Is Timing a one size fits all?

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JMerrell
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Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by JMerrell »

For quite a while I have been giving some thought as how to present this tip on-line…so here goes.

Most of us have heard or possibly blamed timing when nothing seems to be going right.
There are many definitions of timing….…take your pick.

While Don Johnson’s ”Pro Zone” is a great starting position, many of the top players didn’t learn the game by trying to emulate this position.

In many of my on-line lessons, I am consistently tell people to get their feet moving faster.
Even during personal lessons this is a challenge to get people moving faster.
But a change in timing can make this happen more naturally.

Benefits of early timing:
1) Relieves the need for the bowler to feel as though they need to rip the grips out of the ball during release.
2) Gravity actually becomes your best friend.
3) Lower body leads the down swing into release
4) Due to less manipulation the launch angle becomes more consistent
5) Ball is released into the lane, rather than out onto the lane.

If you decide to give this a try, I advise the use of a video camera to monitor your progress.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by sprocket »

If more instructors would stop putting such a curse on fast foot work, there would be a lot less students with shorter armswings banging their head against the wall trying to raise their back swing higher when it is totally uncomfortable and maybe even physically impossible for them to do so.

But in my mind I don't define faster foot work as early timing. For me early timing is only early if it is early in the release zone. Like Mark Baker said, Marshall Holman has early timing, Jason couch has late timing and virtually every other pro gets into the same position at the start of release. Fast feet or slow feet they all get to the same place prior to release.

I would think longer armswings need slower feet and shorter armswings needs faster feet.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by rrb6699 »

What is early timing? I never really knew how to define it. Is it just faster footwork to synch up with the ball swing? I was doing it 'wrong' when i came back to bowling after so many years. i went to the lanes day after day and for the first 2 months i averaged 170s - 180s.

all i kept doing was trying to find consistency. i did by holding the ball my first two steps and then starting my swing. i bowled 2 hrs a day this way and after about 4 months i started hitting. what fun! i averaged over 240 for a three week stretch using old urethane equipment on THS Cristmas Tree and Tophat. BUT, i was bowling 40 games a week practicing the "wrong" things but developing consistency doing it.

when i came to this site i began to incorporate the 'right' things and have had some flashes of great consistency and more times not lately. Now, however, i cannot shoot 40 games a week and I know that is where the problem lies. I will be able to up my lineage again here in November and make a run at doing what coach Merrell pointed out to me to really see how much of a difference it will make with my new fit and new(er) equipment as i build an arsenal.

BTW. I did not know Don Johnson passed away until i read this post. wow. I was fortunate enough to bowl with him at the Bowlers Journal tournaments in Dayton OH (i believe) and in Las Vegas for the ABC when it was there. what a guy! he never changed his style. Just like Johnny Petraglia. He still throws it the same as he always did.

Don even complimented me on my 3-step approach at the Las Vegas BJ. But, I had to tell him the only reason i was using three steps was due to a fracture in my right foot and a bad podiatrist. when i told him i switched to 3-step to just take one step per shot he laughed about it as did I.

Anyway, enough of my stories i'm sure you are tired of hearing.... Anyway, last from last January when i started back, I managed to go from 170-180 to over 225 using old equipment and throwing it wrong with bad outdated grip fits. I had no idea a year ago about anything about coverstocks, drilling angles and layouts and the like. I never cared before because i just bowled. I was trying to remember what worked when i did bowl well before and you saw it here when i posted the videos.

So, my [big] question is with all the different techniques and styles of bowling out there does it really matter what you do as long as you find a way to do it consistently? ... and what is early timing?

rr
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by JMerrell »

Here you go, RR

Timing is often measured by a system of Two Numbers.
These numbers identify the ball position relative to foot step relationship.
The first value represents the ball position and the second value the foot step.
Textbook timing would be……….1:1, 2:2, 3:3, 4:4
See example #1

Early timing …..ball is ahead of the feet at a measured stage of the approach
Contributors……low ball placement, over tilt of spine angle or arm swing moving faster than the pace of foot work. The bowler’s next step in the sequence is usually short allowing the feet time to catch up with the arm swing.
See example below

Late timing…….ball is behind the feet at a measured stage of the approach
Contributors…..ball placement happens late, ball placement too far from the body or the downswing arc after ball placement is being controlled by excessive grip pressure (muscling). The bowler typically takes a longer next step to give the arm swing time to catch up with the pace of the feet.
See example below

This post was about changing timing during the approach.
Timing at release is a resultant of ball to foot relationship during the approach.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by rrb6699 »

thanks jm for that. I did forget to ask a question and you touch on it.

Why take a short step to "synch up" in mid approach when you could have or choose synch-ing up all the way through from beginning to delivery? is it relative to a rythmnic part of timing that's necessary to score well?

maybe my approach lacks rythmn. for me maybe it would be easier to discover it with a light ball then build back up to what I use now because extra ball weight is inhibiting my rythmn. I feel that most rythmnic approaches generate more power than my type of approach.

I weigh about 170-175lbs all the time with minimal fluctuation.

should I practice with a lighter ball to help develop better power? I guess I dont have a ckue how much or at what level of power I throw. I dont think I need much.more power but I have a lot of 9s happening that would result in strikes with just a bit more power.

thanks,

rr
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by JMerrell »

I see lot of 9s happening because the ball doesn't slow down soon enough; than I do because of a lack of power.

The ball needs to reach the roll stage to increase strike percentage.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by deanchamp »

hi Jim, great post! I'm actually going to be showing all this info in my next analysis video that i'm working on, and again, i'm going to let the footage tell the story and not make any concrete assertations as to what is definitive. but like you highlighted, there are still some key timing zones.

I'm also going to show the female pros, as they all tend to be later to get the ball started, where the ball often hasn't past their legs at the 3rd step (5 step approach). this is very common with the women bowlers that i've coached too; they have late timing to get the ball moving, and then have early timing at the release, weakening their shot.

it is informative that you mentioned the footwork too, as i can't tell you how many bowlers i've fixed their timing by getting them to work on making their 3rd step a bit longer and slower, and their 4th step (5 step approach) shorter and quicker - by adjusting one or the other or both. when they make these adjustments they find that they have more time at the release, allowing them to get their hand and fingers into a stronger position to release through the ball and not around it. it can also help to create more of a flat spot, and consequently they find they suddenly have area at the breakpoint too. it's good stuff!

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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by kajmk »

All those in favor of a book and DVD by coach Merrell say aye.

Kudos to the Bowling Maestro for another work of art.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by kajmk »

JMerrell wrote:I see lot of 9s happening because the ball doesn't slow down soon enough; than I do because of a lack of power.

The ball needs to reach the roll stage to increase strike percentage.
A former bowling buddy of mine fell prey to this all to many times.
Such a good point!
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by rrb6699 »

ok,

I hope I dont stray off topic, but, this thread is covering roll phases and timing. I have come to a conclusion about my game & timimg. I do much better & have 100% more consistency with lat[er] timing. when I slide and stop then deliver the ball, im solid and my arm is the only thing moving. rarely do I fall off balance.

as for ball getting into the roll phase at the right point, last nite I bowled and was careful with my speed and observed my ball going through each phase but NOT rolling out. what happened? I got 9ed out of the place! when I threw my snot into the heavier oil I KNOW it was not yet into the roll phase before hitting the pocket at much less of an angle and carrying all those shots. the shots I threw excellent with less speed that got into the roll phase just would not carry and after doing the thing that should lessen my carry chances it carried every shot.

I think either im jinxed when I execute properly or it doesnt matter if the ball gets into the roll phase at all, but, WHERE it hits the pocket rolling or not. I have a real issue with carry and need to figure it out because everyone else around me seems to carry everything while im actually stroking shot after shot into the pocket with no where near thei 'others' results.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by JMerrell »

Okay, RR we are getting close. In post #6; I stated “I see lot of 9s happening because the ball doesn't slow down soon enough; than I do because of a lack of power. The ball needs to reach the roll stage to increase strike percentage.

Your last post leads me to believe that you interrupted this as meaning that you need to slow down your ball speed to reach the roll phase and increase carry…incorrect. When most people try to decrease their ball speed they usually don’t get through the ball as efficiently.

If carry is suffering because the ball isn’t slowing down soon enough there are several reasons:
1) On THS the ball is not getting far enough right down lane (right handed bowler)
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... House_Shot" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

2) Need a stronger cover stock or more surface on existing ball
3) Ball needs to transition faster …….smaller sums or balance hole added to existing ball to help it start-up sooner.

This article was about earlier timing in the approach resulting in the bowler being later at the line.

As a student of mine once told me that as a youth he was taught to think of the word ” Football.” The “Foot” arrives first then the “Ball.”

In my first post, I mentioned having early timing in the approach puts our body in a position to allow the lower body to lead the down swing into release. In a proper executed golf swing the lower body starts first creating lag in the downswing. The lag in the golf swing creates what every golfer desires…more length. I see the same thing happening when earlier timing is employed in the approach…..automatic football.

You said: that when I threw my shot into the heavier oil I KNOW it was not yet into the roll phase before hitting the pocket and at much less of an angle and carried all those shots.

Your carry increased because of your rev dominance, but doesn't sound as though your ball was transitioning properly. This move may work for you on easier conditions....not so on flatter patterns.

Dean good to hear from you again mate, looking forward to the new video. I think you’ll find Kelley K’s timing is a little earlier than most of the other females…and this is reflected in her ball roll.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by deanchamp »

Yes, was going to show KK as an example of timing closer to the men, and the reality is, why she can compete with the men as her timing and ball roll allow her to play parts of the lane that other women can't. I am also totally in love with Leanne Hulsenberg's ball roll. As far as i am concerned, she is the Peter Weber of women bowlers.

800 000 views now for the analysis video, WOW, i am blown away, and so much of your knowledge Jim was invaluable.

Your selfless dedication to helping bowlers worldwide has inspired me to do the same down under.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by rrb6699 »

ok,
with the ball i was using last night, in order for me to get it to do all phases of transition, i needed to slow the ball speed. i never thought i was rev dominant. in fact i never thought i threw much of a ball to begin with and always relied on accuracy. but i dont throw it that slow when i slow down (maybe 14-15mph) so it should be a sufficient speed and shouldnt make that much of a difference as long as a ball like i was throwing last night (15lb) gets through to the roll phase (i thought). it had nice motion and the look was great. i guess in bowling you can be that 'lucky' at times that you will get 9-bit all night but this has gone on for a few weeks now. I havent had more than a 5 bagger in 3 weeks and i know i'm better than that.

to compare shots i made that carried, my ball was never making it into the roll phase but still hooking and maybe had a 2-3 degree entry angle. when i got it through the heads and stroked it further right it skid, hooked then rolled right in there maybe a 4degrees of angle and bam... 10 pin after 10 pin. i tried adjustments and it was how i discovered the tight shot that carried without a roll phase.

I think i will go for your advice as far as cover goes. i won't hold you to this but Eric said my benchmark layout sum is 85. i prefer to shine up an aggressive cover ball because every time i throw a dulled up ball it reads too quick for me. so i prefer a shined (2000 or more grit finish) ball with an aggressive coverstock. i have the ball that reads early covered with that Frenzy i sent pics of in a different post. Now I want something to read extremely hard on the back end, maybe up to a skid flip or close. i'm thinking pin over fingers and cg in palm. just for the THSs.

any ideas what i should look at? the shop here has a storm and a radical rep under contract (2-person shop).

i think i may have an opportunity to throw the one pro's equipment as we have identical finger thumb and span fit sizes. he would be doing me a great service to let me throw those balls first to see what i like in the storm line, but for radical i'd have to do it the hard way.

let me know what you think.

rr
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by spmcgivern »

rr,

I am no where near the level of Jim and Dean in analyzing ball roll so take my comments with a grain of salt. My interpretation after reading your comments lead me to believe your interpretation of the phases compared to what you see isn't quite correct. Ideally you want your ball "continuing" through the pocket toward the 8-pin. Hopefully it will go between the 8 and 9-pins. But if your ball is hitting the pocket and moving toward the 9-pin, then you aren't entering the pocket correctly.

Identifying the 3 phases can be difficult, especially when it is your ball. Having another person there to assist will help. Look where the ball finishes when it leaves the lane. That information will tell you a lot about how your ball is finishing.

And throwing the ball "slower" is not what is inferred when someone wants the ball to "slow down" sooner. Think of it as reaching the first transition earlier. As the ball skids down the lane through the heaviest oil in the heads, it will begin to slow down as it encounters friction. This could be at the end of the pattern or it can be toward the outside of the pattern, especially on a THS. So to make your ball slow down soon, you need to encounter friction earlier. For example, you are exiting the middle of the oil and entering the dry outside at 40 feet, you could find a line that allows your ball to exit the middle of the oil and enter the dry at 35 feet. This would get your ball to slow down sooner (first transition occurs earlier).
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by JMerrell »

Well stated spmsgiven.
It's amazing when trying to communicate with the written word, how we interpret different meanings of the same subject matter. For me trying to coach over the internet has been a daunting task. I am much more comfortable as a hands-on verbal communicator.

Maybe when RR has time he can re-read my post and yours.......very much the same information just worded differently.

His profile lists him as 400 rev rate, 12-15 mph at monitor. That's why I mentioned his rev dominance help him to carry even if the ball didn't transition properly when kept inside the oil line.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by jpolreis »

Is one better than the other?

If you have early timing like mentioned above where they take a short step to get back into time or if you have late timing where you would need to take a longer step to get back into time.

Guess I'm asking is there a better option if you are in time at the point of release?

To me it would seem that with the early timing and the short step you are possibly using your legs more and driving into the slide. Where with the longer step to get back into time may not allow one to use their legs as much.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by JMerrell »

jp,
I guess you re asking which is the worst of the two evils. :evil:

Personally, of the two choices I prefer the earlier timing which promotes later timing at the release. Opportunity for more good things to happen……gravity fed downswing, less grip pressure required, faster footwork at the proper time, more consistent launch angle and fewer balance issues. You will use your legs more efficiently with earlier timing.

Longer step to get back in time………..sometimes the backswing isn’t competed in time and results in a forced forward swing (pulling down on the ball), pulling increases grip pressure, usually results in slower footwork and can contribute to timing and balance issues during release. Overall pace of footwork generally lethargic.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by jpolreis »

That was exactly what I was looking for! Thanks!
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by rrb6699 »

First of all Jim and others-thanks again for taking some ANY of your time with me. I know its difficult to coach over typed word. I was sayi'm a little speed dominant so that is why I slowed my speed. heck, the next three weeks I may carry every shot who knows.
I will re-calculate my rev-rate to make sure I know better what it is exactly.

btw jim & others I get more frustrated when I see everyone else around me carrying "everything" and I am seemingly thowing the ball really well and grinding it out. before I go on I really appreciate you guys input and help.
I know this is how it goes sometimes and will just be persistent and not let up pounding the pocket!

I debate sometimes when things dont seem to jive with consensus. I am sure my ball was continuing through the pins because it was not deflecting. I never left an 8pin akl night. I did leave a 9pin one shot.

I worked on it some today at a different house where I got a 2hr practice session for $3!

I have to take into consideration maybe my timing was a little off lately. I have been struggling trying to find a hand position I feel more consistent with. and may have found something today.

I re-pitched a thumb hole on one ball to an eighth forward and eighth away fr palm. it seemed to put a slightly different look to a ball I like but could not hold on to very well.

I stayed with a good solid slide and nice follow thru and only left a few 10pins. I could tell you today before the ball hit if it was leaving a 10pin or not. I need more choices as far as equip arsenal goes because I cant take another ball out because of re$ource$ to purchase balls to fill holes in my arsenal.
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Re: Is Timing a one size fits all?

Post by halfaclue »

RR- if you are leaving 9-pins you need to make adjustments with angle, usually. This can be accomplished in multiple ways: ball change, hand position, focal point, or a physical move on the approach and lane. Depending on lane conditions, the move for me would be 2/1 left. 2 with the feet and 1 with the eyes; both left.

Jim, I love the early timing post. But I have some follow ups to make sure the I am following along.

If I start my ball into the swing sooner, taking the shortened, quicker step on 4 would get me closer to actual "on time" release, through a gravity fed swing...is this a correct understanding? If this is the correct understanding then, if I started my ball later, and had a longer step on 4 this would promote having extra tension in the swing for feeling like I need to catch up to my feet?

If my understanding is correct I would see this "early" timing as a way to promote a more powerful, yet effortless release. Something that just kinda happens.

The way I "feel" my swing: slow (heal toe) step with no ball movement, another slow (heal toe) step and when the toe of the foot hits the approach drop the hinge open, walk by the ball on 3 (heal toe), quick (heal toe) on 4 (letting the ball fall back to earth) and glide into the slide for 5 (followed by a swoosh)
Dan

Ball speed: 19 mph (off hand)
Tilt: 18*
Rotation: 55*
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