By Stephen Padilla on Sep 23, 2019 10:47:05 AM
We've talked a lot about the approach and how everything needs to work together in order to maintain consistency, and that's especially true with the arm swing. We're past the stance and the start at this point, and if we're going to be able to develop a consistent, strong release, we need to make sure our arm swing is doing the right things throughout the approach.
The arm swing should go as direct toward our target as possible. This is the best way to maintain repeatability without changing the direction of our launch angle.
Two things we want to pay attention to that will help keep our direction straight: the forearm and the thumb.
In the start of the downswing the forearm most often faces straight up. If yours begins to roll down or away from your body, it can change the direction of your ball path pulling the arm in a different direction. When you keep your forearm facing up as you begin the downswing, it tends to then face down as you get into the backswing, then once again forward toward the pins as you release along your desired ball path.
When you change the position of your thumb, it can also change your swing direction.
For example, if your thumb is pointed in toward your body, notice how it also turns your forearm. These two things combined can get your arm swing moving laterally and potentially away from your intended target.
Overall Arm Swing Path
The goal of the swing path is to keep the same shape from start to finish. If we deviate at all from the swing path, it can cause a number of problems. Lateral movement can slow down the swing and pull it off line from the target, which we don't want to do.
You might notice, especially among elite players on the PWBA and PBA Tours, that they often have a small change of direction in their swings. It's often slightly behind their back as they get into the down swing. What's important to note is that these players have consistency in that swing path. That is, they use the same shape and get back to their intended target path. As with most things in the approach, if you can repeat on every shot, its often successful to the outcome.
Follow Through and Extension
At the release point, you want to have the same follow through and extension on. In general, you want the direction of your forearm and thumb to be the same as you release the ball and extend all the way through the shot. Not only does this keep your swing path consistent, but it helps maintain the same speed and the same distance on the upswing, two important components to maintaining consistency.
When you're working on your arm swing, try to keep everything as straight as possible to improve overall accuracy and consistency.