Key Points for Consistent Bowling Ball Reaction By Richard Shockley

Consistent Bowling Ball Release
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How To Create Consistent Bowling Ball Hook And Motion

Have you ever wondered how highly skilled players can create such good bowling ball reaction? Well, the answer may not be as simple as you would like. There are several steps that those players have gone through to get to where they are.

Make An Adjustment When Bowling And Commit To It

First of all, these players that I have had the pleasure of coaching always commit to their target line and to the proper break-point, or as some say the “spot.” The key word I hear from the pros is to “commit.” Once the decision is made, do not change the process. Having had the opportunity to train with Computer Aided Tracking which is better known as C.A.T.S. at the Kegel Training Center a vast majority of premier player’s breakpoints will only vary around 2 to 3 inches. Some may be a bit less and some may be a bit more, but they all stay in this general area.

When Bowling Visualize Your Target Lines

A common technique that I see from the pros is that they will draw an imaginary line down lane and follow it back towards them through the mid-lane and back to their lay down point. They can visualize, for the most part, the entire lane. Granted, not all players will adhere to this targeting system but a large majority of them do. Try this in your next practice session and see if it will be comfortable for your game.

Many Factors Play Into Good Bowling Ball Reaction

There are many factors to be considered in order to obtain proper ball reaction. PBA tour reps that I have known for many years will in most cases look for the following:

* Launch angle direction

* Proper ball speed for the given pattern

* Axis rotation and axis tilt at the release point

* Rev rate control

* Cover stock: which is considered to be the major factor

* Ball Construction

* Drilling Layouts

* Lane surface knowledge

* Loft: if necessary

The first four factors will require hours of practice and I suggest that you only work on a couple at a time. The last five factors will require you to study and educate yourself. Our game has become much more technical as we all know.

You have to know these things in order to get the kind of ball reaction that you are looking for. Learn from your pro shop operator or find a knowledgeable coach to help you.

Less Bowling Ball Grip Pressure Will Also Help Ball Reaction

When I have conversations with my PBA hall of fame friends, they usually tell me that they just say to themselves “let it go.” I have never met any high level player that does not have extremely light grip pressure. This is such an important factor for proper ball reaction. Many of my students suffer from the bad habit of squeezing the ball at the bottom of the swing. Tension in the hand will in most cases follow its way up through the arm and shoulder. Of course a poorly fitted grip can create this squeezing problem. High level players generally will get the ball down into the lane rather than lifting with the fingers in an upward direction. It will take many hours of practice and education to apply the nine factors that I have listed above, but once you do, you will take your game to the next level. Get online and study all you can. Talk with your pro shop operator. Observe highly skilled players in you league or at tournaments. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Most of the time, if you find someone who loves the sport as much as you do, that person will be more than willing to help you grow as a bowler. Knowledge is a powerful tool. You can learn a lot from just asking one simple question.

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Richard Shockley
BowlerSmart Player Development

USBC Gold Level Coach Richard Shockley. Shockley, a former Team USA National Team Assistant Coach and former Team USA Junior National Team Head Coach, was a part of the inaugural USA Bowling Gold Coach class in 1999.

I am extremely excited to be on the team at BowlersMart and have the opportunity to share my 30-plus years of coaching knowledge with bowlers of all skill levels. We all know that when bowlers improve their skills, they stay with our sport longer and enjoy it much more. The possibilities are endless to be able to coach for BowlersMart, and I look forward to getting started.”

Shockley spent five years on the PBA regional men’s tour in the 1980s said he got into coaching because he wanted to give back to a game that has given so much to him.

“It’s such a big deal to me to see people improve their game. When they do well, it’s great because they are getting it and that makes it fun and exciting. I coach all levels of bowlers from new beginners to the professionals. Everyone has different abilities, so it’s about helping them to reach their best potential.”


Former Team USA National Team Assistant Coach

Former Team USA Junior National Team Head Coach

Inaugural USA Bowling Gold Coach class in 1999

Former Head Instructor at Kegal Training Center

8 thoughts on “Key Points for Consistent Bowling Ball Reaction By Richard Shockley

  1. Duane Wyatt says:

    “I have never met any high level player that does not have extremely light grip pressure. This is such an important factor for proper ball reaction. ” The double negative prevents you from saying what I think you mean.

  2. Marty Whitten says:

    The visualizing of the target line rather than trying to hit a target has really helped me lately. Love reading your stuff. Thank you.

  3. JAMES SALING says:

    Basically a beginner that bought his first ball yesterday. Throw thumb first and then fingers lightly as I have read. Ok to fold thumb into hand before releasing fingers?

  4. jennie Landers says:

    i do special Olympics here in reno nv.
    i do wear a bowing glove to help keep a good grip on my ten-pound bowling ball. the glove that helps kee my wrist straight it does not twist my wrist when i am bowling and i do feel side. i have the question the i like bowling straight and mostly i would like some new ways i could use with my bowling ball ?

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