By Stephen Padilla on Nov 1, 2019 8:04:14 AM
The finish position is one of the most important parts of the physical game. It's where everything comes together, and we can get a great look at consistency, accuracy and balance. Because the finish position is a culmination of all things that lead up to it, we can use it to determine where there might be liabilities in our games. That is, if we're having trouble with the finish position, we can get clues as to where in the rest of our approach we may be able to address issues to improve our technique.
Let's start with a few elements of the finish position we can see from the side. I'm going to use Danielle McEwan as an example as she has one of the most consistent finish positions in professional bowling.
Look at her head, shoulders, hips, left knee and left foot-they're all stacked on top of each other. It looks a little skewed in our view because our camera angle isn't directly at the foul line, but Danielle is right where she needs to be for balance and leverage at the line.
Next, we'll look at her right leg, which sweeps behind her as she releases the ball, it's fundamental to her foundation at release. Some players leave the leg directly behind them but many, at the top level, sweep across like Danielle. Either technique can assist with posture and power during release. As she releases and follows through, her trailing leg balances the momentum of her bowling arms motion.
Danielle's left arm "balance arm" moves from just in front of her, as she enters her slide, to slightly behind her at release. This motion also counterbalances the momentum of the ball and stabilizes her shoulders and posture at release.
Now, let's look at the finish position from behind using PWBA champion, Erin McCarthy. Her ball-side shoulder is lower than her left in the stance and her slide foot, which is pointed almost straight down lane, is turned slightly toward her ball side. Erin's slide foot can indicate which direction the swing will go and for any player we look for this to be consistent shot to shot.
Looking at Erin's trail leg, we see the same thing we saw with Danielle. She sweeps her leg behind her and to the left.
One more thing you can easily see from the back view is the lateral movement of the footwork. If a bowler starts and finishes on the same board or starts on one and moves to a different board, we should look for consistency in direction. If the footwork is erratic, we should look for a correction to help with consistency.
The two main things we want to see in a finish position are balance and repeatability. If we see inconsistencies with footwork or difficulties with balance, we should find a solution.