Pro Tips

5 days ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: To lean or not to lean?

Posture is something to pay attention to as you get back into bowling. If you had a tendency to get slouchy in the past, it may be something you do when you pick up a ball again. Be mindful so you protect your body and your game.

If you want to have proper leverage at the foul line, it all stems back to your set up position. We’ve gone over setting up, finish position, and trail leg in previous pro tips. Proper posture is the thread that ties them all together. Most people should aim for a little bit of spine tilt forward (10-15 degrees), avoiding standing straight up like a statue or leaning too far forward. Have your shoulders face the pins vs the ground while gradually getting lower by engaging your legs. I recommend starting with a slight knee bend. Much like picking up a heavy object, you want to focus on using your legs vs your lower back. You want your upper body to stay over your hips throughout your approach without having either your shoulders or your feet get too far ahead of one another. I’m demonstrating my own ideal posture in the top video, which includes engaging my legs while keeping my upper body facing the pins.

The bottom video is an example of what I see nearly 80% of my students do when they start. They like to lean forward, even if it’s not ideal for their body type. When they push away, the weight of the ball tends to cause people to tip. I have noticed that after working on posture during lessons, most students are able to establish better leverage at the foul line, which generates more speed and consistent motion. If your posture is not optimal, you will tend to feel like you can’t slide enough. Your lower back may hurt after bowling. You may feel like you’re dropping the ball or find yourself all around muscling.

The best way to evaluate your own posture is take a video of yourself bowling from a side view, like the one of me here. Keep in mind that every body type is different and will require a solution that works best for your game. For example, a shorter person needs to get their feet going to faster to generate speed. One way to do that is by getting your shoulders in front of your legs, resulting in a forward lean. If you can, I recommend working with a coach to identify your own ideal posture. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching
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2 weeks ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Legs

As we get back into the game, it's important to focus on the fundamentals. Everybody thinks that your upper body is the key to bowling well. However, in order to throw the bowling ball consistently and accurately, there are three key physical components that need to work correctly:

1) Direction/Arm Swing
2) Revs/Hand Rotation
3) Power/Legs

All three need to be working together in order to optimize performance and prevent injury. We’re going to focus on legs today because that’s where your power comes from. If you watch any hand/eye coordinated game that involves throwing an object, you’ll notice that energy is all derived from the athlete’s legs.

A lot of people I start working with try to create power with their upper body, resulting in an inaccurate release. When people don’t use their legs correctly (you might see someone leaning forward with their upper body vs getting low with their legs), a lot of time they might injure themselves, get tired a lot faster, or have trouble repeating shots. Relying on one’s upper body doesn’t create athletic ability.

So how do you use your legs properly in bowling? You need to have a consistent approach so that when you lunge in to your slide and transfer that energy to the ball, your upper body is calm and focused on hitting a target. Your legs start with your hips, so focus on your hips as you’re getting to lunge to the foul line. You should try not to lean with your upper body but your upper body should feel like it’s taller AND lower because you’re able to get closer to the ground by using your legs. Your knee should be continuing at the end of your slide to maintain momentum at the foul line. You should be more balanced at the foul line from one shot to another.

In the video, you’ll notice that in “Strong Legs” example my legs are calmer, and my trail leg is off to the side more to create a more balanced approach. In the other video, I end a little taller at the foul line and I didn’t look confidently balanced. The differences may seem subtle but the impact on my game is significant. A good way to understand how to use your legs properly is by doing a one-step drill focusing on lunging to the foul line. Your legs should feel a little sore after a practice session – like a good workout. #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart #bowling #legs
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3 weeks ago

MDM Coaching

Check out my conversation with Coach Shockley and Andrew Jensen about pro tip friday, coaching, and bowling!

BowlerSmart Richard Shockley Coaching Corner
Mike Moore is a USBC Silver Coach who has some history in bowling. Mike is a professional bowler that juggles running his MDM Coaching while managing our Orlando and Winter Park locations in Florida. He has been a great addition to our Bowlersmart family.
This week we sit down with Mike to discuss his #ProTipFriday posts he has and ask some of the usual questions we have. If you haven't seen them, he posts them every Friday in hopes to help us get better with our games.
Stop in and say hello and ask some questions!
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3 weeks ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Balance Arm (chat with me live about it!)

In resharing a recent post because I'll be talking to AJ Jensen and Richard Shockley about it live today at 1pm ET! facebook.com/events/s/coachs-corner-with-mike-moore/557806998465164/?ti=icl

You can practice this at home. Instead of the ball, use a free weight and practice swinging with your balance arm out. Or do a one step drill with a ball into pillows or a mattress.

It's critical to be balanced in order to hit your target consistently on the lane. The non-bowling side arm (also known as balance arm) is an often overlooked but very important part of the physical game. Using the opposite side to create leverage can affect swing, rev rate, and speed. However, many bowlers I work with aren’t even aware of their balance arm.

I’ve learned a lot about the impact of swinging a 14 – 16 lb object on only one side of the body since I’ve started coaching. While there are many ways to engage the balance arm effectively (reaching towards the wall, swimmers motion, bent elbow/forward shoulder, etc), it’s clear that bowlers need to create a force of resistance to maximize the transfer of energy from our body to the ball. I was working with a bowler a few months ago who was struggling to keep her balance and falling off to the right side almost every shot. We spent a session doing drills where I asked her to focus on reaching towards the wall as the first step in using her balance arm. By the end of the session, this student was posting the shot 60% of the time. Stabilizing the shoulders minimizes trunk rotation and increases consistency. For some, focusing on the balance side instead of the ball side can keep from overworking the ball.

I like to do one step drills to practice my release. In the video on the left, I’m not engaging my opposite side. It’s harder to stay balanced to post my shot and my ball is both slower and less accurate. On the right, I’m pushing my arm out towards the wall, which helps to keep my shoulders and hips in line with my target and gives me significantly more stability. If you’re struggling to repeat shots, think about how you’re utilizing your balance arm in your approach. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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4 weeks ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Timing

When you restart bowling, you may notice that your timing has changed. Be aware of when you get to the line and where your ball is in the swing. Evaluate how this compares to your norm and whether you need to work on it - timing is one of those factors that can cause many issues that might be distracting from the root cause.

Timing is the most important factor in whether someone has a good or bad release. We use the term timing to describe the relationship between a bowler’s footwork and swing during their approach. Most bowlers who have an issue with consistent release have what is called “late timing”: when the bowler’s feet are at the foul line before the swing reaches the line. Everyone is different and ideal timing can vary person to person but most people want to strive for timing that is a little late – when the bowler reaches the foul line but the ball is just behind their slide foot ankle. You can see that demonstrated in the photos of me at colonial lanes.

Symptoms of late timing include: pulling the ball, missing target left, ball sticking on thumb, and “chicken winging”. What I have personally seen over five years of coaching, is that either the first step in the approach is too big or the bowler is too close to the foul line in their set up. If you think your timing is late, try adjusting where you start on the approach or the size of your first step. Working with an experienced coach is the best and fastest way to achieve results because every person is different. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching
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1 month ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Grip Pressure

I'm sharing a tip that will be relevant to many of us when bowling alleys reopen. Our hands may have changed during this break and we'll need to be mindful of not squeezing too much. I'd recommend checking with your pro shop operator of you have questions about your grip.

If you’re having trouble releasing the ball consistently, you might have too much “grip pressure”, which means that you’re squeezing the ball too much. The more competitive you get, the more important how you hold the bowling ball becomes. If somebody squeezes the ball too hard, they will release it differently almost every time. The whole goal in bowling, and any hand coordinated game, is to release the ball consistently and smoothly Therefore, your grip pressure should be very minimal. If you’re used to grabbing, a change to grip pressure could cause you to drop the ball more. You might need to go through several grip changes with your pro shop operator before you get it right.

Why do we squeeze? The majority of bowlers begin with house balls that aren’t fitted for them. People are trained from the beginning to grab the bowling ball. In order to learn to not grip the ball, the proper fit needs to be applied. This can be unsettling because the holes are tighter, and the span might be different. Good indicators that you are grabbing the ball too hard are blisters. You also might be extremely fatigued after a night of bowling because, if you’re grabbing, you’re using a lot more muscle in your upper body, causing you tire out faster. Check your grip pressure with a Pro Shop Operator or a trusted coach. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iabowlersmart #coachedbythemoo #moocrew #moonation
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1 month ago

MDM Coaching

MY FIRST PODCAST! Super excited about this! Couple of weeks ago Anthony Caso and Chris Polizzi asked me to be a guest on there YouTube channel. I of course was down to do it and here it is. Like, share and subscribe to there channel so they can grow and expand. #bowling #wearebowlersmart #mdmcoaching #protipmonday

youtu.be/gEnRY-kDNfYToday we have local bowler, proshop operator and regional champion Mike Moore! He tells us about his coaching, achievements and everything in between. Suppor...
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1 month ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Balance Arm

Here's a tip I previously shared that you can practice at home. Instead of the ball, use a free weight and practice swinging with your balance arm out. Or do a one step drill with a ball into pillows or a mattress.

It's critical to be balanced in order to hit your target consistently on the lane. The non-bowling side arm (also known as balance arm) is an often overlooked but very important part of the physical game. Using the opposite side to create leverage can affect swing, rev rate, and speed. However, many bowlers I work with aren’t even aware of their balance arm.

I’ve learned a lot about the impact of swinging a 14 – 16 lb object on only one side of the body since I’ve started coaching. While there are many ways to engage the balance arm effectively (reaching towards the wall, swimmers motion, bent elbow/forward shoulder, etc), it’s clear that bowlers need to create a force of resistance to maximize the transfer of energy from our body to the ball. I was working with a bowler a few months ago who was struggling to keep her balance and falling off to the right side almost every shot. We spent a session doing drills where I asked her to focus on reaching towards the wall as the first step in using her balance arm. By the end of the session, this student was posting the shot 60% of the time. Stabilizing the shoulders minimizes trunk rotation and increases consistency. For some, focusing on the balance side instead of the ball side can keep from overworking the ball.

I like to do one step drills to practice my release. In the video on the left, I’m not engaging my opposite side. It’s harder to stay balanced to post my shot and my ball is both slower and less accurate. On the right, I’m pushing my arm out towards the wall, which helps to keep my shoulders and hips in line with my target and gives me significantly more stability. If you’re struggling to repeat shots, think about how you’re utilizing your balance arm in your approach. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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2 months ago

MDM Coaching

Every Bowler Needs a Pre-Shot Routine

As most of us are home and unable to bowl, I'm sharing tips about things you can consider even while quarantined.

Bowling is all about repeating shots. If you are doing something differently every time you get up to roll a ball, you're not going to be very consistent. I hate when people say “it's 80% physical and 20% mental” or whatever they want to say. You have to give 100% physically in order to roll the ball properly and 100% mentally in order to focus on the task at hand. You need your mind to get you on "auto-pilot" so that your body can do what it's supposed to do every single time.

Every hand eye coordinated game has a Pre Shot Routine (PSR). You need make a checklist in your head of what you want to do before you roll a ball. From picking up the ball to visualizing it hooking on the lane, think about the things that get you set before you throw a shot.

After we’ve established fundamentals, I ask all of my students to create their own PSR. My own PSR is:

1. Dry my hand over the fan at the ball return (if they work lol)

2. Wipe the oil off the ball with a towel

3. Check my slide shoe with my hand to make sure I got nothing on it

4. Visualize my ball going down the lane and rolling into the pins the proper way

5. In my setup, I look down and my hand in the ball to make sure I'm in the correct position for what I want to do with the ball.

6. Before I start my approach, I take a deep slow breath to calm myself down and take my first two steps slow.

You can see in the video, that I’m doing my PSR in what is arguably the highest stress situation I’ve experienced. I was on my 34th strike in a row and needed to remain calm. While I didn’t get all 36 that night, I did go on to break the Florida State 4 game record (1179), which I could not have done without a consistent mental game. Given the power our minds have over our performance, it’s worth spending some real time developing strategies that support success, like a PSR. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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2 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Slumps

I'm resharing this previous tip because one slump buster is to take a break from the game, which most of us are forced to do right now. When we get back into it, we may need to remember these other strategies. Stay tuned for tips to stay sharp at home in the coming weeks.

When you’re playing a game that requires a lot of coordination, you’re going to fall into a dreaded slump at some point. My definition of a slump is finding that you aren’t doing as well as you used to do (just a few weeks or months ago) over the course a few sessions. When you feel like you’re in a slump, there’s a couple things that you need to do. First, remind yourself that it’s not going to last forever and that there are ways to get out of it. Extreme frustration prolongs a slump. Every professional and elite level bowler has experienced numerous slumps. They aren’t the end of the world – but it’s worth knowing that they are easy to fall in to and hard to get out of. How do you get out of it? 1) practicing more 2) practicing with a purpose (look at last week’s pro tip) or 3) taking a week or two off to recharge your batteries because you could be burned out.

My preferred way to get out of a slump is by practicing with a purpose. Because there are a number of things that could cause a slump (maybe a grip change, lack of bowling, trying a different technique, or something completely unrelated that has you distracted from your game), you may need a lesson with a certified coach to get a second pair of eyes on what’s going on. You could also use video to analyze yourself and decide what to work on. As I’m working through things, I try to tell myself that it will be a little better the next day because bowling is about a repetitive motion. There is no standard for how long this will last – could be weeks or months – and will depend on your situation. It won’t get better if you don’t get your head back in the game, so start there. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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2 months ago

MDM Coaching

Who's your pick? BowlersMart.com ...

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2 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Pin Down Layouts

Last week, we started talking about the difference between pin up and pin down layouts. Pin up layouts are quicker off the break point and better for fresher patterns depending on the pin to PAP location. This week, we will talk about pin downs and my opinion of when those should come into play, and how that changes after August 1st. On a very basic level, the pin down puts the weight block more in the palm of your hand, which reduces the flare rings on the bowling ball. Weight holes increase the differential, causing more flare, and adding more balance when a certain ball reaction is needed. After August 1st, without weight holes, you must use either closer pin to PAP layouts for symmetrical bowling balls or more aggressive asymm weight blocks in order to manage the reaction in pin down layouts.

So when should you use pin down layouts? When you start seeing the lanes transition to a point where you need to move to a new area but you’re bowling well and want to stay in the same zone. Pin down layouts allow you to stay in the same area because the ball reaction is not as aggressive. One consideration, if you don’t have a high rev rate or high ball speed, is that you normally want to change to a similar bowling ball with a pin down layout. Pin down layouts give you a slower, more controllable overall ball reaction. If you’re bowling on a flat pattern, you might want to start with a pin down ball and maintain a straighter angle, because it’s smoother.

When are pin down layouts less ideal? Longer or higher volume oil patterns (house or sport shots). Pin downs tend to be slow and sensitive, not reacting hard enough off the breakpoint. They are also less ideal when you’re trying to play deeper and there’s a lot of oil in the middle of the lane.

These are just guidelines - there is a lot of grey area when it comes to layouts. You need to pay attention to your ball reaction and how it goes through the pins. Talk to an experienced pro shop operator who can recommend layouts and equipment that suit your game. We’re here to help. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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2 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Pin Up Layouts

In a previous pro tip, we talked about dual angle layouts and went in to a broad explanation of what a “pin up” and “pin down” actually mean. Today we’re going to talk about general guidelines for using a pin up layout. These recommendations are based on my experience and may not apply universally. This should just be used generally as you’re thinking about a ball selection before competition, in the fill, or early in a game. I expect Pin Up layouts be used more often once weight holes become illegal starting 8/1.

Pin Up layouts:

- Create a quicker transition off the breakpoint like a “hockey stick”. This gives you control in many parts of the lane.
- They tend to make the ball stand up quicker and roll more forward. This creates a stronger overall movement towards the pins. Stronger entry angle can create better carry. The downside here is that they may roll out quicker.
- They are advantageous when moving left and playing more of the middle of the lane because of the steeper entry angle

There’s a second variable to consider: Pin to PAP distance. The closer the pin is to your PAP, the more the ball will flare within a certain distance: 3 3/8 pin to PAP to 5 inches pin to PAP distance. The higher the number, the less the ball flares, the lower the number, the more the ball flares. How do you use these numbers together? As an example, if you move left as the lane transitions, throw a ball with a smaller VAL angle and a longer pin to PAP distance so that it can recover off the pattern without flaring too early.

Generally:

🎳 When to use a pin up layouts: When you want to strong move off the backend when playing left or fresh oil patterns with a duller surface creating a more forward roll because it loses energy quicker.

🎳 When not to use a pin-up layout: When the lanes are transitioning if you want to stay in the same part of the lane or on lower volume flatter patterns (like the nationals team pattern the last couple of years). They may be too aggressive for these conditions.

Next week, we’ll talk about when to use a pin down layout. If you have questions about layouts, reach out to your PSO. We are happy to help, especially during this break from the lanes. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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2 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Accessories

When you get in to bowling more and want to take it to another level, there are several accessories that you should consider carrying in your bag at all times to help you get through different situations:

🎳 Tape, rosin bag, or powder can help you get a more consistent feeling shot-to-shot or week-to-week when your hand changes size. I personally use tape in the thumb hole that is white textured to help the ball grab me. Some people don’t like tape but, if your hand swells, the only other option is powder. Powder is so slick that you have to grab the ball harder. Everybody has a preference and you have to find what works for you and stick with it.

🎳 A towel can help you wipe the excess oil off the ball between shots.

🎳 Interchangeable sole bowling shoes with Velcro on the bottom allow you to change the sole and heel of your shoes to help you slide more or less from house to house.

🎳 Sanding pads (like Abralon) because as you learn about the importance of surface, it's good to have a couple of them in your bag to dull the ball down to hook earlier before competition starts

🎳 Screwdriver, scissors, or other tools

🎳 Wrist braces or athletic tape, if appropriate

🎳 New Skin, in case you get a blister

A general accessories bag is good to bring with you at all times. Because there are so many options, I recommended trying a bunch of things to see what works best for you. If you’re looking for guidance, feel free to reach out to a Pro Shop Operator. Especially as many centers are not open right now, we are happy to support in other ways. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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2 months ago

MDM Coaching

*LESSONS POSTPONED*

The bowling centers have decided that it's in everyone's best interest to temporarily close. That means that my lessons will be canceled for the time being. When we are back up and running, I'll be prioritizing rescheduling with those impacted during this time.

If you need tips in the meantime, I'm available for virtual coaching and will be posting my pro tips with advice to stay sharp off the lanes. If you have any disposable income, please consider supporting bowlersmart.com as these closures are impacting our staff and we want to be there for you when things reopen. I'd be happy to chat about equipment if you have any questions!

Stay safe and healthy.
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3 months ago

MDM Coaching

At this moment, the bowling centers are still open and lessons are scheduled as planned. However, there are new social distancing policies that should support our health and safety:

*Aloma and Boardwalk will not allow more than half the lanes to be in use at any given time, so you will bowl on one lane of a pair.

*Please minimize guests that join for your lessons so that we don't create a large group.

*If at any point you don't feel well, please cancel the lesson just to be safe. I will not charge a fee for rescheduling at this time, but please consider prepaying for your lesson so we can easily reschedule in the future.

I have also included the link to Florida Health, so you can stay up-to-date on how we are doing: floridahealthcovid19.gov/#latest-stats. Things are changing regularly and I'll keep you posted on any adjustments to my schedule or our operating hours in the future.

If you're stuck at home, let me know any questions you'd like me to cover in a future pro tip!
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3 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: When high fives are high risk

If your league is still bowling, you should find new ways to celebrate good shots to minimize the spread of any germs. Check out the video we made to show you some ideas - not all successful. Stay safe! #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #nohighfives #iambowlersmart
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3 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Practice with a Purpose

Getting better at anything takes practice. But there’s a difference between practicing with repetition vs practicing with a purpose. When you have hit a roadblock in your game, are trying to figure things out, or better understand why a coach told you to do something differently, practicing effectively will greatly improve your game faster than practicing repetitively (and practicing repetitively can reinforce bad habits). Effective practice normally only requires 2-4 games in one session. You will want to break down components of your game to focus on in these sessions. You can do this with drills, non-bowling ball approaches (like using a light weight to focus on technique), using a mirror so you know what you’re doing in the act of motion to the foul line at home, and the list goes on and on. Short and sweet, simple exercises can keep you from fatiguing yourself while building that skill much faster. Bowling a lot of games is really about maintaining endurance more than it is about fine tuning. I don’t recommend practicing for endurance unless you have a long tournament coming up.

When you’re trying to practice effectively, you shouldn’t worry about score and should only be thinking about one thing at a time. One example is if you are working on your pushaway, do your whole approach but don’t worry about where your ball is going off your hand because you’re not focusing on that. Much like working out in a gym, think about the impact. You can do fewer reps with more weight or do less weight with more reps. Both serve a purpose but in different ways. As always, consult a coach on what to work on and check out my past pro tips for ideas. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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3 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Grip Pressure

If you’re having trouble releasing the ball consistently, you might have too much “grip pressure”, which means that you’re squeezing the ball too much. The more competitive you get, the more important how you hold the bowling ball becomes. If somebody squeezes the ball too hard, they will release it differently almost every time. The whole goal in bowling, and any hand coordinated game, is to release the ball consistently and smoothly Therefore, your grip pressure should be very minimal. If you’re used to grabbing, a change to grip pressure could cause you to drop the ball more. You might need to go through several grip changes with your pro shop operator before you get it right.

Why do we squeeze? The majority of bowlers begin with house balls that aren’t fitted for them. People are trained from the beginning to grab the bowling ball. In order to learn to not grip the ball, the proper fit needs to be applied. This can be unsettling because the holes are tighter, and the span might be different. Good indicators that you are grabbing the ball too hard are blisters. You also might be extremely fatigued after a night of bowling because, if you’re grabbing, you’re using a lot more muscle in your upper body, causing you tire out faster. Check your grip pressure with a Pro Shop Operator or a trusted coach. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iabowlersmart #coachedbythemoo #moocrew #moonation
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3 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Short patterns

For the final part of our generalized pattern recommendations, we’re going to talk about short patterns (under 36 ft). The good news is that short patterns normally force you into one part of the lane, like long patterns, so there’s a more straightforward place to start. They often force you play close to the gutter, far away from the pocket. Why is that? The pocket is at the 17.5 board. If you’re near the gutter, you are maximizing the distance that the ball needs to travel to reach the pocket. If it starts moving sooner because the pattern ends earlier on the lane, you need to make sure it doesn’t travel too far and go Brooklyn. Like everything else, there are a plethora of balls, angles, and layouts you can use on short patterns. And they can be very tricky depending on the volume. Short patterns can easily be the lowest scoring in tournaments.

For the last 20+ years, balls have been designed to maximize hook. If there is not enough oil on the lanes, balls become unmanageable on the backend and hook way too much. There are two main mistakes I see people make on short patterns: using urethane at the wrong time and using weak equipment thinking it will give them more control.

Urethane on Short: If there is low volume on a short pattern, urethane is a good choice for some bowlers. It allows you to control the hook front to back on the lanes. Urethane gives you the earliest hook. It doesn’t collect oil but pushes it down the lane. That can make short patterns play longer. If you don’t have a 450 rev rate, urethane probably shouldn’t be in your bag because you will struggle to carry. If you have trouble using urethane because you don’t have a high enough rev rate, you may want to consider a short pin layout because the core will rev up faster and your ball won’t change drastically on the back end (check out this short video on short pin vs urethane from Mo Pinel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YuL-v9fFM4). Unless you’re a 2-handed bowler, and urethane may always be your A-game, I don’t recommend starting with urethane on high volume short patterns.

Weak vs Strong Balls on Short: People often start with weak equipment thinking it will give them more control. Weak and shiny equipment retains energy through the front part of the lane and stores it until the backend. That means your ball will be the most powerful when it’s completely off the pattern, which could make it extremely difficult to manage and do the exact opposite of what you’d hope. You actually want to see your ball slow down as early as possible, so that it is controllable on the backend. If you’re not using urethane or there is high volume, I recommend starting with a strong asymm ball with a low grit coverstock. You’ll likely be more successful with this higher end equipment.

As always, watch what the lane is doing, how your ball is going through the pins, and how others attack the pattern to maximize your success. A million things can affect the conditions and you don’t want to be locked into one plan. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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4 months ago

MDM Coaching

Really proud of Shawn Berry for winning all events at his first tournament in more than 20 years! He's put in a lot of work that resulted in him bowling 20 pins over average all weekend. ...

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4 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Why am I leaving 10 pins?

On an ideal strike, the ball hits four pins total in a ten-pin rack (1,3,5,9 for a righty/1,2,5,8 for a lefty). The reason we leave pocket 8s, 9s, and 10s (7s for lefties) is poor entry angle – either too much or too little. Entry angle is the angle that the bowling ball needs to enter the pocket in order to carry a strike. The USBC has determined that the optimal entry is between 4 and 6 degrees on board 17.5 for a right-handed player.

When a right-handed bowler is talking to me about leaving too many 10 pins (flip this tip to the other side of the rack for a lefty), I normally review entry angle. If your angle is off, the 6-pin will not cooperate and hit the 10-pin in the right way. If you hear people say that the ball is coming up behind the headpin and leaving a lot of 10s, that means that the ball is rolling in to the 3 pin heavier than the 1 pin, knocking the 6 pin a different way, causing it to hit the wall and go around the 10 pin. That kind of pin reaction will result in a ringing 10-pin. Flat 10s are a result of the ball hitting the pocket too straight, causing the 3-pin to throw the 6-pin in front of the 10-pin.

Visualize a fix to this problem: when the ball hits the pocket, you want it to roll in to the 8-pin of a full rack. Pay attention to how your ball hits the pins. If you see your ball drive in to the 8-pin, it will deflect properly and kick out the 10. If your ball is rolling in to the 9-pin at the back of the pin deck, you’ll leave more 10 pins because of lack of or too much entry angle. You need to watch your ball hitting the rack until it leaves the pin deck to understand where it is rolling.

If your ball is entering at the wrong angle, your ball could be too strong, your hand could be on the outside of the ball resulting in too little leverage, or your drilling pattern could cause the ball roll out too quickly. One option is to move left to where the ball won’t hook so early and roll out. While some people like to, I don’t recommend moving up or back on the approach because I think it affects people’s timing too significantly. The fix to the problem is going to be personal and based on a number of factors. The first step in correcting entry angle is to understand how your ball is hitting the pins so that you can adjust from there. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart #bowling #tenpin #stone8
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4 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Skid, Hook, Roll

We'll be back with short pattern play next week - travel made it difficult this week. So we're reviving a pro tip that is very relevant to playing different patterns: ball motion. The terms skid, hook, and roll describe the three phases that the ball goes through after it leaves someone’s hand all the way to when it hits the pins. We’re constantly learning more about the science of ball motion because it’s essential to understanding pin carry. Your ball needs to skid, hook, roll at the right places on the lane in order to knock all of the pins down.

Everyone who bowls is used to leaving 10 pins or 7 pins. Some people think it’s “unlucky” to hit the pocket and leave a corner pin. Usually, it’s a result of the ball not getting in to the three phases correctly. When it comes off your hand, the ball needs to skid from the foul line to about 5 ft past the arrows. Then it should start slowing down and changing direction in the mid-part of the lane (the mids) when it enters the hook phase. Then the ball should roll at the end of the lane and drive through the pocket.

It’s very tricky to see this because the ball is only on the lane for a few seconds. However, it’s essential to train yourself to see these phases to understand how to adjust. If you’re leaving a lot of 10 pins (7s if you’re a lefty), 75% of the time, that’s because your ball didn’t skid enough through the front part of the lane and then it hooked early, rolled early, and lost energy when it hit the pins.

Just as bad, if your ball retains too much energy because it skids too far and hooks later down the lane, you could go through the nose or leave 9 pins (8 pins for a lefty). That’s the definition of “coming up behind the headpin” That’s because your ball can become too angular and change direction too sharply.

To understand ball motion better, you really need to pay attention to the ball all the way through the pins. If you don’t watch how the ball hits the pins, you won’t know why that pocket shot didn’t result in a strike. (You can learn more about why that’s important by looking back at the pro tip on entry angle).

If you are in a tournament or league and you see someone doing well, more likely than not, their ball motion is better than someone else’s. Watch this person to see where their ball is hooking. Conversely, if you see someone struggling, you can observe their ball motion to learn what to avoid. Certain lanes, centers, or conditions require the ball to hook earlier to carry, while others require that it go longer to carry. The chess game of bowling is watching what your bowling ball does and deciding how to use that information. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching
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4 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Medium Oil Patterns

In our second week discussing oil patterns, we’re shifting from the more straightforward long oil patterns that usually force you to keep your angles closer to the headpin, to medium oil patterns that can present a number of different ways to succeed or fail. These are by far the hardest oil patterns to bowl on for one main reason: there is no defined hook spot or angle that you need to play. When it comes to zone patterns (long or short), you’ll normally be in the same part of the lane regardless of volume etc. Medium oil patterns throw those guidelines out the window because a multitude of factors change the way these patterns play. The same exact pattern could and normally does play very differently based on lane surface and oil volume. I have bowled on many patterns that are described as medium that play much longer or much shorter. So, how do we attack an oil pattern that seems to be different every time you bowl on it? We’re not going to talk about layouts, surfaces, or where to bowl, but we’re going to focus on the importance of observation.

Start with a benchmark ball or your favorite ball to get a read. Throw a ball up the gutter, a ball in the track area, and a ball left of the track area (or right of the track if you’re a lefty). You need to watch your ball go down the lane and through the pins. Does it roll out? Does it hook too much? Keep an open mind and don’t try to force something that doesn’t work for your game. On a medium oil pattern, the rule of 31 can still be applied, but in my opinion, it’s just not useful in these scenarios as it is for short or long. It usually does a great job telling you where you might want to start but I sometimes see people be close minded about how patterns should play. If you’re not truly observing your ball, especially on medium patterns, you will struggle more than necessary. Do not get locked in to one plan – it doesn’t always work the way you’d expect. I’ve seen bowlers throw urethane and the strongest ball in the market and both can work.

Be aware that medium patterns are very susceptible to fast changes because everybody is often bowling in different part of the lanes. A lot of people will throw based on what their style and their own observations. Are you struggling to figure out how to adjust? Try watching others bowl. If I’m struggling, I will find the leader or someone else around me bowling well. I’ll see what they are doing and try to do it myself. Stay present, keep an open mind and you’ll be successful. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart #moocrew
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4 months ago

Carlene Walker

I owe a big thanks to Mike Moore for drilling my new ball (Halo Pearl) and for giving me a tip in changing my stance! I bowled one of my best series during the Ladies Anchor Tournament this weekend. A 474 series, is excellent progress with a 128 average. Thanks!! 💪🏼 🎳 ...

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4 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Long Patterns

In the next couple of weeks, we’re going to tackle how to handle different length and volume oil patterns. In general, there a lot of variables that mean that the oil pattern can only serve as reference and a starting point. It’s critical that you observe your actual ball motion to tell you what’s really happening on the lanes. You may also want to talk to other people bowling or observe their ball going down the lane for more information. There are two main variables I recommend understanding when looking at a pattern graph to start: Length and volume. These two variables will likely dictate where you play on the lanes, what balls to throw, and the amount of surface to throw. We’ll first go over length and talk about volume as a secondary factor.

To start off this series, we’ll begin with longer patterns, which are defined as longer than 44ft. However, unless the center is very old and the track is very defined, most long patterns need to be played in the middle of the lane, towards the left, if you’re a right hander. Use the rule of 31 to determine the ideal breakpoint and set your target from there. For example, a 45 ft pattern means that I should subtract 31 from the length, and have my ball exit the pattern on board 14, which is in front of the 3 pin and only a few boards from the pocket. When your ball isn’t able to hook as much as it normally does, you need to play closer to the pocket. That’s because there isn’t as much time between the end of the pattern and the pins for the ball to make a big move. You’ll want to find a zone to start that lets you dry the lanes up and move left from there. If you’re bowling on a longer pattern but the volume isn’t high, you could hook the lanes, but “giving the ball to the right” probably won’t let it get back. While it’s true that there’s usually less hook on long, there’s a big misconception that these patterns mean that your ball will never hook. This will largely depend on the volume of oil and the topography of the lanes. As an example, the Paris pattern is 47 ft but your ball will probably hook early because the total volume is very low, which means you need to watch your ball from the front of the lane to the back and off the pin deck.

Now that you’ve determined your starting target based on length, let’s look at the volume. In my opinion, volume determines surface. If there’s a lot of volume (more than 30 ml), use grit of 500 or 1000, depending on your rev rate. If the volume is lower, you may not need as much as surface. Surface influences how early your ball hooks. If you use too much surface, the ball could hook too early and roll out before driving through the pocket, leaving flat 10s etc.

Longer oil patterns generally mean you should use an asymmetrical ball with a stronger core and solid coverstock to start. If you’re in a medium to low volume pattern, use a hybrid or pearl cover. You want your bowling ball to slow down and roll through the pocket. High performance asymms are usually required on long to make that happen. However, every time a ball goes down the lane, they change. Depending on the volume, you may jump into a strong symm ball later in the day. Many people have different opinions on how to handle oil patterns but we can all agree that the actual lane needs to be your guide. From what I’ve seen, length determines where to play on the lanes, volume determines which ball and surface, but use the system that works best for your game! #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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5 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: 2020 rule changes on weight holes – it’s going to be OK!

Effective August 1st, 2020, the USBC will be changing the rules on static weights and banning weight holes. The goal of this rule change is to limit the impact of the performance of the bowling ball. The purpose of a weight hole is to change the dynamics of the ball’s core. When you put a weight hole in today’s equipment, contrary to what many people believe, it is not to increase or decrease static weights. You can drill two bowling balls exactly the same, except adding a weight hole to one, and they will roll significantly differently down the lane. You can also increase or decrease the hook just by moving the location of the weight hole in the ball.

In my opinion, the reason why USBC is no longer allowing weight holes is to help even the playing field. While they are eliminating weight holes, they are increasing the allowable static weights from 1 oz to 3 oz. This increase will allow you to still drill the bowling ball with the center of gravity moved away from the grip to manipulate the weight block without needing to add a weight hole. However, even if you manipulate the core to shift the weight block away from the grip, you’re not removing a part of the ball and changing the core’s dynamics. So while you can change the way the ball rolls with this drilling, these rules limit your ability to change the ball from its intended purpose.

Whenever I drill a pin down bowling ball (where the top of the core is below my fingers), I add a weight hole. However, none of my pin up equipment has a weight hole. When the pin is lowered or the VAL (Vertical Axis Line) angle is increased, the flare potential decreases so it doesn’t hook very much. By adding a weight hole down by the thumb quadrant, I find that the ball flares more and rolls better. With the new rule change, I foresee that I’ll drill fewer pin down balls for my own game.

My personal take is that bowling balls today are so strong, with the dynamics of the cores and the strength of the coverstocks, that you do not need a weight hole to achieve a good ball roll. I think this rule is a step in the right direction, but I think there are other things that USBC could still address (like lane conditions). If it were completely up to me, I think a better way of going about this is not to worry about ball dynamics and instead focus on lane conditions to even the playing field. If you have equipment with a weight hole now and you still have it by 8/1/2020, you will want to plan on plugging the hole at a local pro shop. That will make it legal for USBC. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart #moocrew
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5 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Goals

New year, new beginning, and time to set new 🎳goals for 2020. It’s very important to put down your goals and recognize what you accomplish. Goal setting doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Here are my recommendations:

🌟Set 4-5 goals throughout the year and individual goals for each tournament

🌟Goals should be a mixture of aspirational and achievable

🌟You shouldn’t be able to achieve all goals within 6 months – push yourself

🌟Focus on mostly performance-based goals that will help you achieve score goals

A performance goal could be something like repeating a shot consistently, spare shooting consistently, or improving swing direction. A score goal might be bowling your highest set or game, raising your average 5 pins, or getting at least a certain standing in a tournament. There are outside variables that you cannot control for score goals so these should not be the only thing that you pay attention to. You can’t control other people’s bowling, pin carry, lane conditions, etc. If you hit your performance goals, your score goals become more achievable.

The first 6 months of the year are usually filled with the state, local, and national association tournaments. Setting a new goal in each tournament is a good way to test yourself year-to-year. One of my personal goals for tournaments this year is to throw the best shots that I can possibly throw, convert all of my makeable spares, stay patient and not get ahead of myself. That’s what I did this past weekend bowling a doubles tournament with Walter Ray Williams 🐐. We won the doubles qualifying, which took us in to singles brackets. I won my first match but lost the second game, even though I bowled a clean 206. My opponent had better ball reaction. I didn’t win the overall tournament but I did meet my other goals.

I recommend talking to a coach about your goals to see if they seem right. What are you hoping to do in 2020? #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #moocrew #iambowlersmart
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5 months ago

MDM Coaching

Great bowling Shawn Parisi ! ...

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5 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Mass Bias

The mass bias on a bowling ball is also known as the PSA – Preferred Spin Axis. I’ll use those terms interchangeably. The first ball with a mass bias came out in the early 90s (Comment below if you know the name!) Ball manufacturers figured out that if you change the shape of the weight block and make it asymmetrical, you can increase the overall hook of a bowling ball. You can learn more about different core shapes in a previous pro tip. This technology has been around a long time but we have only really understood its impact on ball roll recently.

Mass bias is the way we understand if a core is asymmetrical. It means that the mass of the ball is not directly under the Center of Gravity (CG). The PSA on an asymm ball is 6 and ¾ inches away from the pin, normally drawing a line between the pin and the CG. If you measure from the pin to the CG, you will find the PSA. It’s important that ball manufacturers started to indicate the PSA because where that axis is placed in relation to your PAP dramatically changes your ball’s motion on the lane.

When you drill bowling balls with asymmetrical weight blocks, it is just as important to know where the PSA will be placed as your pin to PAP distance. When you’re laying out a bowling ball, on the dual angle system designed by Mo Pinel, the mass bias is the first angle. Left to right from your thumb hole, is a good indication of how early or long the ball is going to go before hooking on the lane. If the PSA is way out to the right of the thumb hole, is an indicator of early hook on the lane. Vice versa, if the mass bias is near the thumb or drilled in to the thumb, your bowling ball will go quite a bit longer before it starts hooking.

Every time a ball is drilled, each hole should hit the weight block on the ball. So even symmetrical cores become asymmetrical after being drilled. But when it comes to drilling an asymmetrical bowling ball, you have a third variable to consider how to create the best ball motion. Mass bias numbers range just as much as the other numbers we discussed before like RG and Diff. Weaker mass bias is .08 - .011, medium is .012 - .016, and strong is.017 - .021. The numbers indicate how strong a weight block is and how much a ball will hook. You can see that these asymmetrical bowling balls are much more sensitive to drilling patterns. Therefore, you really have to have a PSO that understands this technology because you can affect a bowling ball’s roll negatively if you drill without understanding the variables. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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5 months ago

MDM Coaching

Happy new year! What are your bowling resolutions this year? ...

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5 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Ball Behind Head

One of the most important things that I evaluate as a coach is where the bowling ball is at the top of the person’s swing in relation to the bowler’s head. Ideally, the best spot for a ball to be is behind your head in both the upswing and downswing. There is an imaginary line called the “line of play” that starts with the pushaway, goes through the backswing, and back through the release. The reason why it’s important to have a straighter line of play is that for every little bit that your bowling ball is not behind your head, you have to compensate and redirect your swing back into the line of play in order to hit your target. This requires some muscle, which can become a liability, possible injury or simply poor mechanics that wear you out.

A lot of bowlers, even good bowlers, develop their game based on compensations but we need minimize them. One of the biggest challenges I personally have is getting the ball too far outside my body, creating too large of a figure 8 loop. If my ball gets too far on the outside, I have a tendency to pull it or my hand gets on the outside, I have very little tilt, and my ball doesn’t roll well. I constantly work on feeling like the bowling ball and my swing go behind my back. What’s more common is people who pull the ball inside their head or behind their back too much. This swing can cause the chicken wing or ball going around their body in the downswing. Both of these tendencies aren’t good.

In order to manage your line of play, you have to put yourself on video. If you’re too far right or left, I recommend drills that make you feel like you’re doing the opposite of what is natural. Since my ball goes too outside, I push to the right and feel it going behind my back. That gets me to straighter, even though it feels unnatural. As always, time with a qualified coach can be very beneficial. This is one of the hardest things to correct but can be very impactful to people’s games. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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5 months ago

MDM Coaching

Two years ago today we started Pro Tip Friday! MDM coaching now has over 2,000 followers, often reaching more than 30,000 people, thanks to your shares. Enjoy this outtake from where it all started at Colonial Lanes and let me know what we haven't covered that you'd like to know more about in the comments! 👇 #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart #useyourhandsnotyourfeet #bowlernotsoccerplayer ...

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5 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Grip Pressure

If you’re having trouble releasing the ball consistently, you might have too much “grip pressure”, which means that you’re squeezing the ball too much. The more competitive you get, the more important how you hold the bowling ball becomes. If somebody squeezes the ball too hard, they will release it differently almost every time. The whole goal in bowling, and any hand coordinated game, is to release the ball consistently and smoothly Therefore, your grip pressure should be very minimal. If you’re used to grabbing, a change to grip pressure could cause you to drop the ball more. You might need to go through several grip changes with your pro shop operator before you get it right.

Why do we squeeze? The majority of bowlers begin with house balls that aren’t fitted for them. People are trained from the beginning to grab the bowling ball. In order to learn to not grip the ball, the proper fit needs to be applied. This can be unsettling because the holes are tighter, and the span might be different. Good indicators that you are grabbing the ball too hard are blisters. You also might be extremely fatigued after a night of bowling because, if you’re grabbing, you’re using a lot more muscle in your upper body, causing you tire out faster. Check your grip pressure with a Pro Shop Operator or a trusted coach. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iabowlersmart #coachedbythemoo #moocrew #moonation
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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Looking for last minute gifts for the bowler in your life? Purchase a coaching session for a friend, loved one, or yourself! A gift certificate for a one hour session is $65 and completely tailored to that individuals needs. It can be scheduled at their convenience any available time slot in the next year at Aloma or Boardwalk. Discounts for youth bowlers and larger packages also available. Stop by the shop or message me to get one! #mdmcoaching #bowling #holidayshopping #moocrew #coachedbythemoo #moonation ...

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6 months ago

Papa Mike La Fountain

I was referred to Mike by Mike Demole. One of the best bowling decisions I’ve made in many years. His approach to drilling my balls wasn’t anything I’ve experienced before. I now have three balls drilled the same, fit the same but all set up to do something different. Mike has helped me find my passion for bowling again. Also, the two small tips helped as well. Thanks again to a true professional and class act. ...

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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Look farther down the lane

In my lessons, I always ask people what they look at on the lane. 90% of the time, it’s at the arrows. Looking at the arrows may not be serving your game as well as you think, especially as the ball should be changing direction at the end of the pattern.

1) The arrows have been the main target for many bowlers for years. This worked well in the past when lanes were oiled 25-30 ft for a house shot. Your ball hooked a lot earlier than it does today.
2) Today’s lanes are oiled until almost 40 ft, which is much longer. The problem with having your focal part much earlier than the break point is that you might hit your target but not have the ball leave the pattern in an optimal place. You can hit the arrow at left, center, right, you might be accomplishing your goal. Down at 40 ft, your ball could be in a completely different spot.

So what should you look at? I’d recommend that your focal point is down lane at a pin or a range finder. This should make things a lot simpler because a lot of people hit their target at the arrows but miss down the lane. You need to create a line with 3 points that shows a path to consistently hit that target further down the lane where the oil pattern ends, starting at your feet (check out my earlier pro tip on targeting, based on kegel’s system). If the oil pattern is shorter, consider moving your eyes a little closer to the arrows. If you don’t want to change your focal point, make sure you have an awareness of what’s happening when the oil pattern ends so you can observe your ball path and motion. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Congrats Allison!So happy to be on the all city team with so many incredible women. It was amazing to celebrate with these awesome people and to bowl a no tap 300! Thanks to MDM Coaching for all of the support so far. ...

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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Words don't describe how much I love my bowling community. This I was recognized at the Orlando Youth City Award Ceremony for my accomplishments and how I've impacted the bowling community in the Orlando area. The presentation was honestly something I wasn't expecting and I am so humbled that everyone put so much effort into making it. I don't look at myself any different than a coach on Saturday mornings or any other person in a pro shop or any of the members on the Orlando board. All I want to do is grow the sport and do my job to the best of my ability. Check out the video because I can't even put into words how this all feels.

I do not have the rights to the music.
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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Words don't describe how much I love my bowling community. This weekend, I was recognized at the Orlando Youth City Award Ceremony for my accomplishments and how I've impacted the bowling community in the Orlando area. The presentation was honestly something I wasn't expecting and I am so humbled that everyone put so much effort into making it. I don't look at myself any different than a coach on Saturday mornings or any other person in a pro shop or any of the members on the Orlando board. All I want to do is grow the sport and do my job to the best of my ability. Check out the video because I can't even put into words how this all feels. ...

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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Words don't describe how much I love my bowling community. Yesterday I was recognized at the Orlando Youth City Award Ceremony for my accomplishments and how I've impacted the bowling community in the Orlando area. The presentation was honestly something I wasn't expecting and I am so humbled that everyone put so much effort into making it. I don't look at myself any different than a coach on Saturday mornings or any other person in a pro shop or any of the members on the Orlando board. All I want to do is grow the sport and do my job to the best of my ability. Check out the video because I can't even put into words how this all feels.

I do not have the rights to this song.
...

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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Awesome bowling! ...

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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Launch Angle

Launch Angle in bowling is the angle of your bowling ball coming off your hand on to the lane. This angle is often determined by the target you’re looking at. This topic references back to one of my older pro tips about targeting, where I had three balls on the lane showing a targeting system that creates a straight line. When people are thinking about their angle off their hands, their targets are often wide. People stand too left and look too far right, creating a wider a launch angle than they need. That can result in over hooking, under hooking, and wet dry conditions becoming more extreme. If your angles are more open than you need, you have to manufacture and muscle the swing to keep the ball in line of play. If your angle is too straight, the ball might hook too early. There is a window you want to shoot for – you don’t want too much or too little.

So how should you think about your launch angle? From the foul line to the arrows, your feet to your target probably don’t need to be more than a few degrees of angle to your target. If you’re sliding at 20, your target at the arrows should probably be 14-16. If you’re standing on 20 and looking at second arrow, that angle is likely too steep. The best way to really see if the ball is coming off your hand too steep is to take a video and watch how quickly the ball is going to the right or left. As always, I’d recommend an extra set of eyes from a qualified coach to help evaluate your angle. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart #moocrew #moonation
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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

If you want to support Small Business Saturday by getting a coaching gift certificate or booking a lesson yourself, use the "Book Now" link, send me a message here, or comment and I'll be in touch on Monday after I'm done bowling the Make It Reign Challenge this weekend. Every time you buy coaching or share my pro tips, you're supporting my small business and I'm very grateful for it. It helps me do what I love and give back the sport that has given so much to me. #shopsmall #mdmcoaching #moocrew #moonation ...

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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: PBA Regional Insights

This past weekend, I bowled the PBA South Regional Member/Non-Member event with Shawn Naumann. We took second place, after 8 games of qualifying Saturday and 10 games of baker match play Sunday before hitting the stepladder finals. We won our first two matches but lost the final to Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Josh Johnson. When you are bowling in an event like a PBA regional, it can be a grind both mentally and physically. It’s very important to be prepared:

🎳 Practice: You need to practice in advance – I bowled every day the week leading up to the event.

🎳 Equipment: come in with proper surface preparations and layouts. PBA events give you the opportunity to bring an unlimited amount of balls, which can be just as hurtful as helpful. I personally brought 9 balls into the tournament but only ended up using 3. After a few games of practice, you probably know what will work.

🎳 Managing your Mental Game: The main thing about a long format tournament is to not have too many highs and too many lows. If you throw a bad shot or have a bad game, you can’t be too hard on yourself. If you get too excited, you could get your adrenaline going too much. Match play was a unique format due to baker. Years prior were 10-pin doubles games. This year was all team handicap on Sunday. One bowler bowls the odd frames, and the other bowls even. I bowled even frames to finish the tenth. I had to have my head in the game enough to understand my ball reaction and make decisions about who bowls when. My ball reaction dropped off, so we switched, and Shawn finished the games at the end. That was a good decision.

PBA regionals can be very intimidating, especially if you don’t bowl them very often. If you decide to bowl a tournament of this caliber, the best thing to do to lower the intimidation factor is to be prepared. It’s not a show up and hope for the best situation. If you’re about to bowl your first one, talk to someone who does this often and pick their brain. When you’re unprepared, the situations become exponentially worse, especially when you might bowl against guys who have been on tv, hall of famers, and other titlists. Remember that at the end of the day, it’s still bowling. It’s 10 pins, a lane, and an oil pattern. The greatest enemy is going to be yourself. If you’re not prepared, you can’t fix that in that middle. Control what you can. Don’t dwell on it – even if it’s good. Just bowl. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart #moocrew #moonation #pba
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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful for your support of my small business and wish every one of my followers lots of turkeys! ...

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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Maximize your Black Friday shopping by purchasing a coaching session for a friend, loved one, or yourself! One hour session gift certificates for $65 and larger packages available. Stop by the shop or message me to get one! #mdmcoaching #bowling #holidayshopping #moocrew #coachedbythemoo #moonation ...

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6 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Walking Straight? Bowlers have always thought that walking towards their target was the right thing to do. The problem is that if you walk towards your target (for a right-hander, it’s normally to your right), you’re essentially walking in front of your swing. If you walk in front of your swing, two things will happen 1) you’ll hit your leg or ankle or 2) your elbow has to come out away from your shoulder so you do not hit yourself. In the video on top, you can see that my leg is clearly in the way of my swing. It can cause direction problems, inaccuracies, release problems, and generally results in poor execution.

You can’t consistently hit a target by walking right (this tip is written about right-handed bowlers, but please reverse this if you are left-handed). 80% of people that I help walk right, so this is one of the top three things that I look at when I meet somebody. I see where they start and where they end. If they end right of their start, we work on that immediately. No professional bowler that you see on TV or bowls for a living walks to the right: they drift left now.

In order to deliver a “straight” and ”proper” arm swing, you need to drift left away from your target to get your leg out of the way. That means that in a five-step approach, your even steps must walk in front of your left foot for a crossover step that helps achieve the balance beam technique. When you’re working on this, you want to end anywhere from 1-5 boards left of your start. When you’re practicing this, put a piece a tape on the board that you are starting on. Then put a piece of tape on the board 3-5 left so you can more easily visualize your path. An important note is that as a right-hander, you should be lining your targeting system up with your left foot because that’s the foot you end on. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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7 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: More hook with less effort
If you look at your bowling ball as the earth, the middle of your grip all the way around is the equator. Your fingers should be close to or under the equator of the ball at the point of release. This position creates proper leverage. Because your hand is facing your target, it also supports a more consistent release towards it. The professionals work the inside of the ball this way to create maximum leverage with minimal effort. When your hand is on the outside of the bowling ball, you have “less ball” to create power. If you want to increase rev rate without muscling, your hand needs to behind and under the bowling ball at the point of release.

I’ve noticed that a lot of bowlers who average between 150 and 190 have their hand on the outside of the ball. Because their hand is coming out of the ball prematurely, they hang up, stick, or grab. A lot of times when I’m working with students who are struggling to understand what I’m talking about, I’ll do drills. First, I tell them to start at the ball return and envision using their hand to throw a back-up ball. 90% of the time after they are done with this drill, their hand is in the proper leveraged position. Next, I’ll have them throw a back up ball at the line with a no-step or one-step drill to reinforce the right position.

Be careful if you do these drills because it is easy to grab the ball, which could lead to injury. I’d recommend starting slow and easy and working your way up. Sometimes, I’ll have my students do the ball return drill without even having their thumb in the ball. If you have tried this for 3-4 weeks and you’re not getting results, focus on staying behind the ball with your fingers under the equator. I always recommend working with an experienced coach when you’re trying to change something and that’s especially true if you have physical concerns. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart #bowling
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7 months ago

MDM Coaching

Great bowling, Kyle! This is the first of many sanctioned 700s. ...

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7 months ago

MDM Coaching

Proud of my friend and student Robert Frank Mitchell for his first 300 as an adult and his new high series of 770! Great bowling! #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart ...

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7 months ago

MDM Coaching

Coaching is a hard job. People want instant results but real progress often takes time - and a lot of practice. I had the privilege of seeing many years of hard work pay off this week for two of my long time students - Jevanine Zepeda and Jordan Walker - at the Florida High School Athletic Association state tournament. It took strong performances from both of them in districts to even qualify for states, and many games to make it through the tournament (individual or team qualifying then match play). Despite this pressure, Jordan bowled great and won her first match! Jev shot her highest game ever and qualified 4th! I couldn't be prouder of how these young women showed up when it mattered and bowled exceptionally well. They have worked so hard and I can't wait to see them achieve their next goals. #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart ...

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7 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Fingertip vs Conventional Fit

There are two general types of bowling ball fittings: conventional and fingertip. Almost every beginner bowler starts with conventional because 1) it gets their fingers deeper in the bowling ball, so they have more control over it to begin with 2) it allows them to hone their fundamentals: footwork, follow-through, and hitting a target. Conventional grip is closer to a house ball except that the holes are tighter and fitted to their hand. If you want to determine if your bowling ball is fitted conventionally, the key difference is that your middle finger and ring finger will go all the way to the second set of knuckles. This will give you very little to no hook on the bowling ball because you do not have separation time from your thumb and fingers coming out. On a conventional ball, your fingers are coming out closer to the same time as your thumb, limiting rotation.

So what about fingertip? It’s predominately used for when people want to step up their game and learn how to hook the bowling ball. It allows the bowling ball to curve at the pin at an angle to knock more pins down. Fingertip bowling is more common among league and tournament bowlers. We usually do this later, as it’s more advantageous to learn how to throw a hook ball after you’ve got your fundamentals down. The fitting of the fingertip style bowling is pretty straightforward, your fingers only go down to the first set of knuckles, allowing them to stay in the ball longer. When your hand is more spread out, you will create more rotation and leverage because your thumb will come out earlier than your fingers.

Of course, there are exceptions to these rules in fitting styles. Not everybody fits the mold. One example is two-handed bowlers. For them, I personally try to fit two-handed bowlers who want to progress in a conventional style because it allows the bowler to roll the ball on to their wrist and support it more easily. Look at the people who have been successful: Jason Belmonte and Osku Palermo both have conventional grips. However, some two-handed bowlers have fingertip grip, like Kyle Troup. Everyone is different. Another type of fitting is Sarge Easter, which is a hybrid of conventional and fingertip grip. I only recommend it on injured hands. If you’re learning to hook the ball but have an injury, this might be the right approach. It means that the ring finger is conventional but middle finger is fingertip. It alleviates pressure on the hand in some cases depending on the injury.

To determine what you are comfortable with, I suggest trying different fittings as long as they won’t affect your hand or cause injury. If you’re a traditional bowler who wants to look to hook the ball, I generally suggest fingertip. This is very unique to each individual and having a relationship with your PSO is incredibly important in being able to get the right fit. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart #bowling
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7 months ago

MDM Coaching

Congratulations Jordan Walker on her new high series: 716! Awesome bowling! ...

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7 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Pulling Down

An ideal swing is an efficient swing. A lot of times, I see people force the bowling ball in to a spot on to the lane and miss their target. This is a very common tendency. What ends up happening is that they grab the ball at the top of the swing and pull it down from there, also known as a steep swing. Why is that bad? Your hand locks up in the ball more and you end up decelerating out of it. When you muscle your swing in this way, you might feel like you’re throwing it faster but you can’t create the same speed with your arm as you will with momentum from gravity, especially when you disrupt the flow. In addition to losing efficiency, injuries can happen because of this – tendinitis, blisters on your thumb, forearm soreness.

How do you know if you’re doing this? If, over time, the bowling ball feels heavier than when you first started bowling that day, it’s an indication that you’re using the muscles in your arms vs momentum. Another indication is that your bowling ball could be hooking in different parts of the lane. An example is if you feel like you threw a really good ball but it’s not reacting the same. It could be because the ball goes in to the lane at a steeper angle off your hand, causing the ball to hook early or roll out. Another indication is that your shoulder could be hurting after bowling. People who normally pull the ball down from the top use their shoulder too much, which can cause soreness.

If you feel like you are one of these people who pull the ball down, there are a number of drills that you can do to work on it. One of my favorite drills is a set-up swing drill. Basically, when you’re in your set-up, before you take your first step, you want to push the ball out as far as possible, then let gravity take the ball, and let the weight of your ball swing your arm. Do this 2-3 times, then set up and go without thinking too much. You don’t want to try to lower your swing. You don’t want to try to muscle anything in this drill.

As always, there’s no replacement for good help. I recommend getting time with a qualified coach to help you assess if you’re pulling the ball down and how to fix it. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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7 months ago

MDM Coaching

Another district champ - very proud to be your coach Jordan Walker! ...

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7 months ago

MDM Coaching

Congrats MJ! Proud to be your coach and ball driller!Isabella Pohl & Marvin Estor 🎳 boys & girls district individual champs! ...

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7 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Are you far enough left?

When you are bowling on a typical house shot or league pattern, the oil on the lane is going to change throughout the night because today's equipment absorbs oil. Bowling has become a game of adjustments to keep the ball in the pocket. One big variable that I see is that people usually don’t move their feet fast enough during league. Typical leagues consist of 4-person teams. Therefore, 7 other people are bowling on your pair, usually throwing aggressive equipment that changes the oil fast. Every house pattern has oil in the middle of the lane and it’s dry on the outside. If you start striking and the lanes change and you don’t move your feet fast enough, the ball hooks too early, gets in to the dry fast, and your ball “burns up” and doesn’t hit the pins hard enough. The most common leave that I start seeing when that happens is a 10 pin. A lot of times that means that your ball is losing axis rotation and rolling off the pin deck over the 9-pin. Another thing that can happen is that your miss area shrinks, so a ball slightly off target will react more strongly than you expect. A big reason for that is that you are not far enough left on the lane and you’re no longer in the oil.

If you move left, there is usually more oil in the front part of the lane so your ball can go through the 3 phases of ball motion. Moving into fresher oil and creating more angle for the ball to retain energy may mean that you should slow your ball speed down to give the ball time to react. You also want to consider shifting your eyes left. When you’re moving into more oil, if you look at the same target, your ball will hit the right faster, which defeats the purpose of that adjustment. One note is that a lot of people misread their ball reaction and it seems like the lanes are getting oilier as the night goes on or that they need to move right if the ball is not getting to the pocket the same way. No lanes get oilier as the night goes on. When you’re seeing your ball start to leave corner pins as it hits the pocket after you had been striking, you should assume burning up and you need to move left into more oil. You should also consider whether it’s worth starting your night further left so you need to make fewer moves. For more info, check out previous pro tips on the phases of ball motion. Note that lefties should switch these notes and consider moving right and this general guidance doesn’t apply to other oil patterns that dictate adjusting differently. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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8 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Slumps

When you’re playing a game that requires a lot of coordination, you’re going to fall into a dreaded slump at some point. My definition of a slump is finding that you aren’t doing as well as you used to do (just a few weeks or months ago) over the course a few sessions. When you feel like you’re in a slump, there’s a couple things that you need to do. First, remind yourself that it’s not going to last forever and that there are ways to get out of it. Extreme frustration prolongs a slump. Every professional and elite level bowler has experienced numerous slumps. They aren’t the end of the world – but it’s worth knowing that they are easy to fall in to and hard to get out of. How do you get out of it? 1) practicing more 2) practicing with a purpose (look at last week’s pro tip) or 3) taking a week or two off to recharge your batteries because you could be burned out.

My preferred way to get out of a slump is by practicing with a purpose. Because there are a number of things that could cause a slump (maybe a grip change, lack of bowling, trying a different technique, or something completely unrelated that has you distracted from your game), you may need a lesson with a certified coach to get a second pair of eyes on what’s going on. You could also use video to analyze yourself and decide what to work on. As I’m working through things, I try to tell myself that it will be a little better the next day because bowling is about a repetitive motion. There is no standard for how long this will last – could be weeks or months – and will depend on your situation. It won’t get better if you don’t get your head back in the game, so start there. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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8 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Practice with a Purpose

Getting better at anything takes practice. But there’s a difference between practicing with repetition vs practicing with a purpose. When you have hit a roadblock in your game, are trying to figure things out, or better understand why a coach told you to do something differently, practicing effectively will greatly improve your game faster than practicing repetitively (and practicing repetitively can reinforce bad habits). Effective practice normally only requires 2-4 games in one session. You will want to break down components of your game to focus on in these sessions. You can do this with drills, non-bowling ball approaches (like using a light weight to focus on technique), using a mirror so you know what you’re doing in the act of motion to the foul line at home, and the list goes on and on. Short and sweet, simple exercises can keep you from fatiguing yourself while building that skill much faster. Bowling a lot of games is really about maintaining endurance more than it is about fine tuning. I don’t recommend practicing for endurance unless you have a long tournament coming up.

When you’re trying to practice effectively, you shouldn’t worry about score and should only be thinking about one thing at a time. One example is if you are working on your pushaway, do your whole approach but don’t worry about where your ball is going off your hand because you’re not focusing on that. Much like working out in a gym, think about the impact. You can do fewer reps with more weight or do less weight with more reps. Both serve a purpose but in different ways. As always, consult a coach on what to work on and check out my past pro tips for ideas. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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8 months ago

MDM Coaching

Great bowling Makoto! ...

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8 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Interchangeable Thumbs

When you are getting in to bowling more heavily and building an arsenal, one of the biggest variables for your release is having a consistent thumb hole. Interchangeable thumbs were introduced 25 years ago and were revolutionary. They provide even more consistency than the thumb slugs that we recently reviewed because you can make one thumb hole that fits every bowling ball that you buy. There are a couple of systems that grip companies have developed. One is a tab system with a lock at the bottom. Another has a screw-in type like a bottle cap. These companies have perfected their systems over time. If you are a feel bowler and you need the thumb to be exactly the same from ball to ball, it’s highly recommended to invest into one of these systems.

If your thumb changes, you can have multiple interchangeable thumbs with different sizes vs using tape to get the feeling just right. I’ve seen people have 5-6 different thumbs. The only downside to consider with these products is that they are made out of plastic, which can wear out. USBC rules say everything has to be made out of something non-metallic, which means it’s less durable than something made with metal. Costs for these systems can vary. If you end up investing in this product, go to a qualified Pro Shop Operator who is experienced in installing them. If they are installed incorrectly, you’ll have issues getting the insert in and out, locking it, or breaking it due to excessive force, so do your research. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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8 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Dual Angle Layouts

After your PSO has watched you bowl, found your PAP (positive axis point), and you’ve chosen a bowling ball to drill, the next step is to drill that high-performance bowling ball. It’s not as easy as it sounds. There are many methods to drilling a bowling ball today but the most popular one is a layout system that Mo Pinel created called the “Dual Angle” System. Once learned, it is a very simple way of understanding of how to fine tune your ball roll with specific layouts. The layout can change the ball’s roll but not its fundamental characteristics. This becomes important to understand when you start building an arsenal for yourself (3 or more bowling balls), as an avid league bowler in different places or different tournaments. If you have one ball at one center and you’re happy with that, drilling patterns won’t be as much of a factor. If you want multiple reactions from your equipment, you should take an interest in this process.

In the pictures, you’ll see bolded out angles on two of my personal bowling balls. These angles describe what shape the ball will have on the lane. Without getting too technical, because this isn’t a Pro Shop Operator Tip, I’ll briefly review the three components to the dual angle system – the Drill angle, the Pin to Positive Axis Point (PAP) distance, and the Vertical Axis Line (VAL) angle.

Drill Angle:
The drill angle is where the weight block is going to be shifted left or right when you’re looking at the bowling ball from pin to CG to mass bias. The drill angle basically tells you how early you want the ball to start rolling. The smaller the drill angle, the more right (left for a lefty) the core will be shifted from your grip, which creates an earlier roll.

Pin to PAP:
This determines how much overall flare you want on the bowling ball. Flare is the oil rings when you roll the ball down the lane and see the track. When you drill a strong pin to PAP distance, the track flare is much wider, so the track marks are much further away from each other. 3 and 3/8 to 5 inches is considered a strong pin to PAP distance, depending on a person’s rev rate. You want to take in to account how much rev rate a person has because if a person has a high rev rate, they won’t need a very strong pin to PAP distance.

VAL Angle:
Vertical Axis Line, in my opinion this is probably the most important factor when laying out a bowling ball. The VAL angle basically moves the weight block up and down on the bowling ball in relation to your grip. If you have a smaller VAL angle, your pin will normally be above your fingers. 30-45 degrees is normally a pin up VAL angle. A bigger VAL angle of 65 – 90+ degrees is going to be pin down drilling. What this determines is how is the ball going to react at its break point. A smaller VAL angle makes the bowling ball transition from the hook phase to the roll phase faster or “snap” when it hits the break point. As you would think, a larger VAL angle is going to be a smoother transition when it hits the break point. The reason why this is very important is if you drill a bowling ball for lane conditions that are not ideal for the VAL angle to react right (as an example, if you drill a bowling ball for a specific pattern like heavy or long, drilling a large VAL angle on the bowling ball means that your ball won’t change direction quickly and you’ll have poor pin carry).

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule but the drilling patterns in a dual angle system are about FINE TUNING the bowling ball’s characteristics. If you drill a super strong asymm sanded bowling ball with a nature to roll smoothly, like a Hammer Statement Solid, to transition quicker, it will transition a little quicker but it still won’t be as dramatic as if you drilled a Columbia 300 Black Chaos to transition quickly. Even if you drill them the same way, the second ball will change direction stronger down lane because of the characteristics of the ball. I highly recommend working with your Pro Shop Operator on your layouts and making sure he or she can watch you bowl. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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8 months ago

MDM Coaching

Great bowling Michelle! ...

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8 months ago

MDM Coaching

The Facebook appointment tool is showing my availability incorrectly. Please message me, call, or stop by to schedule a lesson until this is fixed! ...

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8 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Thumb Slugs

How your thumb comes out of the ball is crucial to the consistency and repeat shot making for both amateurs and professionals. When you are trying to achieve a goal in bowling, you want to make sure that your hand is in a position to release the ball correctly. Certain accessories come in to play to support a consistent release. One tool for this is using a thumb insert or slug. Thumb slugs are made from a urethane-based material that PSOs can drill in to when they are installed in the ball. The reason we’d recommend something like this is because the bowling ball material is inconsistent for your thumb. Most performance bowling balls made today have a shell material, filler material that is chalky, and a core that is very dense. Every time a thumb hole is drilled, you are drilling into these different materials. A thumb slug eliminates the inconsistency of the material, so your thumb is only touching that urethane from top to bottom. There are other thumb insert products that pro shops can and will use, like pre-drilled vinyl inserts. I personally prefer urethane slugs because they are a smoother material and vinyl can get sticky and soft. Everyone will have a different preference here though and that’s ok as long you can get that consistent feeling. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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9 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Getting in a Ready Position

In today’s modern bowling game that requires more power and rotation, you want to get your body started in an athletic position. It is a good idea to start on the approach with your weight shifted more towards the balls of your feet or even your toes. When you have your weight on your toes or the balls of your feet, it shifts you in to “ready and go”. When you put your weight on your heels, your stance may be too far back, which can cause you to slow your feet down too much. You want to imagine yourself as a swimmer on a block getting ready to race. When you take your first step, you should have a feeling of your feet behind your body to maintain a quicker pace. You don’t want to get into a habit of running, but you do want to get your ball in your swing relatively fast, so your rhythm is naturally quick.

As with every tip, everybody is different. I recommend consulting a qualified coach for the best approach to your game. Proper coaching can help you reach your goals safely. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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9 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Keep your shoulder calm

When you’re struggling with hitting your target, getting consistent rotation and rev rate on the bowling ball, and find yourself elbowing it, you may be over rotating your shoulder at the point of release. When your shoulders over rotate, your hand and elbow are allowed to rotate around the ball horizontally vs vertically. In other words, if your shoulder rotates too much, your arm is acting like a carousel vs a ferris wheel. When I’m giving lessons and see somebody do this it is an immediate red flag for me to start working to try to keep the shoulder calmer. Correcting this can provide a significant boost to performance.

If you’re not sure if you over rotate your shoulder, an easy way to find out is by taking a video of yourself from the side. Over rotation of the shoulder simply means that the bowling shoulder is moving in front of the non-bowling shoulder at the point of release (you can see that in my video here). If your bowling shoulder is too far ahead of your non-bowling shoulder, it is much easier for you to get your hand on the side of the ball and lose the direction of the ball path at the point of release. Keeping your shoulders calmer will also allow you to stay more balanced at the line because your upper body is not moving as much.

If you struggle with this and you need to learn how to correct your shoulders, a good practice drill is one at the foul line. Get in your finish position with your balance arm out while you’re swinging the bowling ball. You want to feel like your balance shoulder and arm are slightly ahead and in front of your bowling shoulder when you release the ball. If you do this correctly, it will be much easier to keep your right shoulder stable. You will see more rotation and your ball will be on the right path that you’re trying to target. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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9 months ago

MDM Coaching

Lili30 mins is not long enough for a lesson this was an hour into a lesson and finally started to look more consistent and have more flow. 🤞🏻 Hopefully keep climbing up, still have a few more tournaments coming up this year. Let’s do this!! ...

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9 months ago

Lili Stajic

30 mins is not long enough for a lesson this was an hour into a lesson and finally started to look more consistent and have more flow. 🤞🏻 Hopefully keep climbing up, still have a few more tournaments coming up this year. Let’s do this!! ...

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9 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Getting Ready for League

I'm republishing this pro tip from last year to help you prep for this season. Fall league bowling starts back up at the end of August and beginning of September. If you’ve taken the summer off, you probably have some things to do in preparation for a 36-week season. There are two main areas to think about: practice and equipment.

Practice: I recommend trying to simulate league conditions in practice to get back in to the swing of things. For example, if you’re going to do 6 games a week for league, start practicing that amount now to get used to it. If you break it up over multiple days, like you will in league, that’s even better to get your hand used to throwing a ball every week. It’s always good to practice with other people if you’re bowling in a league. Get your team back together if it’s possible. If not, I recommend trying to bowl with multiple people just to get the right pace. If you bowl alone, you’ll probably bowl much faster.

If you’ve been practicing for a few weeks but you feel like you’re in a slump, consider a 30-minute to 1-hour session with a coach to work on your timing and rhythm.

Equipment: If your equipment has been sitting for 2 months, you should do maintenance. If you’re throwing your performance hooking bowling ball, it’s a good idea to get it resurfaced and/or detoxed to get it ready. If you have an older ball or are looking for an upgrade, now is the right time to talk to your Pro Shop Operator, so that you have time to practice with it before league.

Any questions? Just ask. Your pro shop operators and coaches are here to help! Have a safe and happy holiday weekend - hopefully out of the storm path! #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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9 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Picking the right league

Summertime is winding down and winter league is about to start. There are factors that you should consider when choosing the right league – mainly around the level of competitiveness and challenge you want to get in to. We’re going to start with the youth leagues first for the kids. Most bowling centers have a Saturday morning youth league that is fairly cheap. It’s a fun environment to get kids in to bowling. There are some competitive bowlers that may help drive competition, but this is mostly for the recreational youth bowler that wants to have fun with their peers. Another league to consider, if it’s offered, is a Junior Gold sport league. Many of these leagues are popping up because youth bowling is expanding more than it has in the past 20 years. These leagues offer something very challenging for kids because they put out USBC sport compliant patterns that basically change the playing field on the lane. These conditions allow youth bowlers to understand what it means to be a better bowler – sport patterns don’t reward physical mistakes the way that house shots might.

For adults, there are basically two types of leagues: recreational and competitive. A recreational league is a social time to get out of the house. You’ll see some competitive bowlers that average over 200 and others who average 130. The 130 average bowlers are usually happy with that – they want to have a couple of beers and get out of the house. Weekly dues are often less than more competitive leagues. There isn’t pressure to bowl well – it’s just there to have a good time. If your main goal is to have fun, this could be the perfect league. Competitive leagues are almost the opposite of recreational leagues. Most of these leagues have a higher prize fund with dues that are usually north of $20 a week. Therefore, some people take these leagues more seriously. These are usually on a house a pattern but scores tend to be higher due to the competitive nature. People want to do better to win points and money while having fun and socializing. If you’ve been bowling in a recreational league for a long time and feel like you’ve plateaued, you may want to consider a more competitive league. You can get better by bowling with better people. You may find that you have more drive because of the atmosphere.

How do you find out if a league is recreational or competitive? Ask your house league secretary or take a look at the dues – they could be an indication of the prize fund and intensity. Good luck this season! #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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10 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Adjusting Speed

Ball speed is one of the most important adjustments that any bowler needs to make because lane conditions are constantly changing. Everyone should work on being able to change speeds with consistency but it’s a must for a top level league or competition bowler. However, changing your normal rhythm to the foul line can be very difficult.

You want to change your speed with your feet, not your upper body. Your legs are very important in bowling – they are what generates power. Your upper body is only there to guide the ball to your target. If you rely on your arm to change speeds, you’re likely to grab and throw the ball and you probably won’t hit your target very consistently.

When you’re bowling a tournament and the ball isn’t changing direction down lane or vice versa, it’s hooking too early, you can change your speed. What I personally do to slow my tempo down is to move up and back on the approach. Normally, I start with my left foot in front of the back dots. If I want to slow the ball down and hook it more, or I need to slow my body down because the lanes are oilier, I’ll take, at most, a half a step forward on the approach. It slows my first few steps down in order to get my arm swing tempo slower.

Vice versa, if the lanes are drier and my ball is hooking too early or dying, I’ll move back on the approach, I’ll put my left toe on the dots vs the heel. That gives me more distance to get my first few steps faster, which gets my swing faster, without me trying to grab and throw it. If you grab the ball in your downswing, you’ll likely decelerate, decreasing your rotation. If the pattern is longer or heavier, decreasing rotation will decrease the hook, which causes your ball to roll differently every shot you release.

In order to practice adjusting your speed, get a pair of lanes, and use one lane for slowing your feet down and hooking the ball more. On the next frame on the other lane, move back and increase your speed. Doing this one shot to the next, will get your body in an inconsistent rhythm, allowing you to feel the differences. You could also break it up into days and focus on slow footwork one day and fast footwork on another. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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10 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Brace Yourself

There is a lot of controversy today over the use of wrist devices – and my recommendation depends on what you want to achieve. The number one reason I sell someone a wrist brace is because they had a previous injury to their wrist or arm. I want to be cautious in those situations and recommend them a basic wrist brace just for support. They don’t need a big giant metal brace that is adjustable – just something like the left two pictured here can be sufficient. I’ll also recommend a brace for someone who has a weak wrist and cannot support a bowling ball on their own in a leveraged position. If a bowler can’t keep their hand “under the ball”, they end up dropping the ball, squeezing the ball, or releasing it with a top spin vs a roll. Like in the first situation, I wouldn’t recommend an adjustable metal wrist brace off the bat but, eventually, the bigger braces can be helpful for certain customers to understand what it’s like to keep their hand in the ideal position.

When a basic wrist brace is helping but not to the full extent that it should – it may be time to consider getting in to a brace that is adjustable both horizontally and laterally (like the right one pictured). This will give the bowler more support at the point of the release and put their hand in a position that lets them learn the feeling of keeping it under the ball. A lot of the PBA stars don’t wear braces because they have a higher rev rate – mostly because they go from a loaded wrist to an unloaded wrist at the point of release. On the flipside, a lot of the PWBA bowlers were trained to wear them because it is more difficult for many women to keep their wrist in a leveraged position. While it’s true that wrist braces can cause more problems if you’re trying to increase your rev rate, there are situations where they are clearly beneficial. As with anything, the decision is going to be personal, so I highly recommend consulting a knowledgeable Pro Shop Operator who knows your game before deciding to try a brace.

Consulting a PSO is especially important because your span needs to be rechecked if you are adding a brace for the first time or changing your brace. Wrist braces restrict your hand – so your span can change as much as ¼ of an inch. Your PSO should measure your hand while you’re wearing your brace to ensure a good fit. #iambowlersmart #protipfriday #mdmcoaching
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10 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Sliding

When you want to get better at bowling, it may be worth evaluating your slide. The majority of elite bowlers slide to some extent in their last step vs planting at the line. Of course, there are some bowlers who have developed a particular game or style where planting is advantageous but because that’s only about 10% of top bowlers, most people should consider sliding an important part of their game. Sliding to the line does two things: 1) it transitions the momentum generated in your legs in to the ball efficiently 2) it relieves stress on your knee and prevents injury.

I see a lot of bowlers who end up with knee pain, particularly in the meniscus, largely because of improper sliding. I personally have a slight knee injury because I was practicing one day and went to go slide but stuck. I turned my heel in the wrong direction and injured my knee. I’ve been able to manage my injury without surgery and it doesn’t cause regular pain but not everyone is so lucky.

So how much should you slide? Like most answers about bowlers’ physical games, it depends. Not everyone should be sliding a lot – just to the extent that it’s comfortable. Even if you are adjusting your footwork for speed, your slide should probably stay consistent. When I’m analyzing someone on video, I’ll look at the start and end of their slide and their knee continuation. If it looks like they don’t have enough, I will consider adjustments with their shoes to support changes. If they don’t have interchangeable shoes, I’ll add a shoe slider. If they have interchangeable shoes, I’ll look at the sole and heel combo to see what adjustments are possible. Given the variety of optimal slide lengths, consulting a coach can be incredibly helpful for this aspect of your game. Even though some people make planting work for them, I advocate most people who want to get better should consider some kind of sliding method. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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10 months ago

Philip Smith

Thank you for drilling my balls today the correct way what a difference with the correct pitch. Tray was absolutely correct to go to you!! Philip Smith ...

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10 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Chicken Wings belong at the Bar

Chicken winging, elbowing, or thumb downing the ball are all bowling terms describing when your arm is out of alignment. Many people try to help the bowling ball too much. When you chicken wing, your elbow, forearm, and hand are on the outside of the bowling ball. That decreases your leverage and rotation at the foul line.

When you’re swinging the ball, your entire arm (bicep, tricep, wrist, elbow, forearm, hand) should all swing under your shoulder. From the top of your swing going down, you should visualize your arm traveling under your shoulder and head in a manner that your hand stays behind or more on the inside of the ball at the point of release. A lot of times when people come to me for a lesson, they can’t hit their target. They will complain about inconsistent rotation or elbow/joint pain. One common issue that I see is that their arm starts on the inside the top of their swing but they turn the ball too early, which causes a separation of the thumb and fingers from the ball at the same time vs the thumb exiting first (which creates more leverage for the fingers at the point of release).

In the first video, you can see me physically come around the ball vs through it, causing less speed, more spin, and a more violent change of direction down lane. In the other video, I’m coming through the ball because my arm and elbow are on the inside and the ball changes direction in a more controllable manner. If you think you have an issue with this, my suggestion is to take a video from behind and look at where your hand is at the point of release.

You can work on this by taking your approach out of play by doing a no step drill. That will allow you to isolate the release to specifically work on it. You should feel like you are following through the ball and not around it. When you achieve this, you should feel a burning sensation on your finger pads, quicker exit of the thumb, and overall smoother release from start to finish. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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11 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Finger Inserts

When you are learning how to bowl, normally you start with a plastic ball and have a conventional fit (fingers drilled down to the second knuckle and thumb in all the way). If you want to progress beyond that, you get into fingertip drillings, which come with special options that can help you hook the ball consistently. One of these options is finger inserts. They are soft round rubber inserts that are placed in to the finger holes in the bowling ball. They allow you to hold on to the ball more securely without oversqueezing it.

While you could opt to not use finger inserts, today’s game is more about having a softer hand at the bottom of the release and allowing your ball to roll off your fingers correctly. Using “hard holes” for your fingertips does on occasion force the bowler to grab the ball too much or may not allow a relaxed/soft grip for the bowler to swing the ball properly. There are different styles of finger inserts that you can use. The picture shows what I use primarily in my shop. One option is oval, which matches the shape of your fingers normally. The other one has a lift molded into the insert, which forces your finger to come back to your palm in your grip. That can provide a little more help if you’re struggling to feel the correct lift on the ball.

Because finger inserts are rubber, I compare them to tires on a car. That means that they do wear out over time. You’ll notice that as the inserts get worn out, the walls get thinner and that can cause discomfort. Wear is generally based on the number of games you bowl – roughly 75 to 100 games is when I would tell people to try to replace their inserts. That’s about a league season if you bowl one night a week. Disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with not using inserts. I personally didn’t use them for ten years, but my fingers started get blistered and stiff. I lost some flexibility (which can happen faster without inserts). Therefore, I try to install inserts for all customers, but some people do better without them. As with anything, consult your PSO for the best recommendations and options for your game. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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11 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Power Step

One of the best ways to generate momentum in your release is by focusing on your power step. The power step is the second to last step before your slide - in a 5-step approach, it is the 4th step and in a 4-step approach, it is the 3rd step, or in my 6-step approach shown here, it’s the 5th step. I recommend thinking about it as a loading process. It’s very similar to when a competitive swimmer is on the block and waiting for a gunshot to fire, they get in to a position with their legs that allows them to springboard off in to the water. If you load up in your power step, you should unload and lunge in to your slide towards the foul line.

Done properly, you will notice considerably more speed on the ball and as long as you are sliding properly (link to pro tip), you should create a longer flat spot (pro tip link) which generates more leverage at the release point and increase your rev rate when the ball comes off your hand. So what should a power step feel like? If you have a 5-step approach, going from your 3rd step in to your 4th step should actually feel like your legs are coming together. An example of that sequence would be 3rd step: long, 4th step: short, 5th step: long slide. In certain situations of people that do not slide but they plant, it is still important to generate a power step because a person who plants when they bowl are still lunging to the line, just in a different way. You still need momentum. I don’t personally recommend planting vs sliding because of the pressure on your knee but there are situations where it is appropriate for a person.

If you’re not sure about your momentum heading in to your last step, you should take a video of yourself from the side and evaluate your power step. You may be able to gain power and leverage at the line with some small changes. As always, consult a qualified coach for individualized support. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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11 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Timing
Timing is the most important factor in whether someone has a good or bad release. We use the term timing to describe the relationship between a bowler’s footwork and swing during their approach. Most bowlers who have an issue with consistent release have what is called “late timing”: when the bowler’s feet are at the foul line before the swing reaches the line. Everyone is different and ideal timing can vary person to person but most people want to strive for timing that is a little late – when the bowler reaches the foul line but the ball is just behind their slide foot ankle. You can see that demonstrated in the photos of me at colonial lanes.

Symptoms of late timing include: pulling the ball, missing target left, ball sticking on thumb, and “chicken winging”. What I have personally seen over five years of coaching, is that either the first step in the approach is too big or the bowler is too close to the foul line in their set up. If you think your timing is late, try adjusting where you start on the approach or the size of your first step. Working with an experienced coach is the best and fastest way to achieve results because every person is different. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching
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11 months ago

MDM Coaching

🎇🎇🎇Have a safe and happy holiday! I'll be off today celebrating but back at the shops tomorrow (Boardwalk Friday and Aloma Saturday) 🎇🎇🎇 ...

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11 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Trail Leg
The trail (non-sliding) leg serves an important role in overall balance. As we’ve discussed before, balance supports consistency and shot repeatability. The optimal way for most people to utilize their trail leg is to keep it on the ground from the start of the slide to the end of the slide. Ideally, the trail leg knee will end up tucked behind the slide knee. Doing that means the trail leg foot goes to the opposite side of the bowling swing, acting as a counterweight to the ball.

If you feel like you’re throwing the ball well but 1 out of 5 shots are off balance, it’s usually a sign that your trail leg could use some work. Additionally, if you grab or muscle the ball, your trail leg tends to go up in the air more quickly, causing you to fall off balance.

You can do one step slide drills to work on engaging your trail leg correctly. Focus on dragging that trail leg and tucking one knee behind the other while sliding. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and some people are able to stay balanced and be successful utilizing their trail leg differently. However, this is a good place to start if you haven’t worked on it before. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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11 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Tape

Using tape properly can greatly improve the consistency of your game because it gives you options for when your hand is a different size. Your hand fluctuates in size every day. Therefore, you need to prepare for those changes and make sure the bowling ball feels the same every time that you put your hand in it. Pictured below are a couple of different types of tape that you can use while bowling. The first picture is called “fitting tape”. It goes in your thumbhole to create a tighter fit on the thumb so that if your hand ever shrinks or swells, you have an option of adjusting your thumbhole to create a consistent feel. You can see a picture of how I use the fitting tape in my ball. The white tape is what I personally use all of the time, primarily because it has a textured surface that grabs on to my thumb so that I don’t have to grab the bowling ball a lot. The black tape is a smoother textured fitting tape. Bowlers use this on the back of their thumb hole to tighten it up and create a slick release, so they don’t feel like they’re hanging up in the bowling ball. Fitting tape will wear down and you need to replace that tape around every 10-15 games, depending on sweat and dirt that gets in to the thumb hole. You’ll feel a difference in texture with more use so be aware of the change.

A lot of times when people are using the fitting tape that goes in the thumb hole, they don’t apply it in the best way. If you do not put tape in the thumb hole correctly, you could cause more damage than you’re preventing. Fitting tape should go on the front or the back of the pad of your thumb. It should not really go on your knuckle or the joint on the side because it can cause blisters. A lot of people think they need to put the tape in the thumb hole parallel to their fingers but that’s often where people’s knuckles are. You need to offset the tape in the thumb facing at a 45-degree angle so that the tape is on the pad of the thumb. Everybody is different, so you need to check where the pad of your thumb comes out when you have your fingers and thumb in the ball. That should give you an idea of where to put the tape when you want to use it. The goal is that every ball has the same feeling, so make sure you’re paying attention to the placement.

The other kind of tape is known as “protection tape” but it can be used for a couple of reasons. This tape goes directly on your thumb, on the back where your nail is, and it 1) protects the thumb from blistering and 2) snugs up the thumbhole to create a tight and secure fit. Because the material is very slick so you’re still able to release the ball without it hanging up on you. There are a multitude of tapes that ball manufacturers make. However, I prefer to sell the Vice Hada Patch over a lot of other companies because they have multiple colors and textures. Each color represents a different texture to meet each bowler’s preference. Some tapes are very slick or very course, depending on your skin type or how fast or slow you want to release the bowling ball. Protection tape on your thumb is one-time use. If you have any questions about tape or grip, talk to your pro shop operator. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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12 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Mentally Preparing for Tournaments

The USBC Open Championship is biggest participatory sporting event in the county. But I wouldn’t recommend thinking of it like that if you want to be successful. Often times I see my youth students overwhelmed before they even start to travel to big tournaments like city, states, or Junior Gold. In my opinion, if you do that, you are already at a disadvantage before you even throw a bowling ball. When you go in to a high level tournament, I recommend treating it as if you are just going to the bowling alley to do a practice session or bowling league. Not because it is just a practice session; but because mentally, you do not want to overwhelm yourself.

Over 50,000 bowlers from across the country will meet in Vegas for a 2 day competition that spans many months on sport conditions, against multiple bowlers they likely don’t know. Tournaments like Junior Gold are a week long held across centers and on a variety of conditions. The only constants in situations like that are your physical ability and mental capacity to combat those changes. I’m going to assume that if you’ve made it to this point, you’ve been practicing and working on your physical game. Keeping your mental game calm and consistent should be your focus everyday that you go in to compete.

I was reminded of the importance of this when I bowled in the Proprietors Cup last year. It’s a premier event held annually in Ohio, attracting over 300 of the best bowlers in the world to compete for almost $30k on a modified house shot. I had never bowled in this center or tournament before. I went in with an open mind but I struggled. I didn’t meet my expectations. I didn’t bowl well because I wasn’t mentally prepared for the event, not because I had the wrong ball, or played the wrong part of the lane, or any of the other reasons that could exist.

So what happened? Scores were high and it put more pressure on me to strike. I kept thinking about the scoring pace but I was focused on the wrong area. I can’t control that. I have to just adapt to it and try to my hardest to keep up. If the scoring pace is 200 and I’m averaging 170, I’m not going to make it. That weekend, I averaged 210 when the cut was 230. The only way to keep up is by focusing on the things that you can control and do the job you’re supposed to do in order to be successful. If I got to redo the Proprietors Cup, I would pay attention to my surroundings more and think about the things that I’m accountable for like my physical ability to use my legs properly, push the ball away, and my ball motion (skid, hook, roll). I try to think about those areas in any tournament, like a PBA regional or national, but I lost that focus week and it cost me.

Being mentally prepared is almost as important as being physically prepared. The biggest difference that I see between a superstar bowler and an average one is how they respond in pressure situations. They treat them like everyday practice. The best bowlers throw it well throughout the week, not because they are always more physically gifted, but because they understand that the open championship or junior gold are going to be a very challenging tournaments every year. In order to prepare your own mental game, you should make a list of things to review in your pre-shot routine (see my previous pro tip on this). If you need help figuring out additional solutions, I recommend working with a coach. Make sure you go in mentally prepared but not overwhelmed. Relax and bowl well. Good luck! #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #juniorgold2019 #iambowlersmart #usbcopen
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12 months ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Locked and Loaded, Building an Arsenal

When you are getting ready to invest more time in to bowling, equipment becomes a very important part of your game. Having a set of bowling balls in your bag that are designed to do different things for different conditions is known as an arsenal. Every bowling ball in the world does something different. And, on top of the different ball characteristics, drilling patterns can affect how they roll on the lane. I feel confident that going to any bowling tournament with my current 6 ball arsenal (pictured) will help me bowl to the best of my ability on any shot that is given.

My arsenal is pictured from strongest to weakest from the top left to bottom right, like reading a book. I have two balls that are very strong (Hammer Statement Solid and Black Widow Pink). The Statement Solid is the strongest ball in my bag. That means it hooks the earliest and gives me a lot of control when the lanes are freshly oiled. The Pink Widow is drilled very differently – it’s a very weak pin to PAP with a strong mass bias location, which basically means when the Statement starts hooking too early, I can start throwing the Pink Widow and it will start up early on the lane but it will be more continuous than the statement solid.

Going from there, I do have two bowling balls that are same but drilled differently from each other. The Hammer Web is what I consider a “benchmark” bowling ball. It is a very strong symmetrical ball. That means it hooks early but is on the smoother side. The pin up Web is a type of a ball that I can start moving left with when the lanes start breaking down and my two asymmetrical balls aren’t working anymore. Pin up drilled balls will hook and come off the break point harder, giving me a little more angle on the back end. The pin down Web is a ball I use in situations where moving left is a not a good option and I want to stay in the same part of the lane that I threw my asymmetrical balls. It gives me a slower response off the breakpoint, making it more controllable.

The last 2 balls are my drier lane balls. The Web Tour Edition is a very unique ball. It has a very low differential core and an extremely strong coverstock. A combination like that makes the ball roll very early but it doesn’t change direction very much. It’s a smooth rolling ball for when the lanes get drier. My last ball is the new Hammer Orange Vibe that will be coming out soon. The Vibe series has been around a long time and is designed for drier conditions. It gives good length through the front part of the lanes with good back end, so it’s still controllable. So when the lanes are really dry and I need to hook it a lot, this ball retains the most energy for it to hook the most on the back part of the lanes. Not pictured but also recommended is a plastic ball that I use for spares regardless of the lane conditions.

Disclaimer: these bowling balls work well for me based on how I throw it, my axis point, and PAP. There are a multitude of bowling balls for everyone’s unique bowling style. To build your game, you need a consult a qualified pro shop operator who gets your axis point, helps you understand bowling better, and can set up an arsenal specifically for you. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart #teamebi #nothinghitslikeahammer
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1 years ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: To lean or not to lean?

If you want to have proper leverage at the foul line, it all stems back to your set up position. We’ve gone over setting up, finish position, and trail leg in previous pro tips. Proper posture is the thread that ties them all together. Most people should aim for a little bit of spine tilt forward (10-15 degrees), avoiding standing straight up like a statue or leaning too far forward. Have your shoulders face the pins vs the ground while gradually getting lower by engaging your legs. I recommend starting with a slight knee bend. Much like picking up a heavy object, you want to focus on using your legs vs your lower back. You want your upper body to stay over your hips throughout your approach without having either your shoulders or your feet get too far ahead of one another. I’m demonstrating my own ideal posture in the top video, which includes engaging my legs while keeping my upper body facing the pins.

The bottom video is an example of what I see nearly 80% of my students do when they start. They like to lean forward, even if it’s not ideal for their body type. When they push away, the weight of the ball tends to cause people to tip. I have noticed that after working on posture during lessons, most students are able to establish better leverage at the foul line, which generates more speed and consistent motion. If your posture is not optimal, you will tend to feel like you can’t slide enough. Your lower back may hurt after bowling. You may feel like you’re dropping the ball or find yourself all around muscling.

The best way to evaluate your own posture is take a video of yourself bowling from a side view, like the one of me here. Keep in mind that every body type is different and will require a solution that works best for your game. For example, a shorter person needs to get their feet going to faster to generate speed. One way to do that is by getting your shoulders in front of your legs, resulting in a forward lean. If you can, I recommend working with a coach to identify your own ideal posture. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart #NothingHitsLikeAHammer
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1 years ago

MDM Coaching

Super proud of Lili for her great bowling at the FL women's state tournament. Even though I met Lili in a bowling alley more than ten years ago, she only recently started to learn the game. With less than a year of hard work and practice, she was able to bowl a 267 in competition, a whopping 118 pins over her 149 average. Especially impressive as that average is 20 pins higher than when she started the season. Over the course of 9 games this weekend, she shot 2060 with handicap. She came through for her doubles partner and teammates, with her highest scores in those events. Keep up the great work, Lili! #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart ...

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1 years ago

MDM Coaching

Great work Charlie! Keep it up! #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart ...

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1 years ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Ball Maintenance

When you have your own bowling equipment that is designed to hook, it absorbs oil off the lane. Over time as a result of this process, your bowling balls will stop hooking without proper maintenance. Here are a few ways to your to keep them hooking as long as possible:

Basic cleaners that you can buy at a pro shop are good for regular use. Every time you bowl, I recommend cleaning your balls with a general cleaner (like Max Tack). There are other cleaners that are designed for special needs. As an example, Powerhouse Clean and Dull is great for duller surface coverstocks.

I also recommend that you take your balls to a pro shop after 25-30 games. You can have your Pro Shop Operator (PSO) put your ball on a tripod resurfacing machine for a deeper clean. This machine will evenly apply pressure on the bowling ball to sand all of the old dirt, belt marks, and polish off and give the ball a more consistent hook on the lanes. Once the bowling ball is cleaned on the resurfacing machine, some PSOs will take it a step further and put your equipment on a ball spinner. That allows for more pressure to shine or sand the bowling more effectively.

After roughly a year of use, I recommend using a de-oiling machine (like the Detox) to extract the oil out of the coverstock. I prefer using a Detox or Wave over any other machine in the industry because they use water to heat the bowling ball as an indirect heat source, making the process safer and less likely to result in cracking.

If you have any questions, talk to your PSO about ball maintenance that will extend the life of your equipment. This pro tip was written at the request of someone who follows this page - if you have ideas for future pro tips or areas that you want more advice, comment below or send me a note! #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart #NothingHitsLikeAHammer
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1 years ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Balance Arm
It's critical to be balanced in order to hit your target consistently on the lane. The non-bowling side arm (also known as balance arm) is an often overlooked but very important part of the physical game. Using the opposite side to create leverage can affect swing, rev rate, and speed. However, many bowlers I work with aren’t even aware of their balance arm.

I’ve learned a lot about the impact of swinging a 14 – 16 lb object on only one side of the body since I’ve started coaching. While there are many ways to engage the balance arm effectively (reaching towards the wall, swimmers motion, bent elbow/forward shoulder, etc), it’s clear that bowlers need to create a force of resistance to maximize the transfer of energy from our body to the ball. I was working with a bowler a few months ago who was struggling to keep her balance and falling off to the right side almost every shot. We spent a session doing drills where I asked her to focus on reaching towards the wall as the first step in using her balance arm. By the end of the session, this student was posting the shot 60% of the time. Stabilizing the shoulders minimizes trunk rotation and increases consistency. For some, focusing on the balance side instead of the ball side can keep from overworking the ball.

I like to do one step drills to practice my release. In the video on the left, I’m not engaging my opposite side. It’s harder to stay balanced to post my shot and my ball is both slower and less accurate. On the right, I’m pushing my arm out towards the wall, which helps to keep my shoulders and hips in line with my target and gives me significantly more stability. If you’re struggling to repeat shots, think about how you’re utilizing your balance arm in your approach. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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1 years ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Surface

Contrary to popular belief, bowling balls are extremely adjustable. Changing the surface can dramatically change the roll of the ball. In my 13 years working in a pro shop, I’ve heard numerous times that a ball isn’t hooking enough, or it hooks too much, and that people want to redrill it, add a weight hole (which will be illegal in 2020), or even ditch it completely. However, they’re overlooking the most impactful and flexible way to change a ball’s hook. Studies have shown that up to 70% of the ball’s hook potential has to do with its surface.

There are essentially four variables to a bowling ball that determine its hook: the core, the coverstock, the drilling pattern, and the surface. A lot of people think that coverstock and surface are the same thing. The coverstock is the resin material that the manufacturers wrap around the core that is solid, hybrid, or pearl. The surface is the texture of that material. You can change the surface of any coverstock to complement your personal game and conditions. Basically, what you’re doing when you change the surface of a bowling ball is determining where the ball wants to start hooking on the lane.

Changing the surface of a bowling ball is done in a multitude of ways. Bowlers in the 70s or 80s used basic sandpaper. Following that, many people used Scotch brite pads. In today’s game, most people use Abralon or Brunswick Siaair pads. They are just like sandpaper – the lower the number, the higher the grit and more abrasive the pad is. You can see in the video the same exact bowling ball in each picture with different sanding finishes. We started at 180 grit, which is the lowest I’d recommend going to create earlier hook, and we go all the way up to a polished ball, which will hook much later down the lane. If you have a really heavy volume of oil on your house pattern, you normally will want to start with a bowling ball at 500 or 1000 grit. You need a ball that has some teeth in the coverstock to dig and bite through that oil. As the lanes transition, and as that 500 or 1000 grit bowling ball takes up oil off the lane, you should go to a smoother bowling ball like a 2000, 3000, or 4000 bowling ball, depending on your style of bowling. However, there are a number of combinations that you can use to find get the right roll. I personally like to sand the ball down to 500 grit, a really rough surface, then I go over that with a 2000 grit pad. That means that the ball doesn’t hook as early as a 500 grit ball but I get a predictable ball motion. 180 and 360 grit Abralon pads are normally used by PSOs to resurface. Even though you’re allowed to use them. I’d only recommend that grit in extreme conditions like a urethane ball on a short pattern. If you’re not in that kind of situation, the lowest grit I’d recommend is 500. Experiment to figure out what you like best.

I recommend that everyone with one or more performance bowling balls, or someone who bowls in multiple leagues or tournaments, has Abralon pads in their bag. It’s not uncommon to find a ball getting lane shine because oil gets back in to the coverstock after it’s been sanded it down. If the pro shop isn’t open or you’re at a tournament, you want to be able add surface back to the ball without relying on someone else. Just remember that according to USBC regulations, you can only change the surface of the ball before or after competition and in practice, not during competition, even if the ball is only in your bag. You can usually change the surface between blocks in a tournament, at the director’s discretion. For maintainence, after every 25-30 games, if you have a dull ball, take it to the pro shop and have them add surface on a ball spinner or resurfacing machine. The machine process allows for consistency that we can’t achieve by hand. What’s your favorite surface combination? #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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1 years ago

MDM Coaching

Pro Tip Friday: Flat Spot

Any time you are swinging an object (like a golf club or bowling ball), there is a point in a person’s swing that turns from being perpendicular to the ground to becoming parallel (or level) with the ground. We call that point in the bowling swing a “flat spot”. This is an advanced concept that builds on several previous pro tips - it requires sliding, lunging to the line, good posture, etc. The combination of all of those little things creates a better and longer flat spot for the bowler.

It’s important to understand the flat spot in bowling because it will efficiently generate power, rotation, and accuracy for releasing the ball. It’s sometimes hard to see, feel, or teach it though. The flat spot should start when you go in to your slide and end at the end of your slide. Somebody with a longer lunge/slide will naturally have a longer flat spot, which means their ball is level to the approach for a longer period of time. It increases leverage because there’s more elbow bend and your hand stays under the ball longer.

If I notice that a bowler doesn’t slide a lot, is too close to the line, doesn’t use their legs enough, pops up at the line, I also see that their flat spot is very small. A smaller flat spot in bowling makes it easier for someone to not commit 100% to the shot. To help you get a longer flat spot, the solution depends on the core problem. A very common cause is that people don’t slide enough or get low enough with their legs. Review some previous tips and try a one-step lunge drill to work on getting your hips and legs more engaged. Given how personal the solution can be, I highly recommend working with a certified coach on improving it. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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1 years ago

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Pro Tip Friday: Elbow Bend

If you want to increase your rev rate while bowling, it can be very advantageous to bend your elbow slightly in the backswing going down in to your release position. If you get any professional bowler on video from the side, you’ll notice that they bend their elbow to some extent. This slight bend does two things: 1) it actually relieves pressure on the wrist to allow you not cup as much and 2) it will definitely increase your rev rate.

It’s very controversial to recommend bending your elbow in bowling. A lot of people think that bending your elbow means you’re doing a chicken wing. The chicken wing term really means your elbow is bending horizontally, this is about a vertical bend, and continuing to keep a straighter swing.

Doing this correctly should feel like you’re not really doing it at all after you’ve practiced it. You’re looking for a slight bend, nothing dramatic. If you do this too much, you will create a hyper extension of your elbow causing you to uncoil too much and potentially result in injury. You can see how subtle my bend is in the video.

If you want to try practicing this, I suggest doing a foul line drill. Get in to your balanced position, look down at your arm, slightly bending elbow and do a normal foul line swing and release. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #iambowlersmart
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1 years ago

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Pro Tip Friday: Keep your shoulder calm

When you’re struggling with hitting your target, getting consistent rotation and rev rate on the bowling ball, and find yourself elbowing it, you may be over rotating your shoulder at the point of release. When your shoulders over rotate, your hand and elbow are allowed to rotate around the ball horizontally vs vertically. In other words, if your shoulder rotates too much, your arm is acting like a carousel vs a ferris wheel. When I’m giving lessons and see somebody do this it is an immediate red flag for me to start working to try to keep the shoulder calmer. Correcting this can provide a significant boost to performance.

If you’re not sure if you over rotate your shoulder, an easy way to find out is by taking a video of yourself from the side. Over rotation of the shoulder simply means that the bowling shoulder is moving in front of the non-bowling shoulder at the point of release (you can see that in my video here). If your bowling shoulder is too far ahead of your non-bowling shoulder, it is much easier for you to get your hand on the side of the ball and lose the direction of the ball path at the point of release. Keeping your shoulders calmer will also allow you to stay more balanced at the line because your upper body is not moving as much.

If you struggle with this and you need to learn how to correct your shoulders, a good practice drill is one at the foul line. Get in your finish position with your balance arm out while you’re swinging the bowling ball. You want to feel like your balance shoulder and arm are slightly ahead and in front of your bowling shoulder when you release the ball. If you do this correctly, it will be much easier to keep your right shoulder stable. You will see more rotation and your ball will be on the right path that you’re trying to target. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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1 years ago

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Pro Tip Friday: The Rhythm is Gonna Get You

Every sport has a rhythm. In bowling, your rhythm is about how your footwork and armswing work together to get you to the foul line in the right way. You have to picture it like very simple dance routine. Take a look at this video of Ashly Galante when she visited me at my old shop. Her rhythm is repeatable and helps her build power throughout her approach. If you pay attention to the majority of professional bowlers, like Ashly, they look like they are repeating the same dance routine every time.

Your foot rhythm should start off slow in order to generate momentum at the end. You want to support the ball swinging your arm effortlessly vs your arm needing to swing the ball. The typical rhythm taught in a five-step approach is: first step: slow, second: slow, third: slow, fourth: quick, then: power slide. In a typical five-step approach, you push the ball away on your second step. For a four-step approach, the recommended rhythm is: first step: slow, second: slow, third: quick, then slide, with the pushaway on the first step. This pace generates momentum in the right part of your approach so you are consistent, balanced and can create more power in your release with less effort.

A lot of times when people feel jerky or robotic, it’s because their rhythm is off. They will start off walking too fast and then have to decelerate to compensate. Or they start off slow and get quick on the wrong step and end up playing catch up at the foul line. Overall, they’ll feel unbalanced and out of time. There are obviously exceptions to the rule when it comes to rhythm. Shorter people (like Norm Duke, Marshall Holman) will want to get their feet started faster to get the right ball speed. Taller people (like Wes Mallott, Mika Koivuniemi) may have slower footwork. The constant is that they have a repeatable rhythm that supports them getting to the foul line in a balanced way. #protipfriday #mdmcoaching #teamgalante
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1 years ago

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Congrats to Hunter for shooting a 263 today at the Florida Pepsi Tournament! ...

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1 years ago

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Pro Tip Friday: Corner Pins

Spare shooting is the glue to your game. Missing a 7-pin or a 10-pin costs you 11 pins off of your possible score. The more you cover spares, the more confidence you’ll have to your next shot. Overall, your frustration level will be lower. But it is dramatically overlooked in the game today because strong equipment has increased strike percentage significantly. At a higher level, when you see people struggle with lane conditions, it becomes apparent how critical good spare shooting is to the game. The majority of lessons I give with bowlers for bowlers between 150 and 180 is because they do not make their spares very consistently.

Corner pins are right next to the gutter and can be a little intimidating because people think that you have a very small margin of error to make a single pin. The bowling ball is 8.5 inches wide and the bowling pin at the widest base is 4.75 inches. If you think about it in terms of room on the lane, you realistically have about 12 inches of miss area when you’re going for a single pin.

So what’s the key to good spare shooting? It’s about repetition. Some people don’t practice their spares enough to be repetitive enough. When going for a single pin or corner pin, the way that I figure out where to stand is to go for same pin ten times in a row. If you miss one of those shots, you start over until you make ten 10 pins or ten 7 pins in a row. Everybody is different, so there isn’t one ideal place to stand. You can see in the video, you can see that I stand more left for my 10 pin (board 27) and more right (board 11) for my 7 pin. That’s my specific spot, you could be on board 26, 31, or others. It doesn’t matter where you stand, as long as you can be consistent. You can figure out where to stand and then get comfortable repeating shots.

There are a plethora of drills and other recommendations that can help you learn to shoot spares. There are some standards to look at when working on spares. I will always recommend anybody to throw a spare ball, especially at corner pins. Some people will throw a reactive ball end over end to kill the ball’s hook. I’d rather keep things simple. Spare balls are reasonably priced and have a plastic coverstock. They do not hook unless there are extreme dry conditions. Urethane balls can also be acceptable, as they hook a little but not as much as a reactive ball.

If you find yourself making below 75% of spares, I’d recommend working on this at least once a week. If you are disciplined enough, bring only your spare ball in for practice that day. Try ten 10 pins in a row and ten 7 pins a row. You can also play low ball: in one game, you’re trying to score as low as possible. If you can make the 10 pin off of a full rack and the 7 pin off a full rack, you’d get 2 per frame. Therefore, a perfect game would be 20. #mdmcoaching #protipfriday #iambowlersmart
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1 years ago

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Big congratulations to Dean Carlyle and Doug Nairn for both shooting 300 tonight! Dean threw his Roto Grip Halo. Proud to drill their equipment. ...

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