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Tom Blasco's Expert Bowling Tips

-Fast Feet

12/20/2004 - By Tom Blasco
      "Fast Feet" - one of the biggest problem areas in the game. A problem that plagues every bowler from time to time.

      "Fast Feet" is when the feet are ahead of the swing during or at the end of the approach. This problem could be so slight that the bowler only feels alittle awkward or off balance or that the bowler could be turned sideways at the end of the approach.

      "Fast Feet" may also effect other areas of the bowler's game; dropping the shoulder, inconsistent releases, lack of follow through and inability to stay down with the shot and maintain balance at the foul line in the post position.

The correction? You must determine the cause(s):
  • POOR BALL PLACEMENT (PUSH AWAY)(TIMING MOTION): Ball placement is essential to timing (swing with feet). Poor placement in regards to "fast feet" is directly related to the key step - 1st step in a four step delivery and 2nd step in a five step delivery. Another problem to be cautious of is pushing the ball in an upward direction from a waist high position.
  • SHOULDERS TOO FAR FORWARD: Causes too much bend at the waist and not enough bend in the knees. The result is that the ball gets down to early which allows loss of leverage (power) and an unbalanced feeling in the approach.
  • KEY STEP TOO LONG: This causes all your steps to be too long and allows the swing to float through the approach resulting in no power. Five step approaches must watch length of second step.
  • WALKING ON TOES: This causes additional speed in the approach and may also cause the shoulders to be too far forward. Both together result in loss of leverage.
  • MUSCLED ARMSWING: When applied correctly is a useful tool, but when done incorrectly it is detrimental to timing, leverage and overall consistency of the armswing. It may also cause injury and pain in the wrist, arm and shoulder.
      These are some of the more common problems associated with "fast feet". You can see that the timing of footwork and swing is very delicate and can be easily upset. Sometimes it can be a combination of problems. Since we have some of the causes, let's go to the solutions.
  • POOR BALL PLACEMENT: A simple movement that slowly places the ball toward the target in a downward direction. You try to time your ball placement to begin when the heel of your key step touches the floor. A tip.......think to yourself during the key step to step then place the ball.
  • SHOULDERS TOO FAR FORWARD: In the stance shoulders should be erect with knees slightly flexed. As your approach begins, the knees should gradually deepen their bend as far as possible upon sliding without causing strain. At the end of the approach, the waist should be slightly bent - forward. A general rule....the deeper the knee bend when sliding, the less the waist needs to bend.
  • WALKING ON TOES: Place the heel first and toes last in each step. This allows a smoother and less jerky approach and slows down the entire approach. It will also create more leverage upon release because the approach builds momentum from the back to front movement of your feet.
  • KEY STEP TOO LONG: Take a normal walking step, the rest of the steps will fall into place. Five step, remember the first step is for momentum and should be shorter than your key step.
  • MUSCLED ARMSWING: The ball should swing from the shoulder with a minimal amount of muscling. Work on relaxing the armswing. A tip....Make believe your arm is like a wet noodle and let the noodle swing freely from your shoulder allowing the weight of the ball to direct the swing throughout the approach. This is extremely effective if you can learn to realize and use the relaxed armswing, immediately after you place the ball with you key step.
      Concentration along with the ability to recognize the problem will help you recover from "fast feet". Take your time with learning to develop the sensation or feeling. Walk through one and two; or one, two and three than just let the rest follow. Learn that learning your game in segments not only helps develop your overall game, but builds character and discipline.

      Remember also, concentration is basically being aware of what your body is doing and enables you to achieve what you intend. It also helps you avoid making the same mistakes twice. However, if concentration and awareness don't completely alleviate your problem, seek the assistance of a good instructor. Since you can't physically see yourself bowl without the aid of video taping, and instructor will become your eyes.

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