your designated lane and not cross over into others’ space; this respects their focus and concentration.

Secondly, always wait your turn. The bowler to the right has the right of way if both reach the approach at the same time.

Additionally, refrain from using mobile devices or generating excessive noise while others are preparing to bowl.

.It’s also good practice to keep your area clean and clear of food, drinks, and personal belongings. Finally, never comment on another player’s game unless they specifically ask for advice. These etiquettes ensure a respectful and enjoyable environment for all participants.

Mistake 4: Wearing Inappropriate Bowling Shoes

A fourth common error that bowlers frequently commit is wearing inappropriate footwear, specifically shoes that aren’t designed for bowling.

Explanation of the mistake

Wearing inappropriate shoes in bowling is a common mistake that can significantly impact your game. Bowling shoes are designed with a specific purpose: to provide the right amount of slide on the approach. Regular shoes or incorrect bowling shoes can either slide too much or too little, which not only affects your delivery but can also lead to injuries.

Furthermore, wearing street shoes on the lanes can damage them, as they may carry dirt, grime, or moisture – substances that can interfere with the sport’s playing conditions. Hence, having the right pair of bowling shoes is critical for both performance and safety.

Importance of proper footwear in bowling

Proper footwear in bowling is pivotal to a player’s performance and safety. Exclusively designed bowling shoes contribute to a smooth and controlled slide while approaching the foul line, which is indispensable for accurate and consistent deliveries.

Good bowling shoes offer the perfect balance of traction and slide, enabling bowlers to maintain their footing and prevent unexpected slips or falls. Furthermore, they provide stability during the final phases of the approach and release, allowing for improved precision.

It is, therefore, crucial to invest in the right pair of bowling shoes to enhance your game, ensure personal safety, and respect the maintenance of the lanes.

Mistake 5: Not Practicing Consistently

Mistake 5: Not Practicing Consistently – A common pitfall seen in bowling players is the lack of consistent practice, which can significantly affect their performance and game progression.

Explanation of the mistake

Failing to practice consistently is a common mistake that can hamper the progress of a bowling player. Bowling, like any other sport, demands regular practice to master skills and improve performance.

Inconsistency in practice can lead to erratic game play, as the player may struggle with maintaining a steady rhythm, achieving precise footwork, and effectively controlling the ball.

This inconsistency can also result in the player having difficulty adjusting to different lane conditions and managing their bowling approach effectively. Thus, regular, consistent practice is the key to enhancing performance and precision in bowling.

Importance of regular practice

Regular practice in bowling is essential for honing one’s skills, improving precision, and achieving consistency in performance.

It enables players to get accustomed to their own unique bowling style and technique, making it second nature over time. With continuous practice, bowlers can also effectively assess and adapt to varying lane conditions, which is crucial for success in this sport.

Regular practice not only helps in refining the physical aspects of the game, such as stance, approach, release, and follow-through, but it also aids in developing mental toughness, strategic decision-making, and concentration skills.

Thus, consistent practice is an indispensable element that plays a pivotal role in a bowler’s journey towards improvement and mastery.


In summation, bowling is a sport of precision and strategy, where continuous practice and understanding of the playing conditions play a crucial role. The journey towards mastery is paved with patience, perseverance, and strategic planning.

Identifying and mitigating common mistakes, coupled with consistent practice, can lead to significant improvements in the sport.

Remember, the path to prowess in bowling doesn’t happen overnight but is a cumulative result of regular and dedicated practice. Keep bowling and enjoy the rewarding journey towards improvement and mastery!


The following are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about bowling, designed to provide valuable insights and practical tips to improve your game and avoid common mistakes.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to refine your skills, these answers cater to bowlers of all levels of expertise.

The 5 most common bowling mistakes beginners often make are holding the bowling ball incorrectly, improper approach and delivery, rushing the delivery, incorrect arm swing and push-away, and failing to make adjustments based on bowling conditions or results.

The way a bowler holds a bowling ball can greatly impact their game. An improper hold can cause incorrect delivery, reducing accuracy and control over the ball speed.

Visiting your local pro shop to find a new bowling ball that suits your hand well is a great way to fix this issue.

Many bowlers, especially beginners, make the mistake of not having a consistent approach and delivery.

They often start their approach too fast and rush the delivery instead of keeping it a slow and deliberate process. This can result in a lack of control and consistency.

Rushing the delivery, or being in a hurry to throw the ball, usually results in loss of ball control and reduced accuracy.

It can also affect the ball’s speed and the bowler’s arm swing. A steady, focused delivery is key to bowling a successful strike.

An improper arm swing, one that’s not straight back and forth, can cause various issues in a bowler’s game.

It could lead to a lack of control over the ball’s direction and speed, and it can cause the bowler to inadvertently loft the ball or drop the bowling ball early.

Many bowlers tend to stick with their initial game plan, failing to make adjustments based on the results of their throws or the condition of the lanes. This stubbornness can lead to repeatedly making the same mistakes without fixing them.

It’s important for bowlers to be adaptive and make necessary adjustments to their game, particularly in league scenarios.

The proper approach and delivery in bowling include a steady beginning with a slow, deliberate start to your walk-up.

The foot starts to slide when the ball is in the backswing, and the ball should be released when the arm is at elbow height. This ensures the control and accuracy needed for a successful delivery.

A: As a beginner, you may find an accessory like wrist support helpful in maintaining a proper arm swing. Other useful items might include shoe covers for protecting your bowling shoes when not on the lanes, a microfiber towel for cleaning your ball, and grip sacks for maintaining a secure hold on the ball.

One tip to help make adjustments to your hook delivery is by practice. Spend time practicing changing your loft and delivery angles at your local bowling center. Watch how the ball reacts and adjusts based on your moves. And remember, consistency is also key!

One of the best tips to avoid rushing your delivery is to maintain a steady rhythm. Remember that it’s not about how quickly you can throw the ball but about a precise and well-timed release. Slow down, steady your breath, and focus on your approach and delivery.