By Lou Marquez on Nov 17, 2019 2:27:09 PM
A lot of bowlers who come into the ITRC are looking to improve their ball roll. That's a pretty general statement in that there could be a lot of different factors that go into a bowler's ball roll, but one thing we often end up looking at is the release point. What are the bowlers doing as they let go of the ball and how might altering some of those things affect how the ball rolls?
That's why I'm on the floor today. I want to share a couple tips on how to change your ball roll by altering what you do at the release point.
When you release the ball with your hand on top, usually your hand is also coming around the side of the ball a bit. Plus, your wrist is probably broken back a bit. In terms of ball roll, "topping" the ball, as many call it, results in a much less dynamic roll than you can get with other types of release. Because this also generates a lot of side rotation, it leads to spinning the ball more than rolling it.
How can we improve it? Practice. You want your hand to stay more behind the ball, with your thumb staying stable through the release. Your thumb will come out of the ball first-again, staying stable and moving in a forward direction-and your fingers will roll out afterward as you let go of the ball. This gives you more forward roll as the ball travels down the lane.
If you're looking for the high revolutions everybody seems to want, try cupping the wrist as you keep your hand behind the ball. As your thumb comes out of the ball, you also unload the wrist, then let it relax as you go through the ball. Unloading the wrist generates a lot of the power so many of the top players possess these days.
These are three options for release, all of which may be more advantageous at one time or another. You can also change the inclination of your wrist to alter your axis tilt, which is hard to do but can help you change your ball roll slightly.
What we're trying to do is develop versatility. Spend some time working on a release from behind the ball and with a cupped wrist. It may not be easy at first, but that's why we practice. Once you start getting more comfortable holding and releasing the ball this way, you'll probably find you have a more dynamic ball roll on the lanes and thus more versatility in what you're able to do to adjust to a certain lane condition.