Targeting Techniques

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Cnb1989
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Targeting Techniques

Post by Cnb1989 » July 28th, 2015, 2:18 pm

Im sure this topic has been covered many times, but I figured I would personally ask. What is the best targeting technique? When I first began bowling 9 years ago I taught mysel, and assumed, that break point was the best place. I had gotten to the point where I consistantly hit the same break point. I will post the CATS data from that. The data showed that I was around 2 boards deviation or less at breakpoint. But Was told that my launch angles deviated to much. I was then taught the Quiet eye method. I have since used this method, with some success. My launch angles are consistent with very little deviation, but my break point control is suffering. And I feel that I struggle at times to consistently play the same line.

I'm not saying this technique is terrible in any way, for example I placed 5th in the EBT/WBT stop in Romania in 2014 and made two cuts in the 2015 Irish open. I also missed the cut for the ball master by 4 pins in January. I'm just wondering if there is a technique out there that is slightly less involved. My buddy Brian pointed out, and I agree, that it takes too long for me to target and at times on tough patterns consistently miss where I need to be down lane.

Brian and Osku both said to try visualizing and then drawing a line and using your eyes to follow the line during your approach, but I'm remiss to try this as I'm not sure if it will work or is a good way to target. In advance, thanks for the help

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by spmcgivern » July 28th, 2015, 2:29 pm

Let's first assume your eyesight is adequate.

Varying launch angles combined with accurately hitting your breakpoint sounds like an approach issue. How consistent are you in your approach? What is your deviation at the foul line based on where you intend to be?

I am not as familiar with the quiet eye technique. But there might be something within the technique that allows your armswing to be more consistent than your targeting.

Review your approach and slide point to make sure you are consistent there. In theory, if you slide in the same spot every time and hit the same breakpoint spot every time then your launch angles should be pretty much the same every time.

Other considerations could be inconsistent swing path, but I assume with your success level your swing path is pretty consistent.

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by JMerrell » July 28th, 2015, 8:43 pm

I consider two boards at the breakpoint to be professional caliber execution!

As for the deviation in your launch angles being too much, spmcgiven has hit the nail on the head:

“ Review your approach and slide point to make sure you are consistent there. In theory, if you slide in the same spot every time and hit the same breakpoint spot every time then your launch angles should be pretty much the same every time”.

Excellent advice! Don't get too caught with all the CATS data.

Start by focusing on the desired breakpoint, bring your eyes back to an intermediate target (could be at the dots or arrows…..bowlers comfort choice) deliver the ball and hold your balance at the line until the ball exits the deck. Look down at the positon of your slide foot at the foul line.

Repeat this drill checking where the ball changes direction (breakpoint) and the position of the slide foot at the foul line each time.

Consistency with these two as spmcgivern has stated is all that matters as the launch angle will be the resultant of laydown point and breakpoint.

If there is a variation in the position of your slide foot at the foul line….I agree with spmcgivern”
“Other considerations could be inconsistent swing path”.
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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by kajmk » July 28th, 2015, 9:24 pm

There are many times when I wish I could actually speak face to face and this is one.
By the way 2 boards or less at the break point is excellent unless you are Walter Ray Williams Jr. :)
Kudos.

In addition to the fine advice already given and the ones that will be mentioned by others.

Most importantly, there is no "best targeting system". The trite answer is the one that works for you.'

Maybe you've heard the story of the blind men and the elephant?
Of course there are various possibilities, so I strongly suggest you submit a video for our resident bowling doctor Jim Merrell to analyze. In your video state your objectives and what dots you want to connect, e.g. laydown at foul line, spot at splice, breakpoint.
A picture is worth a thousand words.

See the wiki article on preparing videos
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... e_Coaching" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


You've probably read and heard the refrain, "education is the key", well it is. There are a lot of methods.
If there was one best way to do X, almost every elite bowler would do it (there are always exceptions)
If you were able to see the bowlers eyes from start of the approach to the time the ball fell in the pit, you'd see differences. One can perform a recon on Youtube, and various articles and posts.

You mentioned "Quiet Eye". For the sake of clarification, are you just referring to that technique, or are you combining it with the 3 Point targeting system? They are 2 distinct entities. More has been written on "Quiet Eye" per se, and I can find links on this forum.

Did the CATS people give you any suggestions for improvement?

This response is not meant to be exhaustive and complete.
Targeting is essentially connecting dots.

If you can use physical targeting devices on the lane to represent your dots, if gives you instant feedback. For example, magic carpet tape, small cones like in the Joe Ciccone Youtube (there are forum references), items you can easily see (if a sound results its a bonus, many times there is music blaring though) are good. There are also targeting devices you can make (remember, it takes 2 points to make a straight line).

As I said, this is a short response not a treatise (yeah, like I could write one).
I'm old, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it . :(

Since you mentioned LAUNCH angle, here is a variation on a very old idea.
It involves placing material on the lane, where you will be laying the ball down.
I forget who told me or where I read about it.
Materials for one method
Carbon Paper
Sheets of paper, for example computer printer paper, tablet paper
Some tape to keep the paper where you place it.

Place a sheet of carbon paper between two sheets of paper.
Place the assemble unit on other side of the foul line so that your rolled ball rolls over the paper.
Tape the unit on the lane (many times there is no actual oil right up to the foul line.)

When you roll a ball over the paper, the carbon paper should make a line on the bottom sheet.

Here's a tidbit a learned friend taught me.
Pick a spot at or near the splice and one about 1 foot beyond that and connect the dots so to speak
(good place for magic carpet tape or online targets of your choice.

It would be very helpful if you are with someone with a good eye to compare what your think you saw, with what they saw.

I've been out of the game for longer than I like, so I'm not current.

What you want to do is learn as much as you can stand about this sport from many sources.
You may use something, you may combine elements, you may create elements.
The more you know the better. That old corny saying "success is a journey, not a destination" applies.

I see that while I was blowing this up, Jim replied.
His word is golden, nuff said.
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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by SomyP » July 29th, 2015, 4:52 am

I honestly spot at the foul line and aim for an area. First I'll find my breakpoint, draw a line back of where I want my ball to cross, and keep my eyes fixed on the foul line. It's what works for me, but it's not the best targeting system. I've been doing it since I was 15 so for about 9 years now, and personally I can't hit my breakpoint or keep line if I don't target like this.

I think the best targeting system is what works best for you. Walter Ray can split boards all day long because he's trained himself to be that accurate. However Pete Weber aims for an area and he's arguably the greatest of all time. The point is there really is no best targeting system. As long as you are hitting your mark or in my case area (power player) and consistently get your ball to exit the intended breakpoint board and hit the pocket consistently, it works.

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by Cnb1989 » August 2nd, 2015, 12:21 pm

Thanks I will try and get a video up as soon as I can. Work keeps me busy...I learned the Quiet eye system from Kegel. They kept reffering to it as 3 point or quiet eye at different times so I just lumped it together. I think getting some of the tape and some training tools will definitely help so I will look into that. I bowled a tournament this weekend, with some success. First tournament since February and first tournament since my dad passed in May. Stopped bowling since then and figured this would tell me how far I set myself back. came in 16th out of 45. still using the Quiet eye/3 point, whatever it is, system and it still led to some inconsistensies in where the ball got to down lane. However i am of the school of: "dont change anything during competition, i.e. physical, mental, or both"

Going to try and get to the lanes this week and take a couple of videos and will post my results. Thanks again

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by kajmk » August 2nd, 2015, 9:51 pm

Cnb1989 wrote:Thanks I will try and get a video up as soon as I can. Work keeps me busy...I learned the Quiet eye system from Kegel. They kept reffering to it as 3 point or quiet eye at different times so I just lumped it together. I think getting some of the tape and some training tools will definitely help so I will look into that. I bowled a tournament this weekend, with some success. First tournament since February and first tournament since my dad passed in May. Stopped bowling since then and figured this would tell me how far I set myself back. came in 16th out of 45. still using the Quiet eye/3 point, whatever it is, system and it still led to some inconsistensies in where the ball got to down lane. However i am of the school of: "dont change anything during competition, i.e. physical, mental, or both"

Going to try and get to the lanes this week and take a couple of videos and will post my results. Thanks again

Just as an FYI, here's a thread with references regarding the "Quiet Eye" method per se.
The genesis, some studies, references to a series with Alan Alda on PBS.
The rationale for the thread is contained in the opening post.
You can use the quiet eye concept completely divorced from the rule of 31.
I would hope that credit was properly given during the Kegel sessions to the creator of the "Quiet Eye" method, Dr Joan Vickers of the University of Calgary. I think it is extremely important that sources be credited. This may well have been done at the Kegel sessions, I believe it was, only those in attendance would know.
We have a lot of readers here and I'd like credit to be given where due.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9980&hilit=quiet" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Cheers!

The more you know, the more you grow.
Take care and may you split the boards of your choice.
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There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by Ron Clifton » August 4th, 2015, 4:16 pm

Everything posted above is excellent info! I would just like to add something that is often overlooked when it comes to launch angels. A lot of bowlers will slide on the same board each time, but take the winding road path to get there. Walking the winding road while swinging a bowling ball can cause the swing to vary more than it should. Another place to check is how the ball is put into the swing. I don't like long pushaways for example because of you push a little left or right more than normal it will change your swing path.

One last thing to check is the distance between the ball and your ankle at delivery. There should not be a lot of space there.

Targeting wise, the method of looking at your bp target for the first few steps, and then moving your eyes closer seems to work for a lot of people. Especially if you are throwing the ball far away from you at the bp.
I congratulate you on your BP accuracy.

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by kajmk » August 4th, 2015, 7:13 pm

Hello Ron Clifton!

I remember watching you help a few bowlers at Thunderbird lanes in Phoenix Arizona, quite a few years ago. You used Magic Carpet tape as on lane targets for the more accomplished bowler, 1 at the arrow zone and 1 somewhere in the back 20. I often recommend this as ambient sound permitting, you can hear the ball when it rolls over the tape.
Do you still do this at times?
Just wondering.

I remembered your comment about how surprised you were at how many centers there were in the valley.
Thunderbird closed down a few years ago as have several others.

I hope all is well with you and yours.
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so

There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

Empathize

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by Ron Clifton » August 4th, 2015, 7:35 pm

Hi kajmk! It's good to know that you are still around sharing the wisdom. It has been a very long time since I have had a chance to check in here.

Yes that was a LONG time ago, and it's sad to hear that the bowl has closed. I used to stop in there and teach a little on my way to doing clinics at Sierra Vista Fort Huachuca. Ironically the better bowler you spoke of came to see me last weekend here in North Carolina. He has since moved to Atlanta. I still use targets on the lane from time to time.
I hope you are doing well. :)

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by JimH » August 8th, 2015, 7:59 pm

I have seen some basic mistakes which result in a poor shot even though the target arrow is hit. The dots where a bowler starts can cause confusion for some bowlers. A bowler who starts on the right most dot should remember that some approaches have 5 dots while others have 7 dots. On a lane with 7 dots the rightmost dot is board 5 while on a lane with 5 dots the rightmost dot it is board 10.

On wood lanes it is possible that a dowel in a lane might be confused with targetting dots that are located between the foul line and the targetting arrows.

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by kajmk » August 8th, 2015, 9:22 pm

I won't go into in now, but does anyone remember the Dick Ritger method he detailed in one of his tapes?
He applied a lot of absolute geometry and methodology.
I just threw that out on the table for the baby boomers near boomers.
The advent of ubiquitous video provides excellent opportunity for analysis.

When you are trying to analyze or debug make sure your sampling is large enough to discern consistency.
Never assume that absence of error or flaw from one angle of approach means other approaches are not flawed.
That's one justification for note taking too. We all know each approach and delivery is an equation comprised of variables. While easy conditions do not expose flaws, tougher conditions will.
We can't demand patterns etc be put down ad hoc but we can negotiate for on lane targeting objects or devices.
So if precision is a must or your goal, use objects on the lane as targets or use targeting tools.

Cheers and take care y'all
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so

There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

Empathize

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by bowl1820 » August 8th, 2015, 9:45 pm

Dick Ritger : Visual Targeting Can Help Improve Your Arm Swing
Bowling Magazine April/May 2000
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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by Pulsetech » August 11th, 2015, 7:31 am

Just on confusion with dots most timber approaches vary quite a bit from centre to centre. For instance the distance the dots are from the foul line can vary a lot. Also the total length of the approach can be over a foot different. Best thing to do is establish a routine where you measure out your steps from the foul line. As mentioned earlier approaches can have 5 or 7 dots. Count out from the centre dot (this must be centre under sanctioning regs) you should only need to do that once per centre to get your reference. Even synthetic approach can vary in terms of length.
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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by JimH » August 11th, 2015, 2:24 pm

There is a minimum length of an approach. Most approaches are from 18 to 24 feet but can be longer. I remember working with one bowler who started with his feet at the edge of the approach which was 4 inches higher than the floor in the seating area. When he bowled on a lane that did not have a raised approach, that is to say the seating area was at the same level as the approach, he did not know where to stand.

All these differences are within the specifications of the markings on a lane and approach. The better bowlers adjust to the differences quickly, the less skilled bowlers take longer.

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by edschechter » October 4th, 2015, 8:35 pm

I have developed 2 Excel spreadsheets, for my own use, to calculate:

(1) target lines for spares and
(2) target lines for strikes

The calculations are based on the 3 point targeting system including pin focal point, exit point and selected targets on the lane (arrows, dots, foul line). I think the spreadsheets might be a useful aid for coaches in teaching targeting and lane adjustments.
I have attached a detailed description of the software, "Target Line Calculator Explanation.pdf" The Excel spreadsheet is available free of charge via email.
Target Line Calculator Explanation.pdf
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Last edited by edschechter on August 15th, 2016, 1:03 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by Nsane » October 5th, 2015, 4:30 pm

since I use Mo´s shift bowl technique and my ball is during release under my head, spares are for me no more secrets. I postion my body to be straight in line with an arrow to the pin. It doesn´t matter what pin or arrow it is. I just have to hit the arrow or nother selected Target point to hit the pin.

No math, no tricks, just spares!!

My studends love this system because it is so easy. The only thing you need is a approach with the ball under chin. So your viewline (eyes - target point - pin) is your spareline.

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by kajmk » October 8th, 2016, 5:38 pm

Since we are just a few weeks into new leagues, I thought I'd bump this one up for a bit.
Don't forget Jim Merrell's article on shooting corner pins on the wiki.

Accuracy means more spares and higher averages and less blown games.
Of course when you are away from a THS, accuracy will set you apart ...

Bowl well, score even better ...
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so

There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

Empathize

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Re: Targeting Techniques

Post by SomyP » October 8th, 2016, 5:55 pm

To kajmk's point. This is the reason I got a urethane ball in my bag. It's not going to hook a lot but provides me with enough miss area. Every spare on the left I throw a little hook at them. Spares on the right depending on how many pins there are I throw straight at it.

My dad taught me a very good targeting system for shooting spares. Something like a ten pin. Angle your body slightly towards the 10 pin. Make sure that your shoulder is lined up with the 10 pin. Don't have to throw it hard or hook it a lot. Simply let the ball roll over the line you drew from the 10 pin with your shoulder. When he taught me that I started making more 10 pins than missing them.

A quote that I like from Bill O'Neill is "miss spares miss cut. make spares make cut." I enjoy it for the simple fact that I've missed a chance to win games and points due to one bad shot or missing a spare cause I felt I didn't need it or focused too far ahead and whiff on a spare I would make nearly all the time.

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