- 1. A bowler’s grip
- 1.1. Unique grips
- 2. Release characteristics
- 2.1. Traditional ball roll
- 3. Matching up the unorthodox
- 3.1. Speed-dominant
- 3.2. Rev-dominant
- 4. Risk of injury
- 4.1. An unorthodox one-hander
- 4.2. Excessive force
- 5. Will it work under pressure?
- 6. Advice for coaches
- 7. Conclusion
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In this follow-up article on coaching those with unorthodox traits, I will look into other aspects of a bowler’s game and my approach to coaching them, with a focus on the bowler’s grip, ball roll, mental game, and also the risk of injury that may be present when using a different technique.
As mentioned in the first part of this series, the coach’s dilemma when faced with a bowler who has an unusual style is to decide whether to change the bowler to be more textbook, or whether to focus on what they’re doing well regardless of how it looks. A good coach will always assess each bowler on an individual basis, but, ultimately, there is no “one size fits all” answer, as everyone is different. And the longer someone has been doing something, the more difficult it will be for them to make drastic technique changes unless they are prepared to put in a lot of practice time.
A bowler’s grip
So does majority rule determine what is considered orthodox? To some extent, it does, but when something new comes along that is a game-changer (such as the Fosbury Flop in high jump or the two-handed technique in bowling), the notion of what is considered orthodox will also evolve. This will have an impact on other athletes wanting to copy the most effective technique, so a coach’s knowledge has to continuously grow and evolve over time as well.
This perspective also applies to how a ball is drilled and the layouts that are used, which at times are forced to change due to updates in the governing rules (consider how the banning of balance holes has simplified layouts) or with trends in the game. Stronger cores and covers and more oil on the lanes have led to ball drillers using more forward pitch in the thumb and more reverse in the fingers over the last decade to encourage the ball to be rolled more off the ...
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