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Balance arm

Posted: November 4th, 2016, 4:56 pm
by JMerrell
The site has been a little slow I thought I would add this topic to stimulate discussion on the latest USBC Academy video.


My response:

The video on left is without the weight on the balance on right has the weight added to the balance arm wrist.


Re: Balance arm

Posted: November 8th, 2016, 9:23 am
by GBuck
In watching the video,I didn't notice much difference between the 2 videos. However, I tried this in practice and noticed an improvement in my swing to release. Jim, have you had any student use this drill? If this helps, how can you go back to no weight?

Re: Balance arm

Posted: November 8th, 2016, 1:18 pm
by Dustin
I don't see the difference either. If the videos were not labeled and I couldn't see the weight I would never know which video was with and which was without. Jim what do you teach when it comes to teaching efficient use of the non bowling ball side arm?

Re: Balance arm

Posted: November 8th, 2016, 2:16 pm
by kajmk
Well, now I don't feel like The Lone Ranger.
USBC should annotate this video, perhaps replace.
USBC has a relationship with Barnes. Hey Chris, what is the rationale behind your use of the other arm, Hey Mike, Hey Pete ...

First, I'd really like to see more sampling then just one view of each.

I've only viewed via Kindle.
The degree of difference via sight via this media is very subtle.
This is something that I'd like to see analysed with sensors.

Most of us would have to have a synchronised overlay of the bowler wearing distinctly different clothing. I'd recommend clothing that contrasted with the color of the ball.

Shortly after viewing, I went to Dean Champs videos on the wiki and viewed various pros.

It's been said that the other arm is a bit like a rudder, it is certainly more than a balancing device, it also helps with torque. Look at any sport where a player throws an object.

A biomechanical analysis would be nice. Joe Slowinski ?

As this is definitively not a one size or cookie cutter thing, interviews with different players like Barnes, Fagan might help us understand the genesis and rationale.

Study baseball infielders fielding and making throws.
Look at the ones that are bang bang reaction plays, the body will do what it needs to do.

Re: Balance arm

Posted: November 9th, 2016, 1:53 am
by spr3wr
Looks the same in both videos. It would have been nice to see the ball path video from behind .

Re: Balance arm

Posted: November 9th, 2016, 6:02 pm
by bowl1820
In regard to balance arm video as a whole,

IMO the use of the weight was mainly just to make the bowler more aware of where and what that arm was doing.

Not so much as a way to make a specific change in what the arm was doing (at least not in all cases I believe).

That way by being more aware of that arm, you could control it better in it's use.

As for the bowler shown, while yes a little more exposition on just how he changed would be a lot more helpful.

This maybe wrong, But this is what I noticed.

That with the weight on, his shoulders haven't turned as much. His left shoulder wasn't going back as far and his arm wasn't as high.

Which I assume allowed his shoulders to stay more open as he was making his shot. Also it looks like his head stayed more over his target line as he made the shot.


Re: Balance arm

Posted: November 11th, 2016, 3:04 am
by JMerrell
My take from the commentary in the video:
Hank comments on the fact that the balance arm is often ignored by both players and coaches.

He continues by discussing how a pitcher reaches out with the glove to throw a pitch and the glove becomes a stabilization.

And that the balance arm needs to be out there for leverage, but bowlers often lose track of where the balance arm is during the approach.

And that there needs to be some force of resistance in the balance arm as the ball side arm accelerates to the bottom; if not the balance arm moves back too soon.

Hank states that if the balance arm moves back too soon, the shoulders get squared too soon while the hips are still open. The ball path is straight up the lane but the hips are saying I need to go to the right.

So the hips and shoulders conflict with each other. If the shoulders and hips are aligned the swing aligns on the same path. Then becomes easier to make and repeat shots.
He goes on to explain that keeping a little bend in the balance arm creates more tension in the balance arm shoulder.

Reference video:
1) As I mentioned, they did not sync the before and after video.
2) After syncing the before and after videos……..I can see little difference with or without the weight.
3) In slide 2 of the before and after video jpg…….the student’s shoulders appear open relative to the angle of his hips during release…..the goal of the weight was to help the bowler be aware of the positioning of the balance arm to help keep the shoulders and hips aligned…….to me the before and after video doesn't reflect this goal.

In summary:
1) As stated by bowl1820 the weight is not there to control the position of the arm but rather to give the bowler feedback as to where the arm is during the approach.
2) Closing the shoulders too soon while the hips are still open requires a lot of hand manipulation to control the launch angle of the shot.
3) For me the position of the balance side shoulder is far more important than the balance side arm itself during release. The balance arm can move back (and in the majority of the cases it does) as long as the balance side shoulder remains forward keeping the shoulder and hip angle aligned during release.
4) For bowlers who like to keep the ball path more in front of them, I prefer the balance arm to be at an approximate angle of 45 degrees relative to the chest during the approach.
5) For those bowlers that like to wheel the ball away from the pocket, I employ the swim move (a lot of upper body rotation with the balance arm pointing down lane).

I often see a lot of bowlers with very little upper body rotation (borderline on being parallel with the foul line) yet they have been taught that the balance arm should be pointed straight down lane. Looks good on Pete Weber, not so much on them.

I believe it is important for the angle of the shoulders to match the angle of the hips as a contributor to consistent shot making.

Re: Balance arm

Posted: November 11th, 2016, 4:03 am
by EricHartwell
JMerrell, Thank you!
I was away from bowling for 3 years as I devoted my time and money to my daughter's softball career. Now that she is in college I have returned to bowling. I developed muscle memory from pitching batting practice that did not benefit my bowling game. With that said I have been struggling until I read this post. This week I focused on my balance arm and everything else fell into place. I no longer felt lost, my balance at the line improved, targeting was on point and most importantly I was able to get my confidence back. Thanks again.

Re: Balance arm

Posted: November 20th, 2016, 11:13 am
by ads
" long as the balance side shoulder remains forward keeping the shoulder and hip angle aligned during release..."


Can you elaborate more this point? Can't quite get it :oops:



Re: Balance arm

Posted: November 20th, 2016, 6:38 pm
by EricHartwell
Here is how I understand it....

The premise is to have your core aligned and in a strong balanced position.
When you pull your balance arm back too soon or too far it turns the shoulders ahead of the hips making you over-rotate your upper body.

Twisting of the upper body, shoulders, puts your core in a weaker position at release, it causes targeting error and it throws your balance off from being perfect.
So energy is being expended to stabilize your weaker position rather than being put into the the trajectory of the ball.
When not balanced the weight of the ball ends up being used to to balance your own weight. You know this has happened when instead of posting the shot your body is pulled to the right (right hander) causing a hop step that direction to keep your balance, or worse yet, you end up on the pair next to you and you have to act like you were running it out.
Balance at the line is very important to playing this game at a high level.

Re: Balance arm

Posted: November 21st, 2016, 9:15 pm
by JMerrell
ads wrote:" long as the balance side shoulder remains forward keeping the shoulder and hip angle aligned during release..."

Jim......Can you elaborate more this point? Can't quite get it. Adrian
Adrian...I'll sure try

Keeping the shoulder and hip angle aligned:
1) First slide defines the bowler anatomy
2) Hips are the red ellipse
3) Upper body is the black ellipse
4) Left and right shoulder defined by the purple circles

Slide “A” shows:
1) Bowler in finish position at the foul line
2) Launch angle (green arrow) to target (second arrow)

Slide ”A1”is an enlargement of slide A:
1) Black dotted line through the bowler’s shoulders
2) Red dotted line through the bowler’s hips
3) Both of these lines overlap and pass through the purple circles
4) Also note the left arm lies on this same angle as the body and hips

Slide “B”:
1) The only difference from slide “A” is that the balance arm no longer is on the same angle as the body and hips

Slide “B1” is an enlargement of slide B:
1) The key here is that even though the balance arm has moved behind the body, the balance arm shoulder has remained forward………thus the upper and lower body are still in alignment.

Slide “C” movement of the balance arm back can influence the upper & lower body alignment

Slide “C1” enlargement of slide “C”:
1) In this enlargement, you can see that as the balance arm moved back the upper body rotated open as well.
2) The hips and shoulders are no longer in alignment.

The point in my original post was that while it's nice to be aware of the position of the balance arm
throughout the far as launch angle it's more important that the shoulders and hips remain in alignment.

Hopefully this sheds some clarity Adrian.