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HOLD ON: USBC Coaching Specialist Bryan O’Keefe demonstrates the variations of ball placement in the stance.

perfectly square at the foul line, this stance allows you to preset your hips and shoulders. For example, you’ll notice the further inside a bowler moves, the more he will open up those shoulders and hips in the setup. As for ball placement in your

stance, the height of the ball is not as big a factor as how close or far the ball is from your body, and where it is from side to side. Left-to-right, the ball should be somewhere between your chin and your ball-side shoulder. If the ball is too close to the center of your chest you’ll either have to step around the ball at the start, or push it out toward your throw- ing shoulder so that the ball doesn’t hit your body when you drop it into your swing.


Setup Basics Legs slightly fl exed

Shoulders slightly in front of your beltline

Ball height between your chin and beltline

Ball placement left-to-right between your chin and bowling shoulder

Relaxed, athletic position //////////////////////////////// Conversely, you don’t want

to hold the ball too far outside. Remember, you’re holding a heavy object, and the further it is outside your throwing shoulder, the heavier it’s going to feel. The closer you keep the

object to your center of gravity, the lighter it’s going to feel. Where a bowler holds the ball up and down has a lot to do with body type. Again, it’s a comfort level. In the end, the timing of your armswing and footwork has to be in sync. For instance, a bowler with long arms and shorter legs may start the ball at his waist to keep his longer swing in sync with shorter steps. In a sense, he’s taking time off his swing to keep in sync with his footwork. Pro bowler Norm Duke keeps

the ball at waist level because he’s shorter and takes quicker steps, meaning his swing won’t be as long as it would if he started with the ball closer to his chin. Most importantly, don’t hold the ball too far away from your body. You want the ball close to your body, with your elbow almost resting on your hip. Again, this eliminates unnecessary strain on your bowling arm. If the ball is too far from your body, the muscles in your bowling arm will tighten up. You want your stance and swing to be relaxed, and it’s diffi cult to get your muscles to relax after they’ve tightened up.

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READY... Jason Belmonte

Jason’s ball height is right around waist level, with his upper body relaxed but in an athletic position. His ball-side foot is dropped back in order to open up his hips, matching his desired launch angle through the front of the lane.

Walter Ray Williams Jr. Walter Ray has the ball close to his body, with his elbow slightly behind his side. This keeps the ball closer to his center of gravity, which requires less grip pressure and muscle once he begins his approach.

Parker Bohn III Parker also has his left elbow slightly behind his side, but holds the ball around chest level. This added height in his ball position makes his swing a little longer and allows his footwork to be a little slower. The swing and footwork match his natural tempo of the approach.

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