Ed Carlson’s recommendation and demonstration
You may have the smoothest take-off run in the world, but if you don’t learn how to properly release the ball from your hand, your perfect rhythm and polished footwork will be of little use. Ed Carlson, co-founder of the American Bowling Congress Hall of Fame, shows how the arms and legs should work just in front of the throw line and elaborates on what to do and what not to do. “The ball should be sent as soon as you have finished sliding with your left foot in front of the shot line,” explains Carlson, who won thirteen games with a 100 percent score (out of 300 points) and a total of 865 points in a three-game series. won the Peterson Classic with 1,653 points in eight games. “The ball must touch the track at a certain distance from the line of throw, but it must be launched smoothly and without jerking.”
In the close-up photos, Carlson clearly demonstrates how to send the ball immediately after the end of the slide. Note that when his right hand begins to release the ball, his left foot is still far from the line of throw. As you slide your foot forward, you can see how the right hand makes a swing and easily sends the ball out of the line.
In another series of close-ups below on what not to do, Carlson shows one of the most common mistakes – when the ball is sent too early and ahead of the launch line. “You have to bend your left knee a lot and make full use of the glide,” says Carlson. – This will allow you to stretch as much as possible. By keeping your upright too high, you can either overexpose the ball, or throw it too far into the lane, or even ‘lose’ it by dropping it just before the line of throw. ” If you shorten the run and release it in front of the line of throw, it will negatively affect the accuracy and effectiveness of the ball sent.
The above is also true if the ball is thrown too high, causing it to bounce on the lane far from the line of throw, which could damage the lane. The choice of swing amplitude is also very important for the correct sending of the ball to the line of throw. The photographs depicting Carlson, demonstrating all the pros and cons of the swing, clearly show that if his right hand reaches only shoulder level, then the ball is sent in one smooth movement.
In other consecutive photographs, he shows the main mistake of the forceful method of throwing the ball, which is typical mainly for men. In this example, the ball rises too high on the swing, as if the player decided to knock down all the pins using brute force. Notice that in this exaggerated example, Carlson has almost reached the line of throw and should have sent the ball at that time, but his arm is in a higher position than is necessary on a normal swing. In this case, the ball is sent to the track using only the strength of the muscles, there can be no question of any accuracy, and, most likely, the ball will be screwed up.
The last set of photographs shows how much the sweep has been reduced. Every player has an innate sense of speed, but in this case it was definitely not used. The ball, as it is easy to see, simply fell out of the hand, and the scope was completely blurred. This shortened swing makes it impossible to send the ball correctly, and in most cases this will result in the ball falling directly in front of the line of throw rather than behind it. “In the case of a very short swing,” Carlson recommends, “the player should hold the ball higher in the starting position, or use a longer retraction of the ball from the chest in order to increase the amplitude of his swing. This will help lift the ball higher on the swing. ”
“If the swing is too high,” he continues, “the ball should be kept lower in the initial stance, or a short return from the chest should be used. It would be nice if someone from time to time monitored the height of your swing so that you do not bring the ball above shoulder level and your swing is not too low in relation to this point. ”
When re-checking this phase of the game, keep the following guidelines in mind:
1. Adjust your swing to shoulder level by adjusting the height at which the ball is held in the starting position and by shortening or lengthening the return of the ball from the chest.
2. Release the ball immediately after completing a deep full slide by gently sending it far beyond the line of throw.
3. Do not throw the ball behind you or near your foot, and do not try to throw it in the middle of the track.
Wayne Zahn’s Recommendations
When this player turned twenty-five, he made himself talk about himself by winning the coveted crown in the Tournament of Champions, and then winning the national championship, held under the auspices of the Professional Bowling Association (PBA). As a teenager, Zahn was plagued by doubts about whether to bowling – in high school he showed great promise in baseball.
Teams management at the Cardinals in St. Louis and the Giants in San Francisco thought he could play in the Major Leagues. “But I didn’t want to start in the minor leagues in baseball,” Zahn admits. – My father and I decided that in bowling I would rather realize myself … if I am destined to realize myself in any kind of sport.
Zan entered the professional path, but received very few points in the first year. “My big hook gives me a lot of trouble,” he says. “When some paths suit him, everything goes well, but when the ball starts to tumble to the left on the other, trouble cannot be avoided.” For a month, under the guidance of Bill Bunette, one of the leading bowling instructors, he worked to fix this problem, and hard work yielded results.
Soon, Zahn’s business clearly improved: he wins the most lucrative competition held under the auspices of the PBA, the Tournament of Champions, with a prize of 25 thousand dollars. The good prize money earns him twelve of the next fourteen tournaments, including the Seattle Open. He then wins the National Championship in Gardena, New York. The $ 10,000 prize for the first place brought the amount of money he earned to $ 54,650, which was almost $ 5,000 over Don Carter’s record. In addition to his financial success, Zan won a beautiful victory with the George Young Trophy, which is awarded annually by the PBA to the top-scoring professional player. Zana’s best streak – 802 points. To his credit he has three ABC-approved games in the category of 300 points.
After you have taken the third step during the run, the ball is at the highest point of swing, from which it can be easily sent to the target. This chapter will focus on what happens next, that is, the final phase of the run – bringing the ball forward, sliding and sending the ball onto the track. While the general rule of thumb is that the swing line should not go past your shoulder level, today there is a tendency among top-notch players to use a short swing, such that the ball does not rise above the belt. As practice has shown, this technique gives the ball sufficient speed and energy, contributing to a smaller hook, but giving the ball more rotation, which, in fact, is what modern professionals are trying to achieve.
A shorter span is noteworthy, but that doesn’t mean you should keep it to a minimum. Do not do this under any circumstances, as if the swing is too small, you may have difficulty sending the ball. In addition, this technique can result in shoulder pain. So bring the ball at your left leg to approximately waist level.
The most common backswing mistake is throwing the ball too far, above shoulder level. Oddly enough, but fragile women are not affected by excessive scope. They do this in order to send the ball harder and faster. Looking at the short and sober Mary Louise Young, the outstanding female bowling player in Texas, you begin to think that she is ready to launch the ball into space orbit, swinging it over her head. When Mary Louise is performing, the audience is watching her with apprehension. If this style suits her, then the average player is likely to cause serious problems. First of all, it is extremely difficult, almost impossible, to control a ball that is raised high, which will certainly affect your accuracy.
Swinging the ball can cause it to bounce off the track. A ball carried high above your head will “lead” you to the side, and in order to lower it and send it to the track, you have to resort to a send from the side of the hip. Unbeknownst to them, many bowling players are guilty of side throwing. In order to check whether you are suffering from such a throw, or even to get rid of this bad habit, it is enough to put a table of glasses folded in half under your arm. If you can send the ball to the track and the piece of paper does not fall, you can be sure that your message was sent correctly, that is, strictly in the vertical plane. But if a sheet of paper falls, then you sent the ball to the side.
Very often, a high and irregular swing is a painful problem. Several years ago, the Department of State sent Dick Weber and his teammates on a tour of the Middle East. They had several demonstration matches on the tracks, which, to put it mildly, were poorly prepared, and Dick had to resort to sending the ball with force and from the side. When Dick returned to the United States, he found that he could not get rid of this harmful technique. The situation became so complicated that his career was actually threatened. In the end, he managed to reduce the take-off distance by about 2 feet, which slowed the send, the strides were shorter, and the swing was not so great. It took almost a year before Weber started winning the competition again. Standard way swing height control – keep the body upright during the takeoff run, or at least until the last step. When your body is tilted too much, you are forced to lift the ball above shoulder level. When I also have problems with swing, I ask the instructor to check my run. From the side it is better to see whether the swing is too high or too low. For players with a chunky body, the side swing gets in a lot of trouble due to the fact that the ball has to be carried at the right hip. As a result, they are forced to make a loop-like movement. It is easy to get rid of this problem if, having taken the starting position, take the ball far to the right side, and then slightly turn the shoulders also to the right side before sending the ball. In this way, you “take away” your right leg. After the swing ball has reached its maximum point, the player slides and releases the ball from his hand. It can be said that in bowling, this is the moment of truth. The ball is out of control of the player, and the role of the latter is reduced to simply contemplating how the ball begins its long journey towards the pins. The final phase of the run is characterized by two fundamental aspects: the slide and the ball thrust. Each of them must be carried out perfectly. Just before sending the ball onto the track, your eyes should be fixed on the chosen landmark. In this case, the left hand should be taken to the side to balance the weight of the ball in the right hand.
In the process of sliding, the body should be slightly tilted forward, bending at the lower back, and also bend the left knee. Only in this position can sliding be carried out. The bent knee will eliminate the contact of the rubber counter with the surface in the take-off zone, which would prevent slipping. The bent knee also facilitates push-off by raising the arch of the left foot, which is essential for good glide. When your toes are 2-6 inches from the throw line, touch the floor with your heel to slow down. Some players have a sliding distance of 18 inches or more. However, it should be noted that a sliding path of about 8-12 inches will be sufficient.
The reasons for sliding are pretty obvious. Without it, achieving a smooth and smooth ball throw would not have been possible. If you stop abruptly during the run, the ball will fall from your hand onto the track with a heavy thud. After that, there is no point in talking about the accuracy of hitting the target and the power of the message. In this phase of the run, it is very important to descend as low as possible. I am not saying that you only have to tilt your torso – you should lower your entire body. Bend at the lower back; lean over the ball. This movement is also performed by bending the left knee. Bend the knee hard enough. As you slide towards the line of throw, your right hand continues to move forward. The toes of the foot used for the slide should be at the line of the throw the moment you release the ball. In this case, your thumb points towards 10 o’clock on an imaginary dial, and the middle and ring fingers hold the ball from below. Arranging your fingers like this will allow you to hook the ball; the hand must be kept straight and firm.
Do not allow the ball to simply roll off your palm. Your fingers should be firmly gripping the ball, and when you lift them, for a fraction of a second you will feel the ball pressing on them with its weight. Otherwise, the ball you sent will roll in the wrong place. The thumb is released first, followed by the middle and ring fingers. Once your thumb is out of the ball, you will find that the ball is now heavily weighted by the middle and ring fingers. At this moment, you should raise your hand up.
ball slide and send
Thumb orientation is critical. I highly recommend that after exiting the ball, take the 10 o’clock direction. Rotate your thumb counterclockwise and observe how the middle and ring fingers behave. They are no longer located under the ball, but directed downward. In this position of the middle and ring fingers, you will no longer be able to send the ball with the hook. Rotate your thumb in the opposite direction clockwise. Now with a similar arrangement of the middle and ring fingers, it will be easy for you to send the right ball. From time to time you can see that a player who approaches the throw line has his thumb pointing towards 12 or even 1 o’clock (much to the right), but the ball sent by him nevertheless makes a hook movement. How does this happen? It’s all about the wrist. The player, releasing the ball from the hand, turns the wrist to the left, and the thumb is directed towards 10 o’clock.
You ask: why all these difficulties? Why can’t simple decisions be guided? The answer lies in the nature of the hook itself. A player who quickly turns his wrist to the left and combines this movement with a counterclockwise lift sends a half-rolled ball in such a way that it describes circle around the thumb hole. A number of professionals prefer this ball sending technique. It is believed to help to achieve the best result when knocking out strikes. Professionals quite often resort to such a message of the ball, in which it rotates around its entire circumference. When the hook is executed, the ball flips over several times, just like a stone falls from a mountainside. To obtain this type of rotation while sending, the wrist must be rotated to the right. The thumb moves from the 10 o’clock position to the 11 position. The ball is also lifted in a counterclockwise direction. When rolling off the palm, the ball should be no more than 1-2 inches from the surface of the track. In a split second, the ball is a few inches behind the line of throw. After completing the lifting movement, raise your right hand high for the final movement. Without it, the lift may be ineffective or the ball will not make a hook movement at all. In addition, it can deviate to the right or left. The finishing move is quite simple. All the weight of your body should be on your left leg, but the lean towards the ball continues. The right leg, which provides balance, remains behind. The left hand is naturally pulled behind the back. The right hand rushes up, at least to shoulder level. All the elements of the ball send and final movement phases are smooth, no jolts, so you can maintain perfect balance until the ball touches the pins.
Remember that the swing is in a straight line. You may have noticed that the pros often move their hand to the right when sending the ball. The late Steve Neji, former Nationalall Start Champion, became famous for this technique. The final movement Neji performed in the usual style, extending his right hand straight in front of him, but when performing on the path along which it was advisable to send the ball with a hook, he usually moved his hand to the right. According to his theory (which turned out to be effective), with such a change in technique, the effectiveness of lifting fell, reducing the ability of the ball to move with a hook. However, I cannot recommend this method for beginners.
Keep your target in mind when performing the finishing move. “Put your head down,” golf pros tell their students. This advice is also true for bowling. Do not take your eyes off the landmark on the track until the ball rolls over it.
Behind the competitive excitement that reigns on bowling alleys, a myriad of professionals are the theater of facial expressions and gesture. But notice – they perform all their body movements after they have made the final movement. These dances at the throw line in no way affect their athletic form. The slide, the ball send and the finishing move should all look completely natural. They closely resemble movements found in other sports. If you are an ice skater, you will easily find that sliding in front of the line of throw in bowling is akin to a wide skate course. Sliding and sending the ball should be done without any tension. If it does occur, it means that something is wrong with your technique, and this defect needs to be corrected.
Never lift a ball above shoulder level when swinging. In general, the shorter the span, the better. To control swing height, keep your body straight as you approach the throw line during the takeoff run. Performing a smooth yet vigorous glide, transfer the weight of the body to the lift of the left foot. Braking in front of the line of throw occurs at the expense of the heel of the shoe. The braking distance should be 8-12 inches. When you decide to send the ball using the hook method, point your thumb towards 10 o’clock on an imaginary watch face. Place your middle and ring fingers under the ball. Keep your brush straight and firm. The ball sent must fall several inches behind the line of throw. After your fingers have lifted the ball and sent it onto the lane, raise your hand straight in front of you in a finishing motion. Keep your eyes on the landmark you chose on the track.