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Early Bowling Timing

If you are an experienced bowler looking to improve your game, understanding the concept of early timing is a good place to begin.

It is important for all skill levels of bowlers to develop good physical game fundamentals. Timing is an important key to a good swing because it helps you coordinate your steps with your arm swing by synchronizing them when you walk to the foul line and swing your bowling ball.

Simply stated, timing is best described as the relationship between your footwork and arm swing. It is best to address this concept of early timing referencing a four step approach.

Using a four step approach as the model where a right handed bowler steps first with the right foot (opposite for left handed bowlers), then the beginning of the swing, known as the pushaway, for an early timing motion begins before the 1st step begins.

Some bowlers will merely drop the bowling ball from the stance positions straight down toward the floor and walk away from the ball creating the backswing motion in the overall swing cycle.

This type of timing motion gets the ball well into the swing early enough to arrive at the top of the backswing as the 2nd step is completed but risks not generating enough swing momentum for sufficient ball speed.

Other bowlers will extend the bowling arm forward and toward the pocket and allow the ball to fall freely into the backswing creating a 180 - 200 degree backswing radius.

During this type of pushaway motion, the bowler will take the first step once the ball begins to fall into the backswing without holding the ball motionless in front of the body while trying to catch up with the steps.

This type of pushaway motion is a very common beginning motion to the swing cycle and begins by moving the ball into the swing arc prior to taking the first step.

The key to the early timing sequence is to have the bowling ball moving into position to start the backswing as the bowler takes the 1st step.

In both examples of early timing, once the first step is complete, the bowling ball will be near the lowest point of the backswing cycle, nearest the floor, on its way to the top of the backswing as the bowler begins the 2nd step.

Since the approach is designed to be one continuous and organized movement, it is important to get the ball into the swing cycle early enough so the ball is at the top of the backswing and ready to drop into the downswing as the 3rd step is completed.

An early timing cycle as to allow the ball to begin movement into the swing cycle before taking the 1st step produces a favorable timing sequence.

Most coaches prefer teaching an early timing swing cycle as opposed to a late-timing sequence.

The reason is because the bowling ball is ready to enter the downswing and arrive at the release point near the bottom of the forward swing without the bowler having to force the ball into the downswing. Or without having to cut the backswing short and hurry or force the forward swing and the bowling ball release.

The vast majority of top-performing players in the world use an early “pushaway” motion so the swing cycle has plenty of time to complete itself and produce an effective release and follow-through motion.

It can be said that the early timing motion controls the timing sequence and also helps establish a proper swing path aligned to the target.