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Tom Blasco's Expert Bowling Tips

-Impact Education

06/03/2004 - By Tom Blasco
      Get lined up to hit the pocket using your "A" game package. Watch the ball roll over your target and follow it's path all the way down the lane and through the pin deck. Ask yourself the following:
  1. Where did the ball leave the pin deck?
  2. What was the path through the pins?
  3. What pins did you see it hit?
      What you should see is the ball leaving the pin deck just left of the 9 pin after hitting the 1, 3 and 5 pins.

      This is the ONLY time in your bowling life that you have permission not to watch the ball's path down the lane. Watch your ball roll over your target area (preferably around the arrows) and than look at the head pin. Watch what happens to it after the ball hits it. Doing this enough times you are really confident you see and understand the movement of the head pin. Purposely miss it a hair to the right, be a little farther right, be a little heavy, be flush. See all the different ways the head pin moves.
  1. Then change hand positions and do the same thing. Does it move in a different way when your release axis is 90 degrees, than it does when it is 45 degrees or 20 degrees?
This information and exercise will really give you the information you need to begin to manipulate carry.

      Now for a few more frames, repeat the above physical execution while watching the 3 pin. This is the pin that will help right-handers understand the 10 pin leave. Since it is true the 6 pin hits the 10, it usually happens too fast for us to really, comprehend. Watching the 3 pin you can see what part of it the ball hit, where it went after the ball hit it, how it impacted and therefore how the 6 pin hit or missed the 10. If and when you study, you will begin to see a difference in all 10 pin leaves -- the weak or half 10 leave is a different adjustment than that "ringing" 10 shot.

      Please just observe. It's all about learning. Watch the 2 pin, learn how it is affected by the angle the head pin hits it which is affected by the way the ball hits the head pin which is affected by YOU!!!

      Watch the 5 pin. Does it hit the 8, does it take out the 7 and still others not quite get to the seven. Does it go straight back and miss the 8 to the right? What would have to happen for it to miss the 8 pin to the left or go over the top of the 8? Does it occasionally stand and then fall to the right as the head pin or the 2 pin rebound from the side and hit it? When leaving the bucket, which way did the pins fall that caused it to happen?

      Players performing these exercises should initially complete about 6 or 7 frames. As the player becomes more accumulated to seeing the pins and ball roll, the player can extend it out for a full game or two. Start slowly and remember to keep your wits about you.

NOTE: Through these exercises you have been training your eyes and brain to correlate to roll and pin action. More importantly, with these exercises you will better relate to good and bad releases; execution and how you control your emotions as you play. You should be able to see everything that happens to every pin is a result of how the ball was rolling, how fast it was going, where it hit what pin, where the ball went, where the pin it hit went, whether the pin was upright or laying down or almost laying down or spinning as a result of the ball's impact. And all of that is a result of how you threw it, what your timing was on the shot, your hand position, a high board, and oil spill, the temperature, and where the moon was. My, it is all so interrelated isn't it? No pin or ball has an independent though. Maybe there really is no such thing as a tap.

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