Bowling Approach Pro Tip Friday: Should You Hinge or Push?

Bowling Approach Coaching Tips

In today’s bowling game where power and control go hand in hand, it’s important to evaluate how you start the bowling ball in your swing. A lot of people were taught to push the ball away from them in order to create a pendulum. With todays’ balls being much more aggressive, and often needing angle, you don’t have to push the ball to achieve an optimal roll anymore. If you analyze the best bowlers now, most hinge the ball vs pushing away. Hinging means dropping the ball to your side and walking by it, rather than pushing away and slowing down. If you push away, you force your feet to slow down because you have catch up to the ball. It can lead you to pull up in your backswing and pull down at the top. Simply dropping the ball into the swing can create a lot more efficiency. It will help you get to the line with more leverage and more time by using your legs to create power.

A good way to practice trying to hinge the bowling ball is to put yourself on video from the side and pay attention to where your bowling ball is going in the beginning of your approach. If your elbow or your ball is moving forward as you start your approach, vs downward, you are pushing the ball. Everybody has their own variation of a hinge, including the starting height, so there isn’t one prescription for success. You may need to try a few different ways to do this to find what’s right. But if you feel like you’re struggling to get to the line consistently, your release varies more than you want, or your weight distribution is teeter tottering in your approach, this could help you. It’s always good idea to have a second pair of eyes from a qualified coach, but especially with something like your pushaway. A very small change could significantly change your approach, making this very hard to recognize and work on by yourself.

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