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 Post subject: Can't break early-turn habit... and other issues
 Posted: Wed May 17, 2017 8:36 pm Post Number: #1 Post
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Hello everyone,

I'm new here and thought this was a good place to request some advice for how I can improve my overall form. Eventually I'm looking to increase my revs like everyone else, but I think there are inherit problems that need to be fixed before I can even get to that point. I bowled back in high school for the school's league, then took a 6~7 year hiatus afterwards because I thought I was done with bowling. Recently I've been getting back into it. I've purchased some new gear and have been practicing twice a week for a few months now. I have recordings of myself taken every now and then to see if I can spot any problem areas, and it's been working: I've spotted many, lol. Well, knowing about something and fixing that something are two different things and that's what I'm having issues with the most.

What I've noticed:
- I turn my hand early on the downswing every time. Even when I feel like I'm not, like it were a straight ball, the footage would always show that I was doing the same thing every time. I also notice that I tuck my pinkie in on the downswing for whatever reason. Could this be the cause?
- I was told that I muscle the ball on my downswing as well, causing my hand to turn, but since then I've been really trying hard to let gravity do its thing and the footage still shows my hand turning early. I just don't get it. It's quite frustrating.
- I have trouble posting my shots, as in staying in the finish position after a throw. I feel off-balance a lot. I was told to move up a foot or so from the starting dots due to my long stride. It has helped a bit, but not too much.
- The obvious is that my ball has no revs on it and barely hooks unless there's little oil on the lanes.

I've added a short video of one of my standard shots. Thank you for your time.



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 Post subject: Re: Can't break early-turn habit... and other issues
 Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 8:52 pm Post Number: #2 Post
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Sideview video would be useful. You can also post to certified coach section where Jim will analyze your videos.

I'm not coach but here is anyway my opinions where to focus first:
Aleksey wrote:
I was told that I muscle the ball on my downswing as well, causing my hand to turn, but since then I've been really trying hard to let gravity do its thing and the footage still shows my hand turning early. I just don't get it. It's quite frustrating.

I'm not sure if you muscle the ball on my downswing but you definitely pull ball up on backswing.
If you look you video closely you can see that you right shoulder goes up with bowling ball and ball also goes behind your back because of this.

Another thing what I noticed is that your hip is on closed position which makes very hard to create straight swing. And third thing is that you are using four step style instead of modern five step version (I'm not sure how bad thing this is but I just noticed it).


My suggestions:
  • Make sure that thumb hole is tight enough that you don't need squeeze you bowling ball (aadd some tapes if needed).
  • Open you hips (rotate to right) on start position.
  • Focus to take slow and short first step. That will help you keep hips on open position.
  • Let ball swing freely and do not pull it up on backswing. That will help you to avoid to pull it on downswing too.
  • Try five step approach if that will make your bowling simpler or harder.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't break early-turn habit... and other issues
 Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 1:42 am Post Number: #3 Post
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Chiming in just a bit.
This is just my opinion -
I think I see issues in your timing and footwork that paint you into a corner so to speak. The more we digress from good timing and footwork, the more we have to fight the laws of physics and biomechanics requiring compensations and excess reliance on muscle. The timing and footwork allow or permit things to happen versus out having to manufacture things.


I'm giving you some references below, including a drill.

1) Review this wiki article on preparing videos. Create a side and a rear view
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... e_Coaching

2) Watch and pay attention to these two videos with specific attention to timing and footwork. It is worth the time. These are excerpts from the longer video on the wiki.
These videos help explain some of the biomechanics





The second video on this wiki page has key points in white on black print that is interspersed within the videos. The latter part of the video has Textual transparent overlays over the bowlers that highlight timing key points and check points, these are discussed in the ETBF videos.

http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... hing_Video

Read this article from 2010 on a drill I think can help you. It is by Onder Gurkan.
Attachment:
Onder Gurkan Ingenious Simplicity of the 5 to 5 Drill.jpg


This wiki page has some good drills. Look specifically at number 3, but remember the points Onder makes in the ETBF video. This video illustrates good footwork: Direction, size, and cadence!

http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... ence_video

Look at the software Jim Merrell mentioned in these posts, specifically YTD & Kinovea.

search.php?keywords=ytd&terms=all&author=jmerrell&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

You can use them to download from YouTube then playback while controlling speed (there are more functions) In sports things happen very fast, being able to slow things down and view things incrementally is a tremendous asset.

The references I've offered have the added and very important value of explaining important biomechanical functions. Watch, read, make your own notes too.

When you practice, do not pay attention to the score. If you have trouble doing that, just roll ball 1 at a corner pin. Remember, when you are working on your physical game, you are not looking for "the shot", ball selection is not important, if you could put a screen up so you could not see the pins or the score, all the better.

Later, when your physical game comes around, add accuracy drills with on lane targeting tools. More on that at another time.

Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Can't break early-turn habit... and other issues
 Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 5:13 am Post Number: #4 Post
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Hello Aleksey,

Rarely the problem with the release is in the release itself, the release is the consequence of all what happens before, I see many things that should be corrected before start thinking about what´s wrong with your release. As littletiger said, to make a complete assessment of your game it would be best to have a side view also.

First, an ideal swing path should be aligned with the shot all the time, your ball should describe a perfectly vertical path when it comes back and when it comes forth. Look at this video:


Second when there are timing issues more often than not there will be muscle somewhere in your approach.

At address your body is too upright, if you drop your right shoulder a bit and lean your torso a bit to the right and turn it slightly clockwise it will put your head over the ball and it will be better aligned with your shot, look at the green dotted lines and alignment with blue dotted line. In the right position what your right eye sees your arm can do because they´re on the same line. Look at Barnes position at address.
Attachment:
01Address.jpg
Attachment:
BarnesAtAddress.jpg


I don´t think a 4 step approach is an issue, there are great bowlers that make 4 step approaches with a lot of success like Parker Bohn III and Sean Rash.

First step: too long and you move your ball outside, that necessarily will result on your ball going left at the top of your swing. Your shoulder looks good but it could be a bit lower to make the head align better; your right foot goes right in front of the left one, I like that.
Attachment:
02FirstStep.jpg


After your second step, when both feet are together, your ball should be vertically aligned with them on the side view, here it appears your ball is a tad late, I mean, it is in front of your feet and not aligned with them (It is just an assumption because we don´t have a side vew). Once again, I like your shoulder and head alignment. I would like to see your right index finger pointing straight down and aligned with the center of the ball. In the image I can tell there´s a bit of resistance to let the ball fall, your elbow is slightly bent, you´re not letting the ball fall.

Attachment:
03Checkpoint.jpg


Going into your 3rd step you start pulling up really hard, look at your head-ball alignment it is completely lost and the ball is out of the intended swing path. A good swing path should have no lateral deviations. Because of the hard pull, your ball gets really early to the top of the swing, your head moves to the left and you torso goes up, the ball should start falling when your feet are together at your pivot step but its already falling before that.

Attachment:
04TopOfSwing.jpg
Attachment:
05PivotStep.jpg


On the Mark Baker´s timing spot you´re OK or a bit early, it is hard to tell without a side view, logic would tell you´re early because of how the ball looks before.

Attachment:
06TimingSpot.jpg


Your last step is too short, you´re not generating power with your legs, ball is hanging from your thumb, it is not easy to have a good number of revs when the ball hangs like that. You should try to align your index finger to the shot and keep your fingers on the lower horizontal half of the ball or even lower. Your head and shoulder alignment are good but your hips overturn to the right, look how much to the left your butt goes, it seems as if you´re going to foul with your right foot, your short last step might be a consequence of your enormous first one.

Attachment:
07AboutRelease.jpg

Attachment:
08Release.jpg


Your shot doesn't end when you release the ball, it ends when the ball hits the pins, you fall from your shot as soon as you let the ball go, post your shot and keep your position until you see the ball hit, if you're fixed in your finish position, you can see the ball transitioning and if you can keep the position you're well balanced and you know you can better transfer energy like that. If you always keep your finish position, when you can't you know what went wrong.
Attachment:
09Followtrhough.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Can't break early-turn habit... and other issues
 Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 7:23 pm Post Number: #5 Post
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Thank you all for your replies. They're all very helpful! I'm going to post a follow-up reply after some practice with this stuff and get a side view posted here as well with the new back shot when the time comes. AMF lanes have this summer deal where I am that allows you to basically bowl three games per day for free, so I'll be making use of that for sure and applying this. I've made some changes (though haven't recorded since) to my shot since posting this because I'm seeing different results and feeling a very intense stretch in my fingers now that goes up to the wrist a bit. I'm not really sure if that's a good thing to feel or not, but to me, I think it's progress. A stretch on the fingers means that the ball has obviously pulled them down in the release, meaning my shot was straighter and my hand was probably behind the ball more. I'll have to confirm all this for myself when I record next.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't break early-turn habit... and other issues
 Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 4:23 am Post Number: #6 Post
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Intense stretch? Hopefully you are not having pain.
Whenever you practice, be sure to place some white tape on your P.A.P. this will help you observe your Axis of Rotation and Axis Tilt.
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... Axis_Point
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... _point(PAP)
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... ison_Video

Keep in mind that when your swing is muscled, the weak link is your wrist. If you use gravity in the downswing, your hand can ride the ball and you will have a better chance to be in a good position as the release starts.
That is one way, small people can throw powerful shots, they manipulate the ball when is easiest to do it.
How strong is Pete Weber, or Norm Duke or Chris Warren.
Here is an article by Ron Clifton, one of 40+ at bowl4fun.com (many good articles there:
http://www.bowl4fun.com/ron/tip12.htm

Often times, using a lighter ball when learning the various releases can be helpful.

I THINK, the less you feel, the better.

Where you are at, the release is the least important part of your game.
Your timing, footwork, and swing all make or break your release and accuracy.

That ETT drill by Onder is a good one. If you can't connect the dots, you can't score.
This video is not for the purpose is selling anything. I'm not in the business.
Look at the geometric analysis.


How accurate are elite bowler's?


At around 9 minutes coach Shockley gives some CATS numbers from Kegel
At lot of good videos on his virtual bowling academy.

https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?list=PLVg ... K5HO__gBJE

Remember, as coach Mark Baker says, in order to improve, you need to throw your best shot more often.

Cheers

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Comparison is the thief of joy.

http://mwkworks.com/desiderata.html

"Democracy dies in darkness"
"An ever vigilant press is the guardian of a free society."
E-books are convenient, but easily changed or removed.
John


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 Post subject: Re: Can't break early-turn habit... and other issues
 Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 2:20 pm Post Number: #7 Post
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It's not so much pain as it is soreness after the fact. Another thing I notice is that my thumb gets very red around the cuticle, just before it.

About P.A.P. How can knowing your P.A.P. really help? I don't quite understand. What does it mean to me as a bowler? It also seems like that would change as I improved and start throwing the ball correctly, no?

I have an unrelated question about the backswing as well. I notice on people like Chris Barnes, the backswing is very high. I'm a tall person, about 6'2" myself and feel like my backswing would also be fairly high as a result. With my latest shots I've been trying to just let gravity work and not provide any other influence to my arm or the ball until release. From where the ball starts, it doesn't seem possible for the backswing to get that high without some lifting in the backswing to put it there. Letting the ball drop puts the ball just a little past my hip, maybe parallel with the floor at best.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't break early-turn habit... and other issues
 Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 4:05 pm Post Number: #8 Post
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More shooting from the lip ...

Backswing height
Here is an explanation by Ron Clifton.
http://www.bowl4fun.com/ron/tip41_files/tip41.htm

Don't be obsessed with very high backswings at this point.
Good timing, footwork, use of opposite arm, body posture anc free swing will achieve a good swing. They are pieces in the puzzle.
The ETBF video explains the biomechanics of the shoulder movement.
To illustrate extremes, stand as to square up to the pins, point your opposite hand and arm to the wall (left wall for a righthander ), now move your arm as if to the top of a swing (keep square, don't open up). You will note a height restriction and a shoulder tightness. That tightness is the spring of elastic tension (bad, as it will prevent you from waiting and letting the ball fall and yes restrict swing height. Late timing also restricts swing height and speed and thus impacts and impedes release quality (the wrist is the weak link in the swing chain).
A ball can feel like up to four times as heavy through the swing. If you muscle the down swing, that can be like doing wrist curls with 64 pounds for a 16 pound ball. As the ball approaches the bottom of the swing and gets there, it's moving at its fastest and effectively lightest feeling.
Again, small bowler's past and present that unleash powerful shots do so with EFFORTLESS power, not POWERLESS effort.
If you point the left arm at your target line, open your hips and shoulders, you will see your swing is looser and can achieve a larger arc. The ETBF video explains why.
The third step in the 5 step approach plays a big part.
In short, every throwing sport involves the opposite arm and opening the hips and shoulders.


Amongst the references already given:
Note the use of the non bowling hand and arm. How you use them is very important.
Efficient generation of ball speed emanates from the swing, from the legs by the nature and speed of the steps, a good flat spot at the bottom of the swing is important for several reasons.

As for the PAP, I thinks it is important. This article by Ron Clifton explains things.
http://www.bowl4fun.com/ron/tip35.htm

Another important key for a bowler is to keep the crease of their elbow facing their target line, give blood to your target (your focal point).










Cheers!

_________________
Comparison is the thief of joy.

http://mwkworks.com/desiderata.html

"Democracy dies in darkness"
"An ever vigilant press is the guardian of a free society."
E-books are convenient, but easily changed or removed.
John


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 Post subject: Re: Can't break early-turn habit... and other issues
 Posted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:56 pm Post Number: #9 Post
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I noticed that now with a 5-step approach, it creates a lot of extra ball speed. Today the ball would not hook at all, but I'm not sure if that was due to lane conditions. I was throwing the ball at 18mph today and not even really trying to. Even when I slowed it down, I didn't get any hook on the ball.

Thanks for all your help thus far. I didn't mention it, but I have watched/read each of those references; some of them multiple times.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't break early-turn habit... and other issues
 Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:40 am Post Number: #10 Post
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Aleksey wrote:
I noticed that now with a 5-step approach, it creates a lot of extra ball speed.

Yes. It does and that is primary reason to use 5-step approach.

Aleksey wrote:
Today the ball would not hook at all, but I'm not sure if that was due to lane conditions. I was throwing the ball at 18mph today and not even really trying to.

I would say that do not worry about hook now. When you learn relaxed swing you will get more revs and ball will start hook again ;)

Aleksey wrote:
Even when I slowed it down, I didn't get any hook on the ball.

Remember to not slow down the swing. Let it be relaxed and then sync leg speed with it. On 5-step approach you should keep two first steps as short and slow you are able to do. And when you reach that point post new video(s) here so we can tell you where to focus next.


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