Stance, Ball Start, and Arm Swing

Do you struggle to hit your target consistently? One good shot, followed by a bad shot, followed by who knows what? This makes it difficult to get into a rhythm and string strikes together.

There are common errors made in the stance that make it impossible for the swing plane to be straight, and in this article, you’ll learn how and why you want your arm swing to be straight every time you throw the bowling ball down the lane.

Incorrect Arm Swing

Where you hold your bowling ball in the stance affects how your arm will swing. Too far left or too far right, too high or too low, all result in an errant swing.

In this example, bowler Hailey Triske holds the bowling ball too high and too far to the left.

The placement of the bowling ball in the stance caused Hailey’s shot to miss right. The bowling ball looped around her body and ended up inside where a straight arm swing should occur.

Straight Arm Swing

Good placement of the bowling ball in the stance is located under the chin and just above waist high—this is the first step in creating a straight arm swing.

The second step is footwork.

The body needs to get out of the way of the bowling ball at the start of the arm swing.

Too many bowlers try to make the ball get out of the way of the body and try to correct it in the backswing. This can be done, just not consistently.

To better develop a consistent straight arm swing, utilize a crossover step during the ball start on the approach.

Stepping in front of your slide foot allows the ball to pass your hip and stay in a straight line, enabling you to hit your target consistently.

Ball Start Drill

How the bowling ball starts out of the stance is fundamental for a straight arm swing.

If you start the ball too far to the right, it will wrap behind your back, and you’ll miss the target to the right. The result is the ball not picking up down the lane.

If you start the ball too far to the left, the bowling ball will be outside of your head in the backswing, and you will pull the ball.

This results in the bowling ball missing the target to the left and likely going high, if not crossing over and missing the headpin altogether.

Training Aid

For this example, we used a hockey stick. You can use a yardstick, pool noodle, your hand, or grab a menu from the settee.

With a coach or a friend, get into your stance on the approach.

How It Works

Standing to the side of the bowler with the hockey stick, have the bowler walk through their approach and throw a shot.

This gives the bowler immediate feedback on what a straight arm swing should feel and look like down the lane.

Remember, how you start will determine how you finish. Proper setup in the stance and a good ball start to initiate the swing will keep your feet in time with your arm swing, resulting in more precise targeting and fewer errant shots.

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2 Responses to “Stance, Ball Start, and Arm Swing”

  1. Ric

    Great timing on this piece. Exactly the problem I'm having with consistency.

  2. Eddie MooreVery good

    Thanks, very good info