This week's tip:
Four Step Approach. The
First Step Examined
by: Bob Strickland
The first step is called the KEY STEP because it contains the
PUSHAWAY. (The key step in the five-step approach is the second step.) It begins with your feet alongside each other in your
setup and ends when your SWINGSIDE HEEL -- the foot on the side of your bowling arm -- touches down on the approach. Your PUSHAWAY absolutely must be taken from a stable setup. Here are some essential tips.
BEGIN YOUR FIRST STEP WITH YOUR SWINGSIDE FOOT. When your mind is quiet and after
you have focused on your visual target, begin your first step with your swingside foot. On the
AND after four of your cadence, step out with your swingside foot so that its heel makes contact
on the count of "one."
BEGIN YOUR PUSHAWAY AS YOU TAKE YOUR FIRST STEP. As you lift your heel off of the
approach, push your ball briskly forward into the pushaway. If your foot and your ball are
properly timed, your pushaway will have good stability since your foot is almost directly under
USE BOTH HANDS TO PUSH YOUR BALL DIRECTLY IN LINE WITH YOUR SHOULDER AND
YOUR TARGET. To do this, you will have to reach across your body with your balance arm.
Support most of the weight of your ball your balance hand. Keep your forearms parallel with the
floor; never push your ball downward.
Picture a table, approximately chest high, in front of you. Your pushaway is simply placing your
ball onto this imaginary table.
KEEP YOUR BOWLING ARM RELAXED AT THE SHOULDER JOINT. Do not grip your ball tightly,
or you will have unnecessary tension in your hand, wrist, arm, and shoulder joint. Use your
balance arm to move the ball and help relax your bowling arm.
KEEP YOUR BACK UPRIGHT AND FIRM. You should counteract the tendency of your upper
body to follow the ball. Keep your back muscles taught; picture "arching your back." Think "lead
with my chest" and repeat it to yourself.
KEEP YOUR SHOULDERS BACK AND LEVEL. Hold them stable. Again, think of your shoulders
and backbone forming a RIGID "T" on which you allow your bowling arm to swing freely.
KEEP YOUR KNEES STRAIGHT BUT NOT LOCKED. Use a normal heel-toe walking stride.
Neither force your heels down (stomping) nor walk on your toes (shuffling).
END YOUR PUSHAWAY WHEN BOTH ELBOWS ARE LOCKED. Keep your balance hand
touching your ball until both arms are fully extended (straight) at the final PUSHAWAY
END YOUR FIRST STEP ON YOUR SWINGSIDE HEEL. Just as your elbows lock into position,
the heel of your swingside foot makes contact with the approach. There is no need for the toe to
touch down as yet.