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Bowling Tips for Seniors

Posted on: Feb 27, 2018

Senior bowlers can remain competitive as they age. Despite reduction in mobility and flexibility, you can still have a lot of fun bowling. The most important thing to do when you bowl is to listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, make adjustments. The goal is to remain healthy while you continue enjoyment of the sport.

Stretching for Improved Flexibility

Keep your body nimble by stretching between league nights. Stretching the muscles will keep you loose and prevent injuries. Take 20 minutes daily to focus on stretching exercises that work the muscles in the arms, shoulders and legs. Take five minutes before bowling to stretch too.

Getting the Right Ball

Many senior bowlers make the mistake of not outfitting themselves with the right ball. The weight that you were comfortable using 20 years ago, may not be the same now. Custom balls are ideal since they were drilled for your specifications. A ball that allows for proper grip will make all the difference at the bowling alley. Seniors may find an extra-drilled hole is useful to maintain good control over the ball.

Invest in Good Shoes

A reliable ball is only half the equation when getting the right equipment for the senior bowler. Rentals just don’t make sense if you plan to bowl often. Buying your own pair of bowling shoes helps you get the right fit and will probably save you money in the long run. If you do happen to rent, you may need to go a half size up or down until you achieve the best shoe fit.

Correct Hold

The way you hold the ball at the starting position should change whether you’re young or old. Many bowlers mistakenly start off by holding the ball at waist height. This position causes you to lean forward while also putting extra strain on the back. Instead, the bowler should approach with the ball at shoulder level. Keeping the ball close to the body too will help with control and automatically correct posture.

Maintain Ball Speed

Senior bowlers may notice their balls are rolling down the lanes at a slower rate. You may not be as stronger or as flexible as before and this could impact ball speed. To make up for this, concentrate more on your legwork. Increase the length of your stride and take quicker steps as you walk up to the foul line. Slow down if at any point you feel off-balance.

Swing and Follow Through

Range of motion can change as you bowl at an older age. Your backward swing may not be what it used to be. To make up for a shorter range, keep muscles loose as you swing the ball back. Complete the motion by swiftly bringing the ball high in the front. As you follow through, your elbow should be at shoulder height.

Get Support

Using different types of support is common especially if you have any physical ailments. Knee and wrist supports may help improve your game while also protecting your joints from injury. A wrist support is particularly useful in preventing you from dropping the ball behind the line. Ideally, you want to release the ball 12 inches or more down the lane.

Be Aware

Take care when bowling. Always be aware of your surroundings. Wait until others on the lanes next to you are done with their turns before bowling. Stay behind the foul line at all times to avoid slipping and falling. Don’t be afraid to ask for any assistance. Staff at the bowling alley will be happy to assist you in anyway. For instance, you may need help working any new scoring technology they have installed.

Continue your active lifestyle when you become part of the Philadelphia Protestant Home Family. We provide a safe and fun environment for you to continue thriving in. We have our own state of the art wellness and aquatics center with a two-lane bowling alley. Contact us today to learn more about what we can offer you or your family member.

What Residents Say

"In my two years at PPH, I’ve grown to like it very much. At first, I felt like a stranger and then as I began to talk to people, we increasingly became good friends. A way to meet people is to join clubs. I’m now part of the PPH Auxiliary. I love helping with their flea markets because you never know what you can find. Recently, I’ve joined an evening quilting class. I love that I can continue to enjoy my life outside of PPH while experiencing the offers here.….especially the pool! Everything is just so convenient.

– Lucille Hite, Independent Living resident

What Families Say

"My mom is sooo happy at PPH, I can’t even describe it in strong enough words. She’s met so many new friends and these ladies do EVERYTHING together! She sees Dad every day in Pathways, but can have her life too. She’s gone to so many activities and I think I’ve already been to Scoops with her at least 15 times. She loves the dining room and Bistro too. My sister, Ilene, and I are so delighted that Mom is happy.......Wow, it feels like Mom’s been there about 2 years—but it’s only 2 months!! That’s how comfortable and natural it feels for her – and for all of us.

– Rhonda Frenkel, daughter of residents Jack & Bernice Segal