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#69141 - 10/22/08 09:27 AM Ball veers right into gutter.
Methofaroketskick Offline
Junior Master

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 31
A/S/L: 23/F/FL

I'm new to the sport of bowling. I did bowl on a league when I was a little kid, but that was ages ago. I have a few questions.

First, I'm left handed and what happens is when I throw the ball it tends to go to the right of the lane into the gutter. I've gotten a little better by not dropping my shoulder when throwing the ball and I can throw in a straight line, but I still have major issues. What can I do? I think I might have an issue keeping my arm straight.

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#69160 - 10/22/08 12:44 PM Re: Ball veers right into gutter. [Re: Methofaroketskick]
CoachJim Offline
USBC Silver Coach

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 4665
A/S/L: Reston, Virginia USA
Now that you've learned to not drop the shoulder you now need to learn to drop your shoulder again as that is not a problem, all of the pro's bowling side shoulders are lower than the non bowling side shoulder.

Your problem is most likely caused by a bad arm swing, or lack of an arm swing. This is not a muscle sport and any muscles you use besides your wrist muscles is a waste of energy. That being said if you want to hit your target you need to reach your fingers through the bottom of the ball and extend them through your target, this will cause your shoulder to drop and your arm to follow through toward your target, if anyone tells you that dropping your shoulder is bad, then they don't know what they are talking about, and shouldn't be giving advice until they know enough to not screw people up.

Post a video and I can help you further.

#69168 - 10/22/08 04:28 PM Re: Ball veers right into gutter. [Re: CoachJim]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 6283
A/S/L: 32/m/maryland
Let me welcome you to the site Methofaroketsick, and to the sport we all seem to love.

CoachJim is right, the "dropped" shoulder isn't an issue as most of the pro's do that. Now an open shoulder which means the shoulder is still behind your body at release which then has the arm swing outwards unless you muscle it back into place. It is definitely an armswing issue of some sort. Maybe even short arming the release, or the body not being squared with itself and your target line.
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#69228 - 10/23/08 10:45 AM Re: Ball veers right into gutter. [Re: Calvin Pistorio]
GuitarKidd Offline

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 22
A/S/L: 33/M/Suffield Ohio
What helps me is a long swing, with a long follow through. As my arm comes through, my hand is swinging through my target and coming all the way up to my eye's.

Think Horseshoes, [censored], Yard Darts, Bocce ball... Always follow through.

#70777 - 11/17/08 12:03 AM Re: Ball veers right into gutter. [Re: GuitarKidd]
firemedic22 Offline

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 13
A/S/L: 19/M/Howell, MI
You may be releasing before your arm goes back straight, I would suggest taking a few steps right and see what happens.

#70778 - 11/17/08 12:18 AM Re: Ball veers right into gutter. [Re: firemedic22]
SilentTuba Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 85
A/S/L: 25/M/NJ
A few things:

First, you need to determine, when you step on the approach, what your target is. What point on the lane are you going to be aiming for. That depends largely on your style. Once you have your spot, though, your eyes need to stay glued to that spot. Don't look anywhere else, until the ball is out of your hand and rolling over it. This will help prevent you from crossing your body with your arm.

Second, is follow through, as others have said. If you're playing baseball, you don't stop the bat after you make contact with the ball; you swing through the ball to drive it into the outfield. Same thing in bowling. You don't stop your arm motion after the release, you swing through the release. I have the bad habit of short arming the ball myself, stopping the motion after I release. Every single time I do, I go wide right and hit the 6 pin, if not the gutter (I'm a lefty, too). THe follow through really prevents that, especially if you are keeping your eyes on your target.

#70788 - 11/17/08 07:20 AM Re: Ball veers right into gutter. [Re: SilentTuba]
cgeorg Offline

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 3567
A/S/L: Pittsburgh, Pa
I'm going to back up a step here and ask what level bowler you are? Do you have a consistent 4 or 5 step approach? Do you hook the ball or throw straight? Do you own a ball? It sounds to me like you might be a relatively inexperienced straight bowler. If so, here's a quick guide that should get you on track:

You arm should swing pretty freely with the ball. It's hard without a proper fitting ball (house balls are not properly fitted, and it can take 10+ tries to get it exactly right on your own balls), but you can still do it with some success. Start out at the 2nd set of dots on the approach (the ones closer to the foul line, about 12 feet). Pick a dot to stand on (to throw down the middle of the lane, you'll want your right toe around the dot to the right of the middle one). Hold the ball, with most of the weight in your right hand, and your arms bent so that the ball is in front of you and your elbows are near your hips. You'll take 4 steps, starting with your left foot - step, step, step, slide. As you start your first step, push the ball out so that it goes right in like with your left shoulder. Relax your arm and just let the ball swing from your shoulder as you continue your steps (at a normal walking pace, you can get quicker as you approach the foul line). If your timing is right, the ball should get back to your ankle coming forward right when your slide is finishing. Follow through to your target, and the ball should go pretty straight. Once you get that timing down, you can move left or right and try different angles to get more strikes, but if you throw a straight ball, you will have a hard time consistently striking.
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#75486 - 01/13/09 09:35 PM Re: Ball veers right into gutter. [Re: cgeorg]
Methofaroketskick Offline
Junior Master

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 31
A/S/L: 23/F/FL
Thanks! I just saw this thread again. It's been ages since I posted here. Is the thumb to be pointing straight forward?

I'm a beginner.
I throw straight, but I want to learn a hook.
I own an Ebonite Tornado.
I do not use a 4 or 5 step approach, but I'm going to try it next time I go out.

#75526 - 01/14/09 08:36 AM Re: Ball veers right into gutter. [Re: Methofaroketskick]
sk8shorty01 Offline
Virtual League Champion x2

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 5163
A/S/L: 30/M/Merritt Island, FL
Well here are some more questions for you:

How often do you bowl?
How long have you been bowling?
How far do your fingers go into the ball (first or second joint)?
Do you bowl in any leagues?
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#75540 - 01/14/09 10:40 AM Re: Ball veers right into gutter. [Re: sk8shorty01]
Methofaroketskick Offline
Junior Master

Registered: 10/21/08
Posts: 31
A/S/L: 23/F/FL
How often do you bowl? Once or twice a week.

How long have you been bowling? 5 months.

How far do your fingers go into the ball (first or second joint)? second.

Do you bowl in any leagues? I will be in August, but currently, no.

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