Common Bowling Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Bowling is a sport enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. However, even experienced bowlers can make mistakes that impact their performance. 

In this article, we’ll explore the most common bowling mistakes and provide actionable tips and techniques to help you fix them. 

Whether you’re a beginner looking to improve your game or a seasoned bowler hoping to fine-tune your technique, this article will provide valuable insights and practical advice to help you roll toward perfection. 

So, let’s get started and learn how to avoid those pesky gutter balls and improve your bowling game!

Common Bowling Mistakes

Bowling may look simple, but there are several technical aspects involved in the game that can impact your performance. 

Here are some of the most common bowling mistakes that can affect a bowler’s game.

Improper Stance or Pushaway

Having an improper stance or push-away is a common mistake that can lead to poor accuracy and inconsistent ball placement in bowling. 

A proper stance involves keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and your body balanced on the balls of your feet. 

Your push-away should be straight and consistent, starting at the same point in each delivery. 

Focusing on these aspects of your technique can help you maintain a consistent and balanced approach, leading to improved accuracy and ball placement.

common bowling mistake

Drifting with Your Feet 

Drifting with your feet during your approach can cause your shots to go off-target in bowling. 

This occurs when your feet move away from the target during your approach and this a one of the common footwork mistake in bowling.

To avoid this, it is crucial to maintain a solid foundation in your stance and keep your feet pointing toward the target throughout your approach. 

By doing so, you can maintain proper alignment and consistency, leading to improved accuracy in your shots.

Too Fast on Approach and Delivery 

Being too fast on your approach and delivery is a common mistake that can lead to poor accuracy and inconsistent shots in bowling. 

This happens when you lose control of the ball due to the fast pace. 

To fix this issue, it’s essential to slow down your approach and take smaller steps. 

Focus on maintaining a steady pace throughout your approach and delivery, as this can help you maintain proper balance and control over the ball, leading to improved accuracy and consistency in your shots.

Dropping the Ball

Dropping the ball is a common mistake in bowling that can lead to poor ball placement and reduced accuracy in bowling. 

This happens when the bowler loses control of the ball during the swing. 

To fix this, it’s crucial to keep your wrist straight and your arm relaxed during your swing. 

Keep the ball close to your body and release it smoothly at the bottom of your swing. 

Focusing on these aspects can help you maintain proper control and balance over the ball, leading to improved accuracy and consistent ball placement.

how can i fix my bowling hook

Adjustments and Adaptations

Importance of Making Adjustments and Adaptations

As a bowler, it’s important to make adjustments and adaptations to your technique to improve your performance in different situations. 

Bowling lanes can vary in conditions, such as oil patterns and lane topography, which can affect the way the ball behaves on the lane. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to adjust to different lane conditions to maintain consistent performance.

Starting Position and Ball Speed

One way to make adjustments is to change your starting position on the approach. 

For example, if you’re having trouble hitting the pocket, moving your starting position left or right on the approach can help you adjust your angle to the pocket. 

Similarly, adjusting your ball speed or switching to a different ball can also be effective in adapting to different lane conditions.

Oil Pattern

Another important aspect to consider is the oil pattern on the lane. Different oil patterns in bowling can affect the way the ball reacts to the lane. 

For example, a heavy oil pattern can cause the ball to hook more, while a dry lane can cause the ball to skid. 

To adjust to different oil patterns, it’s important to observe the lane and make changes to your approach, release, and ball speed accordingly.

Adapting Techniques for Different Conditions

Adapting your technique to different situations can also be helpful in improving your performance. 

For example, if you’re playing in a tournament with challenging lane conditions, it may be necessary to adjust your technique to control your ball and maintain consistency. 

Similarly, adjusting your technique for different types of spare shots can also improve your overall game.

how to fix common bowling mistakes

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I fix my bowling hook?

To fix your bowling hook, you should start by trying to throw the hook correctly. This means using the correct grip and positioning your hand properly on the ball. 

You can also try adjusting your release technique, focusing on keeping your wrist straight and following through with a smooth motion. 

Another tip is to practice your hook on different lane conditions and with different types of balls to find the right combination for your style. 

If all else fails, consider seeking guidance from a professional coach or bowler who can help you identify and correct any issues in your technique.

Why do I keep missing my spares in bowling? 

Bowlers often miss their spares in bowling due to varying ball speed, poor technique, lack of focus, or mental preparation. 

Effective spare shooting entails consistent practice and developing a reliable spare system that works for you. 

It’s also beneficial to work with a coach or experienced bowler who can provide guidance and feedback on your approach and technique.

What is causing my bowling ball to skid too much or roll too early? 

When a bowling ball skids too much or rolls too early, it is typically due to the amount of oil on the lane. 

If there is not enough oil or the oil is unevenly distributed, the ball will skid too much before making contact with the dry part of the lane. 

Alternatively, if there is too much oil, the ball may start rolling too early and lose energy before reaching the pins. 

Adjusting your release technique and experimenting with different balls can help you find the right combination for the lane conditions.

Why am I consistently leaving the 10-pin in bowling? 

Consistently leaving the 10-pin in bowling can be due to several factors such as a poor entry angle into the pocket, inaccurate shots, ball speed that is too fast or too slow, and lane conditions that are too dry or oily. 

To improve your chances, adjust your entry angle, ball speed, accuracy, and equipment choices. Seek guidance from a coach or experienced bowler for more tips.

what is causing my bowling ball to hook

What is causing my bowling ball to hook too much or not enough?

The amount of oil on the lane is a significant factor that can cause a bowling ball to hook too much or not enough. 

Other factors include grip pressure, ball speed, release technique, and equipment. 

Adjusting these factors, experimenting with different balls, and being mindful of lane conditions can help you find the right combination for your game.

Why am I throwing gutter balls in bowling and how can I fix it? 

Throwing gutter balls in bowling can be attributed to poor technique, such as dropping the shoulder too low or incorrect hand positioning. 

It can also be caused by using the wrong ball weight or throwing the ball too hard. It’s important to discover the ideal weight of bowling ball you should use.

To fix it, work on improving your technique, adjusting your ball weight, and slowing down your ball speed. 

Seek guidance from a coach or experienced bowler for more tips and assistance.


By avoiding these common mistakes and making necessary adjustments, bowlers can significantly improve their game and increase their chances of achieving success. 

Perfecting your bowling technique requires practice, patience, and persistence, but by implementing the tips and techniques discussed in this article, you can take your game to the next level. 

Remember to stay focused, remain adaptable, and never stop striving towards rolling towards perfection on the lanes.

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James Arnold
I'm James, and I call Stanislaus County, California, my home. My journey into the world of Bowling began 3 years ago. Although, I won't claim that I'm an expert,but I'm improving my skills every day. I hope my articles will help you to improve your game.