Erik Vermilyea

Quick Tip: Axis Rotation Practice

Erik Vermilyea
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Axis rotation is how much side rotation your bowling ball has while rolling down the lane. In this quick tip Coach Erik Vermilyea of Track demonstrates how to achieve more and less axis rotation by practicing with a soft ball or football.

Minimal axis rotation happens when the bowling ball rolls more end-over-end, closest to 0º.


Maximum axis rotation is the most side rotation you can put on the bowling ball getting as close to 90º as possible.


Medium axis rotation is in the middle with 45º of rotation, average side rotation.


Before starting this drill you’ll need to know what your normal axis rotation is. The goal is to determine a hand position that achieves more and less axis rotation to manipulate ball roll in order to stay in the pocket.

Minimal Axis Rotation

Less hook gets the job done, sometimes. In order to make the bowling ball hook less, you’ll want to make the bowling ball roll more end over end. Start by putting the softball in the palm of your hand and release the ball with your hand up the back of it.


Maximum Axis Rotation

Having more side rotation than your “normal” release helps hook the ball more. To make this happen, hold the ball all the way to the side and release. This will get your bowling balls axis rotation as close to 90º as possible.


Medium Axis Rotation

This is considered to be a normal/typical release that enables the bowling ball to roll close to 45º of axis rotation. Your hand position is in between the previous two releases.


Practicing with a football or softball off the lanes is a great way to train yourself to adjust your release. Too often bowlers go to their bag for a ball change, while making an adjustment with your hand will keep you in the pocket, striking.

Check out “Axis Tilt and Axis Rotation” and “How To Change Your Bowling Release to Manipulate Ball Roll” for more expert instruction from the National Bowling Academy.

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