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bowlingball.com BowlVersity Q & A Part 3
We hope our responses to these questions below lead to helping you improve your bowling game. Most of the responses are to questions we received from bowlers ranging from beginners to 180 average players.
As we indicated in our first articles in this series, if you are an advanced player or a highly skilled and experienced player, you are most welcome to join in and offer your comments with the intent of sharing your knowledge from your personal experiences on the lanes with our fellow bowlers. We cannot possibly keep our responses to questions short and direct in content without omitting information which could expand the range of answers to a more acceptable level, thus another reason we invite you to share your thoughts by making a comment under the posted article and help us pass along useful ideas.
Here are the three questions for this article:
Q. How can I prevent turning my bowling ball too early?
A. There are several keys to monitor regarding your swing and bowling ball delivery. Here are a few tips which might help do the trick:
1. Making sure you keep the inside bone of your bowling elbow tucked closely toward your torso during your forward swing. This will help you from turning your whole arm as well as rotating your fingers while releasing the bowling ball.
2. Focusing on keeping your elbow and the palm of your bowling hand behind the ball on the forward swing and into the release zone enhances your chances at making an effective delivery.
3. Swing your bowling arm closely to your body and underneath your bowling shoulder and arm-pit area of your torso. A proper swing path enables you to stay behind the ball and not rotate your bowling fingers early.
4. Prevent over-rotating your bowling fingers in an attempt to make the ball hook a great deal. An overturning motion causes the elbow to rotate around and outside the bowling ball and results in a poor delivery.
5. Through practice and repetition, train yourself to remain in position behind the ball until your hand reaches the release zone, your thumb exits the ball, and your fingers rotate the ball slightly, perhaps only two or three inches of rotation. Your swing should continue upward toward a full follow-through position for an effective delivery.
6. To regulate a consistent release motion, begin with the proper finger gripping pressure on the bowling ball. Avoid squeezing the bowling ball so hard with your fingers and thumb as to prohibit the quick and consistent release of the ball. The majority of gripping pressure should be with the pads of your bowling fingers with very little pressure on the pad of your thumb.
Q. I have recently purchased a new pair of bowling shoes at bowlingball.com and I would like to know what is the best way to break them in?
A. There are several things you can be made aware of which will help you break in your new bowling shoes. Here are a few tips:
1. wear your shoes around the inside of your home and walk in them to break in any stiffness in the uppers portion of both shoes. Try and determine which type of socks fit the shoes most comfortably so your shoes do not feel too tight. Loose shoes may cause your feet to "hydroplane" when trying to develop consistent footwork on the approaches.
2. take several practice slides on the various areas of the approach near the foul line. Practice slides near the center of the approach where you typically slide for a strike ball delivery and near the edges of the approach where you slide to pick up corner pin spares will prevent unwanted sliding surprises during competition.
3. warm up slowly to ensure your initial practice approaches are at a slow footwork speed with your bowling ball releases are at a slow speed. Try not to release your ball at full speed if your shoes have not been tested for a smooth and even sliding process on the approaches.
4. avoid excessive journeys to the concourse area of the bowling center but rather remain in the bowling settee area until you are confident you can slide consistently for a game or two of bowling without any incidents. We recommend wearing shoe protectors which slip over the shoes when walking about the bowling center. Shoe protectors keep gum, food, liquid, or dirt off of the bottom of your bowling shoes.
5. If you cannot slide smoothly after making a few practice slides with your new shoes before you try releasing your bowling ball, then use a very small bit of sliding powder substance available here at bowlingball.com or in your local pro shops. Pat a tiny bit of powder on the heel of your sliding shoe and on the sole of the sliding shoe, make a couple of test slides before walking briskly to the foul line and attempting a full slide. Make sure you have added just enough slide powder substance to help you achieve a proper slide but kindly avoid getting powder to fall onto the settee floor or onto the approach as to adversely effect the slide capabilities of other bowlers.
6. you may have to apply additional pats of powder on the bottom of your shoes if after bowling awhile your new shoes continue to stick on the approach surface. Use good judgment in applying shoe slide powder and you will develop good habits and slide techniques for the future.
7. be aware that some bowling shoes are available with interchangeable slide heels and soles. These shoe models provide various heels for gripping the approach and various sliding soles to adjust to the friction factors of various approaches.
Humidity changes can affect sliding on approaches. Approach finishes can wear away on the edges of wooden approaches making sliding smoothly very difficult. Synthetic approaches can be sticky in some areas near the foul line and slick on other areas. Caution should be taken to check out the sliding areas before bowling.
Q. What are some tips to set-up on the approach properly? I am just learning the game and seem to get started inconsistently.
A. Make sure you set your spine angle with perhaps a ten degree forward tilt and with your shoulders fairly level when positioning yourself on the approach. Avoid setting your bowling shoulder too low in comparison to your basic set-up. Dropping the shoulder more than perhaps an inch or two maximum can cause a variation in your desired swing path.
Maintain a normal amount of knee flex in your set-up and make certain your weight is distributed over your bowling shoes fairly evenly with perhaps a bit more weight on the foot you do not use to take your first step. Also, you may wish to allow perhaps one board of space between your bowling shoes to insure stability in your set-up and to make sure your first step begins smoothly while maintaining balance. Your set-up should be a very athletic posture so you can maintain good balance as you move smoothly to the foul line.
We thank the bowlers who shared their questions with us for this article. We hope our responses serve a useful purpose. Feel free to offer your comments; they are most welcomed. Be sure to check the "Improve Your Game" link in "BowlVersity" on the home page of our site for future posts. Thank you.