By Rod Ross on Nov 7, 2019, 8:35:02 AM
Jordan Richard is one of the rising stars of Team USA, having joined the team in 2018. She won a gold medal in trios at the World Championships a couple months ago to add to her collection of four medals from the 2018 PABCON Championships. She's also a two-time PWBA Tour champion and we expect all these title counts to grow as she continues to get better at her game.
Jordan has one of the most powerful shots of anyone on the PWBA Tour and I want to take a look at how she generates all that power.
In her stance, her bowling shoulder is quite a bit lower than her left shoulder, but she does it in a way that keeps her spine pretty close to perpendicular to the floor. A lot of people get into trouble thinking they need to lean to the side in order to get their bowling shoulder lower, but that's not a great idea. If you lean into it, your head gets too far over and you can fall out of alignment pretty easily. Jordan is a great example of how to get your bowling shoulder lower without creating liabilities anywhere else in the stance.
Now, look at her bowling ball. It's inside her elbow and shoulder. As she starts her approach, her steps are right in line with each other, immediately opening space below her hip for the ball-which was aligned beautifully in the stance-to drop in smoothly. As she moves, her ball stays inside the shoulder, which is one of the keys for power at the release.
Her swing is in superb alignment all the way through. When she gets to the top, we can see where her swing direction is going to go, and it's exactly where she wants it. As she brings the ball back down and gets close to the release, look at her right shoulder: it's still lower than her left. Doing so keeps the ball inside her shoulder and close to the ankle and helps generate a lot of power.
Take a look at Jordan's eyes: they almost look closed, but that's only because she targets the dots or even closer to the foul line.
Next, we get to the key to Jordan's power that we've seen in so many players over the years and in recent episodes of The Video Room: the collapse of her shoulder.
From the side, we can see how good her alignment is as she gets ready to begin her downswing, and we can also get a better view of her shoulder from the side. As her shoulder collapses, she extends and you can see her flat spot is in front of her foot.
One more reason Jordan can generate so much power is because she leads to the line with her left shoulder, then as she releases, her left shoulder goes back as her right shoulder comes forward. She does it all with great balance at the line while her ball is still inside her shoulder as it has been throughout the entire approach.
Jordan has one of the strongest games you'll see in the PWBA Tour and it's because she's able to fit all these components into a relaxed, beautifully aligned swing.