By Lou Marquez on Oct 17, 2019, 11:19:56 AM
One of the biggest misconceptions in bowling has to do with the pushaway. Bowlers know they need to get the ball clear of their hips as they approach, but often will try to accomplish that by pushing the ball out to the side. By doing that, the ball ends up wrapping behind the bowler's back and then needs to be brought back around for the release.
This type of movement throughout the swing is extremely hard to repeat so we don't recommend it. Instead, we want the arm swing to be straight all the way through. With the proper footwork, which we'll talk about in an upcoming episode, you'll still be able to clear your hips out of the way of your swing.
When you're in your stance, we'd like to see the ball inside your shoulder. The reason for this is it helps you get the ball straight out in front of you without having to push or pull to one side or the other. Once the ball is straight out, it's easier to drop it into your swing and maintain good alignment throughout the swing.
A Simple Drill to Improve Your Pushaway and Arm Swing
You don't even need a bowling center for this drill. All you need is a ball and a wall. Actually, if there are any kids reading this, you should probably check with your parents before you try this drill. Adults, you can decide for yourself whether to risk your walls.
For our purposes, I've moved over to the sturdy wall next to lane 14 in the ITRC. I line up facing forward with the wall next to my bowling hand. I want to do a full pushaway and arm swing with the goal of getting as close to the wall as possible without touching it.
If you push the ball out to the right, you hit the wall immediately. If your arm begins to loop in your backswing, you'll hit the wall on the way back and probably also on the way up.
What we're trying to do is establish muscle memory while showing ourselves what it feels like to be in alignment with the ball, all the way from the pushaway to the end of the swing.
Knowing you have a wall there will help reinforce good habits and might even get rid of bad habits. Practice at home as often as you can, then try it out next time you hit the lanes. This is one way to improve your consistency and repeatability without even having to leave your house.