Article Contents

  • 1. Maximizing energy transfer and accuracy
  • 2. Thinking in 3D
  • 3. Energy efficiency
    • 3.1. Analysis of the Y-Z axes
    • 3.2. Analysis of the X-Z axes
  • 4. Focus points for video analysis
    • 4.1. Rear view
    • 4.2. Side view
  • 5. Common problems
    • 5.1. Ball start direction
    • 5.2. Ball-side shoulder
    • 5.3. Muscle strength disparities
  • 6. Concluding remarks

As a coach, I have worked diligently to identify cause-and-effect sequences, especially within the context of analyzing energy production and efficiencies in the physical game. This article continues this pursuit by focusing on a more thorough evaluation of the release to follow through (RtFT) phase of the swing. With this in mind, I introduce a three-dimensional analysis perspective of the release to the follow through phase.

Through the experiences of facilitating thousands of lessons over decades of working with bowlers around the world, I believe that many bowlers are not reaching their full potential because their RtFT moves off of the intended target line, leading to a reduction of energy transfer and a loss of accuracy. And, the higher the level, the more vital this phase of the swing becomes. To illustrate, when working recently with an elite bowler, we were able to achieve hand and forearm travel down the intended target line with an adjustment of torso movement. Before this adjustment, the bowler’s RtFT was approximately 10 degrees out of alignment.

In a sport where one shot over a full week of bowling can cost a bowler a tournament cut, a loss of a check, or a failure to medal, maximizing energy transfer and accuracy is literally serious business. To reach one’s full potential, each bowler should strive to improve their release to follow through direction. With a commitment to understanding and addressing the root cause and effect, a bowler can improve their RtFT direction, leading to increased repeatability, improved energy transfer, and better accuracy.

Maximizing energy transfer and accuracy

I start with a straightforward three-pronged premise that will drive the article and the analysis of the RtFT phase. Specifically, my hypotheses are:

  • The longer the hand travels on the intended target line, with the fingers in the bowling ball, the more energy transfer there will be from the bowler to the bowling ball, and the more accurate the bowler will be.
  • This extended travel length on the same line will also increase the arc distance the fingers travel in the bowling ball, maximizing the bowler’s rev rate.
  • Any deviation from the intended target line, due to physical game liabilities or habit, will reduce both energy transfer and accuracy.

In short, if the hand travels on the intended line longer, it will maximize energy transfer and accuracy while also maximizing rev rate.

Thinking in 3D

To best realize an analysis and evaluation of the release to follow through phase, conceptualize the release in three dimensions. This involves thinking about one axis being in the ...

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Joe Slowinski

About Joe Slowinski

Joe Slowinski, a USBC Gold Coach, is a freelance bowling coach who works with bowlers around the globe. He is the former Director of Bowling at Lincoln Memorial University, where he served as Program Administrator and Head USBC Collegiate Men’s and NCAA Women’s Coach. The Portland, Maine native has served as the Administrative and Men's Head Coach at Webber International University and served for four years as a Master Teaching Professional at the Kegel Training Center. Slowinski is also the former Director of Coaching and Coach Certification for the National Sports Council of Malaysia. He has coached international teams at the World Championships, Pan American Games, South American Games, and European Championships. He was the 2018 NTCA DII/III Coach of the Year and the 2010 NCBCA Men’s College Coach of the Year.