June 2016: Coming Out Of The Bowling Ball
No matter how long you’ve been bowling, you can make improvements to your release or swing or approach. Where and how you come out of the ball will be the topic of discussion here. My purpose as a coach is to help bowlers to become consistent. Consistent performance appears in the approach, the swing and the release. I’ve discussed the swing and how to be consistent in former works, assuming that you are, or at least working on your swing consistency I will discuss the release as it applies to getting in that pocket (17th board from either left or right side).
The Straight Bowler:
When we begin almost all of us just try to get the ball between the channels (gutters) and hit some pins. The thought of consistency deals with that task. After a short while of bowling and we are 90% or so between the channels we then begin to realize that something is wrong because we never get close to the same spot on the lane (most of us) and want to begin the trek toward our first encounter with real consistency in bowling.
The good news is for straight bowlers the matter is not that complicated. Once you’ve realized that angle is the best approach to the pocket, you have to realize that how you let the ball go is paramount to how you get to that magic spot (17th board, talking about strikes). Your hand in your swing should be directly behind and basically fingers under the ball thumb in the ball facing directly back toward you parallel to the floor. As you reach the foul line (hopefully in the same place) you let the ball go, thumb coming out of the ball as you begin to let it go at the foul line, pulling up on the fingers rolling the ball forward and with a straight motion. The rolling of the ball from directly behind will help to stabilize the path of the ball straight. It will also help to develop a stronger hit with a higher (slightly) speed toward the pocket. This will apply to your spare attempts as well; you just stand different places to accomplish your task. But the point of this is how to come out of the ball and the above direction will get you there. Remember that when you practice, you work on the task you are trying to change. Focus on what you are working on (subject of next article) and don’t concern yourself with anything else, including score.
The Hook (or curve) Bowler:
If you are throwing a hook or curve you have been at least working on some integral part of your approach. If not, you should be seeking a qualified coach to help you shore up your style. That said, when you get to the line with the ball you should pretty much follow the hand position of the straight bowler right up to the time when you actually release the ball (split second timing). Your hand can take one of two paths to effect the turn you want at the angle you want to curve the ball hopefully in the direction of that pocket!
The traditional release is as has been taught since I was a kid (and that was long ago) is to, from the hand position with the thumb facing directly back and your hand under the ball (at 6 o clock) begin to rotate the ball up the opposing side (right-handers up the right and left-handers up the left) to the 3:30 (right handers) or 9:30 (left handers) position to effect the spin on the ball. The angle of the spin will be consistent and if you do the release properly, your ball turn and angle will be effected by lane conditions as they exist. If you need to change your angle then you need to change your angle of throw, by moving your body one direction or another or moving your throwing line one way or another or even some change ball-speed to make these changes. Problem is with the speed change you really have to have a unique control of that factor to be successful. Consistent results can be achieved in this manner and is probably the most used method of throw today. There is, however another way to achieve an even more controllable curve or hook ball.
There is another way to effect revolutions on the ball that I call the “Pro Release” although not an official name I call it that because many of the professional bowlers use it, quietly. The principle is different but effective. The release of the ball changes when the hand reaches the foul line. Instead of being directly behind the ball parallel to the lane, you tilt your hand at an angle around the ball while staying under the ball, thumb pointing straight back toward the arm, then come up the back of the ball at an angle, revving the ball as you move it forward. To effect the ball-path to accommodate lane conditions changing, you can merely change the angle of the hand on release of the ball. This is a real deal. Probably the only to effectively and consistently change the angle of revolution to effect the path of the ball. All three phases (skid, transition and roll) of the path of the ball is effected successfully with the pocket in mind.
As in all attempts to control consistency in your game, the key is practice. How you practice is what will get you there. Read next month’s article: “Deep Practice.”
April 2016: The Name Of the Game:
Bowling. Throwing a hard round object at hard wood sticks over a 60 foot long array of 39 board width, which measure between 40 and 41 inches on a (supposed) flat surface with channels on both sides designed to keep the ball from traveling outside the scope of play. There are arrows, dots, markers and there are rules. A simple game really, but is it? The USBC and most of the bigger manufacturers have robots which are designed to test bowling balls. They are able to throw the ball at the same speed, the same tilt, the same revolutions and at the same exact spot on the lane every time exactly, yet, the robots can’t always get perfect games. In fact, they usually don’t. Why?
How can imperfect human beings be expected to master a game that mechanical devices capable of precise repeated actions can’t? Good question.
Fact is that the variables in the game are only partially and incompletely under control. Temperature, humidity, topography, ball condition, ball capabilities, arm strength, accurate swing, accurate release, revolution control, angle of tilt, ball placement, angle and more all affect the outcome of the effort. Controlled factors, such as lane conditioning, is as accurate as the machinery used to place the patterns on the lanes, which (as many of you already know) can be different from one lane to the next.
So what is the answer? As a USBC Silver Certified Coach, my task is to find which of these things that ARE in our control. Accuracy in pose, approach, step length and placement, body positioning, non-ball-side arm position throughout the approach, head position, back swing, ball side leg action, slide leg positon, knee position, release point, ball speed, ball revolutions (if any), arm position at release, body position at release, direction of ball side foot on leg swing, hip position swing arm placement and hand position at release are just the ones that come to mind. Which thing do we correct for say, “Timing”?
When bowling, one of the things that is probably most predominant in any “league play” night is the amazing abundance of “Coaches” out there who “think” they know what is going on and can help, then offer this help if asked or not. Fact is that there are many who have a moderate understanding of the game enough to perhaps suggest some obvious error in one’s efforts to get that ball in the pocket. Problem is they are not (usually) schooled in the real techniques, nor on the actual reasoning to point out where the problem begins, which in many cases, once corrected will fix later items of concern in your form, release etc. I have been able to help many bowlers make significant progress in their games by helping them to change one little (sometimes not so little) thing in their style which helps them to better focus on a more consistent game. Once the primary focus is addressed by the bowler successfully it is often the case that many of the later items of concern become relatively correct. Coaching is a consistent requirement of any sport, and bowling is certainly a sport. Professionals have coaches that help them fine-tune, or even correct developed bad habits acquired while practicing. Stay tuned with someone who can help you.
Now while I mentioned that coaches are ubiquitous in league play, and while I will concede that most are well intended, not all are so trustworthy. If you don’t wish to listen to a coach in real live time, then get some instruction from USBC videos, many of which are available by subscription online. Hints and instruction from Gold and Silver coaches are there for your choice. If you do wish hands-on coaching then seek out someone you trust to help you that is informed, trained and certified to help you with your game. Best of luck to your game, and keep practicing!
I remain Silver Certified Coach
Ten Pin Pro Shop Remy Laterrade
March 2016: The 3 most important fundamentals of a consistent bowling style are:
As a coach the biggest complaint I get from bowlers is: I am not consistent in my scores. As much as 60 pin differences can happen in one league night. I can relate to this problem myself as it is often difficult to make the necessary changes on the lane to handle the way your ball reacts when you are releasing the ball differently every time.
Most of the time we just don’t know what to do to fix the problem. We can’t see ourselves to know what we are doing wrong, and if we video tape our approach/release, then (unless you are a trained coach) how do we really know what thing(s) is/are the reason for our inconsistency?
Coaches are abundant during league play, or at least people who think they are coaches. There are some that know a little, and can make a difference, but most really (even if well intended which is not always the case) are not trained to see the real problem. Your release might be a problem with the beginning of your approach, or the middle, or in the swing, or in the position of the shoulders, hip or head. Many late occurring problems in the approach have to be corrected early in the approach.
If you really are interested in improving your game, then find a qualified coach (one) that can pinpoint changes (often subtle) that can help you get to the line the same productive way every time. Remember this process takes time as well. If you’ve been bowling a long time, your habits are ingrained in your process and should be corrected over time. Usually I recommend focusing on one thing at a time. If I can change something before you begin to move, (which surprisingly is much of the time) then I may give the bowler two things to do in the approach.
When practicing these changes, one has to focus only on those things without really worrying about ball placement, hook, etc. Once these things become comfortable, you can start to focus on the game itself, but you will still have to think about what you are doing until you own the changes, which takes anywhere from 1000 to 1500 times thinking about it before you can say you own the changes. The good thing is that if you think about what you are doing every time for 1500 times you will also get into the habit of thinking about the process every time which will make you more consistent all in itself.
Assuming your approach is pretty together, the real consistency comes in having the ball in the exact same place just prior to release, and then at the release every time. To focus on this, consider these three points.
1). Getting to the line in with the same hand/arm position every time. Arm extended and relaxed, wrist slightly cocked under the ball, thumbhole facing your arm virtually parallel to the floor (at release). Wrist has to stay in the same position throughout the swing until the shift to rev-release position. At which time the hand position changes to accommodate the direction of the revs, and the tilt of the wrist.
Define Swing position: The arm is like a pendulum on an axis. To be consistent the swing much be in the same direction every time. The direction should be perpendicular to the foul line or 90° exactly the same every time.
Define Release: Release is the point at which you prepare all the correct factors to the correct position to control speed, tilt and direction of the revolutions placed on the ball, and then execute them. Loft is also a prime factor in how the ball reacts on the lane.
Define Loft: Loft is throwing the ball out onto the lane rather than dropping the ball from your hand at the foul line or behind. Lofting aids skid distance giving the “read” point or “transition into curve” point a later and usually more effective turn toward the pocket. It can also help to increase speed slightly.
2) (A) For the traditional rev release, the wrist should be behind the ball with the hand under the ball. Thumb facing directly away from the arm so that the rotation of the wrist can go from the 6:0 clock position to the 3:30 position at release turning the ball in the proper direction to accomplish a smooth transition (hook phase) into the pocket.
(B) For the alternative rev style, prepare the position of the hand and wrist which should be turned so as to direct the thumb opposite of the direction of the revs keeping the hand cocked, fingers under the ball, knuckles facing straight down (finger position can be utilized in controlling speed of rev rate) or about where desired rev rate will be accomplished. This should occur at or near the foul line.
3). (A) Revving the ball: position of fingers at 6 o’clock, then with the thumb exiting the ball, turn the wrist up the opposing side of the ball to the 3:30 position as you release the ball giving an angular rotation, effecting the tilt and the read spot of the ball on the lane. This is one of the traditional methods of revs.
(B) Another method of revs is to (at the point of release) turn the hand in the direction of the rev direction desired then pull the fingers back and hand straight up. Think about the proper way to throw a straight ball. Hand under the ball, gravity takes the thumb out and you pull up on the fingers to direct the ball forward. Apply this at the desired rev angle. This will create revs virtually the same every time, changing the reaction without changing the revolution rate is accomplished merely by changing the angle of the hand at release changing the direction of the revolutions which effects the amount of turn on the ball and where it turns.
I am a fundamental thinking coach. I believe in getting to the line correctly. All the positions of the body can be taught &/or corrected by a qualified coach. These three steps are going under the assumption that the approach is basically sound. That said, these three factors can be taught irrespective of unorthodox approaches with improved results, often having a positive affect toward approach improvement. Often timing corrections and other approach corrections will make these steps even more effective.
Doing these things, the exact same way every time will free you to make changes based on the conditions of the lane and the reaction of the ball you choose. You can then develop your skills of reading topography and reaction.
The whole point of this is to learn to develop exercises which repeat the exact same thing over and over again, using tools to build the body’s ability to remember these habits. Creating good habits can be accomplished in places other than a bowling center. These specific exercises can actually utilize unorthodox methods, to achieve a consistent and effective release process getting the success every bowler is after.
The method will have to consist of video evaluation, establishing items of concern and solutions that the developed exercise program will achieve.
Establishing the correct repetition of the prescribed movements would naturally be the first task. These exercises will help to build a consistent action to the foul line every time.
Before doing any exercise be sure to stretch your muscles to avoid injury.
Exercise one: Place your ball in a sling (see-saw) bag and hold it at your side. Swing the ball slightly backward and forward, making sure that the position of the ball is exactly 90° from an imaginary foul line in front of you. Make sure your body is also parallel to that same foul line. Gradually increase the motion until it matches your normal ball swing when you bowl. Keep doing this making sure you maintain that consistent 90° angle. Do this in repetitions of 10 or so (not hurting yourself). Typical items of concern in the back swing are the actual direction of it being to the right or left of 90°. A mirror could help, just be sure you aren’t close to it when you are swinging the ball.
Exercise two: Once you’ve gotten very comfortable with the correct swing angle, hold the ball into your opposing hand just as you would in the position it should be in to begin your approach. Make sure your ball in in the proper position at the beginning of the swing angle. Push out and begin the swing as though you were about the make your slide, then do the power steps just as though you were about the throw the ball. Remember that your ball is in a sling, so don’t bend far enough to slam the ball into the ground. Step back and catch the ball back in your opposing hand when it comes back up. Note the position of the ball when you catch it. Pay attention to swing the proper angle you learned in Exercise One. Repeat this in reps of 10 or so, making sure not to get too tired. Build it up from where you are comfortable until you get to 10 reps. Do 3 or 4 sets of this whenever you have time. Be sure to concentrate on the angle of the swing.
Exercise three: This exercise is to teach yourself to be at the exact same place every time when the ball gets to where you transition to revolutions when your hand is at your side, at the lowest point of the swing. Get a large softball and paint stars on both sides 180°apart. Place the ball in your hand keeping your hand under the ball as you would the bowling ball. When you get to the lowest point of the swing (straight down) allow the ball to roll off your hand spinning forward and upward, throwing the ball straight up so that you can catch it. Notice the angle of the stars you have drawn. They should be parallel to the ground pointing directly right and left. Continue to do this until you are doing it the same every time. Do this exercise repeatedly to get the feel of the position of your hand at the foul line. (revs come after that). This together with Exercise one and two, will give you the feel and memory of doing it the same every time.
Once you’ve mastered these exercises and have applied them to your actual bowling game successfully you will begin to see consistency in your game. Remember to apply it by thinking then doing. Visualize it before you do it, then do it. Beware that your ball may take a new path on release. This will be an indication that your arm swing was previously inconsistent. Learn to adapt to the new swing in your actual release. Be prepared for a dip in your average score at first until you master this, but commitment to it will yield results with improved consistency and average.
Winter 2015-2016: Taking Care Of Your Bowling Equipment
There are a few levels of bowling balls that require different levels of maintenance. Let us start at the beginning.
Plastic or “Polyester” bowling balls have a harder and shiny surface. The material is not very porous and will not absorb very much of the lane oil into the cover, therefore the focus of cleaning is just that, simple cleaning. The surface will collect oil on the exterior and you may wipe the oil off the surface as you bowl to insure a consistent performance. The main thing is to clean the ball surface prior to placing your ball back in your bowling bag or locker when you are finished bowling.
The process is to apply ball cleaner to the bowling ball and rub the surface clean of any oil, tar or any other material that may have attached itself to the ball via the bowling process, then dry it completely with a microfiber towel.
Cleaners are available in pro shops to take care of this simple cleaning need, along with microfiber towels. Some shops even stock special sponges to aid in this cleaning.
Reactive bowling balls require a slightly different process because of the cover stock material. Reactive bowling balls have a surface designed to absorb lane oil as it travels, so that the surface friction can be maintained at a constant level giving the ball the ability to read the lane, turn at the designed spot and roll into (hopefully) the pocket. This ability requires more attention to the cleaning needs of this surface. You should clean your reactive bowling ball surface with a reactive surface cleaner designed to not only remove surface oil, but to remove as much of what is absorbed into that surface as possible. The reactive nature of that surface is directly related to its ability to continue to absorb that oil as it travels down the lane. Should the ball surface become saturated with oil the reaction of the ball will diminish the friction level(s) of the ball. The ball will not react as it once did. The ability of the ball to turn on the oil will diminish until it is virtually only your spin on the ball that will affect the reaction which will be much less.
The process is to select a quality reactive bowling ball cleaner, a good cleaning microfiber sponge and towel. Again, you should wipe the ball as you bowl to minimize the amount of surface oil as you bowl giving a more consistent track, and reaction to the lane conditions. You can do this with a microfiber towel or there are new suede shammys available which do the job even better. These shammys can be purchased at pro shops and is an effective tool. When finished bowling, fully clean the surface of the bowling ball applying the cleaner to the sponge and wiping to remove all oil, and as much of the absorbed oil as is possible (this will depend on the quality of the cleaner). Dry the ball completely before you place it back in your bag or locker. I also recommend that you keep your cleaning sponge in a zip-type baggy which will maintain a moistness of the microfiber.
Doing this will extend the time between the needs to rejuvenate (remove all absorbed oil) from just 80 to 100 games to 150 to 200 games. The other benefit is cleaning will keep your reactive ball “reactive” longer.
Your equipment is pricey these days and maintaining it will extend the value of your equipment. Pro Shops can help you to regain the quality of your bowling ball equipment through numerous methods: cleaning, rejuvenating and resurfacing services to name a few.
Cleaning your microfiber products is simple, just wash in your washing machine, but allow to air-dry only. Cleaning the shammy is done by mixing dishwashing liquid in very warm water and soaking the shammy until the water begins to cool then brushing the shammy to clean it. You DO NOT wring out the shammy, rather you roll and gently squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can after rinsing well, then allow to air dry.
Remember, quality equipment requires quality maintenance. Be diligent and your efforts will be rewarded with better equipment, longer.
Ten Pin Pro Shop
USBC Silver Certified Coach
IBPSIA Certified Pro Shop Operator
November 2015: Why do people have more than one bowling ball?
As a pro shop owner I get asked that question frequently. Usually it is the novice or beginner bowler that asks this question, but even the avid bowler will have problems in deciding what kind of arsenal to build, if any.
The answers to these questions are not rocket science, however they do require some thought and direction from you (the bowler) certified coaches and pro shop operators. These are people who should know your numbers. What is your style of throw? What is your speed? How high is your tilt, track and what is your flare? These are paramount numbers in deciding which ball to choose for which condition. Cover stocks include “Solid”, “Hybrid”, and “Pearl”, on top of which there are different materials used which give different friction levels, all part of the decision-making process.
Some hints but not absolutes are: Solid surface balls read the lane sooner (higher friction), Pearl balls read the lane later (lower friction) and Hybrid cover balls are moderately between the two as they are made of both materials (medium friction).
Other important factors of balls are: RG (radius of gravity) and Differential (difference between the x and y axis of the *internal weight block). Higher differential numbers indicate balls that will hook at a sharper rate and later than lower differential balls.
*Bowling technology today has advanced into affecting what happens physically in the internal structure of reactive bowling balls. Symmetry is affected by placement of internal weight variances which help direct the action of a bowling ball after thrown with various tilts, axis directions, revolutions and speed. There are asymmetrical designs of internal weight blocks as well, which offer other performance results. These are called weight blocks.
Now, all that said; one needs to add the lane conditions, i.e., oil volume, surface material, surface material condition and sometimes even temperature to make decisions about which ball will most suitably perform. The next indicator will be how the lane conditions change (break down or develop) based on many variables.
How many bowling?
Each person has an effect on how the lane conditions change. The more bowling on your side of the lane will cause you to make choices in which line you throw and which equipment you use.
How many throwing the same or similar line?
If you have others throwing on your side of the lane, whether or not they are throwing the same line you are throwing, oil is being moved by each throw made.
Which game is it?
The more games you bowl, the further down the lane the oil moves, and the more that is removed by the balls collecting and absorbing it.
How strong are you or do you tire?
There comes a point when proper control becomes more challenging due to fatigue. If you are practicing and you begin to have difficulty hitting your mark or consistently releasing with the same revolutions as when you began, it is time to consider quitting (or at least taking a good rest).
Condition of the ball(s) you own and throw.
Surface condition is the one you have to watch here. Too much oil on the surface will cause lower friction levels. Coverstock getting smoother due to continuous contact spinning will cause lower friction levels. Also well-kept condition of balls will help you to make these decisions as well.
All these things factor into why you would choose to use a different ball, which is why people have more than one ball in their arsenal. To take good care of your bowling balls (which you are paying good money for) you need to consult with us about how to first; get your ball in top condition and second; keep it in top condition for as long as possible. You must pay attention to make these decisions.
If your bowling ball isn’t reacting as well as it used to react, often the cover stock is oil saturated and/or worn. Your pro shop should be able to help you with these problems.
Now: What is a reasonable arsenal?
I have met people who have built an arsenal of 10 bowling balls. Now as a pro shop owner I really like these people, especially if they are buying bowling balls from me.However the truth is this depends on your style of bowling. Usually if you are an avid hooker, then 4 balls should suffice.
If you are a straight ball bowler and have little or no hook in your throw, then your arsenal is 1 ball. 2 if you like to have a different color but that is the only reason to have another ball in your bag.
If you are throwing a small hook (5 – 8 boards) then you can still get away with a 1 ball arsenal, but sometimes I suggest a second ball for picking your outside ball-side pins (6 -10 right handed or 4 -7 left handed) for your spare game.
If you throw big hooks or skid flips and have developed the skills to really rev that ball out there and get that big flip turn at the back end of the lane, then you should have a 4 ball arsenal drilled for your style of throw. One for dry to light oil one for light to medium oil, one for medium to heavy oil and a spare ball (straight ball). Again a good relationship with a qualified pro shop operator who pays attention to your bowling numbers and knows you as a bowler is paramount to the best decision-making process in choosing and drilling these balls especially for you.
Above all things, remember bowling is fun. Make that choice too!
Ten Pin Pro Shop
Silver Certified Coach
October 2015: Adjusting to Lane Conditions
Knowing oil patterns is important to any bowler. This said, isn’t it the way the ball is reacting that is paramount to how you adjust? Adjusting to lane conditions can be a very basic and simple decision. If you are throwing a specific line and you are not at the extreme side of your throwing arm you can make small adjustments that will accommodate where your ball is coming in toward the pocket (or lack thereof).
Simple: if you are hitting light of the pocket, then move toward the light side of the pocket and throw the same arrow/line. (This will be to the right if you are right handed and to the left if you are left handed). This will direct the later movement toward a higher hit, hopefully directly into the pocket area (The 1-2 pin if right handed, the 1-3 if you are left handed). Subtle movements can help you zone in on your best shot and you can adjust as the oil moves and your shot moves with it.
Now, rotation of the bowling ball has a lot to do with terminology of the direction you are throwing. The preferred (arguably rotation for a right handed bowler is from the right to the left and opposite for the left handed bowler. If you have an opposite rotation it is called a “back-up” ball and all the advice given here applies opposite than given, and assumes you are not throwing a back-up ball.
If you are hitting high or Brooklyn (Brooklyn is what we all call it if you cross over your normal pocket and hit on the other side of the correct pocket, the 1-3 is Brooklyn for right handers and the 1-2 is Brooklyn for the left hander) then move in that direction and throw out toward the same arrow to change the hit lighter, again hopefully toward a solid pocket shot.
Now if you are at the extreme then timing and forward/backward movement will change the length of the throw moving the hit to an earlier or later hit.
Simple: if you are hitting light, then you can move slightly to the light side to get that pocket hit as described above but if you are hitting high or on the pocket side, then hold onto the ball just a little longer directing your timing to a later release, giving you some length in your turn and thus your pocket hit. Moving backward or releasing the ball just a little sooner will give that direction a heaver hit the same as if you were moving toward the lighter hit side when you throw.
Just think about it physically. See the arc (hook or curve) of your ball and change the dynamic of your position and throw to accommodate your goal. Think about it. Most importantly, keep your head about you, focus on what you wish to accomplish and have fun!
Bowling is really a game that anyone can play, but almost none master. There are so many variables in this game that even the best professional bowlers have days when they just can’t get it done. Lane conditions vary with the oil shot, the temperature and the humidity. Variations in release include speed, ball revs and your placement on the approach. There are probably more different outcomes per shot than there are ways to make a Burger King Whopper. So how do we approach the game?
Two rules apply: Rule #1; Have fun:
Bowling is a family sport: children to adult can play this game. We have wonderful leagues of youth and adult youth, adult leagues and special needs leagues which include even wheelchair bound individuals. They all bowl. They all have fun when they do, if they so choose it. That’s right I said choose. Fun is a choice If you are getting upset, aggravated or stressed when you bowl you need to either quit or change your approach to the game. Bowling, however a simple game is definitely challenging. That’s what makes the sport so good! Keep your head when you bowl. See the mistakes you make as a lack of focus. If you lose focus I promise getting upset will only compound the problem.
“Muscle Memory” is your body remembering things that you do over and over again, like breathe. Your body remembers the habits you teach it, which can be good habits or bad ones. Your head, when clear and focused will prove to be much more effective in your progress toward developing the right muscle memory. Quality practice will prove to help you get higher scores. More strikes, and more spares will become apparent as you practice with focus on what you need to do with the ball. Speaking of practice, when I coach I urge people to just turn the lane on with no score so that you pay attention to the task at hand (no pun intended). So Rule #1 is “Have Fun”. This is truly the reason we bowl.
See rule number 1.
If you are having trouble with your game and you would like some coaching, there are two ways to go. Every Sunday morning (except holidays and when Keith Dhuet has to be out of town on business) Keith is at Acadiana Lanes teaching for free. You also bowl free from 9am till 11 am. Usually you can get two games in, under the expert guidance of Mr. Keith.
If you are coming to bowl during the day and I (Remy) is in the pro shop and not busy with customers I will make an effort to come out and give you some one-on-one coaching. I’ve had good success teaching fundamental form and release techniques which help the bowler to focus on being consistent in the approach. You don’t have to be a customer to take advantage of this. I do appreciate patience when I’m busy, but if you get here and I can I WILL help. Calling ahead helps, but I have to be available when you get here to be able to help.
Finally, remember the two rules. Really! Have a good time. Enjoy your time with your family. Parents, be a good example to your kids by keeping your head and teaching them to just enjoy the time together and bowling will become one of your favorite things to do. Come bowl. Note: Check out Acadianalanes.com to get special deals on bowling. You won’t be sorry!
June 2015 | Ten Pin Corner
Lane Courtesy: Good sportsmanship is our goal
As in any group setting, certain courtesy protocol is paramount to a good experience for all involved. My goal in sharing these thoughts is to help everyone grow into thoughtful competitors. When we compete in any sport, we want to perform our best to win if we can, but in a thoughtful manner. Remember: bowling is about having fun. Awareness is the key to performing thoughtfully. I hope this week’s Corner will help us all with that goal.
Let’s start with at the lanes. When someone is in their pose to begin the approach to bowl, the courteous thing to do is to wait until they begin their approach to their second step before you begin your pose to bowl. Movement in their peripheral vision can distract the other bowler from their concentration and affect their performance. One lane over on both your left and right sides is the customary yield.
Yelling, cheering for or against (although cheering against, in my opinion is lacking good sportsmanship) can be very distracting. We all occasionally have moments of laughter or cheering while we bowl; the blatant disregard for other bowlers is the kind of distraction I am addressing here. Please be a good sportsperson. If you can’t congratulate your opposing team’s players for doing something well, then at least refrain from cheering their mishaps. Teams that cheer for each other are simply having a good experience and unless it’s obtrusive it should be considered in that light.
These days with bowling arsenals at the 3 or more balls level, people are placing too many bowling balls on the racks. The ONLY bowling ball that should be in the top “Ball Return Rack” is the ONE you are currently throwing. Spare Balls should be placed on the lower rack. Any other bowling ball you might throw should be kept in your bowling bag until you decide to throw it, at which point you should take the ball you are replacing off the rack and place back in your bag.
Finally, being ready to bowl when it is your turn keeps the game on pace and fun for everyone. If you smoke cigarettes, please refrain from doing so during the game. Making people wait for you to return is not fair for everyone involved. Likewise, we sometimes consume alcohol while bowling. Keep this in mind when you are bowling so you do not make others’ experience less than it can be. Please drink responsibly.
Good sportsmanship is paramount to a successful, fun experience. The bowling experience is good when all the elements in place work. Have a great bowling experience.
May 2015 | Ten Pin Corner
I am Remy Laterrade, Ten Pin Pro Shop owner/operator. I am a current IBPSIA certified pro shop operator and certified Bronze USBC Adult/Youth coach. My goal is to continuously strive to stay on the cutting edge of pro shop operations and to improve the game for all bowlers, experienced and beginner alike.
Customer service is paramount at Ten Pin Pro Shop. I will do my best to provide current information regarding technique, ball reaction, resurface information, oil extraction and more. I am here 6 days a week, noon to 6pm at least and am available by appointment when needed
Today's Topic: The Effects of Lane Oil on reactive bowling balls
In order for reactive balls to maintain friction levels, the surface must be clean of saturated and surface oil. There are several factors in why and how a bowling ball hooks or curves.
Inner Core Radius Gravity
Cover stock friction level
Bowler's rev rate
Correct timing and release
I will address all of these in future articles.
Presently, oil saturation is one of the biggest factors regarding hook potential as the cover stock is designed for different friction levels which absorb oil as a ball travels down the lane. Low or narrow flare conditions tend to become less reactive a bit quicker than those with higher/wider flare potential. The track around the ball wobbles more to look somewhat like a "butterfly effect" as the ball travels down the lane hitting new surface with every slight wobble of the ball giving it a better, longer lasting hook potential.
Even if you regularly clean your bowling ball when you should, the effects of saturation will eventually be a factor. Clean your ball after bowling before you put your ball back in the bag or locker. This will maximize the time between oil extraction giving you a better, and more consistent hook potential for a longer time.
The problem is that most people don't clean the ball at all, or if they do, it's a trip to the pro shop every once in a while, or maybe sometime just prior to bowling. While this is better than not cleaning at all, regular cleaning each time you bowl will give you a much better bowling experience. Leaving your bowling ball saturated with oil in your bag before you bowl again is just allowing the oil to sink down into the porous cover stock. Once the oil is deep in, the only way out is to heat extract the oil.
At Ten Pin Pro Shop, we offer heat extraction which is a process that takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. Once completed, the cover reaction is near new. Costs are reasonable and if you do two balls at a time the cost on the second ball is 50% off.
Can you do this yourself? Absolutely! The process is however long. I’ve heard people say that they put their bowling ball out in the sun, wipe it off turn it and keep doing the process until the ball is dry. I do not recommend this process because extreme heat build-up can crack reactive bowling balls. The other process I’ve heard others do is to place the bowling ball in 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit water, complete with dishwashing liquid submerged until the water cools below 90 degrees then remove, wipe off and repeat the process until the ball is fully extracted of oil (usually 3 – 6 times, possibly more).
In any case the choice is yours, but be sure to maximize your performance on your bowling equipment by cleaning your ball regularly! If you have any questions, stop by Ten Pin Pro Shop!!! Thank You.