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Swing Your Bowling Ball Close To Your Body

For you new bowlers learning the game or for you established bowlers averaging 180 or less, learn to swing your bowling ball close to your body. Your forward swing is the most important portion of your arm swing cycle because your release occurs during the forward swing.

Your forward swing begins at the top of your back swing and finishes at the completion of your follow through. Somewhere in between your hand exits your bowling ball delivering the ball down the lane. It is extremely important to keep your forward swing tucked in tight to your upper body.

Ideally, we like to see your bowling ball positioned behind your bowling arm pit area or the outer edge of your bowling shoulder blade at the top of your back swing. It is OK to allow your back swing to move toward the outside edge of your bowling shoulder if you tuck it back in tightly to your body when you begin your forward swing.

Too often bowlers allow their back swings to get too far behind their back and between their shoulder blades. Then their swings must move back outside just to get positioned behind the bowling shoulder before swinging the ball forward. This type of “inside-to-out” movement of the swing causes a “roundhouse” motion on the forward swing which produces a loss of power and an early finger rotation when delivering the bowling ball. It also pulls the ball off the desired target path.

When the center of your bowling ball is positioned behind your arm pit area at the top of your back swing and your bowling fingers are positioned in the center of the ball (or toward your shoulder blade slightly), you are in an excellent position to begin your critical forward swing.

The forward swing should start down by allowing the ball to fall downward freely by the forces of gravity. The ball should remain very tight to the trunk of your body with the center of the bowling ball swinging under your bowling shoulder or arm pit area. Your forward swing should remain as closely tucked in to your body as possible without restricting the freedom of a gravity swinging motion.

The delivery zone is located near your bowling shoe laces of your sliding foot and that is where your bowling thumb exits the ball slightly ahead of your fingers which rotate the ball while exiting their respective gripping holes.

The notion of turning the bowling ball has gotten more bowlers into trouble with ineffective releases than not.
You need not turn your thumb but rather focus on rotating your bowling fingers about one inch toward the outside edge of the ball from either directly behind the ball or from an inside-the-ball positioning when initiating your delivery.

Essentially, you want to come straight up through the center of the bowling ball with your bowling fingers during the delivery. Continue swinging your hand to a full follow-through position and toward your sighting target.

Try to avoid, at all costs, allowing your bowling elbow to rotate outside the bowling ball during your delivery.

Keeping your forward swing tucked in close to your body is helped by allowing your bowling shoulder to be dropped perhaps one to two inches closer to the floor than your non-bowling shoulder but avoid dropping the shoulder too much and suffer a loss of balance.

The inside edge of your bowling ball should be no more than one inch from contacting your ankle as it passes by your bowling shoe slightly above your ankle when delivering the ball.

Allow your bowling shoe sliding-step to move toward the center of your body when sliding into the foul line. By keeping your forward swing close to your body and by sliding toward the center of your body when delivering your bowling ball, you will maintain good balance, keep the ball close to your sliding ankle, and achieve leverage with power in your delivery.

Keeping your bowling arm (on the forward swing) close to your body will greatly diminish the ratio of early-turned shots pulled inside your desired target path.

We recommend consulting a professional bowling instructor if you are having swing problems. There are several cures to fixing improper swing path problems and a good coach can help you on the road to recovery and high bowling scores.