By Rod Ross on Nov 4, 2019, 11:05:16 AM
Wes Malott is undoubtedly one of the most skilled bowlers in the world and has been for many years. He was a long-time member of Team USA and a 10-time PBA Tour champion. One of the most impressive aspects of his game, and his competitors will tell you the same, is his release.
Let's take a closer look at what Wes does to generate such a unique and effective release.
Wes holds the ball to the left of his chin in the stance. Typically, we like to see the ball inside the shoulder, but Wes takes that to the extreme. Now, as he starts his approach, look at his right thumb. He takes it out of the ball and then puts it back in. He does this to keep his hand relaxed in the ball and avoid grabbing it.
When he drops the ball into his swing, it's underneath his chin, which is a good position, but watch his backswing. We talked about this recently with EJ Tackett as well-it's called the professional tuck. Wes takes the ball back, slightly to the right, then tucks the ball back in before bringing it forward right under his chin.
At the bottom of the swing, we see Wes has the ball right where we want to see it and his bowling shoulder collapses at release to create a strong roll. At the same time, his left shoulder is going back, counterbalancing his right shoulder and helping him maintain balance.
Wes also excels at creating a deep knee bend at the line, which is essential for tall players. Being able to get his hand so close to the lane allows him to maintain a soft hand at release.
Speaking of the release, let's take a really good look at what Wes does.
Just prior to release, his wrist is coiled, which has big implications on his axis tilt. At this point, he probably has 45-50 degrees of axis tilt, which would be extreme if he released the ball at this angle. He doesn't, though. As he continues his swing, he uncoils his wrist and we can see a huge difference in where his positive axis point is at the actual point of release.
This results in 3-5 degrees of axis tilt and a very heavy roll, which all comes from coiling and uncoiling his wrist at release.
This is complicated stuff-not many people in the world can do what Wes does throughout his approach and at release, but he makes it look easy. That's why he's one of the best in the world.