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Robert (Bob) Strickland, a bowler since 1958, and PBA member since 1978. In addition to coaching, Bob is the author of Perceptive Bowling and Bowling Steps to Success. Join us weekly as Bob shares his favorite bowling tips to improve your game.

This week's tip:  
Four Step Approach. The Third Step Examined
by: Bob Strickland


The third step is your BACKSWING STEP. The swingside foot moves forward as the ball moves from a position perpendicular to the approach to a position at the top of the backswing. The third step is also the ANCHOR, or PREPARATORY, STEP for your fourth step and slide (the FINISH).

As the heel of your swingside foot contacts the approach, the ball should reach the top of your - YOUR SWINGSIDE FOOT ROCK FORWARD FROM HEEL TO TOE. Your ball should begin to fall into the swing as your SWINGSIDE TOE is moving down toward the approach.

LET YOUR BOWLING ARM SWING FREE AT THE SHOULDER JOINT. It is possible to do three things to you ball as it is going down into your DOWNSWING. You can speed it up (accelerate) or slow it down (decelerate) by overuse of your muscles; or you can let it be pulled down only by gravity -- the PENDULUM SWING. The pendulum swing is desirable because it allows you consistent timing. Picture a weight freely swinging from a string. This is the impression one should get from observing a swinging bowling ball.

NOTE: If you cannot hold your ball during the downswing without gripping it tightly, it may not be fitted properly or it may be too heavy or both! See a skilled pro shop professional to correct the ball fit before the habit of "muscling the ball" becomes ingrained and ruins the timing and consistency of your pendulum swing!

LET YOUR BALANCE ARM MOVE TO AN OUT, DOWN, AND BACK POSITION. Your balance arm is extremely important in establishing a stable PIVOT for your swing plane. This means that your shoulders will be square to your target line and level with the approach. Your TAKEAWAY begins from the elbows-locked, fully-extended pushaway. As your ball begins its descent into the downswing, your balance arm simply follows the ball's movement, but takes its own, final position out from your body, slightly down, and toward the back. Maintain this position until you "break" from your follow through.

KEEP YOUR BACK UPRIGHT. Just as in your setup and first step, you should maintain an upright posture. Lead with your chest; keep your back arched to counteract the weight of your ball falling into the swing. Look at your visual target out of the bottoms of your eyes to help you.

  
More Strickland Tips:
  Four-Step delivery overview
  Four-Step delivery overview - The First step
  Four-Step delivery overview - The Second step
  Four-Step delivery overview - The Third step
  Four-Step delivery overview - The Fourth step
  House balls and house shoes
  Targeting Aids: The dots and arrows
  Know where you are on the approach
  Starting off Right
 
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This week's tip brought to you by: Robert "Bob" Strickland

 
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