BY JOE SLOWINSKI
A FOCAL POINT is a spot on a pin designed to help improve your accuracy by depositing a specific target direction in your mind. Focal points improve accuracy by defining the launch angle more accurately.
I teach the use of five spots on each pin. Think: center of the pin, bottom-right, right-side, bottom-left and left-side.
There are approximately five boards associated with each pin. The center of the 4- or 6-pin is board 9. The center of the 7- or 10-pins sits on a split between the 3 and 4 boards. And, finally, the 2- and 3-pins sit on a split between the 14 and 15 boards.
For short patterns — 37 feet and shorter — right-handers should use some point on the 10-pin, while left-handers should use some point on the 7-pin. For medium patterns — 38 to 42 feet — use the 6-pin (RH) or 4-pin (LH). For longer patterns — 43 feet and longer — use some part of the 3-pin (RH) or 2-pin (LH).
Begin by establishing a specific spot on the pin: bottom-right, right-side, bottom-left or left-side. Look at that specific spot. What is the angle that you want to establish through your front target? Choose the focal point that creates the launch angle needed. Move the focal point to the outside to establish more, or move it inside to reduce the launch angle.
Once you have established your set-up on the approach, begin by looking at a specific spot on the pins. Then, bring your eyes back toward your front or short target. This process will ensure that you set the target line in your mind.
Joe Slowinski is a master teaching professional at the Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla., the official training center of the Professional Bowlers Assn. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.