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NewYorkDave

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Registered: 06/30/08
Posts: 887
Reply with quote  #1 
I have trouble with turning the ball during the downswing and release--in other words, I can't seem to do it right. Mentally, I understand what I need to do (rotate the forearm, don't chicken-wing it) but I find it hard to execute with several pounds of bowling ball swinging off the end of my arm. I end up going very wide of my target, sometimes I even dump it in the channel. So instead, I have to pre-set my hand position in the stance and keep it there through the delivery. This works to a modest extent, but I feel my inability to execute an "active" release is really keeping my scores down. My accuracy is getting better all the time but I'm not striking.

Have any of you had this problem, and what did you do to overcome it?

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KrazeeKegler

Registered: 02/19/08
Posts: 88
Reply with quote  #2 
Back when I was learning to get turn on the ball I would do the same thing that you describe in regards to setting your hand in position before getting to the backswing and keeping it there.

I guess it eventually became a muscle memory type of thing since now my hand just naturally turns right before the ball gets out in front of me in the later part of the downswing--I don't really have to think that much about it.

In the beginning what I soon realized is that I was concentrating to much on turning the ball and less on making sure that my arm stayed relaxed, pointing straight at my target and following through so, I wound up winging the ball such as you describe. 

If you concentrate more on these fundamentals ( especially keeping the arm relaxed and not power gripping the ball) and less on turning the ball you will find that your hand will naturally impart ~45 degree rotation on the ball and all you may need to do is add some lift with the fingers.

I'm sure others here can explain it much better but I just remember how frustrating it was trying to learn it on my own until I realized that a smooth, relaxed swing and follow-through was the key for me.

BTW: Are you still using a conventional grip? 
Dennis_Michael

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 275
Reply with quote  #3 
I developed this BAD habit 2 years ago while bowling in PBA league. And, believe me, it is tough to get rid of. I will go along well for a spell, then all of a sudden, it returns.

There are a couple of things that I have noticed that I do that may help.

It all seems to start when I pull my armswing back, rather than let gravity do the work.
If I don't stop it, I rotate my hand early, getting no roll on the ball. If I have to move inside, I start to roundhouse the ball or pitch it out, and my arm plane is not straight.

To overcome this, I consciously eliminate all muscle from the swing, It shortens my backswing to a modest point. Then I keep my elbow tucked against my body, and follow through with an open handed release to keep my swing straight.

It takes some practice to get right. I notice, if I don't do these things, I end up practicing a bad swing, instead of a good one.
NewYorkDave

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Reply with quote  #4 

Great replies, guys. Thank you.

Although you seem to know what I mean, just in the interest of being specific, I'll tell you what I'm trying to accomplish in a little more detail. Start out with the hand under the ball, fingers somewhere between 4 and 6 o'clock. At the top of the backswing, the hand is either in the same position or has rotated clockwise very slightly (so the fingers are between 6 and 7 o'clock). On the downswing, the hand rotates counter-clockwise till the fingers are at about 4/5 o'clock at release, ending up around 3 o'clock at completion of follow through.

KK, I am still using conventional grip, although I don't think that's the problem because I have rotated successfully a few times, I just can't seem to do it consistently. You make a very good point about relaxing and not thinking about it too much; that's exactly where I was during the times I did execute it properly. I also thought about "reaching out to shake hands" as the ball passed my leg on the downswing, an old trick that works for me sometimes.

Perhaps I should practice the swing and release without an approach, just to work on developing that feel without having to worry about footwork as well. What do you think?



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themrfreeze

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Reply with quote  #5 
What personally works for me is to set my hand in the desired position and stop thinking about it until I'm at the apex of my backswing. If I'm facing conditions where I need a little extra on the ball, it's at the apex where I check my wrist to make sure it's cupped a little bit more.

Once the forward swing starts, I totally don't think about the release...I just let it happen. I find that if I try to do something extra at the release point, my consistency (what there is of it, heh) falls to pieces.
Dennis_Michael

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 275
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkDave
Start out with the hand under the ball, fingers somewhere between 4 and 6 o'clock. At the top of the backswing, the hand is either in the same position or has rotated clockwise very slightly (so the fingers are between 6 and 7 o'clock). On the downswing, the hand rotates counter-clockwise till the fingers are at about 4/5 o'clock at release, ending up around 3 o'clock at completion of follow through.


Dave, what you are describing is a forced armswing and early rotation. This also causes you NOT to be behind the ball at release, But rather on the side of it.
Your hand has to be behind the ball, and under the equator, if you get my drift.

Early side rotation eliminates the natural ball roll, and promotes sliding. You get little lift. And, little finish as a result.
NewYorkDave

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Reply with quote  #7 

Dennis, I hear what you're saying. I think I didn't describe it well enough. The little bit of rotation in the early part of the downswing is just "priming the pump", with most of the action happening as the ball is passing by my hip. At least that's what I'm trying to do.


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Bowlymania

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Registered: 10/16/07
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Reply with quote  #8 
Your wrist needs to act independent of your forearm.  You don't want to rotate your forearm around, you want your hand to go around the side of the ball, still going up and through, and going through the shot... if that makes any sense
NewYorkDave

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Reply with quote  #9 
My wrist won't rotate independently of my forearm... not by more than a small amount, anyway. I confirmed this just now by grasping the middle of my forearm firmly with my opposite hand while attempting to rotate my wrist.

This could just be a semantic issue. When I say "rotate my forearm", I'm probably talking about the same thing as what you call "rotating the wrist." In other words, the forearm remains in-line with the upper arm and the elbow is stationary and doesn't turn or fly out. Did I get that right?

Again, I'm trying to describe what I'm attempting to do, not necessarily what I'm doing.

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Bowlymania

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Reply with quote  #10 
Yeah, it's sort of impossibly for the wrist to do a whole lot independent of the forearm, but that's the thing....  Hook and rotation don't come from any "turning" of anything.

They come from lift.. i.e. your fingers.
NewYorkDave

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Reply with quote  #11 
When I watch good bowlers roll the ball with a healthy amount of revs, it looks to me like they're actively turning the wrist during the release. But it all happens so fast, looks can be deceiving. Maybe what I'm actually seeing is the ball rolling off the inside of the hand after it comes off the thumb, which creates the illusion that the hand is turning around the side of the ball (?)

So, if I have my hand tilted inward about 45 degrees (fingers at 4/5 o 'clock) as the ball swings forward, and I hold that position and lift strongly through the ball at release, that'll give me all the side-roll I need? If that's the case, I think I can manage it. I just thought there was more to it than that.


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KrazeeKegler

Registered: 02/19/08
Posts: 88
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkDave
When I watch good bowlers roll the ball with a healthy amount of revs, it looks to me like they're actively turning the wrist during the release. But it all happens so fast, looks can be deceiving. Maybe what I'm actually seeing is the ball rolling off the inside of the hand after it comes off the thumb, which creates the illusion that the hand is turning around the side of the ball (?)


I think this is more of the "underhand pitch of a football" type of release that your referring to and you will see guys like Mika ,who loft the ball, use it and I will do it sometimes when the front of the lane is drying out and I need to get the ball out into the oil but I don't come across that situation to much in the house I bowl in.

Quote:
So, if I have my hand tilted inward about 45 degrees (fingers at 4/5 o 'clock) as the ball swings forward, and I hold that position and lift strongly through the ball at release, that'll give me all the side-roll I need? If that's the case, I think I can manage it. I just thought there was more to it than that.


Yep. Just remember to follow through and keep your arm pointing at your target no matter how strong the urge to want to actually guide the ball in the direction of the rotation--the fingers will take care of that.

If you can get a hold of the documentary "A League of Ordinary Gentlemen " There is a part in the beginning where the camera is low on the approach and behind the bowler when he throws a shot and if you slow that down, frame by frame, you will see exactly how it is done.

NewYorkDave

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Reply with quote  #13 
Thanks, guys. I also received the following tip which seems to work when I try it out at home with a Nerf ball. (I have to avoid bowling for a couple of days due to a pulled muscle).

1. To keep the hand behind the ball for a straighter roll, lead the release with the ring finger.

2. For more rotation, lead with the middle finger.

Leading with the ring finger, my palm ends up flat; and leading with the middle finger, it ends up turned inward slightly. This is without any deliberate conscious effort to "rotate", it just seems to happen naturally when I think about leading with one finger or the other. We'll see how it works for me when I can throw a real bowling ball again.


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ChipnDalebowl

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Registered: 02/04/08
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Reply with quote  #14 
Sounds like you're making progress. I usually will start with the ball at a slight angle (thumb at 11), so when the ball does come off my hand, its already in a position to rotate properly, and there no need to force a wrist or anything crazy. Also, I don't have a high backswing either.

If you watch some of the pro videos, they're basically keeping their wrist in a firm position the whole time and letting the ball come off their fingers in that cupped position.

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Dennis_Michael

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 275
Reply with quote  #15 
Dave, remember to keep your hand "under the equator" of the ball. Your hand should NOT be on top of the ball at release. Your thumb exits first. The ball rolls off your fingers. And, your fingers follow through by rolling up the side of the ball.

No Wrist turn is required.
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