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Category: Approach & Swing (Timing)
Type: Tip


Q. I am 18 years old and I have been bowling since I was 5. I have always had an awesome physical game up until I developed this terrible armswing last fall. I have about ten coaches who I talk to on a regular basis, and not one of them can figure out what is making me have a looped armswing. I have probably tried everything at least once, but nothing seems to help. I practice every day, roughly forty games a week and usually play a tournament every weekend. I have read numerous articles trying to get the right "fix". I'm getting really discouraged because of the inconsistency caused from the armswing. I have compared videotape from a junior Coke tourney last May, to the current and nothing seems to stand out. If anything, my armswing is lower now than before. Please Help!

A. You did not say if you are right or left-handed. So I am talking to you as right handed. You should have a slight loop to the swing but no more than a couple of inches- This is called a pro groove swing. Bad swings are usually caused from bad timing. Have one of your coaches watch your first step and pushaway very closely. If you take 4 steps, make sure that the ball and your foot are moving together. If you take 5 steps, the ball should move on the 2nd step. Also, have them make sure that you are not pushing the ball away at an angle right or left. You should push the ball straight out and down toward the right foot during the first step.

My thought is that you may be getting ahead of the ball, or rushing the line. This would cause you to muscle the ball into your backswing (pulling the ball back). The subsequent movement pulling the ball forward could cause a looping swing. You do need to watch your swing and foot timing to make sure it is in the proper sync. Check out your tape again: The first step is the pushaway... on the second step the ball should be just behind the right knee... the 3rd step should put the ball at the top of the backswing... and the 4th step with slide takes care of the downswing and release.   If these things are ok then have a coach watch to make sure you aren’t opening and closing the shoulders too much. Have a coach check to make sure you are going to the line smooth as we don't want any bouncing or up and down movement. This also could throw the swing out of shape. Without being able to see your movement, the most likely place for error is at the very start of the approach.

I suggest paring down your coaches to the one you trust the most. Having more than one coach can be confusing, as everyone has there own ideas of what someone should be doing. Old saying: Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Submitted by: Bob Korth

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