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Five step bowling approach

Five Step Bowling LogoThe five step bowling approach is really only an extension of the four step approach. The additional step helps to keep the timing and tempo so that the bowler releases his or her ball more consistently at the end of their slide. This is not to say that the four step approach is not consistent in its delivery but rather that some bowlers feel more comfortable with this extra step which helps them to relax and maintain better control and better timing. It is also advantageous to smaller bowlers and for those who need a little bit more ball speed.


Finding your starting point on the lanes is extremely important in your approach. Walk out the foul line and turn around with your heels about two inches from the foul line and take five steps back and a half step to account for the slide. This would be the approximate starting spot. It can be fine tuned after practicing the approach and delivery. You will want your sliding foot to stop about an inch or two short of the foul line.


The stance should be with your feet parallel on the approach at your starting point with your ball in the set position which is in front of your body around chest high and to the right side for right-handers and to the left for lefthanders. This can vary for each bowler as to what is more comfortable and natural for them.


The First Step is a momentum step. If you are a right hander you step forward with your left foot first. (A lefthander will step forward with right foot.) Your ball will remain in the same position without moving through this step. This step tends to be a little slower and shorter as its purpose is to get you moving forward


The Second Step is the push away step (right foot for right foot for righties and left foot for lefties.) when you move the ball straight forward from the starting position in your stance before dropping the ball in the swinging position at the beginning of the third step.


The Third Step (left foot for righties and right foot for lefties) is when the ball begins the natural downward swing alongside your body. The ball swing should be a natural movement of the arm with the weight of the ball supplying the momentum.


The Fourth Step (right foot for righties and left foot for lefties) is when the ball is now going behind the body during the swing just before the slide.


The Fifth Step (left foot for righties and right foot for lefties) ends with the slide ending with your knee bent slightly and release of the ball at the same time. The arm swing should be straight at your target on the lane and your follow through should continue well after the ball has left your hand.


You may find you need to make some adjustments if the timing is off. If you are early you may want to lift the ball up more in the push away or slow it down during the second step. Some adjustments may be needed to the length of the steps in the approach. Practice will tell what adjustments need to be made.

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