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flag. It means the ball is going to come behind your back. Several problems could stem from that initial mistake. You could end up pushing the ball to the right, or you might overcompensate by turning your shoulder and end up missing your mark to the left. A similar flag will pop up if your push away leaves the ball to the left of your chin. This one-step approach will give you

a better understanding of whether or not your push away is straight. Once you get that first-step push away straight, continue with your approach. You should be able to recognize whether the rest of your approach has been affected. The height of the ball position after the first step is also critical. You should push the ball out in a rounded motion. Your arms shouldn’t be extended straight out and stiff. It should be a rounded motion that leaves the ball at chest level but in a comfortable position. The further the ball gets in front of you, the heavier it will be. And the heavier the ball feels, the greater the tendency to squeeze it to hang on. Make sure the ball is not angled

toward the floor, or pointing toward the ceiling. As for timing, your foot and push

away should move at the same time. Pretend there is a piece of string attached from your big toe to your wrist. When you move your toe, your wrist should move with it. At that stopped position, that string should be perfectly perpendicular to the floor. If you push


One step at a time: Team USA Assistant Coach Bryan O’Keefe demonstrates how a one-step-and-stop approach can give bowlers a better idea of whether or not their pushaway is straight, properly timed and at the proper height...all keys to consistency and accuracy.

too early, the string on your wrist will be ahead of where it is tied to your toe. Mind you, getting the first step

straight will not fix all the problems in the rest of your approach. And you won’t be able to self-correct these flaws without the use of video, a coach, or at least an extra set of eyes. That will be

the only way to analyze if your normal approach and new “straight” approach are similar or dramatically different. This drill is just a great little check-

up that will make the subsequent steps easier to fix. The main benefit is breaking things down into smaller parts. There are so many moving parts

in the approach, with your legs and arms all moving at the same time, that pinpointing the problem is difficult. Breaking the approach down into smaller, more manageable pieces makes it easier to understand. And there’s no better place to start than the beginning.

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