Ten Pin Talk: Back to school, back to league, back to basics19 August 2008, 4:12 pm
Summer. It’s the time to enjoy the warmth of the sun, spend time with friends grilling out, mowing lawns, getting in a few rounds of golf, maybe even go on vacationand…practice bowling.
Practice bowling?Yes, if you’re a bowler and in search of higher scores you might choose to use the off-leagueseason ofsummer to work on your bowling game. Many other bowlers find this the perfect time to compete in more tournaments. Just getting back into bowling myself after a four year hiatus, I decided to get back to the basics, educate myself on the new equipment available, shore up my arsenal of balls, and hit the lanes for some good old fashioned practice.
When I returned to the lanes in April, I thought there’s nothing to this. It’s like riding a bike, right? Sure. After pulling a hamstring and muscles I didn’t know I still had, realizing the calluses on my thumb and fingers were long since gone, andjarringtheheck out of myknee a time or two due tobad timing, I found bowling to be a little harder to get back into than I had anticipated. So, where do you start after you pick up the ball again whether it’s after a summer off or years away from the sport?
Timing. I read a few articles in Bowling This Month magazine and decided to start with analyzing the path ofmy arm swing. Afterall, my timing was off. This was clear to me after I pulled almosteverymuscle in my lower body and needed Bio Freeze, which smells like Ben Gay (very glamorous), to drag myself back to my day job. Did you know that one of the most important aspects of a bowler’s form is the arm swing?It sets the tempo for your whole game.I’ve discovered just how important a loose and relaxed swing is to a bowler’s game, which wasn’t quite apparant until I took so much time off from the sport.
Being a bowler that used to, and still sometimes, rounds mybody with my arm swing, I found a great improvement in my score when I buckled down and tried to tuck my arm swing in closer to my body. Why would someone do this? I wantedto create more leverage, which created more power, with the end result being more strikes and a much more powerful shot. One catch though, I needed to relax in order to do this, which is difficultwhen all I wanted to see was the instant gratification of a strike shot buried in the pocket anda 200 game posted on the scoreboard.
Next came the problem of forcing the shot.The lack of revs or turn my ball had was what all the guys teased me about. So, I wanted to put more on the ball. What I didn’t quite get, until this summer, was how abowler like me couldgive the ball a hand so to speak. I’m not built like those powerhouse players who plant and pull, turning the bowling ball like it’s a weightless nerf football.
What I discovered is the game of timing is all about speed, relaxing, and giving the ball time to work on its own. Forcing the ball to turn or pulling it to the spot on the lane I thought it needed to be wasn’t the answer. The minute I slowed down, rolled the ball, and gave my hand a chance to rotate naturally from behind it, the better I scored.
What types of things do you find yourself working on or struggling withto get into the swing of things for Fall leagues?Source: Ten Pin Talk