Shhh! It's a Secret #2

Another great bowling tip for you.....

Lift is what you do to the ball to get it off the ball return. When people talk about lift in bowling, they are usually referring to what they had to do 'in the old days' to get the ball to finish. With rubber and plastic and even some urethane, the exit of the fingers was usually a pulling upward toward the palm (referred to as 'putting some fingers in the shot'). If you do that in today's game, the powerful balls you are throwing behave very erratically and you hit the ball on the upswing, a very bad thing in the modern game. Today that behavior is kind of built in to the balls.

What folks are really describing when they mention lift is leverage. Leverage is having your body in the correct position to deliver the most powerful shot possible with the least amount of effort. For right-handers, it can be created by having your left knee bent deeply and angled to the left at the foul line with most of the weight on the outside of your left foot. You also should have your right leg at least 45 degrees to the foul line (sometimes even more) with your right knee bent and weight on your right foot. Your hips are square to your target path.

Strokers should have the left shoulder higher than the right. This will keep your right arm in close to your body and therefore your ankle, keeping the ball in your power at the delivery point. On a clock face, looking from the back, the left shoulder would be at about 10:00 and the right shoulder at about 4:00. Yes, it is true that I am saying your right shoulder should be lower than your left! How many times have you heard not to drop your shoulder? The difference here is that your left shoulder is up, not just your right shoulder down. This position will make for a delivery close to your body - leverage.

Power players need a little more shoulder angle, say 10:30 and 4:30 or even more. When first learning this, be sure to protect your ankle. This position puts the ball very close to your left calf because of the angle of your lower leg (which is going to the left). The next time you have the opportunity to see Pete Weber from the front, notice his shoulder angle. You'll see the left shoulder much higher than the right but it is not considered that Pete 'drops his shoulder'. Dropping your shoulder is only a problem when your other shoulder isn't up and your body is in the way. Whether you are a stroker or a power player, this will be easier to accomplish if your left arm is out away from your body and your left hand on a plane above your head.

If you assume your normal finishing position at the foul line, you'll probably find that your left lower leg is 90 to the floor and your right hand dangles straight down from your shoulder and 6" - 8" from your calf. Put your left arm and right leg wherever they normally are and have someone pull down on your right hand and see how little effort they must expend to pull you off balance to the right.

If you shift your weight so that your lower left leg is angled left and your knee is slightly left of your left foot, your arm will come closer to your calf. This could, but does not have to, include that your left foot is angled toward the 7 pin. Sometimes it's easier to get your knee going left if your foot is pointed in that direction, but it's not a requirement.

Put your left arm higher in the air and be sure your right leg is over and behind you with weight on it. Your friend will have a much more difficult time moving you at all much less pulling you off balance. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to have your left foot pointing left. Yes, I am saying that your foot does not have to be straight with the boards! When the left foot is pointing left, the knee more easily can be outside of the foot, the weight on the outside of the left foot, and ta-duum! - leverage.

This is what it feels like to be leveraged at the line. Check out the knee and shoulder position of the pros. This finish position works for creating leverage or they wouldn't do it and this, or some modification of it, will work for you. You don't have to be a power player to have this work. It puts strokers in a better position to deliver a great shot as well.