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 Post subject: Where the ball is when the slide stops
 Posted: Sun May 31, 2015 3:16 pm Post Number: #1 Post
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I was thinking about this the other day after watching video of myself (ball beside left ankle) and someone I was coaching (ball behind right leg), so I went through footage of 25 PBA bolwers and found the point where their slide foot stopped and took a still image. I have attached a pic showing 10 of the bowlers as an example.

It was interesting to see that there is quite a variation in where the ball is from bowler to bowler, which raises the question, is there an ideal point where the ball should be when the slide no longer continues forward?

Looking at the quality of bowler in the attached picture, I would have to think that factors like balance, the length of the flat spot (knee continuation), and upper body stability may be more important factors.

What do others think?


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 Post subject: Re: Where the ball is when the slide stops
 Posted: Sun May 31, 2015 10:34 pm Post Number: #2 Post
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Liz Johnson and Chris Barnes would be a good examples to coach to. Their form and timing are picture perfect.

Regardless of the sport or motion there are optimum positions to be it to maximize leverage and strength. Individuals timing and rhythm make them look different.

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 Post subject: Re: Where the ball is when the slide stops
 Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:31 am Post Number: #3 Post
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When you took these still pictures, their slide foot stopped. How about the knees>? Still continuing or stopped too?


A side track question about arm/swing. Most of these bowlers bend their arms when swinging down so that their palms are in a better position to cup the balls. How to avoid grasping the balls at that moment?

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 Post subject: Re: Where the ball is when the slide stops
 Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:24 am Post Number: #4 Post
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ads wrote:
When you took these still pictures, their slide foot stopped. How about the knees>? Still continuing or stopped too?


A side track question about arm/swing. Most of these bowlers bend their arms when swinging down so that their palms are in a better position to cup the balls. How to avoid grasping the balls at that moment?


It differs for each bowler but most pros have good knee continuation, although a few do straighten their knee and rear up a little bit. Have a look at videos of the pros bowling and you will see what happens next.

Re second question, as the ball is swinging forward, and if the bowlers have a good flat spot, there is no need to grasp the ball at this point as it isn't actually very heavy in terms of downward mass.

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 Post subject: Re: Where the ball is when the slide stops
 Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:56 am Post Number: #5 Post
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deanchamp wrote:

It differs for each bowler but most pros have good knee continuation, although a few do straighten their knee and rear up a little bit. Have a look at videos of the pros bowling and you will see what happens next.

Re second question, as the ball is swinging forward, and if the bowlers have a good flat spot, there is no need to grasp the ball at this point as it isn't actually very heavy in terms of downward mass.


My question of knee continuation (including straighten knee ore rear up) is that, if it is count as part of last step, may be a potential answer to why down swing positions vary.

RE second question, when will the best time to bend the arm?

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 Post subject: Re: Where the ball is when the slide stops
 Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:14 pm Post Number: #6 Post
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deanchamp wrote:

It differs for each bowler but most pros have good knee continuation, although a few do straighten their knee and rear up a little bit. Have a look at videos of the pros bowling and you will see what happens next.

Re second question, as the ball is swinging forward, and if the bowlers have a good flat spot, there is no need to grasp the ball at this point as it isn't actually very heavy in terms of downward mass.


Dean, your comment about the downward mass is I think a major factor in allowing small people to do big things to a bowling ball.
Chris Warren comes to mind, small and thin and could torque a bowling ball like it was a tennis ball.
He used to joke about his size and shape.
He said he was so thin that if he stuck out his tongue and turned sideways, he looked like a zipper.
Your point stresses the fact that the approach does more than meets the eye of the casual observer.
Jim's signature line comes to mind.
You packed a lot into that one sentence.

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 Post subject: Re: Where the ball is when the slide stops
 Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:05 am Post Number: #7 Post
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I remember looking at Chris Warren in the 2012 TOC qualifying and boy did he have some quick footwork for his last few steps!

ads wrote:
My question of knee continuation (including straighten knee ore rear up) is that, if it is count as part of last step, may be a potential answer to why down swing positions vary.

RE second question, when will the best time to bend the arm?


Yeah it's interesting; when the slide stops and the ball is still behind the legs, the body and knee all still move forward to the release, and then afterwards usually too. Without this there would be no flat spot.

My original thoughts were about the best slide timing for leverage. What I'm curious about is that these bowlers can generate power whether they are stopping early and waiting for the ball, or still sliding at the release.

When you look at the bowlers in slow motion, they all start to bend their arms at slightly different points in the downswing. I don't think you want to be doing it too early as it will shorten the length of your arm and reduce ball speed a bit, and once the arm is bent, they all have it straight again at the point of releasing the ball.

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 Post subject: Re: Where the ball is when the slide stops
 Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:57 am Post Number: #8 Post
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deanchamp wrote:
I remember looking at Chris Warren in the 2012 TOC qualifying and boy did he have some quick footwork for his last few steps!



Yeah it's interesting; when the slide stops and the ball is still behind the legs, the body and knee all still move forward to the release, and then afterwards usually too. Without this there would be no flat spot.

My original thoughts were about the best slide timing for leverage. What I'm curious about is that these bowlers can generate power whether they are stopping early and waiting for the ball, or still sliding at the release.

I tried 2 situations - "stop then release"; "slide with release". Looks like "stop then release" gives more power. One analogy to make is you hit the brake of your speedy car hard and sudden, what will happen to the passenger who sits next to you without buckling the seat belt? However, I am afraid overdoing this will damage the knee.


When you look at the bowlers in slow motion, they all start to bend their arms at slightly different points in the downswing. I don't think you want to be doing it too early as it will shorten the length of your arm and reduce ball speed a bit (good point), and once the arm is bent, they all have it straight again at the point of releasing the ball.

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 Post subject: Re: Where the ball is when the slide stops
 Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:32 am Post Number: #9 Post
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I just came across this statement by Slowinski today:

Third timing point, where is the ball when the slide stops?

The most efficient transfer of energy occurs when the ball arrives at the ankle when the slide foot stops.

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 Post subject: Re: Where the ball is when the slide stops
 Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:12 pm Post Number: #10 Post
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deanchamp wrote:
It was interesting to see that there is quite a variation in where the ball is from bowler to bowler, which raises the question, is there an ideal point where the ball should be when the slide no longer continues forward?



VERY very interesting. And amazing pics to back it up.

I would have thought that Belmo would have been one of the "later" ones. Not so.

Seems as if another of those dogmas the older coaches teach has been disproven by your excellent videos.

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 Post subject: Re: Where the ball is when the slide stops
 Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:40 pm Post Number: #11 Post
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This emphasizes the value of modern analytical tools coupled with knowledge and creativity.
Every now and then someone creates a new mold to suit their physiology, their own strengths and weaknesses.

Don Johnson put it very well.
"First of all, I don't want you to think we're tryin' to make you all robots ... Point is, if the pros do it, there must be a good reason ... When I was young and wanted to be a pro bowler, in only averaged 165 so I knew I had a lot of work to do ...
I liked this guys knee bend so ... I liked this guys follow thru so ..."
In short, since people are not machines, in many endeavors there are guidelines not necessarily rules.

Necessity is truly the mother of invention.
Over the years the environment changed, surfaces, ball, pins, oils etc
Simpler times narrowed the scope so to speak.
Folks like Roth, Holman, Monacelli, PDW, and others used their minds to find a way. Others copied success, innovators tweaked, new tweaks and styles will emerge. Necessity is the Mother.

I stumbled upon an ESPN sports science video on YouTube with Sean Rash posted in 2014.
There's a topic in the General forum with the link.

It would be interesting to see similar sport science videos comparing several elitie bowlers of different genders, age groups, body types, styles


Folks is folks, circumstance and curiosity encourage creativity, add a few mistakes for spice.
Sometimes innovation is a combination of things including dumb luck and persistence. Edison quiped, he never had a failed experiment, but he did find 10,000 ways not to ...
Throw in indomitable spirit too.

Thanks again to Dean who always adds value and stimulates thought.
You sir are an educator and an asset to this forum.
Priceless nuggets!

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