Fist pump/air pistols/Jesus Quintana Dance.
Revel in the sweet sound of a strike with a celebratory fist pump. Or you could go with the classic Pistol Pete air pistols and pretend that you’re shooting all the pins down with your fingers. Better yet, do the Jesus Quintana Dance from the Big Lebowski:
Bowling has a long and thoroughly manly history.
But if you’re like me, then your contribution to this legacy of manliness hasn’t been anything to write home about.
Which is to say, for much of my life I was a pretty sorry bowler. I liked going bowling with my friends and reveling in some manly camaraderie, but being a competitive guy, it was hard to enjoy a game while getting trounced by everyone else. And I rarely got to experience the sheer joy and ecstasy of bowling a strike. There’s nothing like seeing all ten of those pins disappear from the lane. So lately I’ve been trying to up my game. With some practice, reading, and advice from guys who bowl strikes on a regular basis, I’ve been able to improve my strike ball. I’m not bowling perfect games by any means, but I’ll get three or four strikes in a game now.
And so to help my fellow floundering bowlers, I offer a few tips on how to bowl a strike.
Flexibility and the ability to adapt are essential to consistently bowling strikes because every lane you bowl on is different. Why? Well, have you ever crossed the foul line and found yourself on your butt? That’s because bowling lanes are oiled and the amount of oil and the way it’s spread on the lane can differ from lane to lane. Heck, the oil pattern on a single lane can change throughout the game. Changes in oil amount and pattern can cause your ball to break differently. So be prepared to adjust your approach.
The key is in the pocket.
The key to consistent strikes is to angle the ball into the “pocket.” For a right-handed bowler, the pocket is between the one-pin and three-pin. For a lefty, it’s between the one-pin and two-pin.
Choose a lighter ball.
Yeah, I know. You want to show off your manly strength by hurling an 18 pound ball down the lane like the thunder god Tor. And yeah, it’s fun to see the pins fly in the air when a heavy ball hits them, but if you want to bowl strikes, consider lightening up a bit. To bowl strikes, you want the pins to hit each other, and not just fly up in the air. Heavy balls make pins fly in the air; lighter balls make the pins hit each other. Many pros these days have started using the 14 1/2 or 15 pound balls because of the advantage lighter balls provide. So go ahead. Use that girl ball without shame.
Focus, but not on the pins.
The pins are your target, but you don’t want to focus or aim for them. Instead, pick one of the arrows in the middle of the lane and aim to have your ball roll right over it. If you’re a right-handed bowler, aim for the second arrow from the right. Lefties, aim for the second arrow from the left. Because most lane oil is in the middle of the lane, throwing your ball on the outside will give it more traction down the entire lane.