Shhh! It's a Secret #6

More bowling information for you....

You have probably been told that when you want the ball to go farther down the lane, look farther down the lane. This really does work for most people. Targeting at the first line of the splice (where the maple and pine are alternated to make the transition from one wood to the other) or at the far end of that splice will work well. You should also be able to target at 30' or 45' or use the reflection of the head of a certain pin on the lane for targeting. (It might surprise you to know that, depending on how far back you stand on the approach, the reflection of the head of some of the pins is at about 45 feet rather than the "way down the lane" we think it is.)

Targeting at different distances down the lane takes practice so that it does not affect your basic delivery unless you want it to do so. Sometimes folks tend to loft the ball farther out onto the lane or pull their head up when targeting far down the lane. This can be very detrimental to your consistent execution.

If it is your intention to increase loft by looking farther down the lane, okay. You just need to be sure that looking down the lane is not the only way you can get the job done. You should be able to look farther down the lane and put the ball down early as well. It can't be an either/or situation.

Most of the time when you are targeting down the lane it is because the lanes are dry and you're trying to get the ball to go farther before it makes a move to the pocket. Try this: When you are forced to play deep, target the dots on the left side of the lane (for a right-hander). Before you discount it, give it a try. When playing deep (especially if you're not used to it), your tendency might be to pull the ball trying to help it go left as you're fearful of sending it too wide. On the next shot, you really will send it too wide to avoid pulling it.

Targeting the dots on the left and visualizing the path you intend to throw the ball (as of course you do with every shot) can help you to throw the ball along that path. Your target is not unattainable because it's so far down the lane but rather in your comfort zone. As on every shot, if your follow through follows the path you have in your mind, most of the time the ball will too. By targeting the dots or even closer, you can more easily project the ball on the path you intend.

I know this sounds nuts. You've been told all your bowling life to move your target closer to the foul line when you perceive the lane to be oily and want to get the ball into an early roll. Now I'm telling you to do that when they are dry and you need to get the ball very far down the lane to keep it on the correct side of the head pin. Try it. You'll be surprised how easy it is to project the ball consistently to the right looking at the dots on the left!