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#103431 - 09/22/09 02:16 PM Looking for form critique!
needknees Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 3
A/S/L: IA
I'm a relatively new bowler, just picked the sport up late last winter looking for something to keep me from going insane while the snow flies smile. I've taken a couple lessons from USBC certified coaches but I would be very interested in what you guys think I should look at in my approach, swing, and release.

I just picked up a Virtual Energy last weekend and this was my first time throwing it. The drill feels much more comfortable than my other equipment and I can keep my hand more relaxed through the backswing with it. ...Still haven't quite gotten used to the reaction of the thing though! I'm considering having a few of my other balls redone with the same thumb pitch as this one.

Here's the video:



This is really the first time I've had *decent* video footage I could review over and over. Things that I've noticed are I lean pretty far over to the right, it looks like while my thumb is leaving the ball at close to the right time it also comes off my hand and I lose revs/power. It seems I'm turning my wrist too early as well. I should have gotten more footage from the side -- I lost my balance a bit on that one, also seemed I was a bit late.

I haven't been bowling long so the thing I struggle with most is consistency. I'll have spurts where everything seems to work and feel comfortable, then I'll go into a slump and have bad league night after bad league night.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

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#103433 - 09/22/09 02:27 PM Re: Looking for form critique! [Re: needknees]
sk8shorty01 Offline
Virtual League Champion x2

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 5163
A/S/L: 30/M/Merritt Island, FL
I will say for being a "relatively new bowler", as you put it, your form is not to shabby. You are pretty stable through your approach, you are not rushing the shot, you don't force the ball around a whole lot. Pretty clean for a fresh start. The one thing I did notice that I would change is the hitch you have at the top of your backswing. It looks to me like you are holding the ball up at the top of the swing, rather than letting it fall back down.

Other than that I think you have a pretty good start to the game and I would just keep working on a free swing, get used to the ball, keep working on the fitment and then post up another video.

I am sure some others will pick something out that they notice as well.
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#103437 - 09/22/09 03:47 PM Re: Looking for form critique! [Re: sk8shorty01]
whiz Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 51
A/S/L: 25/M/OK
Overall it look like a good start to me of course im not adept at picking up finer details. slower motion would be easier for me to say...
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#103439 - 09/22/09 04:00 PM Re: Looking for form critique! [Re: whiz]
cgeorg Offline


Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 3567
A/S/L: Pittsburgh, Pa
The hitch sk8 mentions looks like you're turning the wrist inside the ball, which is ok, but you go right back to where you were, so it's really just a moving part that can go wrong.

Another thing I notice is the little skip in your 3rd step - you might want to make that a bit more even so that you are stable going into your power step.

Finally, it seems like the ball drops off your hand a bit early. You might want to try the towel drill - place a bowling towel over the foul line and try to project the ball out (not up!) over the towel. It should land smoothly about a foot past the foul line. You should be able to do this by keeping your wrist firm and driving your fingers through the ball. If you have to grab the ball to do this, you may need a tighter thumb hole, or more forward pitch.

All in all, it is a good start.
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#103669 - 09/24/09 12:35 PM Re: Looking for form critique! [Re: cgeorg]
needknees Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 3
A/S/L: IA
Thanks for the replies everyone. Another little thing I noticed is my first step is pretty long, that may be contributing to being a little late at the finish. cgeorg -- I will try the towel drill the next time I get out to practice... which may be awhile frown.

I bowled a little bit last night and I was trying to stay on the inside of the ball through the downswing and under at the release. For some reason I was getting a lot more axis tilt than normal. The Virtual Energy's drill still feels great, however, the other ball I had redone isn't quite right. There was more lateral pitch in that thumb and the ball is staying on my hand WAY too long. Like throwing it 5+' down the lane long. I had to completely and totally relax to get it to come of my thumb at all... Maybe it's drilled correctly for me but I'm so used to doing things incorrectly that I'm going to have trouble with it. The VE still feels the best out of all my equipment. We'll see if I can't get everything to match, or figure out my hand...

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#103698 - 09/24/09 03:06 PM Re: Looking for form critique! [Re: needknees]
sk8shorty01 Offline
Virtual League Champion x2

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 5163
A/S/L: 30/M/Merritt Island, FL
Needknees,
The best thing about bowling is that it is a sport that you need complete relaxation in order to bowl well. Your second ball you mention is probably going to feel much better once you learn to trust that the ball is going to stay on your hand, you don't have to grip the snot out of it. Relaxing is the name of the game, just let yourself do it now!
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#103699 - 09/24/09 03:19 PM Re: Looking for form critique! [Re: sk8shorty01]
needknees Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 3
A/S/L: IA
Originally Posted By: sk8shorty01
Needknees,
The best thing about bowling is that it is a sport that you need complete relaxation in order to bowl well. Your second ball you mention is probably going to feel much better once you learn to trust that the ball is going to stay on your hand, you don't have to grip the snot out of it. Relaxing is the name of the game, just let yourself do it now!


I think it's actually putting my in a position it... really doesn't want to be in. I haven't had any wear issues on my thumb for a LONG time -- I used to really flex my thumb because the first ball I had was drilled with a thumbhole that was way too big. I'd rip the crap out of the knuckle and side of my thumb.

With the new drill I got a "hotspot" on the outside of my thumb in only two games. I'm headed over to the Pro Shop tonight to get it looked at, then I have league right after to play around with it smile

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#103819 - 09/25/09 04:54 PM Re: Looking for form critique! [Re: needknees]
Handful Offline
High Roller

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 399
A/S/L: 32/male/St Pete, FL/ usa
you look really good for a newbie. your swing is in time with your feet and you don't seem to muscle the ball like most people do. You commented you lean to the right but it actually is not a bad thing. your lean is pretty much just like most pro's. the one thing I noticed was the ball gets too far away from your ankle when you release it. this isn't because you lean away so don't try to correct this by standing up straight but relax the swing and let your arm swing close to your body. there is a great youtube video of Michael Fagan



watch at 1:14 and the clip at 2:00 how close the ball is to his ankle at release. the closer to your ankle the more revs you can get on the ball.
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#103873 - 09/26/09 11:48 AM Re: Looking for form critique! [Re: Handful]
Kilgore Trout Offline
Junior Coach

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 41
A/S/L: San Diego
You look pretty good! I think the ball is too far left of your head at the top of your back swing. Looks like it almost goes behind your left shoulder. The ball should be no farther left than behind your head in your back swing. It may get too far left in your back swing because you're holding it out too far to the right in your initial stance. In any case, the ball should be kept in the same vertical plane throughout the entire arm swing from initial stance to release. Then again, what I'm seeing may be caused by the camera angle and everything may actually be just fine. Hard to tell.

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