Video and questions

Posted by: Luksa

Video and questions - 05/29/08 05:37 AM

Here are my videos:

- Side 1:
- Side 2:
- Side 3:
- Side 4:

- Back 1:
- Back 2:
- Back 3:

One of my biggest problems is bending the elbow in the follow-thru (I tend to pull up. It used to be a lot worse, but I would really like to get myself to just let the ball roll off my hand and follow-thru with a straight arm). I only bend the elbow when throwing a strike ball. When I throw at spares, I keep my arm completely straight, so it's obvious the bending comes from trying to hook the ball.

Another problem is my excessive tilting to the right (see video "Back 3"). I don't just drop the shoulder, I also tilt the whole spine to the right, which moves my release point far from my ankle. Any exercises or tricks to force me to stop tilting so much?

What do you think about my footwork tempo? Is it a bit too fast? What about the end of the slide. Do I stop too abruptly (I'm asking because my foot stops and then my body keeps going forward and up)?

One final question about the grip. If you look at the attached picture, you'll see a gap between my hand and the ball at the pinkie finger. Is this ok or not? My span is not too short, it could be a bit too long (1/16" to 1/8").

I try to keep my arm and hand completely relaxed, that's why my wrist is not cupped in the initial downswing, but I do cup it at the top of the swing.
Posted by: Jay R.

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 08:11 AM

Seems like you realize what you need to work on without people telling you, which is good. I'm not very experienced with coaching but let me try to help anyways, and someone better like CoachJim or cgeorg can correct me if I'm way off.

For your bent elbow, I don't really see what you mean. If you mean after releasing the ball, I don't think it's a big problem. If you think it's affecting you(and it might because you may just be doing it too much), you can try actually reaching out to your target to get the feel of coming through the ball instead of up. But even most of the pros bend in the follow through.

Again, even the pros tilt in the direction of their bowling arm. Look at Jason Couch, Tommy Jones, Chris Barnes, the list goes on. But at the same time, not everyone is the same. So if you feel it's hurting your game, you can focus on keeping your head above your sliding foot and that's the ideal finishing position.

As for your footwork, your first two steps are fine but after that you are rushing it a bit. Try to keep your steps a little more fluid. Your slide step is also bigger than all your other steps from what I could see, but I'm not sure whether or not that's a problem. Also, ome shots your throw your trail leg a little far to the left and in the air. Try to keep it lower and more inside, that way your hips don't open any more than they need to at the line.

I'm completely lost on your pinkie finger problem. I think you lose leverage and/or revs if your pinkie is not in contact with the ball. I'll let someone else figure that one out though.
Posted by: CoachJim

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 08:14 AM

Your wrist position looks weak throughout the swing, it is hard to see going across the internet. It does look to me like your hand is in a weak position as you release the ball. Your hand looks like it is in a 10 or 11 o'clock position instead of behind the ball.

As far as your grip goes, does the ball feel like it is slipping from your thumb on the down swing. If so have you tried c0cking your wrist to try to lock the thumb into the ball and have the ball sit deeper into your hand?

As far as the leaning is concerned you have great timing a nice swing and excellent foot work if you look at 1 and 2 from behind the ball is next to your ankle in both of those, you may just need to stop turning your hand early, this will keep your elbow tucked in, so try that first and see if that helps.
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 09:29 AM

I saw the same things CoachJim did for the most part. Nice fundamentals, but I think the weak wrist in the swing is hurting you, and from I saw when I paused the video, it looks like you're on the side of the ball even at the top of the backswing. Try to stay behind it, and at least get your wrist to stay straight on the backswing, if not slightly cupped as Jim said. I can only think of 2 pros I've ever seen that let their wrist bend back like that in the backswing - one was Jason Hurd, and I can't remember the other, but you don't really bowl like either of them smile
Posted by: CoachJim

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 09:57 AM

Steve Wilson maybe?
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 09:59 AM

I don't think that's who I was thinking of, but that is another good example. The thing is, those guys leave their wrist weak, stay behind the ball, then accelerate through it at release (Jim, I know you know, this is @ Luksa). If you're not going to do that, you want to try to get in that stronger wrist position as early as possible so that you have less moving parts to deal with.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 10:26 AM

I assume you are talking about a bent elbow at your release.

I tried to stop the first and second back pix at the release. Unfortunately, I couldn't copy to this format. If you can stop them and place them side by side, you can see.
The first back pix, you had better extension with your arm and your ball rolled out to 2-3 board. Your hand was more behind the ball, and your lean was less.
The second back pix, your elbow seemed a little bent at release and your ball rolled at 8 or so. Your hand was already on the side of the ball at release, and your lean was more.

My suspicion would be that you have better extension on spares since you project the ball at your target better with a straighter elbow, as you did in back 1. When you early turn your strike ball, your elbow bends and you lean. You don't get the same projection.
Posted by: Luksa

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 11:43 AM

OK, so you all agree my priority should be to get my fingers in a stronger position, more under and behind the ball. I found a high speed video of my release and I'm attaching two pictures from it, so you can see where my fingers are at the start and end of the release.

I used to have a much more cupped wrist, but then I read somewhere on this forum, that I should try to have my arm limp like a wet noodle. So I tried it and my accuracy went WAY up (my last season's avg on multiple conditions (league and all tournaments and championships) was around 180, this year I'm at 200). So, I guess, now I have to train myself to keep the wrist cupped, yet keep my other muscles relaxed as much as I can.

I know I'm turning too early (and too much). I've been working on this the last week and things are a little better. But I just realized I turn the hand slightly as soon as the ball passes my leg after the pushaway. So next time I'll try to fix this.

One more thing about my tilting to the right. In videos "Back 1" and "Back 2" I was actually concentrating on not tilting that much, and the ball really is right next to my ankle. On "Back 3" I threw the ball without concentrating and the ball is farther from my ankle. This is the usual case. So, I guess I should practice doing what I did in the first two videos.

And about the bent elbow. I know if you try to cup the wrist, the elbow will bend slightly as well. I'm not worried about that. It's the bending _after_ the release that I don't like (video "Side 4"). I like it how Chris Barnes keeps his wrist cupped, the elbow is bent a little also, but when he releases the ball, he uncups the wrist and straightens his elbow and follows thru with a completely straight arm. Only at the end of his follow-thru does his arm bend a little - but still only 15 or 20.
The problem is that my body wants to do the exact opposite. It wants to impart revs on the ball by flicking the fingers, wrist and also the underarm up. I know I shouldn't do this, but I can't get myself to not do it, no matter how hard I try.


Posted by: CoachJim

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 04:59 PM

The bottom pic is good, but your release is not imparting torque into the ball, if your hand was behind the ball as your thumb starts to come out of the ball, then finishes in the position in pic 2 you will be at a pro level release wise.

Where you are is about where I was before my accident. It is very difficult to train your hand to be in the right position. The depressing thing is that I finally figured out how to fix it and was on 18 strikes in a row and feeling great when my accident happened. I was practicing with a left handed friend who was bowing on the lane next to me, I wanted to see if my newly learned skills would work on fresh oil since he didn't touch the right side I went over on his lane while he went and got breakfast, I decided that it would be bad luck to push the button and rack off the 10 pin he left, so I went ahead and shot it, stuck fell and blew out my knees.
Posted by: Luksa

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 05:37 PM

That was around the time I was planning on contacting you about some lessons, because I was going to be in your neighborhood for the USBC Bronze Conference... but then you dissapeared from the forum and I never got around to actually booking the flight and reserving a place at the conference.

Hope you're able to bowl again soon. Then I would really love to come and get a few lessons from you.

As far as my release is concerned: I thought I had to work on other things first. But if all you guys say I should work on my release, I'm going to work on my release. I'll post videos of my release as soon as I see some progress.

On a side note.. if anyone is thinking about buying a video camera, I strongly recommend Sony HD cameras. They have an excellent feature called Smooth slow record, which records at 100 frames a second, so you really get a clear picture of what is going on during the release.

Anyway, thanks for all your help guys. I wouldn't be where I'm at if it wasn't for this forum and all of you.
Posted by: Lefty

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 05:51 PM

We were just talking in chat that I was probably within 20 miles of CoachJim this past weekend. We went down to Baltimore for a long weekend and went to the DC zoo on Sunday. Not that I had time to bowl, but I didn't realize you were that close to DC.
Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 08:26 PM

At least you went to the National Zoo in DC and not the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.
Posted by: Lefty

Re: Video and questions - 05/29/08 11:03 PM

We went to the National Aquarium at the Inner Harbor the day before. My wife went to college in Baltimore and then worked there for a while so she knows the area pretty well. We thought we'd just take a long weekend and do some stuff my 4 year old would like. She had a good time but I still think he favorite parts were the swimming pool at the hotel and riding on the metro.
Posted by: CoachJim

Re: Video and questions - 05/30/08 08:48 AM

Just drop me a pm when ever you guys are going to be in the DC area, I can get to any bowling center in the area in less than an hour. The Bowl America in Gaithersburg MD treats me well, maybe I could set up an all day or weekend clinic type thing.
Posted by: Luksa

Re: Video and questions - 05/31/08 04:10 PM

Just wanted to thank you guys again for the tip. Today I had league and even though I started really bad because I only slept for 1 hour, I decided to try keeping my wrist cupped in the last game. I had the front 9 and finished with a 279, which I haven't had for more than a year.

After league, I practiced the pro release for 6 games and my rev rate seemed to go up immediately. There were two or three throws that really felt like I didn't do anything, but the ball rolled like mad. Tomorrow I'm bringing my camera and will post videos of the new release.

So, thanks again. I really needed someone to steer me in the right direction.

Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: Video and questions - 05/31/08 04:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Luksa
There were two or three throws that really felt like I didn't do anything, but the ball rolled like mad.


Thats what you are looking for, the shots that are like that. Its just a matter of repeating that every strike shot and being consistent and then your scores can really soar.
Posted by: desertdog71

Re: Video and questions - 05/31/08 08:21 PM

Yeah, hand position is weak and that is all I can really see, but I am not the caliber of coach that some of these other guys are. This article was shown to me, so I will pass it on to you.

http://www.bowlingknowledge.info/images/stories/slowinskiapr08.pdf
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: Video and questions - 06/01/08 11:21 AM

Congrats Luksa. It's always an eye opener the first time you get it right, and it feels like nothing, and then the ball hits the breakpoint and springs off it like TJ just threw the ball.

Keep up the good work, and get us some more video soon smile
Posted by: johnw1

Re: Video and questions - 06/01/08 01:11 PM

One thing that may help in alleviating that lean to the right in your stance is to place your left hand more under the ball. From the video it appears that your left hand is on the side of the ball with all of the weight of the ball supported by your right hand. By taking some of the load off of the right side there should be little or no lean to the right.

As for cutting down the verticality of your followthrough you might try staying down low a little bit longer than you are doing now. The knee on your sliding leg straightens out fairly quickly as you release the ball. While you are not exactly 'popping up' at the foul line, by keeping your slide knee bent at fraction later and your trailing leg down a fraction later it may help in stopping the feeling that you may be hitting up on the ball. Also if you reach out towards your breakpoint and let your hand end there instead of ending your followthrough with your hand above your head that might also cure you of excessive bending of the elbow.
Posted by: Brian Pickell

Re: Video and questions - 09/14/08 02:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Luksa

On a side note.. if anyone is thinking about buying a video camera, I strongly recommend Sony HD cameras. They have an excellent feature called Smooth slow record, which records at 100 frames a second, so you really get a clear picture of what is going on during the release.


I was looking into this, but just can't figure out how you can get this to work in bowling???? It will only record 3 seconds of video in smooth slow record... I don't know about you, but it generally takes me about 10 seconds from start of approach to release. So in summation I would hit the button.. grab my ball wipe it down and then it would stop recording.. LOL
Posted by: Luksa

Re: Video and questions - 09/15/08 09:38 AM

You need someone to press the record button for you.

I was thinking of hooking up something like a foul line sensor to a camera's remote, so it would record every time the ball passed a certain point... but haven't gotten to that yet smile
Posted by: howiegroove

Re: Video and questions - 09/15/08 10:41 AM

should I make slow motion copies for these videos?
Posted by: howiegroove

Re: Video and questions - 09/15/08 01:08 PM

did anyone notice the backdrop of the video....i didnt even realize that this was in another country.
Posted by: Luksa

Re: Video and questions - 09/16/08 04:10 AM

Originally Posted By: howiegroove
did anyone notice the backdrop of the video....i didnt even realize that this was in another country.


hmm? what did you expect the backdrop to be?

actually, all of the bowling centers here (around 10 of them) were built in the last 7 years, so they are all in mint condition.
Posted by: NewEnglandBowler

Re: Video and questions - 09/16/08 11:44 AM

i tihnk he meant that he didn't realize you were not from the united states...?

<shrug>

at any rate, whatever happened to those videos of your new release that you were going to show us?
Posted by: howiegroove

Re: Video and questions - 09/16/08 02:01 PM

I have to take some new video. Right now, all of my balls are getting re pitched. On top of that, I have my bachelor party this weekend and people are coming into town. Its just really crazy, so I wont be able to take any video within the next week or so.
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: Video and questions - 09/17/08 07:18 AM

Bachelor party videos are an acceptable substitute for release videos, provided it is an interesting enough party.
Posted by: Lefty

Re: Video and questions - 09/17/08 07:22 AM

Originally Posted By: cgeorg
Bachelor party videos are an acceptable substitute for release videos, provided it is an interesting enough party.


Whoa there buddy. The first rule of bachelor parties is that there are no cameras allowed.
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: Video and questions - 09/17/08 09:05 AM

I guess I did it wrong?

Mine just involved golf, casinos, and heavy drinking, so there was nothing to hide really.
Posted by: Satyuros

Re: Video and questions - 09/17/08 11:21 PM

Hahaha, I love the turn this topic took upon reading it.. nice.

Kinda just agreeing with everyone else really, but after watching the video's my suggestion would've been to work on your release. Once you get that out of the way, the other things you could work on will probably be rather easy in comparison. You've got pretty good fundamentals already, so just practice hard and you'll get there.
Posted by: Lefty

Re: Video and questions - 09/18/08 04:35 PM

Originally Posted By: cgeorg
I guess I did it wrong?

Mine just involved golf, casinos, and heavy drinking, so there was nothing to hide really.


Uhm.. me either? idea blush
Posted by: Luksa

Re: Video and questions - 02/04/09 12:24 PM

Ok, here's my new video.



(I suggest clicking the "watch in high quality" link below the video).

One thing I noticed in the shots from the back is that my head stays above the ball during the swing, but just before the release, it moves to the right by at least 5 or 6". This is probably what's causing me to lose focus on my target and miss right sometimes. Any ideas on how to fix this?

Does anyone notice anything else that I should change?
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: Video and questions - 02/04/09 12:32 PM

I think what is causing the head to move right is it almost looks like you are slowing the ball down in the downswing at about 45 degrees or so from the top of the backswing to release. Its almost exactly half way, and I think the slowing the ball down might knock your body out of timing just enough to cause you to lean that much more in order to keep yourself from falling off the shot. Does anyone else see anything because that is all I am able to pick out?
Posted by: Luksa

Re: Video and questions - 02/04/09 12:43 PM

Actually, I noticed the slowing down, too. But wasn't sure. So now the question is what is causing me to slow down. Is it the slide or maybe bad ball fit - I may be grabbing the ball at that point?
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: Video and questions - 02/04/09 12:45 PM

I think the slowing down might be just you trying to make sure your swing is so free and relaxed that you are making sure it is slow, and as it goes to increase in speed coming down you don't want to pull on it so you slow it up. Just a guess, as thats kind of what I catch myself doing every now and then but that could be completely off based.