This week's tip:
Four Step Delivery
by: Bob Strickland
The FOUR-STEP DELIVERY is the SIMPLEST and the
easiest to TROUBLESHOOT. The reason is that the ball is pushed out right along with the
first step. The ball is neither carried for a step as in the five-step delivery, nor moved
before the first step, as in the three-step delivery. During the four-step delivery, there
is something for the upper body to do in coordination with each step taken.
SETUP - Take your setup with your feet three to four inches apart and neither foot
leading. Point your feet in the direction of your target. Do not lean forward; be
generally upright, with your legs straight, your knees not bent, but not locked either. To
help you relax your bowling hand and arm, hold the major portion of your ball's weight in
your BALANCE HAND -- the hand opposite your bowling hand.
FIRST STEP - Move your ball at the same instant as you pick up your foot on the same side
as your bowling arm--i.e. your SWINGSIDE FOOT. Push your ball straight ahead -- never
down! Think of it as placing your ball on an imaginary table the same height as the ball
was held in the setup. As your ball reaches the limit of your reach with both arms, your
SWINGSIDE HEEL should just be making contact with the approach.
SECOND STEP - Let your ball simply FALL from the arms-extended into a PENDULUM SWING.
Continue to keep your body upright; do not allow your head to follow your ball down into
the swing! To help keep your shoulders level and squared with your swing, let your BALANCE
ARM move to a position out, down, and back -- approximately 90 degrees to the plane of the
swing -- at the same speed as your downswing. Your SLIDING HEEL should make contact with
the approach as your ball is at the lowest point in the backswing.
THIRD STEP - Let your ball move up to the top of your backswing by its own force. Get
gravity to work for you; do not use the muscles of your upper arm and back to hoist it any
higher. If you do hoist your ball, your body will twist, your bowling shoulder will be
pulled back, and your ball will become late relative to your footwork. As your ball
reaches the top of your backswing, Your SWINGSIDE HEEL should make contact with the
FOURTH STEP - Take your last step very slowly on your SLIDING SOLE, bending your swingside
knee very deeply. This will give you a long slide and ample time to achieve a superior
body position for your release. Keep your upper body upright and your balance arm in the
position it attained during your second step. You will enjoy better leverage, less
fatigue, and more consistently placed shots.
Remember a helpful little poem by bowling scholar Bill Taylor, with my own parenthetic
"Push the ball
(place your ball on the
Let it fall
(let gravity take the ball down)
Point to the wall (extend your balance arm
out, down, and back)
(keep your back straight and stable)