Here is the start of the follow-through. Foot has stopped about four inches from foul line. Hand carries ball over line.
10 The Follow-Through
This is one of the most important, yet ignored, stages of the delivery. Follow through, or your smooth approach will have been wasted. Note "lift" by fingers, which imparts spin (hook) to the ball.
The follow-through will come naturally if you "throw" your hand toward the target. Your hand ends in a "shaking hands" position. Keep this position until the ball is well down the lane.
Sequence: From Start to Finish
Study these figures, from stance to follow-through, and you will see that my delivery is one coordinated motion; I divided it into 10 parts in this article simply to explain what was occurring at each key stage. There are no steps, as such, in the delivery. You shuffle, or flow, toward the foul line, as if you and your ball were dancing partners. Note that at no point, until the release, does either foot leave the floor. As a result, my head lowers gradually and continuously from stance through release, then raises with the upswing. If I actually took steps, my head would bobble—and so would the ball, moving it out of its intended arc. You see here, too, the importance of bending my arm. I cannot overswing (a fault caused by too high a backswing) and it is far easier to control the ball. If you have ever swung a Yo-yo you know that the less string you allow, the easier it is to keep the Yo-yo in a constant arc. The same applies to less arm swing. The illustration on the opposite page shows the paths of my feet and ball. My target, you see, is close to the line, therefore easy to hit. If my ball goes over the target, it most likely will knock down the pins.
Paths to the Targets
The figures above show the path of my ball to the "strike pocket" and various spare shots. At the left you see where I stand for each spare leave. Note the broken line at the foul line for the spare ball. This is an imaginary line, with which my shoulders remain parallel throughout the delivery. No one can tell you exactly where to stand for each spare. My spot will not be the same as yours if your ball hooks more or less than mine. The only general rule regarding spare bowling is this: move to right of center when the target pins are on the left side of the lane, to left of center when the pins are on the right. Now, then, to sum up. Never take your eyes off your target (whether it is a spot on the lanes, a line, an area, or the pins themselves). Always move forward in a straight line, shoulders parallel to your foul line and ball held in the same groove. Follow these basic rules and you will be balanced at the foul line when you release the ball. Then follow through—and hold your position at least a second or two after the ball has gone.