tip archive      

                                                                             JUST LET IT FALL

     Just let it fall! Easily said, harder to execute. I guess our whole lives we try to keep things FROM falling. We fight against gravity every day. That invisible force that holds us all firmly planted to the earth. But in bowling gravity can be our biggest asset. If I had to pick the one single thing that hurts the most bowlers that come to me for help, at every level, professional or amateur, itís just that. They will not just let it fall. I am talking about the first couple feet of travel by the ball. Different bowlers have different ways of getting the ball into motion and that's just fine. But once the ball starts its downward motion you need to let it fall freely. It is a very natural tendency to hold the ball back. To slow it from falling at the speed of gravity. To make matters worse, the more pressure we have on us to make a good shot or if the lane condition will not allow us much room for error, we tend to slow the ball down even more. When the pressure is on, our brain tells us we want to be very precise in our shots. So we unconsciously hold the ball back or slow it down in the drop swing. That is the last thing we need to do. If anything we need to loosen up our arm swing when the pressure is on. Remember, there is nothing more precise than gravity. For those of you that tend to Pull the ball inside your target when the pressure is on, you are most likely a victim of this. When you hold the ball back, the total length of your swing shortens. Your ball does not go quite as high in the back swing and so the ball arrives at the line too soon. Making you have early timing and you throw the ball inside of your target.      
     I suggest people hold their balls about waist high and push slightly up and out so you will have a rounded motion at the end of your push away, this keeps the ball smooth. But however you start the ball in motion it is extremely important that you let the ball fall as fast as gravity will take it. Believe me, most of you don't. The benefits of letting the ball fall freely are:
     1. Increased ball speed without adding any muscle power. This is really great for many of the ladies. 
     2. Improved accuracy due to the fact that falling objects always fall in a straight line.
     3. More consistency in ball speed and arm swing timing because gravity pulls at the same rate every day 24 hours a day.
     4. Less of a tendency to throw the ball slower or pull the ball inside your target when the pressure is on, or the 
          oil pattern is not allowing much area.
     5. You will have much less of a tendency to pull the ball behind your back. 
     6. I believe if you do this, you have much less of a chance of developing tendonitis in the forearm or elbow area. 
         Or if   you already have tendonitis, letting the ball fall at the speed of gravity will in most cases allow it to heal. 

                                                                                         

Let the ball fall freely from point A to point B. Most people have a tendency to hold the ball back here. 

Special thanks to 2 time PBA regional champion and Storm staffer Todd Masingo

Just let it drop, pull down slightly if you have to

At this point the ball should feel weightless to your hand Now just relax and let the ball flow up to the backswing


     So all we have to do is let the ball drop at the speed of gravity. How fast is that? Well it's thirty two feet per second squared. But you don't have to know that. Everyone that has tried this sees a positive change in their game right away. The problem is, unless you teach yourself what to look for, you can't tell if you hold the ball back or not. You can't feel it because it's so natural for you to do it. A simple test you can do to see if you are holding the ball back is to simply pull the ball down. When you push the ball away and it starts to drop then help the ball down by pulling it down into the swing. You will most likely see the ball fall much faster than before. But it's not so much because you are pulling it down because in most cases gravity will outrun your hand. Yes you can pull harder than gravity if you try and that's not a good idea ether. But I have found that most people that I ask to pull the ball down do not outrun gravity. They at best just keep up with it and that's the idea. The way I test myself to see if I am holding the ball back is to see if I can remove all the weight of the ball out of my hand on the way down. If I can make the ball feel weightless to my hand then my hand is falling at the same rate as the ball. Imagine there is a thumbtack between the ball and the palm of your hand. If you can keep the ball from pushing the thumbtack into your hand on the way down then your hand is falling at the speed of gravity. The only time I should feel the weight of the ball is very near the bottom of the swing. Keep in mind I am only talking about the first couple feet of ball travel from the pushaway. I am not talking about the back swing at all. I feel in most cases you should mostly just let the ball fall from the backswing too, but that is a whole different thing. 
Bowl Great!
Ron