A Great Way To Create Lifelong Friends

There aren’t many things that bond people together stronger than having a common interest. This holds true especially for bowling. Bowling has afforded me the opportunity to create great friends that will last a lifetime.

I have lived in four different states in my life. I turn 30 this year. It wasn’t until I moved away for college that I left New York for Florida. So, in the past 12 years, I have moved 4 times. Along the way, I have made some great friends. Many of them I have met through the bowling leagues that I have participated in as I trek across this great country of ours.

Bowling has been an influence in my life since I was about three years old. Most people can’t say the same. A lot of people pick it up later in life. All my friends in high school played baseball, basketball, or soccer. I was on the bowling team. Because of this, I tended to befriend the type of people that most people my age aren’t friends with, or would never be friends with.

This has been such a blessing, because these friendships have gotten me through some of the most difficult parts of my life. They have also been part of some of the best times in my life. I am very fortunate to say this.

Bowling has given me friendships that some may call uncommon. Every year, twice a year, I travel to Las Vegas with some of my friends that I met in a bowling league while I lived in Florida. There are normally a group of 5-10 of us. I’m the only one that is under 60 years old.

I just recently moved to Chicago. In my bowling league in Scottsdale, Arizona that I was a part of for the few years I lived out there, I had another group of guys that I became fast friends with. These guys were all retired. Not the typical group an almost 30 year old guy would hang around with, but they are a great bunch of guys who I shared a common bond with.

Even after moving to so many different places, the one thing that has been a constant in my life was bowling. I know that no matter where I move, I can go bowling and find a good group of people that I share a common interest with and can develop lifelong friendships.

Are Bowling Alleys Still Family Friendly?

Spending time together at the bowling alley as a family used to be a very common thing. This phenomenon may be slowly dying out for various reasons. The price of bowling has increased significantly just like everything else and there are certain times where you don’t want to take your small children to the bowling alley.

Twenty years ago, you could go bowling for under a dollar per game, shoe rental was reasonable, and you could get some goodies from the snack bar for a rather cheap price. Corporate America has entered the bowling industry as well folks, and it is killing one of the great family outings in America.

Today, if you try to take your family bowling on the weekend, you are going to pay $4 per game and shoes will cost you about the same. The price of food at the snack bar is outrageous as well. If you take a family of 4 out, you will be lucky to have each member of the family bowl 2 games and let the kids get a snack and spend under $50.

The above scenario is probably the least of your worries. I have been to my fair share of bowling alleys over the years, and many of these places do a terrible job of keeping the place clean. I understand that it may be difficult to keep the shoes totally germ free, as well as the bowling balls, but the general cleanliness of the facility is below par more times than not.

I mentioned at the beginning of this article that there are times that you may not want to bring your children to the bowling alley as well. Friday and Saturday nights are the nights you want to keep young children away. People love to drink alcohol and go bowling. Unfortunately, many of them drink too much and conduct themselves in a manner that you do not want to expose your family to.

My best advice for taking the family bowling is to do it on a weeknight or during a weekday. Just call ahead before you go to make sure that there is availability. These times tend to be the cheapest and you will be less likely to have to expose your children to drunk people. You may also find that during these times the center is a little bit cleaner because its earlier in the day and it will be clean from the night before, and they like to keep the place clean for league bowlers, which mostly bowl during the weeknights.

Bowling Tips for an Effective Spin

In order to be a good bowler it is very important to learn to spin the ball. When talking about 10-pin bowling, deliveries come in two categories. Straight shots are the fundamental shots in bowling and hook shots are a little more advanced. You need to master both to become a great bowler.

Obviously, if you’re trying to throw a straight shot then the bowling ball should follow a straight path to the bowling pins. In the other category is the hook shot, which curves as it gets closer to the pins. A hook shot looks like a straight shot at the beginning, but then it starts to curve before it reaches its target.

That sudden curve of the ball will cause it to spin on its axis. It will continue to do so until it comes in contact with the bowling pins. A spinning bowling ball will roll down the lane just like a ball that isn’t spinning. The change comes when it starts to make a slight tilt when it gets close to the end of the lane and then alters course. Before you can learn to hook your shots you must first learn how to spin the ball.

1. You have to have patience and skill to learn how to do a powerful spin. The correct kind of ball is also important. Generally, all bowling balls have the ability to spin on their axis when you release it. Keep in mind that if the reason you’re trying to hook the ball is because you’re trying to known down a few scattered pins you will need either a reactive resin or urethane bowling ball.

What is the reason for this? Bowling balls covered with a urethane or reactive resin cover stock are more capable of gripping the dry area of the bowling lane than plastic balls are. It is extremely difficult to throw hooks using plastic balls, but it is possible. It can be very frustrating, especially for an accomplished bowler.

2. It is important to learn how to release the bowling ball while you are still in motion toward the foul line. Some bowlers will stop for a fraction of a second before their release. There really isn’t anything wrong with this approach, but it is much easier to spin the ball if you are still in a forward motion. That little bit of extra momentum will help your bowling ball to spin on its axis.

3. Make sure to grip your bowling ball in such a way that you can release it easily. You should also make sure to develop a delivery that keeps your arm straight during both the forward and backswings. You don’t want to “muscle” the ball too much during the release or the downswing.

Your body’s momentum as you move forward is the best kind. According to the laws of physics, as long as you are still in motion, that same motion will be transferred to your bowling ball.

4. To make the perfect hook shot just pivot your hand or your wrist just before the final release of your bowling ball. Pretend like you’re turning a key to the three o’clock position. Release the ball just as you rotate your hand and there you have it. The perfect hook shot!

Power Up Your Bowling – Understand Your Brain

Today we are going to talk about your brain. A lot of people simply do not understand their brain fully and manipulate their brain to their advantage. People generally only understood that their brain weighs approximately 31 lbs, it is divided into two halfs, a right and a left, each half of the brain has different functions.

That’s all they know about their brain.

Do you know?
– Your mind reflects the physical brain and operates out of these two hemispheres.
– Your brain has four waves, Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta, and everything we do falls into one of these categories. We shifts from one state to another throughout our day.
– Flow Zone of Optimal Performance only exist when two halfs of our brain are balance, no distraction, no analysing and no anxiety.

Your Brain Mechanism

Your brain works on goal setting mechanism and you can think of it as a connection machine, it hardwires everything. The solid the concept is hardwired in your brain, the better you master the concept. Same thing as bowling, the better your brain hardwired your bowling skill with your mental strength, the easier you enter Flow Zone of Optimal Performance.

The brain sets goals, this is your right brain creativity function, it then breaks down the steps to achieve the goal, this is your left brain analytical and logical functions. Bowlers universally have the same goals, it is to bowl perfect game and to win as many tournaments as possible. The brain capture the goal then goes about working out how to achieve them.

The best bowler in the world might not necessarily the most physical talented, they do know how to manipulate their brain better though.

Left and Right Brain Dorminant Bowler

Let’s discuss how both right brain dominant or left brain dominant bowlers hinders their performance.

Many bowlers I have seen have right brain dominant, their motor skills for performance are there, they find it easy to get into their game, they don’t think too much. Their battle starts when they start to lose their sense of where they are in their innings and forget what they are working towards. The bowler bowls a ball that lets the pressure off and have not work out how to structure an over or a spell.They are habitual under achievers, they get good starts and yet cannot manage their innings or their spells..

Conversely, the left brain dominant bowlers tend to think too much of their game, and eventually paralyse themselves through over analysing what they need to achieve. Their performance gets hinder through analytical self-talk, anxiety and disrupted focus. These bowlers tend to battle to quiet their minds to bring their minds to focus. They just find it difficult to forget about their past and switch their focus.

Brain Synchrony

The world class bowlers have learnt how to balance the right and left brain and manipulate it to their advantage. They learnt how to select their goals, break them into small sequential chunks and then keep the mind quiet so they can bowl in the Flow Zone of Optimal Performance.

The Challenge is managing their mental state so they can manage their game.

The key take out for bowler is you have to learn how to manipulate your brain naturally and effortlessly maintain an optimal state of mind-body balance.

When your right and left brains are working together in synchrony, you are able to think clearly and calmly, make good decisions and set and complete your goals.

The brain synchrony is all bowlers’ goal to Flow Zone of Optimal Performance.

Bowling Deals

Let’s talk for a minute about something that everybody enjoys, saving money. I’m sure you will agree with me that everything seems to be getting more expensive. When enjoying a quality night out, you can make bowling a pretty cheap option, whether its a first date, family outing, birthday party, etc. However, it can also be quite costly if not done correctly.

Here are a few things to look out for when trying to determine a good time to hit the lanes. The evenings are always going to be more expensive than the daytime, and the weekends and holidays will always be more expensive than the weekdays.

Depending on how many games you want to bowl or how many are in your group, renting a lane by the hour might be a good option. Some bowling centers also have blocks of time set up where you can bowl as much as you want for a set price.

You might think I’m crazy, but if you bowl with any sort of regularity, go to one of the big box store or a sporting goods store and buy bowling shoes! Think about it, every time you go bowling, you have to rent shoes and that costs around $3-4 per visit. I have been in the big box stores or the larger sporting goods stores and seen bowling shoes on sale for $20. You can also find great deals on bowling shoes all over the internet. Plus, you don’t have to wear rental shoes that have been worn by many other people.

Companies like Groupon and LivingSocial have allowed bargain hunters to feel good about their purchases. This is no different when it comes to finding great deals on bowling. I live in Chicago and I recent found a deal for an hour of bowling and shoe rental for $15. Lane rental during peak times at the bowling alley can be upwards of $30 just for the lane, then you add another $6-8 for shoe rental, so this is a significant savings.

Joining a bowling league has proven to be a good way to save some money as well. Often times, bowling centers will have special rates for their league bowlers. I have also bowled in a couple places where they may have free open bowling for all league bowlers during their slower times during the week.

For the kingpins out there, part of your membership in the Professional Bowlers Association will allow you discounted rates at PBA practice centers.

With the rising cost of everything these days, I hope you will find these tips helpful when hitting the lanes.

3 Bowling Tips for Beginners – Let the Fun Begin!

Have you been a casual, occasional, or recreational bowler for some time now?

Maybe you finally decided to take the plunge and join your first league.

Perhaps you crumbled under the peer pressure from your office mates and joined the company bowling team?

Whatever the case may be, there is help out there for you–and it starts right here!

I have been an avid bowler for over thirty years; and offering bowling tips for beginners gives me the greatest coaching satisfaction. Whether the beginner is a small child who is taking to the lanes for the very first time, or an adult who bowled once or twice a year for 20 years and wants to improve, folks who really want to learn can improve right before your eyes, especially those at the beginner level. I have a few simple tips which may drastically change their game.

I remember when I was at that stage of the game, many moons ago… I was a pretty athletic kid and got discouraged quickly if I couldn’t catch on to a sport fast. If I didn’t feel as though I was getting better quickly, I was inclined to pack it up and move on to the next thing.

Luckily for me, when I joined my first bowling league at age 13 there was plenty of help available. Every Saturday morning my friends and I would carpool to the bowling all with one of our parents (THANKS PARENTS). The league for 13-18 year olds started at 8:30 am. Kinda painful to us after going to school all week, but we really had a good time.

Once we settled in on our pair of lanes and started bowling, the coaches would start making their way up and down the bowling center, helping everyone that seemed to need it along the way.

I remember one particular coach, not by name but because he was the oldest, and was a retired police officer. He didn’t have any children of his own in that league but he bowled in the Seniors league after us and would get up early to help all of us. What a great guy, and excellent coach! The tips that I am going to share with you are the first ones that I remember him giving me. He saw one Saturday morning how frustrated I was getting, pulled me aside and broke down these three basic bowling principles.

1. Use the correct weight ball for your size.

Choose the heaviest ball you can throw without compromising your ability to have a full, relaxed arm swing, good speed, and not cause you to lose balance or drop the ball early. A good rule of thumb to follow is to roll 1 pound of ball per 10 pounds of body weight, then add or subtract 1 pound. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds start with a 12 pound ball. It may seem to heavy at first, but as long as you have a full, relaxed arm swing, good speed, and it doesn’t cause you to lose balance or drop the ball early stick with it. If not, go up or down in weight accordingly.

2. Use the lane to help you aim.

When you stand on the approach ready to begin your shot, as you look at the lane you will notice a variety of markings. About 15 feet down the lane there are a series of arrows that point toward the pins. Most bowlers look at these arrows rather than the pins when aiming. Why? Simply stated, it is easier to hit a target that is closer to you. So, begin bowling and watch your ball roll over the arrows, ensuring you are standing in the same position to start each time–use the dots on the front of the lane to position your feet. Make a mental note of where the ball crossed the arrows when you hit the head pin. This will be your “mark”. Beginners should practice this method with the first ball of each frame first, it gets a bit more technical when trying to get spares.

3. Don’t worry about strikes.

No one gets a strike every time. If you put that kind of pressure on yourself you won’t have any fun. I always thought that was the idea behind playing games-have some fun! Focusing on technique will help you to improve. Once you develop the mark mentioned in tip #2, make sure that you actually watch your ball roll over it every time. If you hit it and the result is consistently different, consider developing another mark. Strikes will come, work on your technique and get those spares; you’ll find that a few strikes will sneak in there after a while.

Have a great time out on the lanes!!!

Spares – How Do I Line Up for Spares?

So you’ve been bowling quite a few times now and feel pretty comfortable with your approach, release of the ball and trying for strikes. You are usually able to keep the first ball somewhere around the middle of the lane and hit the headpin most of the time. That’s great! I hope that some of my tips have helped to get you there. Believe it or not, that was the easy part–now it’s time for the real challenge within the sport of bowling, picking up your spares.

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

It seem logical that the fewer pins standing, the easier it should be to knock them down. Well, I’m here to tell ya, that just ain’t so! Even if you don’t count splits, consistently picking up your spares can be the hardest part of the game for many bowlers. The thing is, the fewer the pins, the smaller the target–therefore, less room for error. Think back to some of the strikes that you’ve had and how the pins were flying all over the place. You may not have hit the pocket (between the 1 and 3 pins for righties) or even the head pin, but somehow all of that pin action resulted in a strike. Spares are a different animal though. Fewer pins and less pin action requires greater accuracy. Don’t worry, it’s not impossible–here’s a technique that can greatly improve your spare shooting, which in turn will increase your scores (that sounds good to everyone).

3-6-9

What?! 3-6-9? I know, sounds like a counting drill or something. Actually, this is probably the quickest and easiest way to increase your consistency on spares. The 3-6-9 refers to the floor boards on the lane. You will be moving your feet that amount of floor boards to either the left or right in order to attempt a given spare. This method only works once you have a spot on the approach that you place your feet on for your first (strike) ball, as well as a spot on the lane (most bowler us the arrows) that you aim for on that shot. The amount of boards that you will move to the left or the right will be based off of your strike ball spot on the approach. I will explain this from the right hand bowlers’ perspective, so if you are a lefty use the same principle just invert the direction of the move.

Why Do I Have to Move?

The seven front pins that you see when you have a full rack are what you will use to determine your move, starting from your strike ball position on the approach. You will move you spot on the approach the opposite direction of the side of the headpin that your remaining pins are on. For each pin left of the headpin, you will move your feet three boards right while aiming at the same arrow. Conversely, for each pin right of the headpin, you will move left three boards. Since there are three pins to either side of the headpin, you will move 3, 6, or 9 board. So, if you leave either the 3, 6, or 10 pin, since they are to the right of the headpin, you will move your feet on the approach to the left 3, 6, or 9 boards to the left, respectively. At first this sounds and feels like it’s exactly the opposite of what you should do, but trust me it works.

So on the flip side, if you leave the two pin, because it’s the first pin left of the head pin, move your feet three floor boards to the right of your strike ball spot, while aiming at the same arrow. This will feel awkward at first but you will get used to it. Once you’ve move for your spare there are key elements to your success:

  1. Walk to the foul line at your usual speed and STRAIGHT!
  2. Aim for your usual mark (arrow) and watch the ball go over it.
  3. Roll the ball at the same speed as for your first shot–don’t slow it down.

Many bowlers trying this for the first time have a tendency to walk crooked without realizing it; trying to walk toward their arrow. In order for the 3-6-9 method to work for you, you must walk in a straight line. To see if you are walking straight, pay attention to where you placed your feet to start you spare approach. Most bowlers use the dots on the approach to get themselves lined up. Well, the same dots are right at the foul line. After you let go of the ball look down at the dots and see if your slide foot is on or near the same dot (board) that you started on. If so, great! If not, keep working on it, you will get it eventually.

Got to Pay Attention to Yourself

Watch the ball roll over your usual arrow. If you don’t, there is no way to tell if you are doing this right. Accuracy is key, but slowing the ball down is not necessary. If you can usually hit your mark for your strike ball, you will be able to do this with a little practice, but slowing the ball down changes everything about your approach and release which effects your accuracy. Don’t do it. Maintain the same speed as your first ball; that’s the approach and release that feels most comfortable so stick with it–your just standing in a different spot–everything else should be the same.

What if There’s More Than One

This tip concentrates on the single pin spares, just to get accustomed to the new feel on the lane. For multi-pin, non-split spares, start with aiming for the pin closest to you. Once you get used to shooting at individual pins using the 3-6-9 method you will understand how to make small adjustments to get more that one pin.

This Can Work for Everyone

This can work with both a straight shot and the more advanced hook or curve shot. Those rolling a hook may need to adjust slightly depending on the amount of hook you get. That’s it! Not too tough, just takes practice. As I said, it feels awkward at first, like you are trying to do the opposite of what your mind believes to be right. Keep working on it you will get it–and in turn your scores will go up!Have fun on the lanes.

Cheers

Create Great Experiences by Choosing the Best Bowling Balls

Many people love bowling, but have you ever wondered how you can actually be good at the game? It all depends on the bowling balls. It is obvious that a bowling ball is the bowler’s best friend and as such, should be selected carefully so as to ensure that it serves its purpose and serves it well. The bowling ball is responsible for knocking down the pins within a bowling arena, making it an essential part of the game. You cannot enjoy the game without a ball.

It is important to appreciate the fact that there are different kinds of balls even in a bowling alley. These balls are not the same. However, most people do not know this fact and most do not really grasp just how important choosing that perfect ball is. If you do not make a wise selection, then you will have a poor game.

There are lots of things that determine the outcome of a bowling game and they include skills, expertise, and practice. All this has got fundamental roles in the game, but you should be able to have a ball that will elevate you to the level that follows. If the ball doesn’t match with what you can do, then you will definitely lose.

For the beginners, the normal bowling ball can be used as it can give you the much-needed practice. There are people who still use the house ball in different competitions and in many other games as they feel that it may actually help them with issues of grip. These are a good choice before one decides to get one that is personalized to their needs. If you want to be a member of a club or if you have the desire to enjoy bowling from time to time, you need a ball that matches the style that you love. This helps you to be consistent as you will be able to maintain the ball that you feel comfortable with throughout the game.

Some factors to consider

There are three very important factors that everyone should have in mind when they are selecting that perfect bowling ball. They are:

• The price and the weight of the ball

• The coverstock

• The hook potential

Most adults are comfortable with the 15lbs ball. Most women, senior bowlers, and juniors prefer the 14lbs. For those that struggle with high weights of the bowling ball, then 12lbs is a good choice. Having a ball that actually fits can offer surprising results.

Usually, manufacturers offer versatility and performance in different price ranges. You can get an entry level ball for beginners or even the best performance ball that offers a great ball reaction.

You should also be able to match any new ball you have to the conditions of the lane and therefore you should find a coverstock for the dry, the medium dry, and even the oily lane kind of conditions. Different coverstock comes with different features so choose carefully.