Off-Lane Training to Improve Your Release – Part 2

BowlU tools and the Finnish hurdle

Off-Lane Training to Improve Your Release Part 2 header

In my last article, we discussed a DIY approach to off-lane training, using some ABS piping in the form of what I call the “lightsaber.” Continuing with the off-lane theme, the tools illustrated in this article are specifically aimed at improving your physical capabilities to the highest possible level, a process known as mastering.

The mastering process is covered comprehensively by Daniel Coyle in his book, The Talent Code, which is a very good read for students and coaches alike that was covered extensively by Dean Champ here, here, and here. To paraphrase, Coyle describes how high-level performers from many different sports and skills were coming from some of the most unlikely places around the world. From humble origins, where the training facilities were not ultra-modern, state-of-the-art centers, but were instead very basic and received little or no funding at all, incredible top-end talent was being developed.

Upon further investigation, Coyle found out that the coaching techniques used in such facilities were often very similar, although totally unconnected to each other. Termed “deep practice,” each of the skills was broken down into small sections of the whole action known as “chunks,” often performed in slow motion. Once the students had perfected each section, they put them all back together in sequence, enabling them to master the activity and overall motion or skill. This chunking technique is truly the best way to learn, especially as it is in slow motion where a player can achieve the kinesthetic feel that is the holy grail of learning and mastering any physical action.

We can apply these principles perfectly to the bowling release action. Following on from the lightsaber exercise in our previous article where we separated our release into two types, we can now add a third release I like to call “the big kahuna.” This is the release with the most side roll, with the potential for the quickest change in direction (most angular shot shape), and what most bowlers see as the biggest hook.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some very handy training tools we can use to develop mastery of the release.

BowlU training tools

These tools are designed and produced by Rick Benoit through his BowlU training program, which prioritizes off-lane skill training as a way to develop on-lane skills such as the release. The tools I’m presenting here are just a small part of the overall BowlU program, and videos for further instruction on ...

Andy Penny

About Andy Penny

Andy Penny has coached several national teams and operated a pro shop for over 35 years. He is a USBC Gold coach since 2009, a BowlU Skill Development coach since 2013, and an ETBF Level III coach since 2017.