By Rod Ross on Dec 6, 2019 2:20:33 PM
This year, Nick Pate won the singles gold medal at the Pan-Am Games, which only takes place once every four years. He's one of our top Team USA players and creates a great roll that leads to incredible pin action and he does it consistently.
Nick does a few things that look different from other top players, so I want to go through how he's able to generate his roll. Even though he's not necessarily a power player, he's able to make the pins scatter with the best of them.
In his stance, we see a lot of the things we like to see but one thing in particular stands out. He holds the ball almost to the left of his chin. We like to see the ball inside the elbow and shoulder, and some players hold it underneath their chins, but Nick holds it farther left than most.
Now, watch him as he starts his approach. He curls his arm so his elbow is now inside the ball, which is still under his shoulder. When players do this, the tendency is for the non-bowling shoulder to go back, but not with Nick. He keeps his left shoulder forward as he continues his approach.
When Nick drops the ball into the swing, he has to take a huge step left. Because his arm is curled in, he has to move more than most to clear his hips. As he does this, the ball is still in good position under his chin.
At the release, we see a little Wes Malott in Nick's game. As he takes the ball back, he turns or coils his wrist. When he releases, he uncoils his wrist from an extreme angle-and almost creating an angle going the other way-while collapsing the rest of his arm to generate a very low axis tilt and a heavy roll.
It seems like he's doing a lot, and he is, but look at how calm his non-bowling side is. His left side is keeping him stable and balanced all the way to and at the line.
Look at his slide foot in particular. There's very little movement once he stops at the line, which shows us how good his balance is.
I see a good future for Nick as he continues to bowl for Team USA and on the PBA Tour. There's a lot to like about his game and he just proved he can perform well on a big stage at the Pan-Am Games.