A good bowling arm swing could be your way to a better game. In order to develop consistency and accuracy, you might want to check your swing. Maybe your friends are telling you your arm swing is not straight.
You should listen to them if you really want to improve your game. Is it a nice straight half circle that stays in the same place all the way through the entire swing plane. A good bowling arm swing stays straight and inline with your head.
Watch in the following video how pro bowler Chris Barnes and Team USA Head Coach Rod Ross describe the different steps involved in making an accurate bowling shot.
Your arm swing is crucial for consistency in today’s game. Team USA Head Coach Rod Ross teaches you the four keys to a consistent arm swing.
Accuracy is the Result of a Good Bowling Arm Swing
I know myself, that I tend to blame the ball, or the lanes and the lane conditions.However, more often than not it is simply the bowler, basically You. Changing balls, or making adjustments on the lanes won’t help until you become accurate with your shots.
Staying consistent will improve accuracy. Learning to hook to ball, and get a strong finishing ball to the pocket will not achieve good results until a consistent accurate game is developed. The best way to do it, is hands down to develop a good bowling arm swing.
Start With the Crossover Step
Make that first step(using 4 steps) or 2nd step(using 5 steps)on your approach crossover to allow a straight swing. This gets your leg out of the way and allows for a straight arm swing. I am here to tell you, this will make you game much easier. If you remember to bend those knees before you start, you will feel much more balanced, just try it and see! It works!
The 4” Swing Slot
The 4” swing slot in bowling, or swing groove as it has been referred to over the years is simply an area within 4” vertically that keeps the ball in line with the head. Even this amount of room allows for a bowler to get the ball behind his back and finish up to the outer side and not throw an accurate shot.The straighter the swing the better the shot.
The swing slot is the path your arm takes while it makes the half-circle motion from start to finish to deliver the ball.It is a vertical line that is mentally drawn perpendicular to the alley, between the ball and the target you are trying to hit.
As we become more educated in different areas, we tend to forget the basics, and the need to return to them. One of the basic ways to do this is becoming aware of your swing slot. The more you are able to stay within the 4” straight line on your swing slot, the better you shot accuracy.
This is the point. Be consistent! If we keep everything the same, in a straight line from the start to the top of our arm swing, through to the point of release, on each and every shot, our scores will improve.
We can’t see the problems in our arm swing, so it is necessary to have others who know what to look for watch us bowl to see where you are making mistakes in your swing.
This is no new concept, you see it in all sports.The golfer and his path of club swing, the baseball player and his bat swing. Any variations are going to change the area of impact and result in more misses.
Keeping your eye on your target and the ball in line with your dominant eye, or basically your head in bowling. Simply keep it straight, relaxed with a good follow through bringing you arm up through your target.
What Causes a Bad Arm Swing?
The cause could be a poorly fit ball. Many bowlers use balls that were originally drilled for someone else. They don’t realize, a problem in the fit, could cause them to grip the ball too tightly and cause muscle tension to develop in their arm. This will affect each shot you throw, so have your ball checked for proper fit.
Trying to help the ball, or force more turn on the ball, creates muscle tension witch actually make you grip the ball even tighter, and actually takes the turn off the ball.
A relaxed throw, where you let you hand and wrist fall down and back slightly bringing the thumb out first, and allow the ball to rest on your fingers while you follow through imparts more rotation on the ball. Since you have a relaxed grip, the ball is released cleanly, and you get a more accurate shot.
Improper Footwork leads to Improper Balance
When you don’t use the cross over on the first 2 steps of your approach, you start your swing with the ball out too far from your body. You then get the ball behind your back on your back-swing trying to miss your leg on the back swing.
Then as you come forward, you have to get the ball around your body, and likely throw the ball outside of your target too far, or hold onto the ball and pull it inside your target.You are completely off balance as well.
Not Letting the Ball Fall Naturally
Be sure you start a nice straight push away swing. Follow with a relaxed back swing,then a relaxed forward swing.Keep everything inline with your head, and your target.
Try to let the ball fall naturally down from the top of the back swing. Do not pull the ball down and help make the ball go faster. It is almost impossible to make a good inline shot to your target, when you help the ball.
I didn’t realize this on my own. I was told about it by others watching me struggle with inaccurate shots. You can not improve without getting others to watch your style.
As I concentrated on my swing, I discovered that to be my problem. With some focused practice, of allowing the ball to fall naturally, I quickly got my shots back on track. Once you regain your scoring ability, and watch your scores improve, it just doesn’t get any better that that. The enjoyment returns to your game.
Focus On Your Target
Focus on your target, sounds so easy, but seems to get harder as we get older. As you take your first steps, keep the feet lined up(crossover) in your first two steps.
Keep your dominant eye inline with your target. Following with the head(slightly lowering the shoulder) over the target line. The arm swing should be following where the head is looking at the target.
Be sure you are watching the ball until it rolls over the target you are aiming at.
As you reach the foul line your plant foot should be within 6 ½ boards of your target.
Finish with the arm swing going right up through the target.I was always told not to “muscle up” the swing. You have to keep a relaxed shoulder and arm and allow the ball to follow through naturally. You have to resist the temptation to help the ball. I am guilty of helping the ball, causing bad shots, and it is a hard habit to break.
Next time you start having trouble hitting you mark ask your friends to look at your arm swing. You may just correct your problem. Take a look at Pete Weber’s swing. He executes the cross over step perfectly, keeps everything in line, and delivers a nice shot. Notice that he is wearing his signature glove on his bowling hand
Now if only I could just do that!
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