Article Contents

  • 1. Trick-of-the-trade #4: fixing badly-bent elbows
    • 1.1. Don’t confuse this bent elbow with what the pros do
  • 2. Causes of the bent elbow
  • 3. Start the repair!
  • 4. Fix it with the “bad timing drill”
    • 4.1. Part one
    • 4.2. Part two
    • 4.3. Part three
  • 5. Why it works

This is the third contribution to my Tricks of the Bowling Coaching Trade series (click here for Part 1 and Part 2). In these articles, I am sharing some of the coaching methods I have developed and used in my 25 years of coaching at the professional level.

This series is devoted to helping coaches and bowlers around the world work through some of the most difficult problems that bowlers face. One of those challenges is reprogramming muscle memory. The focus this month is fixing badly-bent elbows and reprogramming those elbows so the problem will never return. One added bonus about the drill I’m about to describe is that the first part can be done at home (or in your yard), provided that you have enough free space. A lot of swing drills can be done at home in front of a mirror, which allows you to see what your body is actually doing.

Trick-of-the-trade #4: fixing badly-bent elbows

If you have been coaching for any length of time, you have likely had a student who had a badly-bent elbow. This is an elbow that is bent from the time the ball is first put into the swing until it is released at the foul line. An elbow that is bent throughout the swing causes problems with timing, because the arm length is shortened by several inches and all the muscles in the arm are tense. Since the bent elbow shortens the arm, the backswing is shorter, often by a foot or more. This means that the bowler must use a lot of ...

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Ron Clifton

About Ron Clifton

Ron Clifton has been coaching at the professional level for 25 years. He conducts “Advanced Bowler Training Clinics” across the U.S. and is the inventor and manufacturer of Ron C’s Magic Carpet for thumbholes. Ron can be found on the web at