pjape, as mentioned it is important to see the entire bowler.
Along time ago somewhere I made the analogy of the similarity of the approach and swing as a set of railroad tracks. Well, Balance Beam or Tight rope (John Jowdy) are one rail and the swing is the other rail.
I have one trait in common with Mark Baker (sadly it is not coaching ability)
That trait is a passion for the game, I'm also a fast talker, I type slow though.
Asking me for the time of day, you are likely to get the history of the calendar, unless you run quickly away. Now I did not say the history was entirely correct. This highlights a cogent point, there is no
college of bowling coaching. Bowling needs one, or a mentoring system.
I've passed Bronze and Silver, but all that means is I passed tests.
As the song goes "Ain't nothing like the real thing baby". I'm merely a wannabe who has read, watched, listened, to what I can. What I pass along, is a product of that.
I consider myself a good pointer dog.
Having said that, I will bark out the following.
There are a number of good references on the wiki to various coaches articles and videos.
We also are very fortunate to have Jim Merrell's advice and guidance. Jim happens to have a real job and a life, so he's not omnipresent. People can actually learn a lot by reading his analysis of various bowlers, real people with real problems and skills, bodies of every shape, men, woman, children, muscular, frail, again Real People of ALL abilities and potentials.
Some one has already mentioned the Mark Baker Book and DVD, excellent instruction therein.
I'll also throw in a plug for Brian Voss's book Bare Bones Bowling - good cause and effect.
The Norm Duke video is a nice piece of work too.
So Baker, Voss, Duke have contemporary instructional material.
Voss and Duke were disciples of Bill Hall, Bill Hall was a disciple of John Santini.
No one comes into this world with infinite knowledge.
You can also find snippets on youtube, e.g. the 5 or so Baker working with a particular student.
Also, there are a few videos with Ron Hoppe doing analysis of bowlers.
Ron mentions the 20% of shoulder tilt needed to walk cleaning past the bowling ball (a bowlers challenge) Look for the Hoppe video's you may learn something.
Checking for the swing alignment for example is it in line with your head as depicted in various videos, for example Dean Champs see
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... ease_Video
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If the ball strays too far off line it will make your body compensate in some fashion
Here is the wiki article regarding Video Capture For Analysis.
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... e_Coaching
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You want to determine what Dick Ritger referred to as "Your Lay down Point"
That is the distance between your slide shoe and the center of the ball where it touches down is.
This excerpt from Taylor's booklet illustrates "lay down point" or "placement distance"
Know it so you can FACTOR this into your intended line, e.g. I start of board XX want to slide on Board YY, to roll from YY to near target AA (e.g. arrow/splice zone) to far target BB (e.g. oil pattern exit board) to CC e.g. Focal point.
It is a good practice to maintain and archive of self videos. This is good to monitor progress and compare and contrast. It can help bust slumps by comparing how you looked when bowling well versus bowling poorly.
Although the rear view is primarily for direction, I recommend both side and rear views.
There are various things that can influence your approach. Bill Taylor had a saying "feet go where they are needed".
At home, mirrors or patio doors can help you see yourself.
You CAN look at your feet by the way as you practice. Do it first with no ball, then add a prop, then add a ball.
You can add some painters tape set out like that "balance beam"
There are various reasons for drift. Drift does not create a hole to fill, poor shoulder tilt, not sliding on the same board as your pivot step can create that hole, the way your slide foot is facing can also cause problems . Many pro's have a drift, it's just that their drift is consistent and a known factor, so they program it in to their starting board.
Poor alignment at the stance can cause drift, for example hips and shoulders not facing the same way.
Also consider what your hand is doing (where is most of the mass of the ball) - where did you place it into the swing. During the whole approach, you should feel balanced. If your feet go astray, it's the part of your brain that wants to maintain balance doing it. As the Robby Tape said, your brain is programmed for survival, falling down is not conducive to survival.
Body type (hip width, leg width, shoulder width etc) is going to influence just how close you can come to that tight rope or balance beam. Take that into consideration.
You need to find out just where the unintended movement is happening.
Just for fun, first try it without a ball
As far as drills and practice, first hone in on an easy line where you want to finish on or very near your starting board. Once you have that nailed, add practice where you are walking left or right of the starting board. Put some painters tape near the foul line where you want to wind up.
The following is an excerpt from
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This cites a drill published in Bowlers Journal August 2010 - The drill is the brainchild of coach Ondar Gurkan.
The Gist on Ondar's Drill
(I left this off the original entry
Here is a drill for the lanes. A while ago I read of a practice method devised by a Turkish coach. I thought of this because of the fcostas behind the back swing.
He wrote that his athletes have benefited using this drill
Goal: Line up to set the ball down on board 5 to hit arrows at 5, and 5 at the pin deck--- This is to Square up the swing. Use a plastic ball, we do not care about pinfall or hook. If the swing goes behind the back, it's going in the channel.
Working with a partner gives you the much needed eyes in the back of your head.
Once you've ironed out the kinks, incorporate that 5 to 5 premise on other lines, because walking perpendicular to the foul line is much easier than walking on a diagonal line.
And I'm not even talking about torso rotation, shoulder tilt, hand rotation, opposite hand and arm.
So again, video the entire bowler - rear and side.
Also, as Mark and others advise, look for a bowler with a similar body type and style to yours.
Are you closer to We Mallot or Norm Duke in stature, and so on.
Learning to bowl very well is hard work, it requires mental and physical work.
The elite bowlers are gifted athletes, yet they all must work to stay sharp and combat bad habits that may creep in. To wit, the reference Mark Baker made to Chris Barnes. Chris is a phenomenal bowling talent, yet Chris had a bad habit that crept in at certain times. Don't overlook that phrase "certain times" that is a very key point. Just what those certain times are depends on you and circumstance.
If you are really really serious, keep notes and comments, keep that video log. Sports has always been data and metric driven, the advent of technology has given us tools to collect an analyze data.
Wow, imagine how good those white haired coaches back in the day's before TV must have been, but even they now use video, as a contemporary commercial "says", "dad, I believe if you have cake, you should eat it". Assemble a video archive of yourself.
Mark Baker was a top flight pro who's career was cut short by back ailments. Mark also has what some refer to as "the coaches eye" a gifted eye for motion, a true understanding of cause and effect all trapped between his ears.
Again, this all depends on what you want.
I saw a guy bowling 220's last week, or should I say I saw the lane man letting him bowl 220's.
Best of luck to you. Do not get discouraged, habits take time to establish, they take time to break.
Please keep us posted.
P.S. The Tom Kouros Book "Par Bowling, The Challenge" though dated, remains the most encyclopedic treatise on the sport of bowling. Now it did not come entirely from him as he acknowledges, but A LOT of what you view, you read, you hear, emanates from that book.
Like the Native American's of yesteryear taught their young at camp fires, the bowling knowledge chain goes a long way back. Technology of Ball, Lanes, and Pins, has foisted some changes upon technique here and there, but the fundamentals are still the same. The major difference is the premium on ball speed (paraphrasing Brian Voss)
"The Time Has Come, The Walrus Said, To Speak Of Many Things."
Tales of Balance Beams and Tight Ropes
Adding pictures of recommended footwork for the benefit of those unfamiliar
Mo Pinel wrote:
To get technical, we have two types of steps. They are the "balance beam" step and the "cross over" step. A "balance beam" step is placing the foot directly in front of the previous step. If you cross back over after a balance beam step, it is called a crossover step.
Therefore, a five step approach for a right handers is as follows:
step (left foot) -normal step forward with the left foot
balance beam step (right foot)
short, quick step (left foot) - normal step forward with the left foot
short, quick balance beam step (right foot)
cross over slide step (left foot)
I forgot to add that Ron Clifton has at least 2 articles on footwork.
Ron's website is listed withing our wiki references along with other good resources.
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... ated_Sites" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.bowl4fun.com/ron/tip9.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.bowl4fun.com/ron/tip10.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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