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#15807 - 04/19/06 10:09 PM Cranking
Black Jack Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 10/19/05
Posts: 92
A/S/L: 16/Male/Britland
Okay, so I've been bowling seriously for a little while now, and I've gotten over quite a few problems, from hideous timing, to arm pains, to hooking with a plastic ball. I spent ages trying to learn to "stroke" the ball instead of cranking it. My uncle who just happens to be an amazing bowler, asked me, "Why the **** are you trying to do that if it isn't natural?" he's a cranker, and a good, consistent one. I replied, inquisitively, "I've been told by a lot of people that cranking is bad.". To which he philosiphically replied, "If it isn't natural, don't do it. Now let me teach you consistency." And he did, I'm throwing better, my consistency is way better, and my body doesn't hurt so much. Now, the point of this long winding tale, should I just do what's natural but minimise on the damage, or should I try and get rid of the habit?
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Legend

Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#15808 - 04/19/06 11:17 PM Re: Cranking
Smooth Stroker Offline
Legend

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 1905
A/S/L: 45/M/Long Island
The main thing that is wrong with cranking is it makes it harder to repeat shots. If you can overcome this hurdle, then do what you like. The reason it's harder to repeat shots is because you are muscling the ball more when you crank the shot. The more you muscle the ball, the harder it is to repeat speed. On a typical house shot, that won't matter much. It may actually help. On a harder shot, speed matters. The more you do everything the exact same way, the easier it is to repeat the shot. Of course there will be times when the cranker will be hard to beat. There will be times when the stroker will be hard to beat. But, when the shot gets hard, the straighter, more accurate bowler will more than likely prevail. Accuracy means more than just hitting the same mark each shot, accuracy also means hitting the same breakpoint each shot and releasing the ball with the same speed on each shot. I have heard that the best on tour at repeating the same shot by hitting the same target at the same rev rate and the same speed time after time is Parker Bohn III. The bowler with the best hand eye coordination on tour has to be Walter Ray Williams. Both bowlers are Strokers that play very straight.

Of course there are many bowlers who crank the ball that win on tour, like Tommy Jones for example. But the number of bowlers that don't crank it and win outnumber the ones that do.
Brian Voss
Norm Duke
Parker Bohn III
Walter Ray Williams
Pete Weber ( not a cranker or a stroker, He's a Power Stroker )

Then there is the injury factor. Putting that much torque on your wrist to create that much power, can't be a good thing in the long run. There aren't that many senior tour crankers. At some point, if you bowl long enough, you'll become a stroker too. Maybe sooner, maybe later, maybe you'll stop bowling before then.
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#15809 - 04/20/06 02:52 AM Re: Cranking
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
Smooth is correct as usual. However another point to consider is that at 15, its easy to crank the ball. At 35 and 40 it gets harder. And at 55 its virtually impossible. I know that now, it seems comfortable and natural. But time will take its price on your body. And you will probably find yourself leaving the sport due to frustration (not being able to keep up) and body pains. Its not going to happen tomorrow, or the next decade. But if you can look into the future 20 - 25 years....you'll probably find that what I am saying is right.

Now, if you don't care how long you stay in the sport, then keep going. ITs OK. Many people come and go out of this sport every year. Very few have the stamina to keep bowling for 30 to 40 consecutive years and still keep competative.

You know who Robert Smith is right? He's tryng to tame his game down so that he can be more versital. He's 31. You know who Michelle Feldman is? Big shooter lady cranker, won lots of titles. Very tough to beat. But at 25 or so, cannot physically bowl the amount of games needed to compete in the PBA. Too much damage from cranking. This I read or saw from an interview from her about ladies participating in the PBA tour trials.

So you can keep on cranking. It will work for you for as long as your body holds out. Gain some weight, get some elbow or knee problems and your bowling days are over. It sounds like you are getting some really good experienced tutoring from your uncle. But if you want to get some versatility, you'll need to engage probably a higher level coach.

Erin

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#15810 - 04/20/06 03:46 AM Re: Cranking
Rolling Pin Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 119
A/S/L: 33/male/Michigan
How long you last as a cranker will be determined by many physical factors, such as how much strain you put on your body during the release. If you can find a way to reduce the strain, you'll avoid injury better.

One thing I've learned is that you don't need to crank the ball (huge backswing, planted foot, all muscle throw) to get a big powerful hook. I've been working on making my release more simple. The type of rotation you apply (side or forward) and your drilling pattern can make throwing a big hook fairly simple with little strain on the body. I've found I can now hook the ball as much as I did before without having to really rip into it or plant my foot, and I have better control.

Now there is the issue of pin carry. But my scores have increased, and my carry seems good. In fact, I haven't noticed any difference in carry at all. But my improved control allows me to find the pocket easier. You can still throw a powerful hook, but you may want to look into toning it down a bit to gain more control and put less strain on your body. It wouldn't hurt to practice stroking the ball, either.

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#15811 - 04/20/06 08:10 AM Re: Cranking
Lefty Offline
Legend

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 2356
A/S/L: 37 / M / Rochester, NY
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">
Of course there are many bowlers who crank the ball that win on tour, like Tommy Jones for example.
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">And if you really look at his game, it's much more in control and smooth than %90 of the people I've seen who call themselves crankers. His approach is smooth and well balanced. He puts a little mussle into the ball, but it's not forced and it's really not that much. His release is smooth. He gets the ball on the lane cleanly. His body position is really good.

What he does to get those extra revs is to open his shoulders and keep his hand very much inside the center of the ball. If he didn't open his shoulders and he didn't keep his hand so far inside, he'd be a stroker. I really don't think that there'd be much more for him to change.

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#15812 - 04/20/06 01:14 PM Re: Cranking
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
Tommy Jones isn't really a cranker. He's more of a tweener, a power tweener. He doesn't have the neck snap you see on virtually all crankers. Plus I bet Mr. Jones is not more then 30 if that. He's still in the physical peak age frame.

Erin

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#15813 - 04/20/06 02:12 PM Re: Cranking
luisistaz Offline
High Roller

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 342
A/S/L: 49/male/Tijuana, Mexico
Of all the players in my comunity I've treated, most of them are crankers. The most frecuent problem is the shoulder, specificly rotator cuff injuries, and tendinnitis of the shoulder joint in general, aswell as ligament tears. After that, I've treated a number of player that develop tendinnitis of the flexors in the forearm.Very few players have come to me with hamstring injuries and back strains.
The strokers I've seen (very few actualy), have had tendinnitis of the flexors, some with carpal tunnel syndrome, and some sinovial cysts, most of them mild cases. The longer crankers stay with that style of play, the more propensity of them developing an injury.

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#15814 - 04/20/06 02:45 PM Re: Cranking
Rolling Pin Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 119
A/S/L: 33/male/Michigan
Now hold on a moment! Tommy Jones is not a cranker? We need a clear definition of what a cranker is. To me, a cranker is someone who uses more side rotation and tends to hook the ball from a deeper position typically. The cranker is also defined by his hitting power. Tommy Jones fits all of that, so I'd say both him and Pete Weber are crankers.

It seems the definition of a cranker on this forum is anyone who has bad form, and the definition of a tweener or stroker is anyone who has good form. I don't agree with that. I think Tommy Jones is generally defined as a cranker--but that (drum roll, please!) he has good form! Come on now. Crankers don't all muscle the ball and snap their necks and spray the ball everywhere like big dumb brutes. Some are very smooth and balanced.

I know strokers that suffer injury too, because playing straighter forces them to throw very hard sometimes and they hurt their shoulders and whatnot. And don't tell me a true stroker doesn't throw hard. I watch PBA all the time. I see strokers like Norm and Walter really struggle to get their speed up, and both of these players have suffered injuries (Walter to his neck, and Norm to his hand).

Sorry folks. I just can't smile and say "Strokers good, crankers bad!" and enjoy the feel good warmth it is sure to generate. No, I have to be a staunch *** and defend the honor of crankers everywhere. Thank you.

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#15815 - 04/20/06 03:01 PM Re: Cranking
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
A cranker uses their shoulder with a muscled push at the release. If you were to visulize their ball path from the backswing it would look more like a fish hook or backwards letter "J". While a stroker's ball path would look like the smile from a smiley face icon; an even arc. A Tweener's path looks more like a "U" with a long flat bottom. Crankers plant instead of slide. They tend to put their entire body into the release motion hense the usual neck snap you see. In addition to more side spin on the ball. IMO, Walter is moving towards the cranker style.

I personally never said cranking the ball was wrong. Its just not long lived for the player to be in the sport. Nor is it as versital a style. And though Strokers can also have injuries, crankers have far more.

Erin

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#15816 - 04/20/06 03:09 PM Re: Cranking
Lefty Offline
Legend

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 2356
A/S/L: 37 / M / Rochester, NY
I was going to link to a video of Rudy "Revs" to show a real cranker, and the latest video that Lane #1 has up has a disclaimer about how Rudy is trying to get a freer, lower armswing and how he's bringing his revs down from 550rpm to 450rpm.

http://lane1bowling.com/rudy/


EDIT:
Ahh.. look at his older videos and you can see the cranker style

http://lane1bowling.com/rudy/rudy_superc_bomb_h20.wmv

now compare this to the newest video up there.

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