Where Should You Look When Bowling?

Bowling is a popular sport that requires skill, strategy, and focus. One of the keys to being a good bowler is knowing where to look as you approach the lane and release the ball. Focusing on the right spots can help you improve your accuracy, aim, and consistency. Here is an overview of where you should direct your eyes when bowling.

As You Approach the Lane

  • Look at the Arrow: As you start your approach, focus your eyes on the arrows marked on the lane. The arrows are about 15 feet from the foul line and are target lines that guide you where to throw the ball. Staring at your chosen arrow during your initial steps helps you align your body and approach in the right direction.
  • Visualize the Break Point: While looking at the arrow, visualize where you want the ball to begin hooking and changing direction – the break point. Choosing a break point about two arrows past the arrow you’re aiming at can help you adjust the speed and revs on the ball to get the curve you want.

At the Foul Line

  • Focus on the Target Arrow: When you are at the foul line, switch your eyes to look at the arrow you are aiming the ball towards. Locking your eyes on the target arrow as you release helps you direct the ball at the intended mark. Resist glancing down the lane too early.
  • Use Peripheral Vision for the Pins: You want the target arrow to be in your main field of vision as you release, while the head pin and lane boundaries remain in your peripheral view. This wide-angle focus keeps the release steady while optimizing aim accuracy.
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After Release

  • Watch Ball Motion: Keep your eyes on the ball as it moves down the lane. Watching the curve, speed, and direction of the roll compared to your target line allows you to evaluate what adjustments you need for the next throw.
  • Do Not Turn Head: Avoid rapidly turning your head to watch the ball hit the pins. Keeping proper spine alignment during the follow through is key. Wait until fully finishing the throw before rotating to see your results at the pins.

Proper eye focus is a fundamental skill in bowling. With the right visual cues, you can better direct the ball for more consistent shots and higher scores. Keep practicing and make small adjustments until your eyes and mind find the optimal gaze for bowling success.

Why you shouldn’t look at the pins

There are a few key reasons why it’s best not to look directly at the pins as you release the ball in bowling:

  • It can throw off your aim. Keeping your eyes locked on the target arrow as you release allows your throw to stay directed at that target. Glancing at the pins too early can cause your throw to stray from the intended path.
  • It disrupts your balance. The follow through after a bowling release requires control and balance. Turning your head quickly to look at the pins can shift your body alignment and balance, impacting the accuracy of the shot.
  • It takes focus off the release. You want your prime focus at release to be on the speed, revs, and motion you give the ball with your hand and arm. Looking at the pins too soon shifts attention away from the key parts of an accurate release.
  • You can’t influence the ball after release. Once the ball leaves your hand, you can no longer control or adjust its path. Keeping focus on the target line and release itself gives you the best chance of executing the type of throw you want.
  • You will see the results soon enough. After finishing the follow through, you will be able to turn and watch the ball hit the pins and see your results. But during the release itself, keeping your eyes on the arrow and swing path is most effective.
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The main takeaway is that looking at the pins too early can negatively impact your accuracy, balance, and focus right when it matters most – at the crucial moment of release. Keep your eyes on the target line and trust your skill to send the ball where you intend.

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