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#68595 - 10/12/08 02:47 PM Some Questions on Fingers and Other Things
akt22 Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 66
A/S/L: 24/M/Skokie, il
I have a couple of questions, mostly relating to the fingers in terms of releases.

1. One of the things many books and articles state is that during the last point of the release the thumb exits the ball first, which transfers the weight of the ball to the fingers, to which they drive the ball causing revs. My question is how do I transfer the weight properly so my fingers can drive the ball? When my thumb comes out first, the ball instead drops to the lane so fast that I don't have the time to generate enough revs with my fingers. How can I correct that?

2. Speaking of fingers, when an article mentions them, do they mean all 4 fingers besides the thumb or the middle and ring fingers? I get confused as a result because in my opinion its very vague.

3. This doesn't have to do with fingers but I might as well ask. I notice on video of myself that I lean forward on my last step to the point it throws my balance off. What are some ways to correct this? I hypothesize that it might be due to focusing my target before the arrows. How and where should I be focusing? Before, On or After the Arrows?

I apologize if this doesn't make any sense since I'm not the best person in the world when it comes to bowling lingo.

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#68596 - 10/12/08 04:13 PM Re: Some Questions on Fingers and Other Things [Re: akt22]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 6283
A/S/L: 32/m/maryland
To answer the questions in order.

1. You need to keep the fingers under the ball until the thumb exits. This means having a slightly cupped wrist through out the swing up until the release point as the ball is passing your slide foot's ankle. Then as the thumb comes out you uncup the wrist and this is what allows you to drive through the ball.

2. It depends on what the article is about. Most articles probably are referring to just the middle and ring finger. Now if they are talking about finger positions, such as moving the pinkie and index finger in and out to change rotation, they will mention those fingers.

3. This depends on how much you are leaning. A little lean, isn't a huge deal, now if you are more than about 10-15 degrees, then its really too much. It also depends on other factors, you might not be getting your slide leg underneath your body enough and loosing your balance due to a combination of both. You could not have enough a knee bend which is causing you to try to lean forward more to release the ball. Maybe your trail leg isn't in a good balancing position. This is all something we can't tell without seeing you bowl.

I don't think the target is the issue as some people target right at the foul line and some target dots at about 8 foot down the lane, some use the arrows and some target even farther down the lane. You need to find what works for you for targeting.
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#68628 - 10/13/08 11:20 PM Re: Some Questions on Fingers and Other Things [Re: Calvin Pistorio]
akt22 Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 66
A/S/L: 24/M/Skokie, il
thanks for your replie infernocal. If you or anyone else don't mind can clarify one more thing for me?

1. How do you cup and uncup your wrist properly? It seems when I look at the pro's releases at different speeds on youtube, I catch the cupping part, but I never catch the uncupping part. Where can I see the uncupping take place from a pro? It just seems like one motion but when I try it, I get two parts, the cupping portion and the uncupping portion. The result is huge lost of revs.

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#68634 - 10/14/08 08:07 AM Re: Some Questions on Fingers and Other Things [Re: akt22]
cgeorg Offline


Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 3567
A/S/L: Pittsburgh, Pa
At first, just work on staying cupped. I can pretty much guarantee that at the bottom of your swing, your wrist will end up straight, which is a fine position. Once you have that solid and repeatable, you can work on more fancy maneuvers.

To answer the question, watch a video of Chris Barnes, from the side if you can. His is one of the most exaggerated motions. When the ball comes to the lane, he is cupped. As his thumb comes out, his wrist uncups. Once his thumb has cleared the hole, his fingers come back up the ball.

Is that necessary for a good release? No. The 3 active PBA members with the most wins are Walter Ray Williams, Norm Duke, and Pete Weber, and none of them do this. Norm can change his hand positions and axis rotation at will - he is arguably the most versatile bowler on tour. However, I have never seen him use a cupped-uncupped motion, even when hooking the ball a lot. Walter Ray has a very simple up-the-back release involving a wrist that stays slightly cupped the whole time. Pete Weber uses a cupped, cocked wrist combined with perfect timing to achieve a lot of revs (350-400, more than enough for anyone), generally with a lot of side rotation. He does *uncock* his wrist during his release (which is *always* advisable), but he does not really have an uncupping motion.
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#68661 - 10/14/08 04:15 PM Re: Some Questions on Fingers and Other Things [Re: cgeorg]
Time-To-Roll Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 11/08/02
Posts: 434
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Thank you Cgeorg,
akt22, I found out what you did , with the un-cupping of the wrist. My wrist just kept breaking more and more. I could go down 5 to the 10 pin the ball was so straight. So I guess we learned how to reduce revs. So forget about that.
What really works is to keep your fingers at 4 and 5 in your grip and keep them really FIRM. At your release point just think up the back of the ball with those 2 fingers like right up the center of the ball.You need some accleration, your fingers will rotate the ball and thumb will come out and wrist will finish straight all on their own no help. Interesting to do this with a light ball and a heavier one,with the light ball your thumb will come out very quickly.Keeping those 2 fingers firm will also help keep the ball from slipping off your thumb too soon.
Cgeorg, correct me if I am wrong. This could be a good topic for your blog site.
Dianne

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#68663 - 10/14/08 04:40 PM Re: Some Questions on Fingers and Other Things [Re: Time-To-Roll]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 6283
A/S/L: 32/m/maryland
The cupping/uncupping method is more of a "recent" development in the sport, meaning somewhere in the last 15 years or so. Some believe it might be around the time Mike Miller decided to use the thumbless release on tour in the early 1990s. Before the "power" players would use a different method similar to Tommy Jones, which is staying "inside" of the ball and then coming around the ball, or like Walter Ray does with hitting up on the ball.

The method for cupping/uncupping is cup during set up and keep it cupped throughout the swing and as the ball is getting next to the slide ankle to uncup as the thumb comes out. Its not something you should think about and like CG said the wrist tends to do straighten out on it's own or sometimes breaks back on it's own.
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#68679 - 10/14/08 08:30 PM Re: Some Questions on Fingers and Other Things [Re: Calvin Pistorio]
akt22 Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 66
A/S/L: 24/M/Skokie, il
Once again thanks for all your help.

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#68914 - 10/18/08 09:03 AM Re: Some Questions on Fingers and Other Things [Re: akt22]
akt22 Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 66
A/S/L: 24/M/Skokie, il
Since I don't want to start another topic, I might as well ask here: how do I develop a "free" armswing? Every time I try to relax and let gravity do the work, the ball drops so fast that my arm becomes tense trying to stabalize the speed. To give you a picture, it feels like i'm dropping a heavy object after holding it out and trying to catch it. How do I make that ball feel weightless in my swing? My coach told me to bring the ball into motion more quickly in my approach, which helps, but it doesn't help for some reason to the point of eliminating my tension.

Also do I have to use force to make my ball swing travel up? If I try to do a free swing, the ball always stops beside my waist no matter how high I start. The end result is using a little force to bring the ball up to the point where I started. Is that ok for a free swing?

Lastly, the tips on revs help greatly. The ball rotates more but the hook isn't there. The ball totates more like a top that is slightly tilted than a ball with spin. Why is that? I think this is the reason why it won't hook.


Edited by akt22 (10/18/08 09:04 AM)

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#69019 - 10/20/08 05:16 PM Re: Some Questions on Fingers and Other Things [Re: akt22]
cgeorg Offline


Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 3567
A/S/L: Pittsburgh, Pa
Well the ball will drop quickly - gravity is pretty strong!

Tips:
  • Stance - Hold the weight of the ball in your left hand (assuming you are a righty). Your right arm should be completely relaxed. I like to wiggle my right elbow a bit in the approach to make sure it's loose and relaxed. Ron Clifton article.
  • Pushaway - Make it more hinged. You don't want to ball to go straight out, then down. Your arm shouldn't get straight until it is about 45 degrees from the floor. Chris Barnes is the best example of this pushaway that I can think of. This should keep it from feeling like a sudden drop. If you're still uneasy, you just need trust, and that comes from practice. Practice, and a proper grip. A free armswing also has to involve a relaxed bowling hand - if you have to squeeze your ball, you can't have a free armswing. If that is the case, try adding tape to your thumbhole - if it still comes off early, until you put in so much tape that the ball stays on your thumb, you should have your grip checked. Ron Clifton article.
  • Backswing your problems here most likely come from the fact that the first half of your swing is not free. The ball should end up nearly as high in the backswing as it is in the stance with a free armswing. In fact, if you lean at the right time, you can actually get the ball to end up higher than it started, without muscle. Ron Clifton article.
  • Release - The ball is spinning because you have too much axis tilt. That happens when your fingers are tilted at the point of release. You are here:

    You need to be here:

    Ron Clifton tip
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