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#92977 - 05/24/09 10:29 AM Ron Clifton's clinic Santa Clarita
ijohn83 Offline
4x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 950
A/S/L: 54/male/Palmdale, California U...
Wow! - Where to start. Two days down, 1 to go. Ron is pretty amazing the way he can coach 8 bowlers at the same time. Working with one, looking at another while probably thinking and formulating action plans for the other 6.
Ron felt I had a fairly solid game until my release. He would not accept any of my descriptions of it such as "weak wrist" or "lazy wrist". He ended up calling it an "over active wrist". He started me at the foul line with a drill he calls the "scoot" drill. (He knows that speed triggers muscle memory so just about every new skill starts at the foul line with no foot movement to not engage that old memory.) This "scoot" drill is just standing at the foul line in finished position with the ball on the deck, then putting my hand in the ball, just scooting the ball towards the pins; kind of like "putting" a golf ball. The next drill is still at the foul line, kind of like the "one step" drill but without the step, a little swing without release then the second swing through & release. Next was the same thing but release on the first swing. As I work on these things and Ron's working with others, he comes over to me & says "jump ahead 4 years". He stands with me at the foul line & has me doing the little swing drill with the wrist cocked inside un-cocking (not un-cupping; my wrist is not cupped) to straight wrist at the release. I am now rolling a bowling ball down the lane with a rev rate, he estimated, in the neighborhood of 400 & calls me Chris Barnes Ė with no effort & no approach! He says I have a powerful wrist and lets me do this without him at my will for half an hour or so. All the other bowlers are going "wow!" after seeing me go from under 100 rpm to almost 400rpm.
Ron then has me add motion to that release by backing me up about 4 or 5 feet and I can not do it without my "over active" early pre-mature release kicking in. He then has me put on my wrist brace and has me doing everything "old school" completely on the side of the ball. He says he is trying to get me to get "control" over my wrist & says that if I can do two releases then I could probably do 20.
1 day to go & I have not tried that good release I've been after again yet. I do feel like frog guts now and wonder if I will be able to do that release properly with motion ever. I hope Ron puts this frog together today so I can show everyone here whatís possible.
Clinic is awesome with so much information. I will try to share as much as I can over the next few days. It will be interesting to see what translates over time to my bowling.

Thank you all for getting me this far, so far,

Have a great day,

~ John

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#92981 - 05/24/09 02:17 PM Re: Ron Clifton's clinic Santa Clarita [Re: ijohn83]
Rob183 Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 248
A/S/L: 34/m/Miami, Fl
Did he say anything about your stance...

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#92993 - 05/24/09 07:11 PM Re: Ron Clifton's clinic Santa Clarita [Re: ijohn83]
CoachJim Offline
USBC Silver Coach

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 4665
A/S/L: Reston, Virginia USA
Take your time and remember what he taught you and how to do it, and practice practice practice.

I figured Ron would work with you on your release which is why I didn't mention it. Ron is the master of teaching the release, I'm glad you are getting to work with him.

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#93014 - 05/25/09 09:42 AM Re: Ron Clifton's clinic Santa Clarita [Re: CoachJim]
Dan300 Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 574
A/S/L: 40s/M/Woodbridge, VA
Hey Jim, do you know when Clifton's going to be back in the DC area? His website just says early 2009.
_________________________
Career:
----
800s: 836, 814, 802, 822
300s: 13 total

Season (14-15):
----
HSS: 822
HSG: 300(2)

Averages(1/8/15):
----
Composite: 225
WMCL: 235
Stan Soaper: 219
Men's Automotive: 220

Balls(15#):
----
HyperCell Skid
HyperCell
Infinite Theory
Wrecker

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#93015 - 05/25/09 09:49 AM Re: Ron Clifton's clinic Santa Clarita [Re: CoachJim]
ijohn83 Offline
4x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 950
A/S/L: 54/male/Palmdale, California U...
Good Morning,

Well it turns out I am a real hard case. I am destined to foul line standing releases & "scoot" drills until my muscle memory gets reprogrammed. Ron apologized to me for him not being creative enough to come up with the magic bullet drill that would turn on my light bulb & fix my release problem. He did say that he is still thinking and not to be surprised if I get an email from him when he thinks of one - in a week, or 1 month, - 6 months; In the mean time, time at the foul line for me.
I really enjoyed this weekend. It is great being around a good coach along with seven other bowlers that really want to improve their game.
We went down the side of the lane and looked at what carry down looks like; Streaks of oil laid down by the bowties of the flaring bowling balls. Ron calls them the Morse code of bowling. They can be only a dot of oil to as long as 6 to 8 inches long. The ball actually rolls/skids, rolls/skids, rolls/skids to create the carry down.
When learning new skills, after we had learn it standing at the foul line, & after we had learned it 3-4 feet from the foul line, we would learn it from 10 feet behind the deck starting by the seats (a 15 normal step approach), then we would learn it from our regular starting place, but with a 15 baby step approach. The goal always being to keep the part of the brain that thinks it knows how to bowl in neutral until the new skill is learned.
Ron thinks bowlers should have 2 ways to shoot the corner pins. Maybe the outside approach is sticking from lack of use or something.
Ronís a big believer in trying different things in practice that can maybe be a "Band-Aid" fix in competition. Different things also challenge the brain to get out of it's box. For example: Normal push away goes toward your target. What happens to your targeting if you push away toward the 7 pin instead or toward the 10 pin? If one of them causes you to miss inside or outside then when you a competing and are missing opposite, you can apply that learn & practiced "Band-Aid" to maybe pull yourself together.

Anyway great weekend & all help for an "over active" wrist is still appreciated.

~ John

PS: Ron had me move my ball a little more to the center of my body on set-up.


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#93021 - 05/25/09 12:20 PM Re: Ron Clifton's clinic Santa Clarita [Re: ijohn83]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9820
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
John wrote, "Well it turns out I am a real hard case."
Sorry John, I read this head case. My bad, LOL But, the more you wrote, the more this could be true. Repeated practices are needed to get the memory of the old release out of your mind. You are looking for the "light bulb" that says, HEY, I DID IT! Then, it takes a while for you to repeat it.

Wondering, did he say anything about your forward lean, or lack of? Controlling your arm? Just looking for some more wisdom to 1. recognize a problem. And 2. How to fix it.

Sounds like a profitable weekend.
_________________________
LM - Black Diamond 15#
Lord Field - Exodus Pearl 15#
Legends - L/M New Terminator 15#
Legends - L/M Xtreme Damage 15# Strong pearl




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#93025 - 05/25/09 02:18 PM Re: Ron Clifton's clinic Santa Clarita [Re: Dennis Michael]
ijohn83 Offline
4x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 950
A/S/L: 54/male/Palmdale, California U...
Hi Dennis,

You know Dennis, I was surprised he didn't chop me up more. I think he knows that he only has three days with you and he wants to leave you being a better bowler. Three or four things to work on plus all his tips & insights and thats about that.
He does have me working on smothing out my ball drop. I am too litteral with the word ;drop". He wants me moving the ball forward with the left hand & "pull it" down into the swing with the bowling hand. He doesn't think the "pull" will be more than grafity it is just a mental tool. He doesn't want me to add any heigth to the back swing with muscle. He also wants me to try to start praticing opening my shouler at the top of the back swing so the hand & ball face out at the top of the swing and comes in closer to the ankle at release. That was one of those things that the brain says I'm doing it, but realy I was only behind the ball at the top of the swing. Keep A strong wrist postion at the top of the swing don't open the wrist-I don't need the extra speed.
At the bottom of the down swing when I feel like the ball could fall off & the brain is say "grap it" , he wants me to do opposite and just open my complete hand.
My main issue is my release. He had me throw my ball two handed no thumb and my wrist was in a great position then normal release wrist bad position - alternating back & forth. When that wasn't changing my "over active" wrist, he wanted me to put my thumb in the ball and deliver it like I was doing it two handed with no thumb. I was afraid & could not even try that. I will try to do that one this week. He had everyone else bowling at times under broom handles stuck in chairs, for me he had me doing oppsite and projection the ball out to the dots after the foul line. That also exposed my wrists desire to lead with all fingers at the same time. More & more stuff comes to mind. after I get some sleep I will get my notes & post some more things I thought were great.

Oh. Here is a good one I just thought of from Ron: The black masking in all bowling centers above the pins that seperate the art work from the machinery (its got the lane numbers on it) it is by rule the same height in all bowling centers. When you stand at the foul line and look at its reflection on the lane, the top of it draws a perfict 40 foot line across the lane to help with reading oil length.

~John


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#93048 - 05/25/09 07:36 PM Re: Ron Clifton's clinic Santa Clarita [Re: ijohn83]
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
Quote:
Oh. Here is a good one I just thought of from Ron: The black masking in all bowling centers above the pins that seperate the art work from the machinery (its got the lane numbers on it) it is by rule the same height in all bowling centers. When you stand at the foul line and look at its reflection on the lane, the top of it draws a perfict 40 foot line across the lane to help with reading oil length.


These are the little tips that are really hard to come by. For example. The full size gutter caps are 8' long. Sometimes there's a partial one at the fouline of about 2' or so. But this too makes a good referance for targetting. You can see the creases where one gutter cap ends and the next begins.

Erin


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#93064 - 05/26/09 02:52 AM Re: Ron Clifton's clinic Santa Clarita [Re: Atochabsh]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9820
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
At our lanes, there are 2 lights on the right side of that panel that indicate 1 light - first shot, 2 lights - second shot. I often use that reflection on the lane to target my breakpoint. It is also my 10 pin target there with a spare ball. Makeshift rangefinders.

And, I did what Erin said every night over the past year in league. I would walk down the aisle along the last lane, count the gutter caps, and see how long the oil shot was.
_________________________
LM - Black Diamond 15#
Lord Field - Exodus Pearl 15#
Legends - L/M New Terminator 15#
Legends - L/M Xtreme Damage 15# Strong pearl




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#93066 - 05/26/09 03:33 AM Re: Ron Clifton's clinic Santa Clarita [Re: Dennis Michael]
ijohn83 Offline
4x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 950
A/S/L: 54/male/Palmdale, California U...
Well - I went bowling today & did my drills. When I got home and looked at my video, my "over active" wrist was doing its bad thing. My wife is really going to be shaking her head at me when she sees me "scooting" my bowling ball around the living room.

Ron: The eyes are not for staring down your target. They are for getting lined up before the approach and information gathering after the release. Not useful during the approach.

Ron, also, has converted me to a round thumb hole not my ovals. He hates "naked" (nothing in them) thumb holes. He thinks that when you add tape front & back & carpet in the back only you make the round hole oval. My ovals were so tight he could get nothing in them. I had the new to me Pro Shop drill out a few of my old switch grips that I don't use because of too much bevel. They put different colored inserts in them and drilled them round the width of my thumb (63/64) with no bevel just smoothed and fluffed. I loaded them all with 1 piece of white tape in the front & in the back I went with:

Pink Thumb (1) no black tape only magic carpet
Black Thumb (2) 2 pieces of black tape then the Magic carpet
Purple Thumb (3) 4 pieces of black tape then the magic carpet
Blue Thumb (4) 6 pieces of black tape then the magic carpet

In a matter of a half an hour I created my new favorite thumb hole with increments for swelling or cold weather or weight loss (or gain). No custom sanding by my personnel pro-shop operator. To get a replacement I just say to drill 63/64 - 3/8 forward - 1/8 left - no bevel just smoothed out and I will have a perfect new switch grip thumb hole.

~ John

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