By Teresa Ross
USBC Coaching Specialist
Like all bowlers, you have preferences. There are certain bowling balls you like more than others. You like playing certain parts of the lane and executing particular shot shapes, and so on and so forth. But what happens when the conditions force you away from that comfort zone? What do you do then? This is where the ability to use multiple wrist and hand positions comes in handy.
So, now is the time to move beyond your "A" game and start developing some fall-back options. These will add versatility and allow you to keep yourself in play when the lanes aren't shaping up the way you would like them.
In order to develop these new positions, you must first look at what your current comfort zones allow you to do. If you naturally play a high rev, big hook line to the pocket, you should work on weakening your release so that you can combat dry or short lane conditions. On the flip side, if your "A" game is to play it straight, you should work on trying to get more revolutions and the ability to create sharper entry angles.
As a general rule, delivering the ball with your hand on the side of the ball at release will increase skid through the front part of the lane, which will delay hook potential and create a sharper move at the backend whereas releasing shots with your hand behind the ball will promote earlier hook and a smoother shape down the lane.
Again, the key is determining what you naturally do well, and then working on new positions that allow you to combat what you don't. The use of video and the help of a USBC-certified coach can go a long way toward helping you master these new positions. Once you do, you'll be amazed at what your newfound versatility will do for your game!