How To Aim In Bowling – 5 Essential Tips To Follow

You can probably think, “Why can’t I see any progress in my shot even though I always have my eyes on the Pin whenever I release the bowling ball?”.

As a beginner, every bowler aims on pins which is no doubt ultimately the goal of their shots but will you know how experts knock the pins with their perfect release of the ball?

In order to understand how to aim in bowling depends on several factors but if you want to see how to aim at an arrow instead of pins, you can derive massive improvements in your shots and how properly you can implement them, we assembled this guide especially.

This guide is all about how to aim in bowling decently with maximum pin action, how to acquire the technique with different shot reactions, what factors may affect your aim, and how you can optimize it accordingly.

Why Aiming Is Important In Bowling?

When you understand how aiming is important in bowling you can probably enjoy every type of shot either its curve or straighter.

A perfect aim on the pocket increases the opportunity of striking the pin. If you found the ideal spot on the pocket, the chances are you strike all the pins at once and produce more pins action.

This is why most of the pros you see deliver a shot that delivers an insane knock down the pocket and you may notice they always spot at a particular angle.

Why Aiming The Arrow Instead Of Pins?

Bowling lane arrows
Bowling Lane Arrows

If you still wonder why it needs to aim at an arrow instead of pins.

In most standard bowling alleys, the length of the bowling lane is about 40 feet whereas the placement of the arrows that are spread on the lane is just 12-15 feet away from the foul line. Aiming the arrow that is 12 feet away will provide a more convenient result as compared to 40 feet away pins.

Now, you can understand that aiming the arrows instead of pins how convenient and better approach.

What Is Pocket: Which Arrow Should I Target?

pocket in bowling

If you still keep reading from the beginning, you might be wondering which arrow should I consider targeting and why I consider the pocket while bowling.

There are seven arrows spread on the lane however the specific arrow you need to spot depends on the right/left-handed reaction of the shots.

In traditional ten-pin bowling, the pocket is the sweet spot that lies on the area of the first pen and two side pins just behind the front one. The 1st pen and 2nd pen is the pocket for left-handed and the 1st pen and 3rd are for right-handed.

Now, you will be able to know which spot delivers more reaction and which arrow should I keep in mind to throw the bowling ball.

How To Aim In Bowling

It’s supposed to aim at an arrow while bowling but there are certain ingredients of perfect shots that are needed during aiming. 

Following are some of the tips that will ultimately assist you throughout the journey.

1-Appropriate Bowling Ball Weight

In bowling, if you forget the suitable bowling ball weight, you are doing something wrong.

Most of the beginners probably picked the bowling ball randomly due to having no basic information or this could be a possibility to get the heavy bowling ball to the attention of others around the people in the bowling lane.

No doubt, a heavy bowling ball delivers massive bowling action but it’s essential to pick the bowling ball’s weight according to your body weight.

According to the basic rule of bowling ball weight, Choose a ball that has 10% of the weight of your body but if you are okay with a relatively heavier bowling ball and can consistently play several games without feeling any strain in your arm.

Somehow, if you face any injuries in previous time then it’s recommended to use a lighter bowling ball.

2-Hold The Ball Correctly 

A perfect release of a bowling ball is highly dependent on how you hold it that ultimately improving your aim in gaming.

If you have a traditional 3 fingers drilled bowling ball, you can follow the basic way to grip the ball. 

Put your thumb in a larger hole and place the middle and ring fingers in the remaining two holes. 

Make sure to hold the bowling ball with both hands but relax the leading hand by supporting it with the other hand underneath it. Now keep holding the bowling ball until you release it, this will help you from any kind of strain. 

Must ensure have a grip on the ball lightly otherwise, you will not be able to aim properly nor release the bowling ball smoothly.

3-Optimize Your Bowling Approach: Keep Your Arms Straight And Close To Your Body

While bowling, it is recommended to follow any appropriate approach to release the bowling ball.

However, the 4 step approach is the most widely popular bowling approach among most bowlers and pros.

This recommended approach is properly optimized and how to aim in bowling accordingly. 

Following are some of the steps to perform the 4-step approach.

  • The four-step approach will start from the same foot as you hold the bowling ball. The left-handed bowler starts with the left foot and the right-handed with its right foot and it is likely to end with the first right, left, right, and then the final step of the 4-step approach.
  • In this approach, while taking the step you should extend your hand and straighten your arm to point the bowling ball to the lane.
  • During the second step, the level of the bowling ball and leg should be the same.
  • Before the final step, the ball will move backward to the maximum position to give a decent release.

Keep the timing in your mind, don’t hurry to release the bowling ball, and make an appropriate approach. If you release the bowling ball early it will lose its velocity or too late may cause the bowling ball to bounce.

4-Aiming The Arrow Rather Than The Pin But Remember The Pocket

how to aim in bowling
Aim In Bowling

Over the several factors involved in how to aim in bowling perfectly, aiming the arrow is the most prominent one to consider.

There are two types of people in bowling which either have eyes on pins while releasing the bowling ball called pins bowling but there is a more convenient and suitable way is to spot an arrow on the lane instead of pins known as spot bowling.

As we said earlier, our ultimate goal is to strike the bowling pins however we should remember the pocket while targeting the arrows.

5-Keep Practicing

In the end, any perfect gameplay obviously needs practice, and keep practicing will assist you to improve your overall gaming experience.

While aiming at an arrow, you will need different variations to release the bowling ball and sometimes you may lose to targeting the point, in that time you should take patient and keep moving with practice.

Where To Aim In Straighter And Hook Shot?

To deliver a hook shot or straighter shot, also depends on reminding the pocket in your mind. 

A straighter shot can be produced by aiming at an arrow that is placed in the center, however, an ideal straighter shot can be produced by having a bowling ball with a coverstock of plastic or urethane.

On the other hand, creating a curve shot or hook shot is obtained by a different approach and you can try a different angle by following the arrow placed on the lane.

What Does Affect The Aim In Bowling?

This will happen probably many times while you aim a particular arrow on the lane to get an expected knock but somehow you didn’t.

There are following few factors that may affect the aim of your shot.

  • Bowling Ball: A bowling ball that consists of different parts and one of the prominent is its coverstock(outer shell) which is made of different materials that can be plastic/polyester, urethane, reactive resin, and particles. Every bowling ball that is made of different materials will react also differently so if you play a match with one bowling ball and on the second day if you’re trying with another that is made of dissimilar material will have a relative change reaction.
  • Lane condition: A bowling alley contains lanes that are polished with different oil conditions either it will be a light, heavy, or dry lane. Now playing with different oil condition also impact your bowling.


A perfect shot in bowling depends on several factors and among these, if you understand how to aim in bowling, you can play an impressive shot with more pin action.

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