One of the most over looked parts of our bowling game is our footwork. Your feet are the only part of your body that comes in contact with your environment. They set the foundation for the rest of your game. Not paying attention to your footwork is like trying to build a house without a foundation. There are 5 things to consider when working on your footwork.
1. The number steps to take. For most bowlers four or five is normal. Very few reach any level of success using three because it’s difficult to coordinate the swing with the steps. Some use more than five but they are just used to get the body moving. However many you take timing is based on the last four steps.
2. Length of steps. As a general rule of thumb you want each step to be progressively longer with the last step being a slide. There are a lot of exceptions to length which is dictated by the length of the swing. For many a shorter second to last step is very good and this is called the pivot or power step. This step is shorter which allows the second to last steps leg to push the body forward easier into the slide to create a more powerful finish. Experiment with lengths to figure out which length feels the most natural.
3. Speed and tempo of the steps. We want each step to get progressively faster. The steps build moment so you can propel the ball down with lane with enough speed to knock the pins down. We want our steps to have a consistent tempo, rhythm and speed shot to shot.
4. Direction of steps. Ending up on the same board you start on is the best. The direction they take to get there is important. We like to think about walking on a balance beam on the way to the foul line. This makes you walk straight and keeps your feet under your body for a solid foundation for your approach.
5. Type of steps are referred to as the incline of the steps which means how they make contact with the approach and how they leave it at the completion of the step. We want heal to toe steps where the heal makes contact with the approach first then rolling to to the toe which then pushes the body forward, just like a normal walking step. The only one that is different is the last step which is a slide where the toe makes contact first and then the heal, it’s your landing. Taking that last step heal toe is like crash landing which is stressful and makes for an abrupt stop, sliding glides you to a stop. Sliding makes it much easier to release the ball because it actually gives you more time besides being smoother.
Pay attention to your footwork, it’s your foundation.
We hope your game is getting stronger because of our weekly tips. Let us know if there is a topic you would like us to address.
See you next week!