Article Contents

  • 1. Introduction to VAR-E
  • 2. Reconceptualization of the release to follow through
  • 3. Using VAR-E to improve spare shooting
  • 4. Evaluate your implementation of VAR-E
    • 4.1. Step 1
  • 5. How to Mark Your PAP
  • 6. Step 2
  • 7. Resources
  • 8. Recap of the VAR-E System
    • 8.1. Step 1
    • 8.2. Step 2
    • 8.3. Step 3
    • 8.4. Step 4
  • 9. Quick note on the index and pinky in the set up
  • 10. Closing remarks

Over the last 20 years, the bowling community has continued to become an equipment obsessed and bowling ball consumption oriented culture. Every day on social media you see bowlers zealously sharing their enthusiasm for new bowling balls. As a coach preparing players and teams around the world for tournaments, I understand the essential elements associated with equipment and achievement. To be successful at the highest levels, you need to strategically combine the technology of bowling balls with skill.

This sentiment was recently echoed by PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli in his interview after winning the PBA50 Pasco County Open in April, “…back in the 80s when I was bowling on tour, I was a ‘feel player’ and I could make the equipment I happened to be using work….But now you just can’t totally rely on your skill… You have to combine the skill with good knowledge of the bowling ball and how it reacts with the lane conditions.” To be successful in bowling, a bowler must match equipment with ball motion manipulation skills.

I am a strong believer in using specific layouts with specific covers and cores to create shape matchups that help bowlers be successful on sport conditions and through the phases of transition. I am concerned, however, that bowlers rely too much on reaching in the bag to change colors rather than learning and implementing release variation skills.

Ball motion manipulation via release change leads to a substantial growth of one’s arsenal. If a bowler can attain releases that include four axes of rotations, two axes tilts, two rev rates, and three ball speeds, this player can make one ball create 48 shape variations (4 x 2 x 2 x 3). An arsenal of six balls is ...

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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.