By Lou Marquez on Apr 1, 2019 6:54:46 PM
I hope you’ve been enjoying my new video series on fitting. We just launched the fifth video in the series, which walks you through the process of trying out a new ball that has just been fitted and drilled.
I believe this is a hugely important part of the fitting process because it gives the bowler and the ball driller the opportunity to see if all of the specs are correct and also allows us to fine-tune any minor obstructions or issues that can only be felt once the ball is thrown.
In the case of this particular fitting, the bowler was new and was learning how to hook the ball for the first time, so I gave him a few drills to work on in order to learn the proper way to roll the ball.
First, I had him take an athletic position at the foul line, with his left knee over his toe (he is right handed) and his right leg and hip turned to the left to clear space under the head for the ball to swing. From there, I let him swing the ball back and forth under his head, working with him to keep the swing as close to the body as possible. We then set a target about one foot in front of the foul line for him to concentrate on rolling the ball over. His first shot went very straight due to his natural release, but the ball did come off of his hand without any issues, which was a good sign.
Next, we worked on the proper technique for hooking the ball. I had him get into the same position and showed him how to apply rotation to the bowling ball in the proper way, without turning his elbow or hand over the ball during the release. I explained that the release should feel more like turning a doorknob as the arm swings through. Once he got the concept, he rolled a few more shots to perfect it, while also checking the fit to make sure the new release did not cause any feel issues with the hand. It did not.
Finally, we worked on lining up so that the new release (and all of the extra hook he was now seeing) resulted in shots that were knocking down pins. By the end, our new bowler experienced the joy of rolling a shot that started out going toward the right gutter, then grabbing the lane and hooking back into the pins. He said that the ball felt very natural coming off his hand, and no additional adjustments were needed to the actual fit of the bowling ball. Of course, if issues were discovered while trying out the new ball, that is where adjustments would be made and the process of trying it out on the lanes would be tried again.
The most important thing to remember, whether you’re a new bowler being fitted for the first time, an experienced bowler who is looking to change your fit, or if you are just having a new ball drilled with the same fit, is that trying a newly drilled ball out on the lanes is an important part of the process that should be done every time.
In our next episode of the series, we’ll be talking about adding tape as a way for the bowler to further fine-tune the fit of the ball on their own. In the meantime, if you have any questions on the entire fitting process – or this particular part of it – feel free to drop a comment below.