Article Contents

  • 1. Challenging your muscle memory
  • 2. Changing your perspective
  • 3. The challenge of being a spinner
    • 3.1. Why you should reduce your axis tilt
    • 3.2. Why you should reduce your axis rotation
  • 4. What’s the goal?
  • 5. Let’s get to work
  • 6. Details matter
    • 6.1. Tip #1: Use video analysis
    • 6.2. Tip #2: Overexaggerate; become uncomfortable
    • 6.3. Tip #3: Keep practicing
    • 6.4. Tip #4: Hire a coach you trust
  • 7. Conclusion

The bowling release is crazy. It’s wildly complex and bafflingly simple at the same time, depending on how you look at it. For most bowlers, the release is one of the hardest parts of the game to learn and change.

Up until a couple of years ago, I legitimately wasn’t able to tell whether I was spinning the ball or rolling it. When I thought I was rolling it, my husband, who is also my coach, would say that I was still spinning it. This, as you can probably either relate to or imagine, was incredibly frustrating.

He would tell me this not because he wanted me to feel bad, but because spinning it was causing my ball reaction to be inconsistent from frame to frame. It was evident that the women who score well the majority of the time had much lower tilt (less spin), which tends to blend the pattern out better and create more of a consistent reaction, particularly on fresh PWBA Tour conditions.

Thankfully, my release and my understanding of it have come a long way. I have decreased my tilt and created a stronger roll overall. I will outline the philosophy and lane play implications behind the different types of rolls, the challenges that I’ve faced in my own game, and how I have worked hard to create a better and more effective ball roll as part of my “A” game.

Challenging your muscle memory

What I discovered in one of my most recent practice sessions was that my muscle memory is strong and ingrained. What I thought I had been working on for months and months wasn’t exactly translating to what I was actually doing with my release. My hand was reverting back to what was comfortable instead of what I was aiming to ...

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Valerie Bercier

About Valerie Bercier

Valerie is originally from Brampton, Ontario, Canada and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 2008 through 2012. She then attended the University of Rhode Island to finish up school and become a Registered Dietitian. Valerie is now a health coach and co-owner of Berberry Health & Wellness, LLC, as well as a PWBA Tour player. She took home the 2019 PWBA Rookie of the Year honors. Valerie is also a 10-time member of Team Canada.