What is leverage?
It is the mechanical advantage or power to influence, in this case, a bowling ball.
What should your arm do?
A lot of bowlers have a tendency to make the mistake of thinking that leverage comes from your bowling arm. Typical house bowlers usually have a rev rate of less than 250 as compared to typical pros who have over 300. Of course there is variation. To increase your rev rate, you need to increase your leverage, not rip on the ball with your arm and hand. You do not want to accelerate your arm on the downswing. This causes timing issues, inconsistency, and sometimes injury. Don’t be fooled by the ‘cranker’ at your house who throws 400 revs and looks like they’re throwing their arm out. We all have a certain natural capability and limits. Just look at CDB (Carolyn-Dorin Ballard). She can’t have much more than a 250 rev rate, but she’s one of the best, if not the best, female bowler. She simply uses her arm as a pendulum. She is accurate and consistent.
So where does leverage come from?
It comes from the lower body. One of the fundamentals we teach new bowlers is to always have an athletic stance. This includes bending the knees, holding the ball at waist height, and lowering the hips to create this athletic stance. We focus on timing and proper steps for a solid delivery. If this is done correctly, leverage is created. It’s all in the legs.
Work those legs!
Spend some time focusing on making sure your lower body is set. Don’t walk too fast. Keep your tempo as close to walking normally as possible. Your arm needs to act as dead weight. It just hangs from your shoulder and acts as a pendulum. You will be surprised how much leverage is generated when you have strong legs and actually use them.
Check out the video!
Check out this video I made from a coaching session. This bowler was struggling with this issue. He was accelerating his arm on the downswing and bending the elbow to create leverage. This caused a severe injury to the bicep. He had tears in the belly of the bicep as well as tendonitis. His season was just about over until this session. We had him slow down his feet and have a freer armswing. It made a world of difference. He didn’t have to quit the season.
Coaching Session 1 with Storm Furious
Remember, leverage comes from the legs, not the arms…