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Clarification Statement on 4-Point Axis of Rotation Article PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Slowinski   
Monday, 23 October 2006
Here is my clarification statement on my November 2006 Bowling THis Month article on changing Axis of Rotation.

I anticipated the clock system to cause some confusion. I have never liked the fact that people teach both the finger position and thumb position. Consequently, it causes confusion when reading this article because I am changing the reference paradigm.

KEY: DON"T THINK ABOUT THE THUMB POSITION INSIDE THE BOWLING BALL - ONLY THE FINGER POSITIONS. The 1 and 12 o'clock references relate to after the thumb exits the ball and you follow-through to a specific point. Imagine a clock face out on the lane at the arrows with 12 directly in front of the ball-side shoulder. These references subconsciously will help the bowler to rotate to 45 or 90 degrees. DON'T THINK about rotating your hand counter clockwise and then back clockwise. You will rotate your hand counter-clockwise to 45 degrees or 90 degrees and then continue on to the 1 or 12 o'clock. YOUR THUMB HAS ALREADY EXITED THE BALL. It is like sweeping-out a slanted or straight "j" with your hand. Remember, you are starting with the hand under the ball. You will rotate the hand counter-clockwise and then stop at 45 or 90 degrees with your mind thinking you want the thumb to get to a specific place in the follow-through.

Visually, put your hand in the 45 degree release, 4 (middle) & 5 (ring), position.  Straighten your whole hand.... notice the thumb will naturally point to 1 o'clock.  Now, turn your fingers to 3 o'clock and straighten the entire hand.  The thumb naturally points to 12.  So, in your mind, you are telling yourself to keep your hand in the 45 or 90 position and continue to follow-through to these positions in the follow-through.  By focusing on the reference, 1 or 12 in the follow-through, you will be able to create and repeat both 45 and 90 degrees of axis rotation.  Think about Pete Weber as he follows-through.  His thumb points-up to 12 most of the time because he was the master of 90 degrees....

To achieve the 45 and 90 degree axis of rotation releases, the idea is to imagine a clock face out on the lane to use as a reference for a specific follow-through position. Specifically, think about a large clock face out on the lane at about the arrows. The 12 o'clock position on this clock face is directly in front of your ball-side shoulder with 1 o'clock where it would naturally fall on such a clock.

You are in essence sweeping-out a "j" as you rotate your hand counter-clockwise when throwing the ball. But, the goal is not to have to think about the motion of your hand. Since the references of 1 or 12 o'clock are "outside" you will be able to achieve the axis of rotation that you want. Rather, you just want your thumb to get to 1 or 12 o'clock at the end of the follow-through. This will control the motion for you.

Specifically, the reference of the thumb to 12 or 1 o'clock in the follow-through will help you rotate to a specific hand position that relates to an axis of rotation position. For example, if you imagine following-through to 1 o'clock with your thumb you will more likely and more consistently rotate your hand to the 4 and 5 o'clock position with your fingers. This will yield close to a 45 degree release.

In the past, many folks have taught with reference to the thumb. I teach only finger positions at the release [e.g., 6 o'clock, 4 (middle) and 5 (ring) o'clock, 3 o'clock]. The thumb in my system refers to a follow-through position (i.e., the end of the follow-through). Only think about getting your thumb to that position at the end of the follow-through. You should see very distinct ball reactions with differences in skid, shape and backend strength.

Hope this helps.... My hope with this article was to provide bowlers with the easiest-to-use system ever. It is designed to help a bowler use the four reference points (pinky, ring finger, thumb to 1 and thumb to 12) to create more consistent ball reaction by changing the Axis of Rotation. And, I am developing a more complex system that uses your index and pinky to create 9 different axis of rotation points that are easy to create. And, this is independent of axis tilt, ball speed, revolutions and loft.

I am working to publish an instructional booklet in the near future that will teach an easy-to-use reference system for the five manipulations (axis rotation, axis tilt, speed, revs and loft). The system will allow a bowler to have more than a thousand ball reactions with one bowling ball. For example, think about this, if you have 5 axis rotations, 5 axis tilts, 5 ball speeds, 5 rev changes and 2 lofts, this would equal 1250 unique ball reactions with one ball. I think I realistically have a system that will yield the following: 9 axis of rotations, 7 axis tilts, 5 ball speeds, 5 revs and 2 lofts. Most importantly, I want bowlers to have complex reactions with an easy-to-use reference system.
Joe Slowinski
Director of Coaching and Coach Certification, Tenpin Bowling
National Sports Council of Malaysia, Sukan Teras
Top 100 Coach, 2005 & 2006, Bowlers Journal International

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 October 2006 )
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