As you start to bowl you may notice that a lot of bowlers around you are getting the ball to hook from one end of the lane to the other, but you need not distract yourself from your goal. The first thing you need to be able to do is have a nice release and be able to throw the ball straight. Only after can you learn to give the ball some hook and other techniques to bring your games and average up. The other recommendation I have is to take notes or video tape yourself while you bowl and make sure you record all of your scores. This will help you to see how much you have improved.
If you took four steps from the foul line then this release description is for you, but if you took five your first step will be a timing step and then just follow the directions for a four step approach.
- While you take your first step you are going to push the ball out in front of you so that your right arm (left arm for lefties) is fully extended out in front of you.
- Your second step is when the ball starts to swing back and your 'pendulum swing' begins. [The pendulum swing can be practiced at the foul line by pushing out and just swinging your arm like a pendulum with the ball in your hand.] As the ball swings down your non-ball hand will go out to the side to maintain your balance.
- Your third step will bring the ball to the peak of your backswing as you take another step forward towards the foul line.
- Your fourth step is the most complicated because it involves the most things. You are going to bring the ball down to your side and release your fingers to roll the ball down the lane while kicking your right leg (left leg for lefties) behind the other leg for your final balanced position. If you are a right-handed your left foot should be planted and the opposite for a lefty.
After your four step approach and release your ball may or may not have gone straight. If it did then keep doing it until you can do it consistantly, but if not here is a tip to help you keep the ball straight. Even with a hook you should follow this tip to keep good form. As your hand comes through the ball after you release it you want to pretend as if you're shaking someone's hand. Your thumb should be straight in the air and for your follow through, you should be able to tap yourself on the back of the shoulder.