Technique Q&A [1-20] [21-40]
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Alvin March 6, 2006
Hi! I am currently a student and have just joined the college's bowling team and there are 2 coaches mentoring us. I am a right-hander and am presently a stroker and play down the 2nd arrow and the ball hooks into the pocket.I am trying to play by using the 'turn & lift' method, letting my finger go through the shot and let the ball hook naturally. Is that method correct? Also, I am currently using an Ebonite Tornado Raspberry/Green bowling ball however am also looking at a few other balls, such as 'Brunswick Vapor Zone', 'Doom Raw Hammer' and also 'Brunswick BVP Ambush'. Can I kindly seek for your advice on this matter too? Thanks in advance..
Since I have never seen you bowl, I can't comment on your style. Are your coaches happy with your delivery? Then you need to decide if you agree with them or not. I can't really comment on those bowling balls you mentioned as I have never thrown any of them and don't know anything about them. Good Luck and hang in there!
Pat March 1, 2006
Hi Walter Ray, I was just dropping you a line to say hang in there. You have had some tough breaks this year, and with your talent it can turn around very quickly. My question has to do with your eyes. I was wondering if you just look at an arrow, and try to hit it. Or is it a little more complicated with a dot or arrow then a break point. I guess I am just trying to pick your brain on what is your thought process. I hope my question is clear.
Thanks for taking the time to answer
Thanks. I have been bowling pretty well the last few months except for a couple of games on TV.
My target is usually a board new the 'arrows', but sometimes I will bring that target a few feet closer to me. I don't really watch exactly where my ball arcs. I pay more attention to my feet at the start and if I hit my target and where the ball ends up.
Nick February 25, 2006
HEY WALTER RAY,
I HAVE A TERRIBLE STYLE AND HORRIBLE TIMING AND NEVER EVER SEEM TO THROW A GOOD BALL EVER. I REALLY NEED HELP AND WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD HELP ME BEFORE I SHOOT A FEW TOURNAMENTS. MY TIMING IS ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. I SOMETIMES HAVE A GOOD BALL HERE OR THERE, BUT FOR THE MOST PART, MY BODY IS AHEAD OF MY SWING. I USED TO THROW WITH A 5 STEP APPROACH BUT IT REALLY MADE MY TIMING WORSE. I HAVE A 4 STEP AND I TRY TO START THE BALL ON THE 1ST STEP, HOWEVER, I NEVER START IT CORRECT OR CONSISTENTLY. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ME TO EITHER START THE BALL CORRECTLY OR A NEW STEP APPROACH, ETC. I AM 13 YEARS OLD, 6 FOOT 2 AND BEEN BOWLING FOR 1 YEAR. I AVG. 185.
NICK OLSEN, A PERSON WHO STRUGGLES
If you have only been bowling for 1 year, are 13 years old and average 185 you are doing very well. Does that mean that you can improve? Yes you can. I would get a coach to help you. Getting your timing so that your feet and ball work together is definitely important. With 4 steps, you want to get your ball moving on the first step, the ball at the bottom of the swing on the 2nd step, the ball at the top of the back swing on the 3rd step and letting go on the slide step.
Ron February 18, 2006
I was wondering if you might give me some tips on how to increase the repeatability of one's shots. It is very frustrating to be able to make just a fabulous shot and then follow it up with a horrendous shot. I guess even worse is often, off my hand, I really sometimes can't tell the difference between a good and a bad shot. Or one time, I'll throw a light-hit hook ball that will just explode the rack, then the next shot which seems to be an almost identical shot, but it hits weak and leaves the bucket.
I was wondering if you might have some suggestions. It seems that almost all bowlers can make good shots, but the repeatability of it all escapes most of us.
Being able to repeat those good shots is what makes a good professional in any sport. Practice is how anybody gets their brain to ingrain the proper technique. Feel is part of your body's way of interacting with the brain so that your brain can interpret what to do. You might want to make sure that your technique is good, so you might want to see a good coach. And then you need to practice those proper things, especially technique. Good luck!!!
Benny February 5, 2006
Hi Mr. Williams,
I was reading up a bit about bowling techniques on the net & found in some places where it mentions that you are well known for a end to end roll. Is this the same as a full roller? If not, what is the difference in terms of the delivery/technique & ball paths etc??
How does one get more out from a full roller? Cranking or applying turn perhaps?
thanks very much
Compared to other tour players I don't hook that ball as much and have a much straighter ball as I don't get a lot of side roll. However, I don't really have an end over end roll. A true end over end roll wouldn't hook at all. I don't have a full roll either. There are some players who have a full roller who hook the ball quite a bit, but usually they tended to throw the ball fairly straight. I'm not real familiar with how to get more hook from a full roller.
Travis January 25, 2006
I throw a backup ball. i have got alot better since i first started. i am a right hander and it seems that i hit better on my brooklyn side. should i stand farther left or move to the right a couple of boards. thanks for your your response and i love to watch you bowl hope to see you on t v soon so you can own the record. thanks travis bise.
It doesn't matter if you throw a hook or a back up ball, you need to pay attention to where your starting point and target is and where your ball is ending up. Then make the correct adjustments based on that. Most hook players like to hit the pocket on the side of the head pin so that the ball is hooking into the head pin and not away from it. The same works for a back up ball or left handed bowler.
Kerri January 24, 2006
I just started learning how to throw a hook ball. I took one lesson and have not had a chance to get another. I am not quite sure where to stand or where my target should be. Currently, my target is one board right of the second arrow. My shoulder is aligned with my target. Also, would you be able to suggest any reading material that might help.
You need to realize that having one target or starting position isn't going to make you a better bowler. You will need to learn how to make adjustments based on the lane conditions that you bowl in. If you are constantly having the ball miss the head pin right, then you need to move your feet and target right. Depending on how much you are 'missing' right, you will need to move your feet more than your target. The opposite is true. If your ball ends up left of the pocket then you will need to move left along with your target. A top pro will be able to play any part of the lane from right of the 1st arrow to inside the 6th arrow at the arrows.
Billy February 13, 2006
I have to tell you that i bowled in my first PBA qualifer this past week in West Virginia. My wife and I used it as a "getaway". We arrived tuesday night, and I was so pleased to see you out there practicing. I was so excited, i went and grabbed my PBA card and balls, and practiced on the pair to your left. It was an honor. Too be honest, being my first event and all, I was in a trance. It was great to take it all in, learn some of the do's and don't's. To tell you the truth, i bowled fairly bad. I was mad that i didn't pay more attention to the pros around me, and try to play simular lines. I got stuck playing around the 5 board, straight up, then move around the 8 board. I jsut couldn't release the ball correctly. I plan on getting more and more coaching this year and bowling more and more qualifiers. Ok, so my question to you is..... Sean rash named Chris Barnes as someone who has helped him, he called him his mentor...... DO you like to help out up and coming bowlers? i would be very interested in bowling with you for a long practice session. I feel the only way for me to get better is to bowl with the best. And you are the best. I like your straigher-harder approach, i have some of your old matches on tape, and i watch them before i going bowling on my leagues. You might not want to post this question on your website, so a personal response is fine. I'm sure alot of people ask you about coaching, most jsut want to say WOW, i bowled with WALTER RAY, i would like to learn form you, so I can be the best, there is no one else i would rather learn from. I would travel whereever, whenever..... just please keep my name and email handy if you should ever choose to "mentor" a new player. Sorry if i rambled on, paige, feel free to "trim" this question up before you send it off. I'm 32 years old, been bowling for 22, I currently hold a 220 league average in 2 leagues. I have always thrown the ball harder and straighter, ususally somewhere around the first and second arrow. I model my game after yours! will you help me to be more like you? Or point me in the right direction..... i took a lesson from a "pro" and he tried to change my whole release, i am too set in my ways. Its funny, he kept telling me that my left arm was flying back, he told me to keep my arm in front of my body...... i said walter ray doesn't ????? he had no comment back, thats when i decide that the lesson was going nowhere!
Thanks guys, hope to see you at one of the tourneys in michigan.!
I am glad that you had a good time in West Virginia. I am flattered that you would like me to be your mentor. But living in different states makes it kind of difficult. Chris Barnes used to live in Wichita which is where Sean Rash lives and was going to college. I think you might do better to try to find someone closer to you. Therefore, you would be able to have more frequent contact with them and they would be able to follow your progress. However, that doesn't mean that sometime in the future I won't give somebody advice. My advice to you is bowl in as much competition that you can, especially regional tournaments. I learned through experience.
Ron January 22, 2006
Hi Walter Ray,
I see you almost made the show about a week back. Good deal.
I had a question: I was watching the telecast of the 1986 Hammer Open on ESPN Classic. Unfortunately, I caught only the very end. The announcers were talking about the fact that you shot your simple spares with only your ring finger inserted and not your middle finger. I know that often Gary Dickinson has been mentioned as a bowler who only uses one finger (middle finger, I believe) when he shoots spares.
To be honest, I was never aware you did that. I don't think you do it anymore, but am not for sure. Do you recommend the one-finger approach? Why or why not? I guess the idea is that it's almost impossible to get hook on the ball? I tried it once myself with only my thumb and my middle finger inserted, but the ball felt really, really uncomfortably heavy. I made a New Year's Resolution to make more spares in the New Year so I'm open to anything. I seem to already be able to throw quite straight with a plastic ball. I don't get undesirable hook very much, but my accuracy isn't always consistently there.
When I first came out on tour I actually hooked the ball a fair amount. I realized that spares were important and I copied Gary Dickinson using only one finger on my spares. But I quit doing that as I felt like it was adding a bit more strain on my hand. I use a plastic ball for the exact reason that you mention. It normally goes pretty straight and I don't have to worry about the lane conditions as much for my spares.
Brett January 20, 2006
Hi, I was just wondering if you could recommend any techniques to help my release. I have a major tendency to release and come out over the top of the ball to hook it. I have been doing this for a very long time and as it may work on some lanes or a house shot, i find in tournaments I have a hard time getting hook. A local pro had me throwing gatorade bottles because he says the reaction is the same (the cap weight reacts the same) but was just curious to any of your ideas? Thanks for any advice.
It is very difficult to change a release that a player has developed. But with a lot of work it can be done. I am not exactly sure of how you release the ball, but it sounds like you want to stay under the ball more during the release. With me, I try to lift with my fingers as opposed to rotating my wrist around the ball during the release. You might want to work with a local pro or somebody you trust and a video camera. You should be trying to figure out what makes you release the ball the way you want to. When you see the results that you want, then try to remember what it was that got you to do that and then repeat it as often as you can so that it becomes second nature. That is where the hard work and practice comes in. Good luck and stay with it!
Dave January 18, 2006
I am having problems with my release being consistent with it. What, in your opinion, is the best release?
Thank you for your prompt response.
Everybody is different, so everybody throws the ball a bit differently. It is a matter of finding what works well for you. I probably throw the ball my best when I throw the ball straighter, but sometimes the lane conditions allow for hook and I will do that. I have been bowling on tour for 24 years and won a lot of tournaments and I am not always happy with the way that I release the ball. Find something that feels comfortable and work on that. Practice almost always helps. Being able to repeat whatever it is you do is critical! Good luck!
Bill January 11, 2006
Hi Walter Ray. I want to bowl as an amateur in the PTQ when the tour comes to my city. I do not use my thumb when I bowl. I do not have weight/vent holes in my ball. I have a thumb hole drilled (which I do not use). I do not put my thumb in it nor do I place a hand or finger over the hole. Is this a delivery that I can use in the pro tournament? I heard that this may not be a legal delivery for the pros and want to find out before I send in my application. I don't want to waste $300 if I can't bowl my style.
If you don't cover a hole with part of your hand, it is considered an extra hole. You can only have one extra hole. The next time you drill your bowling ball, you might want to put the 'thumb' hole in a spot on the ball that is covered by your hand or fingers. You also don't need to have a thumb hole, but then your bowling ball must weigh out in both directions. But I would recommend learning to at least throw your spares with your thumb in the ball unless you don't miss any. You will find that spares will be a big part of professional bowling.
Tom December 31, 2005
I have filmed myself from behind for a game. I have some good shots and some not so good shots. The common problem that I saw on the bad shots was that I drifted a couple more boards left with my feet. I can't see where in the beginning I got myself into that trouble. I notice nothing different until the last step before the slide. Do you have some advice on what to look for? My timing didn't seem that off.
Drifting isn't bad as long as you do the same amount on each delivery. Since I haven't seen your tape, I can't tell what might be causing it. You might want to ask a good local coach if they can see anything that you are doing different.
Ron December 29, 2005
Hi Walter Ray,
Hope you had a nice Christmas and hope you make the telecasts again soon as they are kind of a yawn without you.
I had a question about playing way inside. I know you don't usually play way inside, but I'm sure you know what the power players playing way inside (like a Steve Hoskins, for example) try to do.
I've gotten so I can throw a pretty big thumbless hook. To make it controllable, it seems to be highly advantageous to stand well inside. Unfortunately, when I stand way inside and throw over the fourth or fifth arrow, it seems like the columns and walls really get in my way. (My approach isn't really so long so the ball return isn't such a problem. I just stand in front of it.) Could you be so kind as to make some recommendations to me? I've tried standing at the very left, then walking straight and kind of turning back toward my target in my last couple of steps. (I take four.) I've also tried doing the drifting jazz, but it seems to be kind of an awkward proposition where I kind of have to stop and realign my shoulders before delivery. When there aren't obstacles, I tend to kind of cross over into the adjacent lane a little, although one bowling center manager told me I was breaking a rule or bowling etiquette or something. (I always observe lane courtesy if it's someone else's turn.)
In any event, could you be so kind as to tell me how I'm supposed to play inside?
Also, say there's a wall to your left. How do you convert the 10-pin (presuming you stand way left and throw over the fourth arrow)? Drift? Move your target to the third arrow?
Thanks a lot.
Unfortunately not all bowling centers are designed with the thought that some right handers will want to be playing the 5th, 6th or even 7th arrows. On some #1 lanes there is a wall and even on some other lanes where there is a wall or support column. This makes playing a deep inside line more challenging. Given these circumstances, most pros try to make allowances for walls, ball returns and columns. It depends on the pro and the obstacle. I don't have to play those lines very often, but when I do I will also stand in front of the ball return. Normally the tour will make sure that there aren't any walls or columns for national tournaments. If I do run into long ball returns or walls I will move my 10 pin spare shots to the 3rd or 2nd arrow. I have long legs and remember kicking long ball returns in tournaments where the shot moved inside. I don't believe that the one bowling center manager has all of his facts correct about where you can stand or throw the ball from. I have seen pros start on an odd lane and walk around that ball return to bowl on an even lane. My advice is to practice and figure out what works for you. You might also want to learn how to bowl with your thumb in the ball so that you have a better alternative to walking into walls!
Chuck December 28, 2005
I was wondering what is the best technique if you leave alot of 10 pins? One night I left 20 in 3 games and I tried moving up, back, left, right and even switched equipment. Also what is your secret to picking up the 10 pin consistently. I am about 80-85% accurate would like to be 90-95%. Thank you and good luck in 2006
I really don't have a technique for not leaving 10 pins, because leaving them is part of hitting the pocket. To pick them up, throw the ball very straight. If need to, get a plastic ball. A good bowler should be able to pick up 95% and a pro should be able to pick up 98-99%.
Larry December 26, 2005
Walter Ray (or Paige):
I just finished going through your web site and think it is great.
I am in my mid-50's and thus a little long in the tooth to be a member of your fan club, but have followed WR for many years. I have studied your style some (as much as can be done by watching you if you get on the telecast in a given week) because I am tall as well (actually 6-5). If you recall Randy Bridges from here in greater Birmingham (AL), he and I are about the same size (and also bowl in the same league). I normally keep an average between 200-210, but am struggling in the high 190's in one house, yet pushing 220 in the other I bowl in. My question is this: us tall folks seem to have more of a problem maintaining a constant pendulum in our swing during delivery than our shorter bowling brethren and I think part of the difficulty I have in the challenging house is that because of entry angle and other things, I leave more 10's and picking the ten strongly tests my swing, even though I switch to a hard plastic when shooting the 10. Got any good advice for tall bowlers to improve make percentage of 10's? I throw mostly reactive equipment (but some particle), drilled for full fingertip and use a wrist brace to help keep my wrist from turning. I am right handed.
Looking forward to seeing you make the show for the stop in Trussville, AL. My wife wants to attend some of the qualifying so we can watch one of my teammates (Paul Ealy) try to get in, so I might see you there. Thanks for a great web page.
Greater Birmingham Area
The best thing to do to get better at anything is to practice. So practice shooting at the 10 pin on both your first and 2nd shots for a couple of games. I would also do this with a hooking ball on hooking lanes so that you can learn to throw the ball as straight as possible, but use a plastic ball in competition. Good luck! Hang in there!
Richard December 23, 2005
Well, to start with i would like to commend you on showing so much class while bowling. i dont care what the pba or the advertisers want, i cant stand to see someone yell, scream, jump around, talk to the camera etc... it make the sport look like something vince mcmahon would promote. now, here is my question, i have just begun bowling (seriously that is)and have watched many bowlers to try to compare form. i have 2 similar habits that you have, but my instructor keeps trying to correct them. first, i am usually somewhat upright in my finish (very little knee bend due to knee problems) and i have the same little "pop" in my wrist at release just as you do. you always seem just a bit off balance, but your accuracy is teriffic! if i try to put that same little "pop" in at release or if i leave my right foot in the air, my acuracy is terrible. the problem is that this is the most comfortable release position i have found that allows any degree in consistincy (partially upright, left leg in the air, slight lean to the right)
Hmmm…I'm wondering if our form cut you off?? Anyway, having a good knee bend helps get leverage, but with bad knees that makes it very difficult. Almost all of the top pros kick their leg out and off of the ground. I'm not always in balance as you mentioned, but usually not way off balance. The most important thing is doing the same thing over and over. I may not be "textbook", but I am reasonably consistent. I believe a good coach will be able to make changes in your game to help with accuracy and consistency, but not take you so far from "what comes natural" that it becomes impossible to repeat shots. Good luck and hang in there!
Bill December 13, 2005
I STAND AROUND 35 BOARD AND AIM FOR THE 20 BOARD.IN YOUR OPINION, HOW MANY BOARDS SHOULD THERE BE BETWEEN YOUR SLIDING FOOT AND WHERE YOU WANT YOUR BALL TO TOUCH DOWN?
ALSO,I HAVE YOUR TRAINING VIDEO, DO YOU OFFER A SECOND LEVEL TRAINING VIDEO? THANKS, BILL
You want your armswing to be pretty close to your leg, but you don't want to hit it either. You would want the ball to be at least an inch from your ankle. So probably about 6 to 10 inches right of your slide is where you want your ball to lay down depending on loft and angle.
I will be working on a 2nd bowling video shortly. Hopefully in March!
Larry December 7, 2005
I am a 208 avg bowler and i have a short step on my 3rd step that i cant get rid of. do you have any suggestions on how i can fix this problem. also i have been breaking my elbow on my downswing. These things have never happend to me before so i dont know what to do
If you never did these new things before, then something must have happened that made you change. If you changed once, you can change again. It might take a little bit of work, but with some coaching and hard work you should be able to do it. By the way, having a short 3rd step and breaking your elbow doesn't mean that you can't be a good bowler. Lots of bowlers have "interesting" footwork and are great bowlers! Do you remember Ron Williams or Tom Milton? Both of these guys were very successful and had "crooked elbows". Repeating shots is the key, not how "textbook" your delivery is! Hang in there.
Ken November 29, 2005
I noticed from the scoresheets you submit that it looks like you leave the 2 pin often. Is that a result of a very light hit as opposed to a high hit in which you would probably leave a 4 pin?
Hope to see you at Mohegan Sun in 2006. Good Luck!
Leaving a 2 pin is because I went too light. The 4-6 combination is probably the flip side to that and not the 4 pin. A rip rack or weak 10 is probably the opposite of a 4 pin.
Technique Q&A [1-20] [21-40]
[41-60] [61-80] [81-100] [101-120] [121-140] [141-160] [161-180] [181-200] [201-220] [221-240] [241-260] [261-280] [301-320] [321-340] [341-360]