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A Bowling Ball Release Drill

By:, Originally Posted: 12/16/16; Updated: 2/10/21

If you are a new bowler or one trying to improve your release and obtain a consistent hook ball delivery style, there is a bowling ball release drill to practice.

This drill produces a clearly defined release motion and uses another sport to help develop your bowling ball release motion.

Ask a friend to help you play “catch” with a football (standard or sub-standard size).

The trick here is to learn to deliver an underhanded pass producing a spiral motion on the football with no wobble and to do so repeatedly.

Hold the football with your bowling fingertips on the laces and in the ball resting on the palm of your hand.

Swing the football back and forward with an underhanded movement (like swinging a bowling ball) and rotate your fingers on the laces swiftly to impart spin on the football to obtain a spiral pass.

You need not use a severe “snap” release to provide a spiral motion for an underhanded pass but you will get a feel as to what you must do to produce a spiral motion on the football.

Then visualize using a similar technique when releasing your bowling ball.

Think smooth at all times. Develop a smooth bowling release.

Begin with the proper gripping pressure with your fingers in the bowling ball. Avoid squeezing the bowling ball so hard with your bowling fingers and thumb prohibiting a quick and consistent release of the ball.

The majority of gripping pressure should be with the pads of your bowling fingers.

Use a very light gripping pressure with your thumb and more pressure with your finger pads.

Another important technique is to keep the thumb in the ball straight down in the thumb hole with no knuckle-bend to slow down an otherwise quick and smooth release.

This practice drill with a football means you must practice to develop the same type of release on your bowling ball.

Improving your game in bowling is no different than anything else in life, you must work at it and practice as often as time and money permits.

Further regarding the notion of gripping pressure on your bowling ball, a good idea is to maintain constant grip pressure on your fingers from the stance position on the approach and throughout the entire swing and release cycle. Using consistent grip pressure on your bowling ball will help you improve your control and accuracy. Never force your swing release movements.


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