Article Contents

  • 1. Overview of the shape shifting ball motion match up model
  • 2. When to change shapes
  • 3. Lane breakdown process reminder
  • 4. Hypothetical layouts to match shape progression
  • 5. Conclusion

Shape match up is an essential component of elite bowling. If the ball motion shape matches the lane properly, the bowler will have the most margin of error available at that time. A bowler with more margin of error will always have an advantage over a player who may be more accurate but is not matching the proper motion shape needed at that moment.

Understanding ball motion is essential for making proactive decisions to determine shape choice. It is one of the fundamental elements of high scoring throughout a tournament. Unfortunately, many bowlers are not able to accurately observe and interpret ball motion so that they can make good movement, ball change, and release alteration decisions.

It can also take decades to become proficient in comprehending how layout, ball speed, axis rotation, axis tilt, and loft all converge to create a specific ball motion shape which must match the environment. With these realities in mind, I have made an effort to develop a simplified lane play approach based on the utilization of three simple shapes. This process simplification is designed to help players learn ball motion faster and not be penalized as often while learning through guessing and experimentation.

In this month’s Slowinski At Large, I present the Shape Shifting Ball Motion Match Up Model. In this model is a simplified process to aid players in best matching up on medium sport patterns, from fresh through all phases of transition. This article focuses on dealing with medium patterns only. To maximize the lane play learning, I recommend using a specific shape at a specific time and a progression through the three shapes to deal with the evolution of transition.

Overview of the shape shifting ball motion match up model

As a professional coach and coach trainer, I strive to develop teachable models that have an impact on the comprehension of complex ideas. With this in mind, I promote ball motion ...

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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 currently on assignment with the Philippines. Slowinski 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, helping Belgium win a Gold medal at the 2022 EBF Championship of Champions and coaching Brazil to Gold medals at the 2015 Pam American Games and the 2014 South American Games. He was the 2018 NTCA DII/III Coach of the Year and the 2010 NCBCA Men’s College Coach of the Year.