Again, proper hip placement will allow you to stay balanced. After you release the ball, your hips should close slightly. In the finish position, you want your hips to be closed down and pointed at your target path. TRAILING LEG:
When you get into your swing and the ball passes your hip, the heel of the ball- side foot should point away from the ball- side shoulder. Leading the trail leg with the heel is what opens the hips and allows the ball to come through cleanly. Once the ball clears the hip, the toe of the trailing leg should roll under- neath and point away from the ball-side shoulder. This helps close down the hips, and is a move that few bowlers take advan- tage of. Your lower body can do so much to help maintain bal- ance, and you lose that strength when your hips stay open.
Be aware of the po- sition of your non- bowling arm, particu- larly at the finish. The action of that arm is important, too. Is it high and pointing to- ward the ceiling? Is it pulling back too hard? Is it pointing to the floor? Is it even being used in the shot? The correct an-
swer is that it should balance the momen- tum generated by the swing arm. So, as your bowling arm is at the height of its backswing, the non- bowling arm should be slightly forward. As the swing comes down to the finish posi- tion, the opposite arm should move to the bowlers’ side to coun- terbalance the swing. THE HEAD: Your
head should be as stable as possible, with your eyes toward the target path. Your head should never pull left or right, leading the shot. When you lead sideways with your head, there’s a ten-
Ask yourself, “Am I too far forward?” “Am I pulling back at the finish?” “Is my fin- ish smooth?” From a coach’s perspective, it’s easy to see whether the bowlers’ body move- ment is balanced and efficient.
THE SIDE VIEW You can view the same elements of the finish from the side to gain a slightly different per- spective. The knee posi- tion and extension are best viewed from the side. THE KNEE: When
Freeze Frame: Be aware of whether your finish looks clean. Elite bowlers like Hall of Famer Kim Terrell-Kearney are per- fectly balanced and efficient at the finish.
dency to bring the rest of your body around the same direction. Again, what suffers is your balance and swing alignment. Remember, the body
goes where your head leads it. POSTURE: The over-
all posture of the bowl- er is the final indicator. Be aware of whether your finish looks clean.
14 USBOWLER MAY 2011
a bowler finishes with good balance, there’s typically a space be- tween their slide knee and trailing knee. That balances the momen- tum as the swing is be- ing finished. THE FOLLOW
THROUGH: Is the ex- tension outward toward the pins? Is it toward the ceiling? More im- portantly, which di- rection is the follow through? Ideally, it should be in the target path. Of course, some great bowlers follow
through with their arm across their body. That doesn’t necessarily mean the bowler can’t repeat that action, but it is a more difficult action to repeat effectively. THE CONSISTENT
FINISH: The key is to see if you can nail the proper finish position and make it a repeat- able process. Usually, you can trace back an unbalanced finish posi- tion to a flaw in your approach. If you find yourself falling off to one side at the finish, you may take a look at the direction of your push-away or the direc- tion of your armswing as it comes down to the release. Each of the “pieces” detailed above plays a role in the finish, and each can be ad- justed to allow for bet- ter consistency. Tempo can play a role as well. If you’re leaning forward at the finish, you may want to slow your ap- proach. In the end, make sure
your finish feels com- fortable and repeatable. It shouldn’t feel like work.
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