By Rod Ross on Jul 1, 2019, 11:33:18 AM
Josie Barnes is a long-time member of Team USA, dating back to her days with Junior Team USA and is currently one of the best players on the PWBA Tour. The main reason: she never stops working on her game and continues to improve.
Today, in The Video Room, I want to focus on one specific aspect of Josie's game she's worked on for years, and that's her swing.
Going back to 2015, we can see the swing get away from her, then wraps behind her back, forcing her to have to redirect it as she comes through to the delivery. As she makes the correction, it's evident she had to do quite a few things perfectly in order to get the ball in line. She had a lot of success with this swing, but she knew she could improve it.
Before we get into what she did to create her more fluid swing, let's look at this same swing, from 2015, from behind. From this view, it's easier to see her hand roll out, her shoulder rolling with it, forcing her ball to get behind her back. Us coaches call this a trapped swing.
At the bottom, while she's trying to redirect the swing, we simultaneously see one of her best attributes: her strong leverage position. She keeps the ball very tight to the ankle, but because of the angle of her swing being redirected, she isn't able to get as much axis rotation as she might be able to otherwise.
Moving ahead, let's look at Josie's current swing. As she takes the ball back, she's now almost perfectly in line. This isn't an easy fix, by the way-it takes a lot of work, even for an elite bowler like Josie. Coming through toward the release, she still has her impressive leverage position, but because she doesn't have to redirect her swing, she can get better roll, more axis rotation and more repeatability out of her shots. Everything is now in one continuous motion.
I mentioned this wasn't an easy fix. Josie had to introduce a thought process to almost fool herself into alignment. In her stance, she feels like she's pushing the ball to the left. Then, as she takes the ball back, she wants to feel like she's pulling it way out to her right. That's what it feels like to her, even though it doesn't look like that to us. She's tried a lot of things to get better alignment out of her swing, but it was this thought process that gave her the success we're looking at right now.
Because of her thought process in the stance, the ball drops straight into the swing and allows her to come through the shot with excellent alignment.
From the back, we see the ball in line with her shoulder, and normally we'd like to see it more in front, but because of her mindset in the stance, this helps her get the ball into a nice, smooth swing.
Josie has put a lot of time into improving her game and is a great example for bowlers of all levels that hard work and practice will pay off.