By Rod Ross on May 7, 2019 4:00:02 PM
Today, let's talk about one of the best to ever play the game: Liz Johnson.
Liz retired from Team USA, but she still is highly competitive on the PWBA Tour, and her game has been one of the most fundamentally sound in the world for years. To see how she continues to work to improve, we'll compare footage of her from 2010 to footage from 2015 to see how Liz is able to remain one of the best in the world.
In the stance, we can see Liz is a little more aggressive in 2015. As she moves into her approach, she gets the ball directly underneath her chin, whereas the ball was a little outside her chin in 2010. The difference isn't huge, but it gives her a bit of a stronger position in 2015 as her arm is inside her shoulder.
She gets the ball in line with her head in the backswing in both videos, but we can see she's still a little more aggressive in 2015. It looks like a slight difference, but she's farther forward, her knees are bent more and her backswing looks like it's higher. It's not that her backswing actually is higher, it's just that her posture has her entire body a bit more forward, which increasers her spine tilt and makes the backswing look higher.
All that works together to give her more leverage as she moves toward the finish position.
We can get a better look at the difference in posture from the side view. Right away, we can see a difference. Drawing a line straight up from her balance point, it's obvious she's more centered in her balance in 2015 as compared to 2010. Her head is a little forward and the weight is on the balls of her feet. This more aggressive stance will help her generate more ball speed and better maintain consistency in her speed.
Her approach has always been smooth as we can see in these two shots. The main difference we see here is the greater amount of spine tilt in 2015.
When we get into the top of the backswing, again we see the illusion of a higher backswing in 2015. Really, what we're seeing is her additional spine tilt-probably an additional 10 degrees-which helps generate a better position at the foul line and stronger ball roll from the same backswing.
Even as she delivers the ball, we can see there's still a 5-7-degree difference in spine tilt.
One of the best parts of Liz's game-and always has been-is her stability in the finish position. Great balance, no wavering of the slide foot and everything going in the direction of the shot.
A lot of times, simple can be a lot better. Without a lot of moving parts, shots are easier to repeat, and there's no better example for consistency than Liz Johnson.