We have seen this from time to time, that the players with the fastest ball speed and rev rate, lately have seemed to do better on the PBA tour. Does this mean that we don’t even have a chance against the best in the world if we can’t throw a ball over 17 mph? I will argue both sides of this issue, and discuss several ways to improve ball speed.
Some may say that it is better to throw faster in order to get more pin action. In fact if you do hit the head pin at a faster speed there is a greater chance that it will bounce off of the side walls and kick back across the pin deck and possible knock a few more pins down in the process. I definitely feel as though it is more important to be accurate, than fast. This past week in the WSOB we witnessed Jason Belmonte bowl a 300 on National television, and advance to the finals of the WSOB. Jason Belmonte without a doubt has one of the fastest deliveries in the PBA, and has been a great success using incredible ball speed and rev rate with his outstanding two handed style.
Let’s be honest though many of us can’t throw the ball over 20 mph, and maybe never will. I am here to tell you that it doesn’t matter how hard you throw the ball, you can still be successful. I have seen guys throw an average to slow ball speed and still average well over 200 in the league I bowl in. I honestly believe the key to bowling is matching up your equipment to the lanes conditions with a combination of speed, timing, and accuracy.
There are several ways to increase or decrease your ball speed. One of the easiest ways to increase or decrease your ball speed is to raise or lower the ball in your setup before the delivery. The higher you have the ball to start the faster your ball will be off of your hand, and inversely the lower you start with the ball the slower your ball speed will be. When I bowl I start with the ball just below my shoulders. If I need to increase speed I will start with the ball near or above my shoulders, and to slow down and allow the ball to hook earlier I start near my waist. Remember your arm is like a pendulum, the higher you bring the ball the faster you will throw, and again the lower the slower.
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Until next time, Shred that Rack!