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Hand positions
http://forum.bowlingchat.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7364
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Author:  Trackfan87 [ Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:49 am ]
Post subject:  Hand positions

How often should I change my hand positions if at all? I can really open up a lane by changing my hand position but I think I may be adding too many variables by doing so. My regular hand position is at 12 o'clock in relation to the ball and the lane. I adjust that to 11 o'clock and 10 o'clock at the start of my swing to create more side rotation and more revs which relates to a more dramatic reaction at the break point. The difference between my regular hand position at 12 o'clock and my strongest hand position is approximately 10 boards stronger.

Again, my thought process is as such. I think it's great to have options but just like the concept that straighter is greater I think I'm making things too complicated.

However....

If it will help me be more competitive in tournament play I will continue to work on having each variation of my release be more consistent. Any tips on how to do so? Tools I can use?

If I'm going to cause muscle memory problems with my regular release or this is indeed another unnecessary variable what are the best things to tweak to alter ball reaction without changing balls when the lanes break down or the corners just won't carry. I typically move up on the approach a few inches or move a 1/2 board towards the corner I'm leaving. I do not usually leave a lot of corner pins and most of my moves are from the lanes breaking down. I do bowl on wood lanes after all.

Author:  kajmk [ Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hand positions

Those are all good questions.

I'll attempt at fashioning some good answers, hopefully they will be correct.
I hope that others will chime in. There are many experienced and knowledgeable folks on the forum that know more and have more to offer than I. Please keep that in mind!


I on the other hand unfortunately I can strongly relate to Tom Rush :oops: :oops: :oops:



Quote:
Again, my thought process is as such. I think it's great to have options but just like the concept that straighter is greater I think I'm making things too complicated.


I don't think that you are making things too complicated. Approach it strategically, one step at a time, learn, practice, improve.

If you are a "One Trick Pony" some times you'll shine but some times you'll be left behind
if you like the song or never heard it there’s a YouTube on a post at
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7284&p=57762&hilit=one+trick+pony#p57762 Paul Simon is from back in my day :)

Quote:
How often should I change my hand positions if at all?


I think that two of the better bowlers in the game over time and still today are Chris Barnes and Norm Duke. It's not by coincidence that they are also regarded as being very versatile if not the most versatile. They can do many things and do them all well.
If you can master several combinations of axis rotations and axis tilts you will be "in the hunt" more often than not. Versatility does not mean you will shine like a diamond in every event and every condition, but it does go a long way to insuring that you won't be shut out, i.e. you will make more cuts etc.
It has been written that "Tilt is an adjustment for too much "power through the pins" or too little and that Rotation is an adjustment for increasing or decreasing length. What bowler would not want to be able to have a wide spectrum of control in that regard?
For example, a 10 to 30 degree axis rotation for heavier oil; a 40 to 60 for medium; a 70 to 90 for drier conditions. Couple physical versatility with a well chosen ball arsenal makes you more of a force on the lanes. Mo Pinel was quoted as saying "The object of the game is to hit the pins between the place where the ball loses it's rotation and where it loses it's tilt".
It's like a baseball pitcher with more than one "out pitch".

Speed control is another enviable skill. I read a comment by Earl Anthony (in his book) that he thought speed control was the toughest variable to master. He wrote of how much time he spent practicing (shadow bowling)


Quote:
If it will help me be more competitive in tournament play I will continue to work on having each variation of my release be more consistent. Any tips on how to do so? Tools I can use?


Off the top on my head:
Coaching -
By all means, find a good instructor/coach with a track record of taking bowlers to the next level, especially bowlers at your level.

Although bowling is not football, one of the best coaches off all times is Don Shula. When Don coached the Dolphins, he got his team there using with three distinctly different quarterbacks
Bob Griese, David Woodley, and Danny Marino (He also got the Colts there in '68)
He was also the master of making quick efefctive adjustments.

Bum Phillips one of his competitors summed it up very succinctly. It occurs at about 2:12


Point is coaches should not be One Trick Ponies either. They need to be able to work with individuals to get the best out of them whatever that best is. You don't want to work with a "my way or the highway" type.

Editorial comment, if the NFL had replay back when the Oilers battled the Steelers, Houston would have gone to one of those Super Bowls ;) Ray Renfro's TD that was ruled OB.

Oops I digressed.

Don't overlook the wiki for articles that are resident and references to other web resources.
Just like when you seek medical advice, getting a second opinion (etc) is a GOOD idea!
What are your resources?
Always practice with a PAP tape, Rev Tape not a bad idea either
Always POST every shot no matter where, no matter what
The Ones Step Drill to isolate and focus on the process.
A companion to the One Step would be a kneel down drill with a partner or a pile of pillows or cushions.
If you can video record yourself for your own study and evaluation, that is a plus.
Verbally annotate intent, feel, observations, and results. If you can practice with a bowling buddy you can assist each other.


Trust but Verify!!


Well there it is, I blew up another one.

Attachment:
MetLife Blimp.jpg


p.s. You really have answered most of your own questions and have methods to cue the body
You may only be lacking confidence and trust in your own good judgement. You already know how to get things done. You are competent without being cocky and open minded. So you have a good mindset. You seem poised for success, you realize it is a journey and not a destination. I don't think I told you much you don't already know about and know how to do.

Let me know what I missed, what you question or disagree with.

Author:  Trackfan87 [ Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hand positions

I appreciate the compliment at the end. :) I touched on my thoughts regarding my hand positions in the thread I created regarding loft.

I do think I would benefit greatly from having someone work with me. Unfortunately with work and being a Dad the time I have to spend on bowling does not come at the most opportune times. With my daughter only being 4, she has a time limit for how long she can be at the bowling alley. As she gets older that will change but for now it is what it is. One night a week is about as much I care to ask of my Mom and Dad to watch her. I'm just not that kind of parent. I want to be the one to raise my child. I'm married but my wife works thirds. In a year or so I imagine she'll be able to tolerate being at the bowling alley more or more accurately I'll be able to have her tag along and not want to pull all my hair out! In the mean time I am enjoying the experience and insight of this little forum I stumbled upon. ;)

Author:  kajmk [ Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hand positions

Trackfan87 wrote:
I appreciate the compliment at the end. :) I touched on my thoughts regarding my hand positions in the thread I created regarding loft.

I do think I would benefit greatly from having someone work with me. Unfortunately with work and being a Dad the time I have to spend on bowling does not come at the most opportune times. With my daughter only being 4, she has a time limit for how long she can be at the bowling alley. As she gets older that will change but for now it is what it is. One night a week is about as much I care to ask of my Mom and Dad to watch her. I'm just not that kind of parent. I want to be the one to raise my child. I'm married but my wife works thirds. In a year or so I imagine she'll be able to tolerate being at the bowling alley more or more accurately I'll be able to have her tag along and not want to pull all my hair out! In the mean time I am enjoying the experience and insight of this little forum I stumbled upon. ;)



You have your priorities in order sir. I think that you are also mature beyond your years and have a natural gift of wisdom.

Take care of your family and the other important things in life first.
Enjoy your family and all that comes with it. Savor opportunities they will provide you with.


Tempus Fuget

You might enjoy and appreciate "The Circle Game" from one of my all time favorite people I've never met. Singer Songwriter, Painter, Photographer, the inimitable Joni Mitchell.
http://jonimitchell.com/music/song.cfm?id=39

Another song that stands out as a caveat is
"The Cats in the Cradle" By Harry and Sandy Chapin.
Harry was also a humanitarian who did much to combat world hunger. Harry died a young man.
http://www.harrychapinmusic.com/

o.k. enough proselytizing :)

Take care.

Author:  Dustin [ Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hand positions

If you don't have someone to coach you and you have a video camera you can coach yourself (work with what you have). It always helps to have another set of eyes but if you don't it helps to see what you are really doing. You may feel like you are doing something but seeing it may help. Bowling well is rewarding but being a good dad is the most rewarding thing in the world.

Author:  btaylor [ Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hand positions

Trackfan: I must chime in, but mostly on one statement.

I am mostly a board lurker as there are many here that have more quality responses than I can provide. But every once in a while I'll crawl out of the cave to ask a question.

Don't discount the idea of a coach. I was real disappointed with my bowling after dropping 20 pins a couple seasons back to a 167 ave. Frustrated, I located someone 3 hrs from the house which was the closest for this area of the north CA redwood coast (5 hrs from SF).

I started seeing him once every other week and working on his drills during the summer. He got my timing smooth, better armswing, corrected my early turn, etc... Though not great I did book a 194 the following winter league. To me the time I invested in trying to improve was worth the 6 hour turn-arond drive time. I still go see him when things start going sour.

I used videos during my practice copying to the computer and watched everything slo-mo or frame-by-frame.

This season more improvements in the work plan. Maybe a video on this board too. Can't beat the assistance here.

So in conclusion, if you can find the time do it (I am retired at 65 so time is my friend), do it. No need practicing with the same problems and expecting better results.

Good luck... now back to my cave :-)

FWIW, Bob

Author:  guruU2 [ Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hand positions

kajmk wrote:
You may only be lacking confidence and trust in your own good judgement. You already know how to get things done. You are competent without being cocky and open minded. So you have a good mindset. You seem poised for success, you realize it is a journey and not a destination. I don't think I told you much you don't already know about and know how to do.


John once again speaks WORDS OF WISDOM....therefore...let it be.

Author:  kboveington [ Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hand positions

The first response from john was full of excellent information. To piggy back off of his post a bit. I agree that being versatile has its huge advantages! There are so many combinations of tilt, axis rotation, and ball speed alone to get the desired ball reaction. Coupled with a good arsenal and understanding of *said* arsenal. And obviously most importantly the ability to read lanes. That would be one dangerous bowler!! Lets be realistic though ...as the author of this post states he is first and foremost a father and husband. So for most of us that aren't trying to make it on the pba tour we have limited time for tournaments and leagues. I would suggest mastering 2 releases. A lower tilt lower axis rotation. And a higher tilt higher axis rotation release. Putting the right ball in your hand with 2 different releases will go a long way! The most important thing I couldn't stress enough is confidence! Practice, practice,
Practice! Until whatever you plan to do is in good muscle memory and feels comfortable.

Since it seems like you may have a tough time finding a coach with your busy schedule. I would suggest finding a tournament bowler who is at your level or if not better. Learn and share knowledge together. Motivate each other to make time for practice. Its nice/ helpful having a set of experienced eyes on your game to encourage you on your good shots and give some constructive criticism when you're struggling and or working on something. Hope I was helpful to some degree. Good luck in your bowling career no matter what level you decide to pursue.

Author:  Bdgf99 [ Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hand positions

Dont be afraid to search this forum or internet for good resources too. Here are some ideas.

Subscribe to BTM, Bowling this Month. 90%+ is coaching articles and tips you can use to get better. I personally like their ball reviews better than the BJ.

www.bowlingknowledge.info Joe Slowinski's site should be a bookmark on any serious bowler's browsers. His articles are great information. His reading is not always the lightest reading ever but improving your game takes time to digest and form. Joe's Bowler Reference Guide he sells for $20 was a great investment for myself and I keep a hard copy in a binder I refer to often.

www.mybowlingcoach.com I first found this site (Fred Borden, et. al.) a couple years ago. This does cost more money but at $50-60 per year can be a good asset if you like structured video/audio/text lessons. I believe that cost also includes a book (advanced adjustments) which is also a great read with great information.

Post your video here for Jim Merrell, another resource (free too)

Go to bowl.com and certify yourself as a coach. It sounds silly at first but expanding your knowledge and earning a certification can never hurt you. You can also give back to others in this way too as a coach in your own right.

Youtube has good videos. Free!

Reading is also a good thing. John Jowdy - Bowling Execution. Love that book! Check amazon and find a copy used for a few bucks.

For less than cost of a low-end ball you can get encyclopedias worth of knowledge in several forms, in addition to free sources.

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