Continuing with last month’s theme of examining common physical errors and how to fix them, we’ll focus this month on a very important element of the armswing: the swing plane.
A faulty swing plane is one of most common physical problems I see when coaching. While most bowlers will list timing or release as their main problem, the swing plane is so important to both that you often need to correct it first before you can even start to address other issues.
More often than not, an errant swing plane is caused by using the incorrect muscles in the swing. This incorrect muscle usage can cause timing issues. Also, a swing plane that isn’t straight can cause loss of leverage, which hinders the release.
You’ll notice that I said a bowler will often use the incorrect muscles, and we’ll start there. The phrase “muscling the ball” is one of the most common things I hear and read online when people are giving advice. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most inaccurate statements around.
First, it implies that you aren’t supposed to use any muscles while delivering a bowling ball. In fact, you use lots of muscles, from the start position all the way to the finish position. Therefore, everyone “muscles” the ball.
The second, and less obvious, problem with the “muscling the ball” statement is that it is incomplete. If we can agree that we must use muscles to throw the ball, then what we should be saying when something is wrong is that we are using our ...
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