Saturday, 26 November 2011

So, Where Do You Start?

When you step up to bowl, your pre-shot method ought to start with the alignment of your feet on the approach. This is important for reasons:

1. You can make adjustments at this point to be sure your ball gets to the strike pocket.
2. When you successfully hit your target & get a strike, you will know where to stand to do it again!

There's aspects to review when discussing the position of our feet when they first step on the approach: left-right position, front-back position & the relationship of the feet to each other.

First, the left-right position.Which foot ought to they use? I highly recommend the foot opposite the ball-side (left foot for right-handed bowlers & right foot for left-handed bowlers). Why? I am glad you asked...there are points on the approach that are important to be sure a consistent direction to your delivery. Where you start on the approach & where you finish. In the event you check your side-to-side position in your stance then find yourself left or right of that point at the finish, you have 'drifted' away from your beginning position. Drifting a few boards is acceptable if it is consistent with every delivery & the only way to measure this drift is to check your start & finish position using the same foot for both.

The front-back position is simple. You need to finish as close to the foul line as you can comfortably. Finish close & you risk committing a foul. Finish far back & your ball spends an unnecessary amount of time getting to the pins. The more time the ball spends on the lane, the less energy remains to take out that pesky ten pin (7 pin for you lefties).

Finally, the relationship of the feet to each other. I recommend the ball-side foot be placed back about half the length of the opposite foot with about a 3" seperation between the feet. Why? The ball-side foot drops back & carries the hips & the shoulder with it. This 'open' position allows the ball to swing basically past your side & also permits a higher backswing. A higher backswing? How? Another nice query...try this...stand upright together with your arms down to your sides. Together with your shoulders square, slowly swing your arms back as far as you can. You will find that you are limited on how far your arms will go. Now rotate shoulder (preferably the ball-side) back about 30 degrees. You can now make a complete circle together with your arm. When bowling, this allows for a free & simple backswing.
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