So amidst the insanity I blogged about earlier, I actually managed to get some work done on the lanes at Walt’s Center Lanes Bowling. The clinic was put on by Hitt’s Pro Shop, in partnership with Brunswick Bowling, I believe. I know Brunswick donated 5 bowling balls to the clinic.
On the lanes, I was able to have Rick and Josh both work with me to see what was going on with my swing.
For some time, I’ve had problems with the ball getting away from. One of the first fixes Rick suggested was that I push the ball further to my left in an attempt to stop the ball from bumping in so much at the top. I had been trying this already, Rick just got to exaggerate the move even further. This started to yield some results immediately, which is always great.
Rick also had me work on continuation through the swing at the release point. He said I didn’t do it all the time, but now and I would decelerate my arm just a little going in to the release point. When this happened I tended to get a little grabby at the bottom and ball would stay on my hand a little too long. This means I lose a little leverage at the bottom and a lot of accuracy. After working on it for a little bit, I believe I’m getting better at exploding through the release.
Josh also had me work on keeping my arm on my swing plane through out the follow through because I had a tendency to end up with my arm on the left side of my head. Again, this had results immediately.
The final thing we worked on was my timing. For some time now, I’ve noticed my timing was just a fraction late. Combine this with my swing bumping in at the top of the swing and the only direction the ball could go was right! I have a HUGE tendency to miss right. Some times by as much as 6 boards!
After watching me for a few moments, Josh decided that even though my swing was bumping in at the top a little it wasn’t excessive and due to the high rev rate it was actually favorable because I would tend to be playing deeper lines which require me to project the ball to the right. After calling Rick over to watch for a little while, Rick noticed that I was starting the ball just a little bit late. This was causing me to get to the line before the ball making it harder to square my shoulders up through the release point. He told me to get the ball started just a tiny bit sooner. That’s all it took!
From that point on at the clinic, as long as I got the ball started sooner, the ball went straight down the line I was looking, was within a board of the marks I was looking at and almost always found the pocket and the majority of the time I struck. An added bonus: Bowling on a lane by myself and shooting spares, I noticed my spare percentage went up. That small change in timing allows me to project the ball down the target line much better, making it MUCH easier to hit what I’m aiming at – even when shooting straight.
I know there is some work to be done still to solidify these changes and make them a part of my game, but I feel very optimistic about this coming Summer League and the Fall League that will inevitably follow it.
All in all, I enjoyed the clinic very much. I look forward to meeting up with Josh and Rick again in future. These guys are very knowledgeable coaches and ball drillers and they’re great guys to boot. If you’re in the Northern Kentucky region, or if you’re willing to make the drive, don’t hesitate to see them. You won’t be disappointed.