Free Swing Drill as detailed by Jim Merrell

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  • Free Swing Drill as detailed by Jim Merrell ...Added 6/28/2012

A drill useful for helping a student feel a free arm swing:

1) Have them assume their address position, with the ball positioned close to the body

The drill requires three non-stop repetitions: Do A & B twice

A) Move the arm / ball forward until the ball side elbow is at the front of the body. The arm should not lock in place during ball placement.

B) Then allow the arm to un-hinge and freely swing the ball into the back swing, returning the swing forward to their initial address position supported by both hands.

C) On the third time begin the feet with the movement of the ball forward and make a complete approach and delivery.

The tempo of the swings should be at pace that doesn't cause the upper body to rock back and forth.

It's important that the tempo of the three swings is the same: Swing one, swing two and start the approach with swing three. When the ball returns to the initial staring position each time it is important to immediately start the next swing. Do not allow a pause!

The goal is to keep the swing in constant motion, synchronizing the third start with the movement of the feet. Most people who muscle the start (too much grip pressure) will have difficulty at first.

From a coaches stand point, I often find it necessary to position my hand between the ball and the bowler's body on the return of the second swing. Often the student will pause too long on the return of the second swing, trying to establish the feel of their normal start for the third swing.

Having your hand positioned properly will allow you to initiate the start of the third swing and prevent a pause. If you have to initiate the start of the third swing, make sure the student just keeps the feet moving. Repetitions will ease the dis-comfort.