Better Balance at the Foul Line

Are you having issues falling off to one side at the foul line or hopping at the end of your approach to keep your balance? Hopefully a couple of these tips will help you.

Believe it or not, your starting position of your body or stance can greatly affect your finish position. The stance should be comfortable and easy to get into. There shouldn’t be a whole lot of gyrations or thinking to get into the proper stance. The shoulders and spine angle should be just slightly forward, but no more than 15 degrees. Knees should be slightly bent. Your weight should be evenly divided on your feet and not have too much weight on your heals or toes.

As you start your approach, the spine angle and shoulders should remain quiet and steady. Do not allow your shoulders to get too far out in front of you.

You should really feel like your shoulders remain over your hips. This gives you a solid center of gravity and makes you use your big leg muscles.

Your approach should start out slow allowing for a gradual increase in tempo. You will sometimes hear the phrase “your feet are too fast”. Your feet really can’t be too fast. This is a sport and all sports, to create power and leverage which comes from the legs, requires you to accelerate. There is no doubt that you don’t want to run to the line. But you do have to accelerate to create proper leverage using the legs.

As you get to your last step or slide, you should have some knee bend. It doesn’t take as much as most people think. You don’t have to get really close to the floor. Just a simple comfortable knee bend is all it takes. You also don’t want to drop way down at the last second. Just a gradual soft knee bend is great. Try and keep those shoulders and head somewhat steady. Don’t raise up or pull the shoulders back. This is usually caused by not having your chin just over your sliding knee at release.

The last tip would be better use of your trail leg or non-sliding leg. If your trail leg is up in the air, it’s because your spine angle is too far forward and is acting like a balance beam so that you don’t fall forward. If your trail leg gets too close to your body, it is because your are pulling your shoulders back and standing up too much.

John Gaines

John Gaines

VP of Bowler Development at BowlersMart
Too often our sport tends to look at the high level bowler as the one to help out or coach. The fact is that an extremely small number of people can move past that 220 range to the next level. But there’s tens of thousands of bowlers out there that can move from 80 to 120, or from 160 to 200. It’s these bowlers that we’ll be most focused on. It’s the bowlers at the ground floor that need the most attention. If we can teach the fundamentals of the game to a group of beginning bowlers, they’re sure to enjoy our sport longer and participate in it more often.
John Gaines

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1 Comment
  1. Hello all,
    I have had many lessons from all different walks of life from so call pros to bowling shop owners. And I can tell you that John Gains has helped me more then anyone has with my bowling issues …He is down to earth when it comes to his teaching and he takes pride in what he does….I highly recommend John if you have any problems with your bowling and want to improve….

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