By Stephen Padilla on Aug 26, 2019, 8:41:43 AM
We hear it in every sport: the importance of timing. Actually, we may hear it in bowling more than any other sport since we need every part of our body working together smoothly and in perfect harmony in order to master repeatability and accuracy.
This can be a very complicated concept to think about, so we want to break it down into a few areas that can help you generate better timing during your approach.
Timing is simply a measurement of exactly what's moving and over what distance.
Upper Body and Lower Body
Your upper body and lower body need to work together throughout the entire approach. If they're fighting each other, you're going to be fighting your accuracy and nobody wants that.
The upper body involves your posture and swing shape and the lower body deals with your footwork.
When you can keep all those parts moving in synchronization with each other, you're at your best on the lanes.
We need to keep in mind that timing is personal for everyone. Whatever you do to get to the line is unique to you and may be completely different from someone else. Still, as long as you both keep your individual timing in line, you can both be successful.
Sometimes, this separates one bowler from another as one who can better adjust his or her timing has a lot more adjustment options and generally leads to more versatility.
How fast and slow can you roll the ball? It's all relative to your timing. If you can make your entire process from the stance to the foul line faster or slower, without falling out of time, you have a lot more versatility when it comes to speeding up a shot or slowing one down.
Often, players will either raise or lower the ball in their stances in order to increase or decrease speed. Although contrary to what has traditionally been taught, you should lower the ball in your stance if you want to go faster and raise the ball in your stance if you want to go slower. This works for about three out of every four players. The reason is when you lower the ball, it requires less time for you to perform your entire swing, which makes it easier to stay in time as you try to speed up. The same if you raise the ball: now the swing takes longer, but because your entire approach is slower, the swing should stay in time.
Again, that method works for about 75 percent of bowlers. The other 25 percent may work best doing the opposite but it might require some extra muscle to pull down through the swing to stay in time.
Any time you're making an adjustment that deals with timing, you want to keep all elements-start, footwork, ball height, etc.-working together. For example, if you want to roll the ball faster and lower the ball in your stance, you'll want to back up on the approach by a step or step and a half. This gives you more distance to cover in a faster tempo and puts everything into place for you to generate a faster tempo and thus faster ball speed at release.
Again, timing is extremely important when it comes to repeatability. Try some of these things out on the lanes and see if you can raise or lower your ball speed while maintaining a consistent tempo between your upper and lower body.