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How To Make Bowling Release Adjustments


If you wish to learn how to make bowling release adjustments, it is important to first develop one very good and reliable release as the foundation for your game. It is no secret that many coaches will recommend that you use one reliable release and make other adjustments for changing or varying lane conditions. Your prime release must always be the one which you are the most accurate of all releases and where you can repeat good deliveries over and over again. Other adjustments include, of course, bowling ball changes, speed adjustments, angle adjustments, and loft adjustments to name some variables which can be implemented when a ball reaction change is needed.

By understanding how to make bowling release adjustments, you add variables to your game to overcome changing lane conditions. First, it is very critical for you to not only learn a couple of release variations to round out your game but to also understand that it is vital to practice and commit to getting proficient at developing variations to your prime release technique. Only one way to get good at changing your release and that is practice. You must work hard at maintaining an effective arm swing so changing releases does not adversely affect good and consistent shot-making. After all, why change releases if you are not good at controlling the direction and speed of the bowling ball when trying to use a release other than your prime release? Practice is the key.

OK, when your bowling ball exits your hand at the “moment of release” between the back of your slide shoe and the laces of the shoe, allow your hand to continue moving toward your target down lane following the ball path. Ideally, the front part of your bowling arm (where blood is normally drawn in a laboratory) should be facing the pins at the “moment of release.” Use this technique for every type of hand action adjustment you make. Keep the inside edge of your bowling elbow near your body on the forward swing and prevent the elbow from rotating away from your body and outside of the bowling ball before your hand enters the release zone.

Do not rotate the entire arm, only rotate your hand action when trying to tilt the axis and create a higher rev-rate and develop increased power. On your prime release, your bowling fingers should rotate slightly after your thumb exits the ball without the entire arm rotating. The bowling fingers should rotate perhaps two hours on a clock dial, from six to four o’clock for example, if you are a right handed bowler, so you will create enough bowling ball axis tilt to produce a positive hooking motion. If you master two other releases other than your prime release, you can also use intermediate release techniques between full power and prime release techniques and therefore develop several variations to your prime release. Adding power and limiting power are the two release adjustments you must first develop to augment your prime release so you create a wider range of adjustments to compensate for changing lane conditions.

To increase the hook potential and add power by changing your release, you can rotate your hand further behind the ball to perhaps at seven o' clock or a 7:30 position on a clock dial and maintain this position throughout the entire forward swing motion and until your ball reaches the release zone before rotating your bowling fingers to a finishing 4 o' clock position on the clock dial.

In this example, your fingers will rotate a full three hours or perhaps four hours on the clock dial in a quick and decisive motion and that type of rotation on the bowling ball will impart sufficient axis tilt to increase your rev-rate and the hook potential of the ball on the back end of the lane. This type of release action should match best with oily lane conditions when you need your ball to recover on the back end of the lane and hook sharply to the pocket.

Of course, it goes without saying that any release change may also necessitate a swing angle change to match the desired path the ball must follow as it travels down the lane to the break point. Make sure you understand how important it is to match the swing direction with the power output you generate by changing your release from your prime release position. When adding power to your release, your angle of delivery should normally promote a pronounced inside-out swing path so the ball has increased angle to the break point compared to your prime release delivery angle. When limiting the power of your release for dry lanes, you want to make sure your swing path is aligned with a more direct angle down the lane than your power release swing angles.

You may also experiment with tilting your wrist forward slightly when gripping the ball for releases generating increased power. A tilted forward hand position entering the release zone will fire your thumb out of the bowling ball more quickly than a straight wrist position or a negative tilt wrist position encourage. Be careful to not rotate your hand too soon when using a forward tilted wrist position because an early hand rotation will become an ineffective release and usually promotes a weak rolling action on the ball and a poor directional control toward your target.

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If you wish to reduce the power of your prime release for very dry lane conditions, then allow your fingers and thumb to flow smoothly out of the ball and about the same time but with your thumb existing the ball slightly before your fingers exit the ball. You can encourage this type of release by using a five o' clock to four o' clock finger rotation with a straight wrist position or a slightly reverse wrist tilted position as your hand enters the release zone. Limiting the rotation of your fingers will produce a very effective forward roll with less axis tilt than a release using more finger rotation on the ball. Less axis tilt will result in less hook potential down the lane.

The quickest method of changing your release whether you are searching for more power or less power than you prime release provides is to use a wrist support device to help regulate the "moment of release" no matter which technique you choose to implement. If you do not use an adjustable wrist support device to regulate your wrist tilt positioning, then make sure you practice under the supervision of a certified coach to ensure you do not rotate your ball and your entire arm ineffectively when trying to impart more or less power to your release. Use of a good coach to help you master release adjustments is essential when you first work at making changes. Do not discount the importance of a good coach if you wish to advance your game.

Other useful tips are to please allow your hand to follow through in the same direction as the ball travels toward your target. Prevent your bowling hand from moving in a different direction than the ball is traveling regardless of your release technique. The elbow of your bowling arm should follow directly behind your hand so you avoid deliveries left or right of your target line. The forward-swing continuing motion after the release, known as the “follow-through”, should also maintain a target orientation. Hold your form until the ball passes the target. We hope these tips will help you improve your bowling release.

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