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A Smooth Bowling Swing For the New Season

The key components of an effective bowling arm swing are speed control and accuracy to your target. If you are in the 160 or less average range, then developing a smooth bowling swing for the new season is a good goal to set for yourself. Tempo and direction have always been keys of successful arm swings and are the road to higher bowling scores. Let's begin by examining components for getting a smooth bowling swing for the new season.

By positioning your bowling ball held in front of or nearly in front of your bowling shoulder in your stance position on the approach, a gentle outward and downward motion to begin your swing (without your shoulder following the push-away motion) toward your target will set the pace and the direction of your swing into motion. Try to sequence the beginning movement of the bowling ball slightly before taking your first step (of a four step approach) of your approach. Once the ball is in motion, allow for a free, loose, and uncontrolled back swing along a path where the ball will attain shoulder level or a higher height with your bowling hand located behind your shoulder at the completion of the back swing.

If your shoulders are parallel to the foul line, then your bowling swing will be aligned to release the ball up-the-boards of the lane. This swing alignment is useful if you do not hook the ball or if you do not hook the ball very much. If you have a release which encourages a strong hook on the bowling ball, then your bowling shoulder should be slightly trailing your opposite shoulder so your torso allows for your forward swing path and follow-through motion to feed the ball toward your target. All swing movement must be without force or tension in your bowling arm.

The looseness of the back swing sets the stage for overall pace of your entire swing process. If your push-away motion (the beginning motion of your arm swing) and your back swing are restricted and slowed because of tension in your arm muscles, then the tempo of the swing will not be consistent from delivery to delivery. It is important to develop a "gravity swing" whereby the smoothness and looseness of your arm swing comes from relaxing the muscles in your bowling arm as to allow the ball to swing uninterrupted from the beginning of the swing throughout the back swing and upward to the full extension the radius or shape of your swing will naturally permit.

Some bowlers have longer and more supple muscles than other bowlers. Bowlers with high back swings may reach beyond shoulder level at the top of the back swing motion, or higher, whereas shorter arm players or players with very controlled and slower speed swings will not create a high back swing arc. A short swing arc will not normally provide the speed of motion needed to achieve a back swing level equal to or higher than shoulder level nor does it accommodate a fast ball speed. A short swing arc is effective so long as the overall ball speed does, indeed, reach an appropriate speed range and does not deliver the ball too slowly.

Tight muscles move more slowly than loose muscles. Picking up ball speed can come from the simple adjustment in reducing tension in your bowling arm. Regardless of your arm length or physical structure, allow your arm muscles to remain relaxed and maintain constant grip pressure with your bowling fingers and thumb on the ball throughout the entire swing cycle. If you have to squeeze the bowling ball to prevent it from dropping during your swing process, then the holes are too loose and you will need to adjust the hole sizes with use of bowling tape.

The bowling ball should be held with relatively light gripping pressure with slightly more pressure imparted on the bowling finger pads than on the inside gripping portion of the thumb. A consistent and light gripping pressure throughout the entire back and forward swing motions allows the muscles of the bowling swing to move smoothly and unencumbered toward the top of the back swing and forward to completion of the follow-through motion.

The forward swing should move downward and under your bowling shoulder arriving next to the ankle of your slide bowling shoe with about one inch of space between the ball and your ankle bone, or less, to avoid hitting the ankle with your bowling ball as your hand begins the releasing process. Ideally, the front part of your bowling arm should be facing the pins at the moment of release. The forward-swing continuing motion after the release, known as the follow-through, should also maintain a target orientation. The swing should follow-through high enough as to allow the elbow of your bowling arm to attain shoulder height or higher each and every delivery.

These tips will help you produce effective, smooth swing with good tempo and direction and also help you regulate ball speed control. With some practice and awareness of how much muscle tension is needed in a bowling swing, you will develop a very consistent swing pace and repeat good shots effectively. Our staff at recommends you consult with a certified bowling instructor or with a local bowling professional when working on arm swing techniques. These tips, however, will help you understand the strategy of developing a smooth bowling swing for the new season.

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