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#149183 - 03/28/11 12:44 PM Using a very light ball to practice release?
SirCochese Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 5
A/S/L: 38/M/Seattle, WA
Hey all,

I've thrown a suitcase-style release for my whole (30-year) bowling life. I've been at 165-170 average for years now and I've decided to go back to lessons. I've been working on footwork and timing. Additionally, my coach (and driller, for that matter) recommended a more "behind the ball" release. The problem for me is that I'm really having a hard time getting the feeling of the right amount of wrist breakdown at release to clear the thumb. I'm also having a problem keeping a strong wrist if I try to add any amount of wrist cock. As such, this practice is making my wrist quite sore.

So, my question is this. Is it at all common (or advisable) to punch up an 8lb ball with my same grip specs to use to try and get the feeling of the release perfected? If not, are there any tips for trying to get the "feel" of this kind of release?


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#149184 - 03/28/11 12:54 PM Re: Using a very light ball to practice release? [Re: SirCochese]
B-Hammer Offline

Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 1818
A/S/L: 30/M/Bellingham WA
I would think that using a ball that light would introduce all kinds of bad habits that you'd want to stay away from.

Probably the best way to get the correct feel is to do the Norm Duke recommended, one knee drill.

There also is the recommendation of spiraling a football underhand, but that doesn't really give you the feeling of the thumb exiting the hole.

#149186 - 03/28/11 01:54 PM Re: Using a very light ball to practice release? [Re: SirCochese]
aoiten Offline

Registered: 03/03/10
Posts: 1415
A/S/L: amerika ni sunde iru
Try using a wrist positioner temporarily or, as a drill, a thumbless grip. For a 38 y/o typical male, an 8-pound ball would be way too light. A 12-14 pound ball might be an option, but mainly it needs to fit the hand properly. Of course, the Norm's drill seems good.

#149187 - 03/28/11 02:33 PM Re: Using a very light ball to practice release? [Re: SirCochese]
JW123 Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 438
A/S/L: 45/M/NJ
8 pounder--no!

The way I learned my much-improved release was to concentrate ONLY on the release, and nothing else, in drills. I didn't even need a bowling alley to do it. I just stood in front of my couch, concentrated on keeping my hand behind the ball and my fingers under it, having a firm wrist, and releasing the ball into it. You can use mats or whatever you have to absorb the impact of the ball.

I work my pushaway, footwork, swing, and release at home. It costs less that way smile I save my practice time on the lanes for things like hitting targets, making adjustments and playing different lines, and spare shooting. That's why it looks like I'm bowling for score when I practice, because I am trying to hit my mark and throw a strike; I'm not going to practice missing my mark by 4 boards and going Brooklyn. Of course I will throw a strike line ball at a 4-6 or 6-7-10 split because I am not bowling for score and I'm not a big proponent of "split shooting practice" because some of those things can't be perfected. I'll practice baby splits and 5-7's and 5-10's if I leave them, but that's the extent of it, especially the 5-10 because I attack that one with a quasi-backup ball from the left side.
15# Brunswick Anaconda
15# Ebonite Cyclone
14# T Zone

HG: 279 santioned/300 unsanctioned
HS3: 671
HS4: 847

12-13 Averages:
177 full season league
171/175 (both halves short-season)

First "Triple Deucey" 3/28/2012: 226-212-202 for 640.

#149189 - 03/28/11 03:39 PM Re: Using a very light ball to practice release? [Re: SirCochese]
champ Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 2127
A/S/L: 30/M/AZ
My coach (who is silver level certified, a PBA Champion, in the state Hall of Fame, has 60+ 300s, and 40+ 800s) practices once a month using a 6 pound ball. He claims its the secret to having a completely unmuscled armswing, and ensuring that the body determines timing, not the ball. He also has 4 (unsanctioned) 300 with the 6 pounder. Maybey not universal advice, but it is what it is.
Career Highs: 300/759

#149196 - 03/28/11 05:32 PM Re: Using a very light ball to practice release? [Re: SirCochese]
aoiten Offline

Registered: 03/03/10
Posts: 1415
A/S/L: amerika ni sunde iru
There is a coach who uses a light ball for demonstrations. Easier to hold, show positioning, and rev up on the lane.

I practise at home using an inflatable ball in front of a full-length mirror. I've used real bowling balls and rolled them into a bean bag or something. At a slower speed, with emphasis on positioning, it might be better to use something light. At the alley, I'd stick with something that offers enough resistance to feel the weight and not toss it through the ceiling. heh

There is a big guy who said that he can't perceive the weight difference between a 12 and 16 pound ball since they all feel light to him. heh My ball is 14 pounds. I picked up a 15 recently and thought it was a 16. Weak.


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