By Lou Marquez on Dec 26, 2019 11:56:34 AM
Today's quick tip is for Joe Rodriguez of California, who emailed me saying he's been working on trying to create a straighter swing, but he's having trouble preventing himself from wrapping the ball around his body.
This is a common issue in bowling at all levels. Often, it's caused when a player starts to turn the ball too early-maybe in the pushaway or at the beginning of the downswing-which starts a chain of events that results in wrapping the ball behind the back. Once the ball is back there, you have to bring it all the way back around in order to get it onto the lane, which can create a lot of inconsistency.
Is there a magical secret to fixing this? Not quite, but there is a very simple drill you can even do at home to train your body to create a nice, straight, pendulum swing and avoid the unpredictability of the ball flailing all over the place.
I previously showed you a drill in which we stand against a wall and work on creating a straight swing without hitting the wall, but maybe you're still having trouble. If so, it's quite possibly the same issue Joe is having with turning your hand too early.
At the start, pay attention to your bowling hand and make sure it's underneath the ball as you begin your pushaway. Think of the ball as divided in half (perpendicular to your hand) and try to keep each half of the ball equally supported by your hand.
When you can keep your hand steadily underneath the ball in the pushaway, it makes it easier to keep your hand directly behind the ball as you take it back, then further maintain your hand's position behind the ball as you come back forward through the swing and release.
Added benefit: when you can successfully keep your hand behind the ball all the way through, you'll not only help create a straighter swing, but you'll also be able to generate better ball motion.
You can work on this anywhere, since all you need is a bowling ball and some mental focus. Once you gain confidence in your ability to keep your hand behind the ball, maybe try the wall drill again. But kids, if you do that, make sure you ask your parents first.