Key Points for Consistent Ball Reaction


Have you ever wondered how highly skilled players can create such good 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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

  1. Hi,
    I’m not sure if it’s okay to leave a question here.

    I’m just confused if the thumb hole should be drilled center of the bridge or it slightly to the left or offset.
    Could you please explain what are the differences between the two?
    I find it interesting that my thumb holes are drilled to the left of the bridge (if you draw a line going down thumb hole). While seeing all if not most of the professional bowlers balls are drilled center of the bridge.
    Could you explain please?

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