Practice Report: February 19, 2021
February 19, 2021
I continue to practise putting intentional rotation on the ball. Today, I had two goals:
- Continue to build the habit of putting intentional rotation on the ball.
- Combine putting rotation on the ball with holding the release position at the foul line, possibly even with focusing on my target.
I cared more about the first than the second, but I managed to get some of the second with the first. Overall, I'd consider the practice a success.
Click here to read a detailed rundown of my practice session
Focus is on rotation, then holding the shot, then aiming precisely. I was practising with my new EPCO Neon balls (5" / 3 lb 12 oz) and my new Aramith balls (4 7/8" / 3 lb 9.7 oz).
- Warm up 6 minutes.
- Snap the fingers. 12 minutes. Neons. OK, but not great. Mind wandered a little into other considerations. I needed to restrain it to come back and focus on rotation.
- One hand clapping. 12 minutes. Aramiths. Better, but some lapses. Gradually, it's becoming a habit. I often don't feel the rotation, even though I see the pins flying.
- One hand clapping, no approach. Just one step and release. Mixture of balls. 12 minutes. It felt odd and I wasn't feeling the hand clapping much. Gradually, when I started to loosen my arm a little and slow down, I began to notice the feeling a little more.
- Slow approach, one hand clapping. Aramiths. 12 minutes. Felt better once I started throwing the ball out more. If I do this, it feels easier to put rotation on the ball without turning my first or reaching inside with my elbow.
- Rotation plus holding the shot through the pins. Aramiths. 10 minutes. I held the shot through the pins about 75% of the time. I needed a few shots to find my timing after slowing things down. This felt successful.
- Rotation plus holding the shot through the pins. Neons. 10 minutes. I held the shot through the pins really well. With the bigger balls I'm not feeling the rotation as much, but I see evidence of it at the pins. With repetition, it will come.
- Hold the shot through the pins and feel the rotation without trying to put rotation on the ball. Aramiths. 6 minutes. This felt quite solid. I think I could end this practice session on a high note.
- Shoot the 9th and 10th to win. 3 of 4 shots were very good. I held the shot 3 times and got great rotation 3 times. The last shot was a strike as soon as it left of my hand.
Perhaps this seems obvious in hindsight, but when I throw the ball with more conviction, I find it easier to both put more rotation and finish the shot high with a strong follow-through. "Sticking the landing" becomes easier. (Yes, Chelsea!) When I tried to focus on the finger motion by removing the rest of the approach, I lost sight of this idea. When I went back to taking a full approach, I noticed that I was releasing the ball with more confidence and conviction, resulting in the occasional misfire, but otherwise good rotation and good pin splash.
I find it hard to feel the "one hand clapping" trick that Jeff Young recommended to me. I think I can infer that I'm putting good rotation on the ball from the pin splash, but I'm not really feeling the physical sensations in my fingers and palm. I would like to feel it in order to be able to trust more than I'm "doing it right". I don't quite know how to connect with that feeling more.
Towards the end of the practice, I resolved to stop trying to put rotation on the ball and instead focus on feeling the rotation on the ball. I didn't really connect with that feeling at all, but by doing this, I got out of my own way and started putting noticeably more consistent rotation on the ball. I have found myself in this trap often: stuck trying to do something, rather than doing it. In particular, I often become stuck trying to relax, rather than relaxing.
Mastering the mental game is fun.
I don't intend to practise again before league play on Wednesday, so in the meantime, I will be starting some strength training with a personal trainer who specializes in 5-pin bowling. (Yes, such a human exists!) I intend to give it 3 months before I decide whether it's "working" or "not working". With any luck, I'll have less shoulder pain and better balance 3 months from now. Wish me luck!
- Can you feel it when you put good rotation on the ball? What does it feel like to you?