How to spin a Bowling Ball



How to Spin a bowling ball


By BowlersMart IQ Metro Detroit Head Instructor – Mike Calhoun

We recently discussed where to stand and how to use arrows to improve your game. Today will be discussing how to spin a bowling ball properly and the proper techniques.

We all have been bowling at one time or another and seen a bowler throw a ball and the change of direction was insane, and all the meantime your ball is going straight and you thought to yourself “how do I do that!”. So i am going to offer some tips and tactics that will give you the starting foundation to start hooking the bowling ball.

4 Major Factors to how to spin a bowling ball

1) A properly fit bowling ball

 2) A fingertip grip

3) Rotation

4) Rev Rate (Revolutions on the bowling ball)

Having a correctly fit bowling ball is the number 1 most important factor because you can not perform the proper techniques with a bowling ball that is not drilled correctly for your hand. The finger tip grip promotes rotation and rev rate(revolutions on the bowling ball) These are also two major factors that come into play when trying to hook a bowling ball. Now I will offer my thinking for your first bowling ball to achieve this, and that is to immediately get into finger tip. For one, you have not developed any bad habits, or developed a style with conventional grip. So my take is if I get you into a finger tip ball you will develop and adapt quickly into the modern-day game. What is great about the modern-day game and technology is you can find a great bowling ball with performance at a price point that fits perfectly in the beginner bowlers bowling bag.

Hooking A Bowling Ball Is Not The Same As Spinning A Bowling Ball

From what I have witnessed is too many bowlers believe to hook a bowling ball you have to top or spin your wrist, also another common mistake I see is whipping their arm across their body in a violent fashion. Doing these things will lead to bad habits, inconsistency, and frustration. Basically it is the way you release your fingers in correlation to your thumb. So a starting point to develop proper technique is to start to develop a straighter arm swing, and this will help you promote (2) of those major factors we just spoke about to hook the ball rotation and revolutions.

The First Thing To Remember About Hooking A Bowling Ball

The first thing we have to remember when trying to hook a bowling ball is you will need to develop a consistent approach After that properly creating a bowling release to promote hook this is done when your thumb exits the ball first and your fingers last while rotating the bowling ball. The motion is very similar to when you spiral a football by throwing it underhand, now this should happen in almost the final action of your approach the slide. Leaving your thumb in too long will result in loss of control, this is another reason why I touched on proper fit.
After you have practiced and practiced you now have a consistent approach and your thumb is coming out at the proper time. Lets now focus on our fingers, fingers are responsible for hook. At the time of release, the fingers have all the weight of the bowling ball at the last level of our swing, both fingers exit the bowling ball at the same time turning them around the bowling ball (counter-clockwise) for right-handed bowlers and (clockwise) for left-handed bowlers. This will promote the necessary rotation which is one of the key factors in hooking the bowling ball. Now some relate to this as a flicking action to create the side motion of your hand around a ball and really feel the bowling ball off your fingers as you follow thru. This term is commonly referred to as lift and it helps promote the necessary force so you can properly get the bowling ball out onto the lane instead of dropping it into the lane.

Lift & Follow Through Help Create Hook On The Bowling Ball

Since we are speaking about lift and I touched on following through let me explain what I mean. The follow-through is the proper way your arm should routinely move forward and also stay on path with your target line. Some “old school” terminology is called creating a handshake upon the finishing act of the follow-through. When you think handshake it can help you understand the motion needed to create the rotation and give you the necessary revolutions (2) of those key factors in creating hook. Now with that being said, it will take practice upon practice, trial, and error to perfect what works for you as a bowler. There is no set right or wrong way it is your way, that is why you see so many various styles and forms of ball motion and approaches. Just use this as a reference to help you understand the foundation to build your game around.  You may also have to practice different ways to hold a bowling ball so your lift and follow through create optimal results. WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT, BUT WE ARE ALL THE SAME IN SAYING “WE LOVE BOWLING!’.
Thank you for reading our 3 part series on how to become a better bowler. AND AS ALWAYS BOWL GREAT- MIKE CALHOUN

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