Having a good swing path in bowling is crucial. Keeping your shoulders in line with your target downlane will help you repeat shots, ultimately gaining the consistency everyone strives for.
Gold Coach and Bowler Development Lead at Bowlersmart Richard Shockley walks you through the four phases of a bowling swing path that are identified as follows:
1. Beginning (setup/stance and push away)
2. Bottom of the swing (ball at the bottom of the swing)
3. Top of the swing (ball at the top of the swing)
4. Release position (ball exits hand)
Start by tilting your head down and place the ball underneath your head. Place some of the weight of the bowling ball into your off hand (non-bowling hand). Try to remember not to squeeze the ball because the more you try to make the ball hook, the less it will.
2. Bottom of the Swing
At the bottom of the swing path the goal is to have the ball below your head, just like the beginning phase. Your offhand is beginning to leave the bowling ball at this point, which is key to keeping you swing path in line.
3. Top of the Swing
The placement of the bowling ball in this phase is directly behind the head. When this phase is out of line either to the inside or outside of the head, you have to change directions mid swing creating inconsistency at the point of release.
In order to remain accurate at the point of release, if this phase is out of line it has to be corrected during the swing, which leads to pulling the ball left or right.
If you miss to the inside of your head at the top of the swing, the ball typically goes to the right.
If you miss the ball to the outside of your head at the top of the swing, the ball typically goes left.
If you can get the ball directly behind our head at the top of the swing, the release window becomes wide enough for you to hit the target more accurately.
4. Release Position
Again, like phases one and two, the release position needs the bowling ball directly below your head for a successful shot. The bowling ball should be as close to your ankle as possible for best accuracy down lane.
Master these four phases of the bowling arm swing path and you’ll find yourself hitting your target more often and your average will increase because of it.
Be sure to check out more physical game videos like this one from National Bowling Academy’s expert coaches to help you improve your game.