Quick Tip: Non-Bowling Arm Do’s and Don’ts

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One thing that naturally happens when throwing a bowling ball is that the non-bowling arm or balance arm comes back behind your body. In this Quick Tip, coach Erik Vermilyea with Track explains what happens with your shoulders when your balance arm’s hand has the thumb pointed in the down position, as opposed to the up position throughout the bowling approach.

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Non-Bowling Thumb Position
With the thumb up on your non-bowling arms hand, your shoulders want to close throughout the bowling approach and this creates pulled shots and other inconsistencies. With the thumb facing down on your non-bowling arm’s hand, your shoulders stay open longer, allowing the bowling swing to naturally flow throughout the bowling approach.

When your shoulders are stable throughout the bowling approach your accuracy and balance increase, which leads to more consistent shots:
One-Step Drill
The one-step drill is designed to slow down the slide and finish position on the approach. Isolating these areas with this drill will help develop the non-bowling hand’s thumb to stay down naturally and give you an idea of what open stable shoulders should feel like.

– Start by putting the left foot behind the right.
– Then drop the bowling ball down by your side.
– Put the balance arm out in front of you with the thumb pointed down toward the approach.
– Pick out a target on the lane, bump the ball forward and slide into your finish position releasing the bowling ball toward your target with your non-bowling arm’s thumb facing down throughout the drill’s entity.

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Simply practicing keeping your non-bowling hand’s thumb facing down throughout the bowling approach will improve and increase your shot repeatability. Check out “Rotation of Balance Arm” and ”Balance Arm and the Finish Position” for more information on the non-bowling arm from our expert coaches at National Bowling Academy.

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