QUESTION: My release seems to be my Achilles heal. I hit the pocket ball after ball and yet leave a variety of single pins. This frustrates me to the point of doing something extra which leads to my game falling apart. I have been told to rip up on the ball or to follow through faster. I bowl with Motiv gear. It seems to react well. I also go through periods where I will have two good games (200+) or one good game then I am grinding to get 160-190. The difference being I will have 6-7-8 strikes then suddenly no strikes. I feel like something is missing.
Greetings Todd, Well, I have learned to listen to my bowlers. Most often, if they think it's a particular problem, then most likely it is. It sounds like you lose your line to the pocket. When the lane conditions change you have to adjust. However, what you are asking yourself at that point is, how do you hold the ball so your adjustment gives you success, with the same ball?
  Obviously, you have to recognize when the ball begins to go too long because of carry down. Bowling with others, changes the lane condition, creating  an oil spot down lane. A spot where your ball cannot grab and get back to the pocket anymore. My bowling book, "True Bowler Adjustments" discusses releases, carry down and several other solutions.
  In your particular situation you know you have to get the ball to move left a little sooner.  In my book concerning one release change, I ask bowlers to simply slow the swing, and to follow through completely. This combination allows the bowler to start the ball up coming off the hand. The slowness of the swing speed will allow the ball to grab the lane sooner.  
    There are several adjustments you can make, this is just two of twenty perhaps. In your case Todd, if you truly think it's your release, you can try getting the ball more off the front of the hand, verses spinning it. Bowlers who spin the bowling ball, will have very little surface contact, and the ball will not grab down lane with increased speed. Often times, bowlers will try to throw harder, but they only increase their speed.
     With carry down, speed is just the kiss of death for a 200 game. I feel your pain. I realize you can only give me a nutshell version of your problem. There is a multitude of things you can do to adjust, which is why I wrote my book.  I have to say, with your friends helping you, are they telling you that it's a ringing 10 pin, or flat 10 pin?   Recently, I received a note on Facebook, where a bowler had increased her average 22 pins. In my book, she found the adjustments she needed to make to her game. It's different for everyone. However, many of us can be experiencing the same problems. Take care Todd, keep in touch. -Coach

Las Vegas, NV.        

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

thanks for you input. I find it interesting you say bowlers who spin the ball and the ball will not grab down lane. I am left handed. Quite often it is just me out there. I watch as other bowlers spin the ball more and more and get wider and wider and yet come back and get the carry. Am I using the right language? I always have been told and believe straighter is greater yet this philosophy has not given me the consistent results. I was actually looking for information on getting more spin the ball. I understand your suggestion to be slow the swing down and follow through more. Good advice. I will try it. Honestly, a lot of times the 7 pin is the culprit. I more often then not see it wobbling but it just doesnt go down. I sometimes even have it slide forward or to the right on me. Maybe it is just a slight change but the things I have tried dont result in consistent success.

Thank you for your feedback. With any release it is very hard to teach "feel." If you were here in Vegas we'd knock it out in 30 to 40 mins like the two gentlemen from Hawaii did last weekend. We really had fun. There's a way to release the ball that I will try to explain in my new book that I hope to finish before September and the start of the new winter league. Pray for me, and if you get the opportunity, come visit me! Keep in touch Todd, -Coach


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Gary L. Oatis, PBA Coach and USBC Silver Level Coach, PBA Member, Pro Shop Staff Member


I am the author of True Bowler Adjustments bowling book. I can answer bowling adjustments questions dealing with the body, the ball, the lanes and using your eyes to read the ball reaction. I can also answer "most" drilling questions about bowling balls. I will generally answer your questions within 2 days. I am truly a "software guy" who loves the human or people part of coaching. Any questions concerning ball drilling, we want to direct to the "hardware guy," the true expert regarding ball fitting! Ball fitting is what I consider to be your first priority in bowling! Thanks in advance Warren!!! It will always be about teamwork with me! A very special "thanks in advance" for any help with drilling questions I may receive! If your question is about "How to bowl better? physically and mentally," I am here for you. Anything else will most likely be sent to the question pool for consideration by other members. I recently began my first year of ball drilling(6/1/2010). Thank you. :-)


20 years in bowling as a coach and player. Annually I coach over 250 bowlers. Author: True Bowler Adjustments Bowling Book Facebook Testimonies: Facebook contacts 5000+!/TrueBowler

PBA Member USBC Coaches Association Member USBC/PBA Media Member Bowling Writers Association of America Member

True Bowler Adjustments bowling book,Author - Copywrite 12/2008 Radio shows - "Let's Go Bowling" and "The 13th Frame Radio Show" / Jan 2010 feature article in The National Bowling Association (TNBA) Magazine pg.29, writer Dustin Markowitz - March 25, 2012-What Happened to Bowling#16 Los Angeles Senate (TNBA Online Newsletter, "Ask Coach Oatis") 1500 members Questions Answered - 300 Responses.

Gary L. Oatis,MSgt,USAF(Ret.) Associates of Science in Radiological Technology (we x-ray the cores of bowling balls as practice phantoms sometimes!) PBA Coach and USBC Silver Certified Coach Journeyman, Pro Shop Staff Member, Nadeau-Haynes Bowling Supply, Las Vegas, NV.

Awards and Honors
299's, 297's, 290's, 288, no 300's or 800's "yet!"

Past/Present Clients
Charles Nibert - USBC Senior Masters Champion and Alaskian State Champion Randy Stiedl also of Alaska recently shot 800! Numberous PBA Regional Bowlers who compete across the US. Zach Hattori $64,000 scholarship winner from Las Vegas, NV. Shawn Crossley, $10,000 Amateur Bowling Tour Winner 05/2011. Haley Rubin of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, won $7,500 in scholarship funds at the prestigious North Pointe Competition helded in Las Vegas, 2010. Lareece Chambers first female to bowl a perfect game in her bowling center, Victorville, California. Most enjoyable, are my local Las Vegas bowlers. Many have won their 1st ABT or JBT tournaments with my help. I am grateful to every bowler who puts their trust in me. Helping them apply bowling knowledge to reach their goals is truly the best fun I have ever experienced in my lifetime.

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