Bowling was something I never really had any thoughts either way about. But it’s something that is a great way of spending an afternoon with a few friends.
This was me a couple of weeks ago. I went with a group of friends to my nearest bowling alley and had 2 games. I scored 106 in the first game and 116 in the second game.
During the games, I managed to find a set place for rolling the ball, whilst being slightly unorthodox with the fact I used both hands to get more power behind it. Now, this is not exactly the way the professional bowling players do it… But did I ever say I was a professional? Below is an image of how it should’ve looked when I rolled the ball.
However much my technique left a lot to be desired, this plan seemed to work (using both hands), but I also think bowling is something that also trains your visual perception skills of where the ball will go. It’s definitely not just about your technique. But finding a better sized ball could’ve been more beneficial to my manual dexterity in these circumstances. But… You know what… I think I’ll take the 2 strikes and 3 figure scores in both games thanks.
It’s quite common in other sports during training exercises, for example in sports such as cricket or tennis, if you bowl the ball (cricket) or throw the ball up for a serve (tennis) you will then understand from doing these things just where the ball will end up. In addition, by analysing the results of what you do, you’re able to gage the success rate. Below you can see an example of how if you bowl the ball correctly in Cricket or if you throw the ball at the right height in tennis, the ball should reach the desired target. Just like bowling.
All of these 3 sports definitely link to the whole topic of manual dexterity as the grip of the object pretty much defines the end product in each situation you are in.
So what I’m trying to get at here, is that I had a very particular focus of the size of ball I was using, which was heavier than what my friends were using (as far as I remember). By using both hands to get power behind the roll of the ball, the majority of the time I would get 7 pins down in 1 shot. I was quite happy with this result because I was able to draw the conclusion that as I focused on where I would stand in the lane to roll the ball, it would find the target.
This is all the development of coordination and visual perception skills. From my recent bowling experience, I particularly enjoyed trying to find a method to get the remaining pins down on the second shot (known as a spare if they all fall down). This is a fun exercise as well, as it makes you think how you can get the best result. If there was 1 left and it was more towards the end of the lane, putting less pace on the shot was the best course of action as it would generally spin towards the corner of where the intended target was. It all comes down to experience and watching what those around you do as well.
I could see others around who were on a different lane who would play such a fast ball. But it’s not always the speed that’s generated. It’s the direction of where you are aiming.
What I would say is that in sport in general, accuracy is not really a weak point of my Dyspraxia at all. I can strike a football with my left foot quite fine.
And on the subject of strike, I got 2 of them in game number 2 of my bowling experience. Ecstatic? Yes! Surprised? Yes! I don’t remember a time from any recent bowling experience, my last game being in July last year, where I got a score as high as I did this time around.
While it’s always a nice feeling to win, I was altogether just chuffed to bits that I didn’t end up rolling the ball into the gutter on any of my turns.
I definitely recommend to people who have Dyspraxia to try bowling as a sport that can help develop coordination and also muscle memory. Bowling has so much up-side to it as a fun activity to do with friends.
For people with Dyspraxia, I can honestly say it’s one of the greatest strategies to improving coordination and manual dexterity. Why not give it a go?