whats the approach in bowling
whats the approach in bowling

Bowling is a classic game enjoyed by people from all walks of life, but have you ever wondered what goes into the perfect approach? In this article, we will take a closer look at the art of approaching the bowling lane and explore the techniques that can help improve your game. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to up your bowling skills, understanding the approach is crucial for achieving that strike. So, grab your bowling shoes and get ready to master the approach in this exciting sport!

Understanding the Bowling Approach

In the sport of bowling, the approach plays a vital role in achieving success on the lanes. It is the series of steps a bowler takes before releasing the ball towards the pins. The approach involves various components, including the starting position, the pushaway, the slide, the final step, and ultimately, the release. By understanding and mastering each of these steps, bowlers can enhance their performance and increase their chances of getting strikes.

The Significance of the Approach

The approach in bowling is of utmost significance as it sets the foundation for each delivery. It allows us to establish rhythm, timing, and balance, all of which contribute to a smoother and more controlled release of the ball. Without a proper approach, it can be challenging to generate enough power and accuracy in the shot, leading to inconsistencies and lower scores.

The Basic Steps in a Bowling Approach

To fully comprehend the bowling approach, it’s essential to break down its fundamental steps. By focusing on each stage individually, we can develop a deeper understanding of how to execute a successful approach.

1. The Significance of the Approach

The Role of the Approach in Bowling

The approach is the crucial link between the bowler’s start and the ball’s release. It acts as a momentum builder, fueling the energy that propels the ball forward. The approach also allows bowlers to achieve optimal positioning for an effective release, maximizing their chances of hitting the target with precision.

How the Approach Affects the Release

A well-executed approach enables the bowler to achieve the desired body alignment, balance, and timing. These factors directly impact the release of the ball. A solid approach allows the bowler to generate the necessary power and accuracy, resulting in a smooth and controlled release.

Importance of Consistency in the Approach

Consistency in the approach is crucial for any bowler seeking long-term success. By maintaining a consistent approach, we can develop muscle memory, which leads to more repeatable shots. Consistency enhances our ability to adapt to lane conditions and provide a reliable basis for making adjustments during gameplay.

2. The Basic Steps in a Bowling Approach

Starting Position

The starting position sets the foundation for the entire approach. It involves the positioning of our feet, the placement of the ball, and the alignment of our body. A well-adjusted starting position promotes a balanced and controlled delivery.

The Pushaway

The pushaway is an essential component of the approach, marking the initiation of the ball’s forward motion. It involves pushing the ball away from our body as we begin to walk toward the foul line. The direction and timing of the pushaway significantly influence the subsequent steps of the approach.

Beginning the Slide

Upon completing the pushaway, bowlers transition into the slide phase. The slide allows us to maintain balance and control as we glide towards the foul line. Proper timing, maintaining balance throughout the slide, and approach angle are pivotal aspects to focus on during this stage.

The Final Step

As we approach the foul line during the slide, the final step becomes crucial. This step serves as the transition from the slide to the release, during which we position ourselves for a fluid and powerful throw. Allowing room for the swing and maintaining balance and stability are key considerations during this step.

The Release

The release is the culmination of the approach, where the bowler releases the ball towards the target – the pins. Proper hand position, a smooth follow-through, and precise targeting are vital elements in ensuring an effective and accurate release.

3. The Starting Position

Position of the Feet

The starting position begins with the position of our feet. It is essential to align our feet perpendicular to the foul line to establish a solid foundation. The positioning of our feet also affects our body’s alignment and balance throughout the approach.

Position of the Ball

Simultaneously with the foot placement, the bowler needs to determine the position of the ball. The ball should be held at waist height, slightly in front of the body, with its weight evenly distributed within our gripping hand. This position allows for a fluid and controlled movement during the approach.

Alignment of the Body

The alignment of our body plays a crucial role in achieving a consistent and accurate approach. Our shoulders, hips, and knees should all be aligned parallel to the foul line. Proper alignment ensures that we initiate the approach in the proper direction and maintain balance throughout.

4. The Pushaway

Forward Momentum

The pushaway provides the forward momentum necessary for a powerful approach. It’s essential to push the ball away smoothly and in sync with our steps. The momentum generated during the pushaway sets the foundation for a strong and controlled release.

Ball Path

During the pushaway, the path the ball follows is critical to ensure an effective approach. The ball should move in a straight line, parallel to the intended target. Any deviations in the ball’s path can affect our accuracy and consistency.

Timing and Rhythm

The timing and rhythm of the pushaway are key factors in a successful approach. The pushaway should begin as the lead foot approaches the start of the slide, allowing for a smooth transition from the approach to the release. Consistent timing and rhythm help maintain balance and accuracy.

5. Beginning the Slide

Proper Timing

The start of the slide needs to be timed precisely for optimal results. It should occur with the lead foot reaching the foul line, providing enough time and space for a controlled slide. Correct timing ensures a seamless transition from the approach to the release.

Maintaining Balance

Maintaining balance during the slide is crucial to deliver an accurate and powerful shot. It is essential to distribute our body weight evenly while keeping our shoulders balanced and aligned. Failure to maintain balance can result in unwanted variations in the release and, ultimately, lower scores.

Approach Angle

The angle of approach determines the ball’s trajectory towards the pins. Bowlers need to find an approach angle that works best for them based on their style and lane conditions. Understanding and adjusting the approach angle can help optimize pin carry and improve overall performance.

6. The Final Step

Transition from Slide to Release

The final step marks the transition from the slide to the release. It is crucial to focus on maintaining balance during this step to ensure a smooth transfer of energy from the slide into the release. Proper footwork and body positioning help set the stage for a powerful and accurate throw.

Allowing Room for the Swing

During the final step, it is essential to allow enough room for the swing of the bowling arm. This requires maintaining proper distance from the body, allowing the arm to swing freely. Adequate room for the swing facilitates a fluid and effortless release of the ball.

Balance and Stability

The final step demands balance and stability to execute an effective release. By maintaining balance throughout the approach, and specifically during the final step, bowlers can ensure a consistent and controlled release. Balance and stability contribute to accuracy and prevent unnecessary movement that may disrupt the shot.

7. The Release

Hand Position

The hand position during the release plays a significant role in the trajectory and rotation of the ball. A proper release involves a controlled rotation of the fingers upon release, generating a consistent spin. The fingers should exit the ball smoothly, allowing for a clean and accurate roll towards the pins.


The follow-through is the continuation of the release motion. It involves extending the arm forward, towards the intended target. A smooth and fluid follow-through helps maintain balance and ensures that the bowler maintains accuracy in their shot.

Targeting the Pins

The release also involves targeting the pins accurately. By focusing on a specific spot on the lane and adjusting our release angle accordingly, we can improve our chances of hitting the desired target. Consistent targeting contributes to higher scores and increased overall performance.

8. Common Approaches in Bowling

Four-Step Approach

The four-step approach is one of the most common approaches in bowling. It involves taking four steps towards the foul line, starting with the opposite foot of the bowler’s throwing hand. The four-step approach provides a balanced and controlled rhythm, suitable for many bowlers.

Five-Step Approach

The five-step approach is another popular approach used by many bowlers. It adds an additional step to the four-step approach, allowing for slightly more momentum and power in the delivery. The five-step approach is often preferred by bowlers who desire a slightly faster approach.

Six-Step Approach

The six-step approach is used by some bowlers seeking maximum momentum and power. It involves six steps towards the foul line, providing additional time and distance for acceleration. The six-step approach requires careful timing and balance but can result in a potent and forceful delivery.

10. Conclusion

The bowling approach is a fundamental aspect of the sport that significantly influences a bowler’s performance. Understanding the various components, such as the starting position, pushaway, slide, final step, and release, allows us to develop a more well-rounded and effective approach. Consistency, balance, and timing are key elements in executing a successful approach. By continually striving for improvement and adapting to varying conditions, we can enhance our bowling skills and achieve higher levels of success on the lanes. So, next time you step up to the approach, remember the importance of a solid bowling approach and aim for continual improvement.

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Jack Jones
Hello! I'm Jack Jones, and I'm thrilled to welcome you to the world of bowling at landofbowling.com. As a dedicated bowler and bowling enthusiast, I am excited to share my passion for the sport with you and provide valuable tips to enhance your bowling skills. With years of experience in the bowling industry, I have gained a deep understanding of the game and the techniques required to improve your performance on the lanes. I have had the privilege of bowling in various leagues and tournaments, honing my skills and learning from top-notch professionals along the way. Through my articles and content on landofbowling.com, my aim is to guide beginners and experienced bowlers alike towards achieving their personal goals on the lanes. Whether it's refining your bowling technique, mastering tricky oil patterns, selecting the right equipment, or strategizing your game, I'm here to equip you with the knowledge and insights you need to excel. I strongly believe that bowling is not just a sport but a way of life. It brings people together, fosters friendly competition, and provides a platform for personal growth. My writing philosophy is centered around promoting a positive and inclusive bowling community where everyone can thrive and enjoy the game. As you explore the rich resources and articles on landofbowling.com, I encourage you to reach out and engage with me. Share your experiences, ask questions, and let's build a vibrant community of bowling enthusiasts who are passionate about improving their game. Thank you for joining me on this exciting bowling journey. Together, let's knock down those pins and inspire each other to reach new bowling heights! Sincerely, Jack Jones