By Michael Cousins
Rev rate is important. It just is. And today more so than ever. It opens up things you simply can’t access without it. The lanes open up, the pocket opens up, and your possibilities open up.
Yesterday, I saw a very interesting conversation take place on Facebook. A great bowler, Anthony Caso, posted that he is working on drastically increasing his rev rate, as he feels that he cannot compete at the same level he could if he had it.
Many bowlers, though, felt the need to comment to let him know that he was wrong (lol).
Their reasons were many, but, amongst them, were the names of Norm Duke, Walter Ray, and Pete Weber, and how these all-time greats didn’t need all of that power to win.
That is all fine and dandy, and not untrue; those bowlers did achieve greatness without the need of power. But they weren’t competing in this era during their primes. They did what they had to do to succeed in their era of bowling. Just as today’s power players are doing what they have to do to succeed in their era of bowling.
Norm hasn’t won a standard singles tour title since the 2011-12 season. Walter hasn’t won a standard title since 2010. And even Pete Weber, who just a few years ago seemed almost immortal, hasn’t won in several years now.
And, yes, part of this has to do with their age, perhaps. But it isn’t like these guys just forgot how to bowl. These bowlers are still incredible, incredible shot makers. They still know how to play the game at a high, high level. But, unfortunately, they don’t have the power to win with regularity anymore.
And that doesn’t mean they aren’t great players. That doesn’t mean they won’t or can’t win again. These guys are incredible competitors and players, and — by all accounts — some of the very best this sport has ever seen. But they aren’t going to win or compete with the regularity that they used to.
Another issue I have with the argument these guys gave him for not trying to increase his rev rate is this: you cannot use greats as the basis of your argument. These guys are in the “GOAT” discussion for a reason. These guys are exceptions to all rules. They’re just great. If you were teaching someone how to bowl tomorrow, and say they were completely and entirely biomechanically manipulable, would you teach them to throw it just like Walter? Exactly like him? Absolutely not. Because, as a whole, when you look across the history of our sport, there haven’t been many guys that threw it like him that had tons of success. But he still did. Again, an exception.
To compete and win with regularity today, you have to have power. Have to. You can’t consistently outstrike a guy that creates more room than you and who’s ball hits harder than yours. Regardless of how talented you are, that just isn’t going to happen.
And, personally, I admire the fact that a guy that has had as much success as Anthony Caso is willing to strip it all down, get back to work, and attempt to totally change his game. That takes a lot of guts and a lot of devotion. So I say go for it. Do what you think you need to do to compete, because I get it, sir, and I agree.