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Thread: My son's training

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    Pin Crusher Phonetek's Avatar
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    Default My son's training

    Today I took my 13yr old son Bradley out for the first time on the lanes since I taught him the 4 step approach. I taught him the approach about a month ago at home. He practices going through the motions for hours every day. He also uses a toy bowling set with a softball. No it's not a bowling ball with real pins but he's taking it very seriously nonetheless. When he's not doing that, he's watching bowling video's from the pro's or bowling on Wii Sports club. I wanted to wait to hit the lanes for him to get a ball that's drilled for him but due to financial constraints at this time he's gonna have to wait for a few weeks. He was very anxious to give his new knowledge a try and we did get some free coupons to bowl I took him to bowl a game today.
    We didn't have much time because leagues were coming in so we only had time for one. He did extremely well mechanically for his first time. His biggest problem was on the first step pushing out the ball he pushed it to the right causing the ball to come behind him on the back swing. As a result he kept throwing it to the right which resulted in gutter balls more time than not. He tried very hard to correct it and a few times over corrected causing him to cross his body on the front swing. Toward the end he did get much better though and he said he could feel the difference.
    I did video him the whole time so when we got home we reviewed it. I asked him if he could point out what he was doing right and wrong. He noticed he wasn't walking straight, staying down at the line and wasn't keeping his slide foot straight at the line. He noticed that the ball always went in the exact direction that his toe was pointing. He ended up with a score of 49 which wasn't important. I can't express how proud I am of him for how seriously he's taking it and noticing without me telling him what he did wrong. He wasn't asking many questions but told me after he had some that he wanted to ask but didn't. I made it clear that if he has questions he must ask them rather than either doing something wrong or thinking he's doing something wrong than he's not. It's awesome living in a time now where taking a video is so easy to do. In my day we had to take a huge camcorder with a giant tri-pod and VHS tapes. It's a definite advantage that we didn't have.
    First thing he did after watching the video was to take the printout of his game was to write "My first game" on it and put it on his bedroom wall. Later we are going to download his video from the ipad and put it on the TV so he can see it on the big screen and look in slow motion. I made sure to tell him how great he did and how proud I was. I don't quite remember that far back but I'm sure I did about the same if not worse. Once he gets a ball that fits rather than a conventional house ball that's way off he will do much much better. I have no doubts he will be hitting triple digits no problem with his out stuff. I know he's got this! He sure found out what a difference it was in the real world than Wii Sports Resort or toy pins. He says he's exhausted but he can't wait until the next outing and he's got a LOT to work on. I'll keep updating this as we go with his progress.

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    If he is consistently pushing the ball out to the right, is he holding the ball too far toward the center of his body during his setup? That is a common problem.
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    Pin Crusher Phonetek's Avatar
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    The first time he stood up there with the ball he had it right in the center of his face. I corrected him before he took his first step. He sees in the video what he was doing wrong, he understands what he has to fix next time. Hopefully he will be able to execute as well.

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    While I applaud your efforts, please find a qualified coach to get him properly started. Coaches are not just good bowlers, they are trained to understand how all of the elements of the game go together. Get him started right, and he'll have a lifetime of enjoyment.

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    Pin Crusher Phonetek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    While I applaud your efforts, please find a qualified coach to get him properly started. Coaches are not just good bowlers, they are trained to understand how all of the elements of the game go together. Get him started right, and he'll have a lifetime of enjoyment.
    Unfortunately that isn't a financial possibility at this time, WAY out of my price range. I may not be up to speed completely with the modern game but I have plenty to teach him in the interim.

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    Round here, there is free coaching for youth bowlers before the Saturday youth league. Anything like that near you?

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    Pin Crusher Phonetek's Avatar
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    No, not at the alley close to home. We are moving soon though, I'm not sure what the new place has as far as coaches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mishatx View Post
    Round here, there is free coaching for youth bowlers before the Saturday youth league. Anything like that near you?
    Most youth leagues (generally on Saturday mornings) have coaching available for free either before or after your league. If you can find one private coaches aren't always terribly expensive. My daughter has a coach she works with about twice a month. It's about $30 for an hour.
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    Nothing like that at the current house we go to I have asked, not enough demand. Maybe the next place after the move has coaches maybe even free ones but I don't have an answer at this time. He's gotta get his own ball first and shoes before I'd even consider it. Unfortunately right now even $30 an hour is out of my range. In the meantime I got this, I have plenty to teach him. I know the modern game is important for him to learn but he will get there. I know my son, If I try to go too fast or feed him too much information he will get overwhelmed. If that happens he'll likely he'll just give me a blank stare, get frustrated and lose interest. I'm not going to let that happen.
    For now, I'm brushing up on the modern game for myself and for him as well. From what I see so far it's more a difference with the release, equipment and all the technical numbers, none of which seems to be rocket science. I still have a lot of research to do both online and at the lanes. I have a game plan in place for him including drills he can do both on and off the lanes. If my pockets were deeper I could do much much more with him and spend a lot more time on the lanes with him too. Without getting specific I just can't at right now and paying anyone is a definite no until current circumstances improve. That just means I have to be more creative. We will be going again in the next day or two to use more of those free game coupons. I'll keep the post updated with his progress.

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    Round 2 We bowled 3 games last night and I have to say my son has been working extremely hard on fixing his issues. It was night and day from the first time to this second time. He shot 66, 71 an 75. Much better than his 49. Scores aside his push away was MUCH better and as a result his back swing was too. He was much more fluid and straight. His feet are his biggest problem right now. He likes to drift to the left, his foot turns and he can't stay down at the line because he loses his balance. I can't complain too much, I was walking straight but I was doing the same thing otherwise. I think both of us are rushing the line and need to slow down. The other thing I noticed on the video is he isn't staying behind the ball. After his push away his wrist falls back keeping him on top of the ball. Again, I think using a conventional house ball that doesn't fit is a lot but not all of the cause. I don't know that I could even stay behind a conventionally drilled house ball. That also makes it difficult being consistent hitting his mark and a very weak roll. Letting the wrist fall back is a very common issue for beginners. We'll focus on that when he gets his own ball.
    I'm very proud that he corrected so much from the first outing, he's trying very hard and it shows. The kid was out of his mind happy he picked up some spares for the first time and the same when he threw his first two strikes. His first spare was a 5-10 split, not exactly the easiest one for a right hander let alone a beginner. Soon as he released the ball he shouted "I got it!" and low and behold he did. Very cool he knew he threw it right before it even got down the lane. He will remember that spare for the rest of his life. He earned some bragging rights. So for now we will concentrate on his footwork. I'm putting tape on the floor so he can tightrope the line and a horseshoe where his foot should end up and stay straight in between the lines. This should make him walk straight to get rid of the "Bobblehead" effect an help keep his slide foot straight which will help with balance.

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