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#75221 - 01/11/09 10:00 PM First Video, All help appreciated
JBB817 Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 95
A/S/L: 21/M/NJ
Hey, so I've been reading through the forums a lot and finally decided to post a video of myself practicing. I've been learning to throw "properly" for the last 4 or 5 months (before that I used no thumb). I'd like to hear what you guys see that can help improve my (pretty mediocre) game. I have my college's spring semester starting up, so that means a new intramural league season to get ready for. I'm throwing a 14lb Storm Virtual Gravity for the majority of the vid. There are one or two throws in there with a 12lb house ball till i can get my own plastic spare ball that fits right.



_________________________
HG: 267
HS: 631

15lb Cell Pearl
14lb Hy-Road
15lb Slingshot
14lb T-Zone

Virtual Gravity, Smash Zone, Freeze - Retired

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Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#75224 - 01/11/09 10:15 PM Re: First Video, All help appreciated [Re: JBB817]
Rack Wrecker Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 460
A/S/L: 19/M/Cleveland, Ohio
Well here's my first impressions and my thoughts. I know that some other people on here are better at picking this stuff apart but here's what I see:

You seem to be muscling the ball a tiny bit based on the way your wrist seems to be pulling up pretty hard on the ball nearing the bottom of your forward swing. You seem to be moving your feet a bit faster than I'd expect based on your swing. You start of on the first foot pretty fast to begin with whereas if you started a bit slower and naturally sped up towards the slide then you might be able to get your wrist to the release point a tiny but closer to the time you slide. this speed issue doesn't seem to happen on every shot. you seem to be standing quite a bit upright on the release which is causing the ball to take a pretty hard drop onto the lane right off your hand. Your accuracy tends to vary, just like everyone's really, but focusing a bit more on your target visually will help immensely. Also, I personally think you might be turning your wrist just a tiny bit early which can cause you to pull the ball right of target from time to time and cut down on revs. I think there are a good number of good signs here. Your backswing seems powerful to me at least. The first thing I noticed was the ball's drop off your hand and the way your elbow seems to be turned out away from your body in the forward swing right before you come up the side of the ball. Hope my thoughts aren't too far off
_________________________
You haven't hit the pocket well enough until you've Wrecked the Rack!

I'm an English major, "if my doctor told me I had only 6 minutes to live I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster."

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#75225 - 01/11/09 10:17 PM Re: First Video, All help appreciated [Re: JBB817]
Brian Longo Offline
Legend

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 1393
A/S/L: 37/M/Jacksonville, NC
First good thing I saw was a pretty good pushaway, but you could stand to extend it with a lot less muscle. First ugly thing I saw was you popping up at the line - a definite no-no. You want to stay down through the shot keeping your head still. In between the good and the ugly was the bad, and that was an armswing that was a little too far away from your body.

I can see where some of your old "thumbless style" still comes into play as you sort of race to the line with a shoveled armswing. That will take time to break. Ultimately, you want a fluid, muscle-free armswing, like a grandfather clock's pendulum; your arm is the rod and the ball is the weight and it moves effortlessly throughout your approach.

For the short term, you should focus on these two things: staying down at the line with an "athletic finish" and pushing the ball up and out to start. For the "athletic finish", you want your knee bent at least 30 degrees (or more if that's comfortable) and a gradual lowering of your body to the slide. Keep your back straight trying not to bend at the waist to stay low as that will reduce your power and accuracy significantly. For the pushaway, imagine pushing the ball up and over an imaginary bar that's above your ball. For the long term, relax your armswing.

If you get these three things accomplished, you should notice your scoring increasing significantly, and, actually, your armswing will stay closer to your body, too (which is why I didn't mention that above - it will come into its own as you correct the other 3 things).

Good luck!
_________________________
"There are no magical balls, just magical bowlers"

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#75230 - 01/11/09 10:31 PM Re: First Video, All help appreciated [Re: Brian Longo]
Rack Wrecker Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 460
A/S/L: 19/M/Cleveland, Ohio
I just wanted to add one more thing: the signs of your 2 finger style are still showing through. The biggest thing to remember is that you now have a thumb in the mix. Stay behind the ball with your hand throughout the swing until the release where the thumb exits first, turning the wrist only a slide motion from behind to the side, do not turn your wrist like turning a doorknob, that will over turn and kill reaction as well as over strain the wrist. a proper wrist turn for 3 fingers looks and feels like this: put your palm facing the ceiling. Then gently turn your wrist so that your palm is now facing the left wall. This is all the motion the wrist needs to create a good axis on which the ball will hook.

The 2 finger release is much less stable and in turn often less accurate. When you add the thumb you gain support but have to get it back out before the wrist turns. The arm needs to stay closer to the body and backswing behind you, not to the right side or left side of your body, but back. When the forward swing comes through you want to keep that straight as well and guide the ball with your hand, index finger, and your approach to the foul line. The rushing to the line forces the arm to get muscle involved to get to the release point to match with the feet, this causes everything from reduced revs, to tugging the ball, to an unnecessarily uncomfortable swing.

The popping at the line thing is one of the things I was trying to describe before but did so poorly. You seem to sort of shoot your body upwards like a jack in the box as you pull your arm through the follow through (again not so free and muscle less) and then you push your body upwards rather than bending the left knee as you slide. this causes your ball to have a higher distance between where it actually rolls off your hand and the lane
_________________________
You haven't hit the pocket well enough until you've Wrecked the Rack!

I'm an English major, "if my doctor told me I had only 6 minutes to live I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster."

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#75233 - 01/11/09 10:39 PM Re: First Video, All help appreciated [Re: Rack Wrecker]
JBB817 Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 95
A/S/L: 21/M/NJ
Thanks a lot for the input guys, it's really helpful to hear what other people see me doing wrong. I'll definitely work on slowing down my approach, trying to start getting a knee bend and staying low through the slide step. As for the 2 finger thing, I noticed how sketchy the style was for me and that's why I decided to switch styles. Like you mentioned, breaking all those old style habits is going to be a pain, but I'm gonna keep trying my best to improve my form.


Edited by Finalspirit (01/11/09 10:40 PM)
_________________________
HG: 267
HS: 631

15lb Cell Pearl
14lb Hy-Road
15lb Slingshot
14lb T-Zone

Virtual Gravity, Smash Zone, Freeze - Retired

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#75234 - 01/11/09 10:42 PM Re: First Video, All help appreciated [Re: JBB817]
Lefty Offline
Legend

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 2356
A/S/L: 37 / M / Rochester, NY
I'll second the popping up at the line. It looks like you're trying to rip through the ball and pull up to make the ball hook. The secret is, the ball will hook plenty without doing this. Staying down and not forcing it are much more beneficial than trying to rip the cover off the ball. Even the highest rev bowlers on the PBA don't try to exert force like that.

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#75235 - 01/11/09 10:45 PM Re: First Video, All help appreciated [Re: JBB817]
Brian Longo Offline
Legend

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 1393
A/S/L: 37/M/Jacksonville, NC
It won't be easy, that's for sure, so don't get frustrated. A good thing to remember is that you will seem to get worse before you get better and that's because you're leaving your comfort zone for something different. We always throw in the suggestion of getting a coach if possible, and I do recommend one if you're serious about the sport. There really is no substitute for a good set of trained eyes to work with you on-site. If you insist on being a "self-taught bowler", I won't fault you for that or question it, either. Just know the road is harder that way. I know, because I went that route myself, albeit my circumstances were different in that I didn't have competent coaching when I was bowling in the 80's. Things are way different now.

Again, good luck. smile
_________________________
"There are no magical balls, just magical bowlers"

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#75236 - 01/11/09 11:02 PM Re: First Video, All help appreciated [Re: Brian Longo]
JBB817 Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 95
A/S/L: 21/M/NJ
Lefty: Yeah, I plan on working on that first thing next time I go to practice. Even after reading everything here and watching plenty of PBA coverage and knowing mentally that it is bad, when it comes to executing, I really need to force myself to get out of the habit.

Brian: Thanks for the advice, I really hope I can put it to good use over the next few (or many, haha) practices. I've considered coaching and if I ever have the spare cash lying around It'd be up there with things I'd spend it on. As it stands, as a poor college student I'm just lucky to have gotten the awesome Virtual Gravity for Christmas, haha.
_________________________
HG: 267
HS: 631

15lb Cell Pearl
14lb Hy-Road
15lb Slingshot
14lb T-Zone

Virtual Gravity, Smash Zone, Freeze - Retired

Top
#75248 - 01/12/09 12:13 AM Re: First Video, All help appreciated [Re: JBB817]
Rack Wrecker Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 460
A/S/L: 19/M/Cleveland, Ohio
I completely understand the wanting a coach but being a poor college student. Same boat with you there!

I have worked to get the balls I have now and really focused to get this far, still a long way to go for me at least. But I'm pressing on still.

Yes, breaking bad habits will take time but don't give up, and don't be surprised when new ones develop while trying to break the old ones. It happens to the best of us.

Reading, watching, and trying to absorb is very beneficial. Yet it is very difficult to take what you see and now know and turn it into the physical version on your own part. The best thing to do is go to practice and pick things individually to work on. Don't try to tackle everything at once. Work on one flaw at a time until the kinks are smoothed out and then work on the next thing. Don't forget to come back to focusing on the previous thing either so as to not allow those new bad habits or cutting corners to sneak up on you while moving ahead.

Just keep doing what you're doing now and believe me, it will start to pick up and you'll notice major differences fast. Once you get your muscle memory to pick up on what's changing and what's going on things will begin to fall into place more. I also advise asking for help from people at the lanes, if they have any knowledge about it, and just seeing if they have an quick, free tips they can give to you directly since they are they literally at the lanes. I kept coming onto this forum and asking questions, reading and reading and watching videos, and I began to chime in and add anything I had to offer. This forum really has helped me up my game and it was in such a subtle way. Looking back at it now, its almost as if just by being around all of the other bowlers, talking with them, hearing what they have to say, and learning from what they are learning, it feels like things were learned through osmosis and I got better just by being on here and participating.

Be sure to keep us all posted on how things go!
_________________________
You haven't hit the pocket well enough until you've Wrecked the Rack!

I'm an English major, "if my doctor told me I had only 6 minutes to live I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster."

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#75287 - 01/12/09 11:26 AM Re: First Video, All help appreciated [Re: Rack Wrecker]
sk8shorty01 Offline
Virtual League Champion x2

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 5163
A/S/L: 30/M/Merritt Island, FL
The popping up in your slide is definitely the biggest downfall you have right now. To break the habit, challenge yourself to stay down in your post position (aka. athletic position) until the ball falls off the back of the deck. This will engrain that feeling into your head and you will notice slowly but surely you will stop having to concentrate on doing this. The reason so many point this out is because the leverage that the ball carries down the lane is all obtained by your legs. Your legs are what adds speed and power at the pocket, not the arm. Think about a MLB pitcher. They can throw in excess of 95 mph off the mound, but most cannot hit 80 on flat ground. This is because their legs can generate so much more power in the swing off the mound. This is what you should consider when trying to get power in the ball in bowling as well. When you raise your body on release you are sending the momentum your approach creates upward into your body, as opposed to through the ball and onto the lanes.

Also, remember to work on one area of your game at a time. Don't try to fix everything that people bring up at once, as your mind will overload and everything will be off. Just work one until it becomes second nature, then move on to the next. And always have fun!
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