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Lowering Your Bowling Shoulder

If you are averaging more than 175 and are a fairly accurate player who hooks your bowling ball, there are advantages to lowering your bowling shoulder. Because you hook the ball, you have an inside-to-outside forward swing path.

To create a wide delivery angle down the lane to the break point, especially on medium or dry lane conditions, lowering your shoulder is certainly one method of retaining good alignment.

There are certain advantages to lowering your bowling shoulder. Here are a few reasons why a lowered bowling shoulder can help your game:

1. You can gain a gradual angle of descent so your ball lands on the lane surface smoothly where the bottom of the ball is no more than perhaps three or four inches from the floor at the moment you release your ball.

2. You pick up sight of your bowling ball quickly when it leaves your hand and as it aligns with your vision of the front portion of the lane surface.

3. You can swing your bowling ball very close to your sliding ankle and to your body's center of gravity to gain leverage and power.

4. You prevent your bowling ball from bouncing excessively, thereby controlling skid length.

5. It is easy to retain a desired inside-to-outside forward swing path so you can play a sufficiently wide enough of a delivery angle to the break point down the lane.

Lowering your shoulder sometimes works in conjunction with keeping the front part of your bowling shoulder slightly behind your non-bowling shoulder as your forward swing enters the release zone. An inside-to-outside swing path encourages your bowling shoulder to open on the back swing and close shut quickly as you release your ball.

It is important to keep both your shoulder and swing alignment coordinated with your desired delivery bowling ball path.

For years, coaches taught bowlers to keep their shoulders fairly level throughout the swing cycle and during the release of the ball. When bowlers typically did not hook the ball very much years ago due to older equipment and less oil on the lanes, using level shoulders worked very well.

Level shoulders can work well today on oily lanes for those of us who do not hook the ball as much as high rev-rate bowlers.

It is advised to lower your bowling shoulder between 3 to 10 inches lower than your non-bowling shoulder depending on your delivery technique, your height, and your arm length.

With experimentation, you can zero in on how low you can set your bowling shoulder on a variety of lane conditions and retain your accuracy.

If you are uncertain how low to set your bowling shoulder, consult a professional instructor to work on your alignment and shoulder positioning during your approach and delivery.