How to Hook A Bowling Ball for Beginner Bowlers | Bowling Lessons to Improve Your Game - Your One Stop Pro Shop!

How to Hook A Bowling Ball for Beginner Bowlers | Bowling Lessons to Improve Your Game
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• Mike Shady is a silver level certified bowling coach and a coach for Team USA bowling.
• In this learn to bowl video, Coach Shady shows you how to hook a bowling ball properly.
• Check back weekly for more informative tips to help you bowl better from coach Shady.
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38 Comments on “How to Hook A Bowling Ball for Beginner Bowlers | Bowling Lessons to Improve Your Game”

  1. Great video! Funny that the other day watched video from 1994-95 of baker team competition on YouTube. One of the teams had Mike Shady and Earl Anthony was praising his game on how solid it was. He was hammering the pocket on a difficult oil pattern.

  2. Great video! It helped me visualize the first two steps well but I am having trouble figuring out the getting the hand out fast. I have heard it described as a yo yo effect but in practice I can’t quite grasp the concept.

    1. Focus on keeping your grip pressure mild at the release with your hand in proper position. The “yo you” reference is spot on. The faster you can collapse the hand at the release, the faster the ball spins off your hand. Glad you enjoyed it.

    2. InsideBowling what I think hangs me up is that from what I understand is that while collapsing the hand we are also supposed to bring the hand along the side of the ball, as if you are turning a door knob at the same time.

  3. Great work on the explanation and the video, Coach. Seeing the positions and the movement is going to be helpful for my students.
    Kind of a side question. How do you feel span affects rotation? I have a student with span about an inch shorter than mine. He’s strong youngster and can get around the ball quickly. Yet, he wonders how I get as much rotation (revs) as I do. I tell him it’s because my fingers start almost under the ball due to my 5-1/4″ span.

  4. A comment on axis rotation would have been helpful. Looked like the ball was going end over end on the rev mat which also wouldn’t hook down lane. Nice video.

    1. Yeah. Was hoping someone would say this in the comments. You need that “hand around” motion to generate angles. Period.

    2. @Denman Fite I was thinking like what about the Axis Rtatn too. Although could be workable if just a novice.

    3. yeppers, watching from @3:58 his hand goes around the ball while going up, not straight up as when it was on the revmat. However on the revmat It seem as if they were just talking about getting high spin rev’s…*shrugs*

  5. I think for teaching beginners it is important to go over what the hook actually ‘is’. Essentially the hand must induce a roll that is angled left of the ball motion (through the skid phase and for right handers). Then there is all the stuff you mentioned (which was great). Also could of added that there is 2 main ways to hook a bowling ball. Have your hand twisted so the index finger is pointing straight down and the middle and ring to the left upon release (and behind the ball). The other way is to not have your hand twisted (so the hand is vertical behind the ball) but upon release the hand will make its way to the right side of the ball and pull up (the hand will be perpendicular to the ground the whole time). These are 2 important notes that I often see missed. I realize this was a quick summary for the short video but maybe next time you can touch on these important points

    1. I don’t see why you question what they said and BTY how many beginner Bowlers do you know that even know what the word perpendicular means? I thought they did an excellent job, explaining what they did there is nothing more to explain.

    2. @Paula Hulse  because the word “perpendicular” has nothing to do with bowling, and most people know this since grade school’s geometry.

  6. I throw a reverse hook and I am left handed. And, no, all left handers do not have a natural hook. My high league average was 196 with a 10 pound ball. Now that I am older still use the same weight, but can’t get much speed on my ball, but still that same backup ball.

  7. How much should you turn the ball before you release the ball or do you stay in the same position at the starting position?

    1. Thanks for the comment and for watching our videos, we appreciate it! Keep up the good work on the lanes!!

  8. For anyone who knows forearm anatomy and planes of movement, it seems that what you need for spin is pronation of the wrist between 90 to 180 degrees from a fully supinated position. Further, the degree of wrist flexion affects the amount of spin you can generate.

    I also assume that the amount of forward force you generate also determines the point at which the ball grips the surface of the lane and initiates its spin. In other words, were you to apply maximal forward force I imagine spin would not take effect even if done correctly due to the forward inertia overcoming any rotational force.

  9. I am a beginner. I always bowled without a hook, and I average about 120 a game. Today I decided I really want to try to learn how to hook better to get more pin action and watched a few videos on this topic. The thing I learned from these videos is that there is more than one way to do this. Speed is also a factor that should be calculated in as from videos, the more speed you have throwing the ball, the less time the ball has to spin and more time to spin the slower you go. My grandpa mentioned spot bowling to me before and that works, and my grandma always said to focus on a pin and keep your hand straight, which also worked. This was for no spinning of course. Both my grandpas said for spinning, you should start with your fingers in the holes sideways and then bowl. I did try this once or twice in regular games, but I always gutter as there seems to be no consistency. So today I played 4 games by myself. The very first thing I tried was to bowl with 2 fingers one hand, well that failed horribly as the ball just dropped before getting into the alley. So, I then tried to hold the ball with my other hand the whole time and spin with my other hand. The ball goes into the alley but did not spin. I tried again, still same result. So, then I tried one handed with hand in holes down below and spinning the ball at the same time, same result with no curve. I then tried combining what both my grandpas said with what you tube said, which was 2 fingers in hole to the right, not underneath and other hand holding the ball and throw with making the ball spin with my left hand (other hand). Finally, my ball curved and in a big way. I was happy I got my ball to spin. I tried again and same result where the ball spins at least. The whole time it has been gutter balls with maybe 1 pin. I then tried spot bowling using what I have learned, and boy did it take a lot of trial and error using up a few games. I tried the first set of dots mixing it up, I tried picking up the speed, I tried using the arrow markers to aim at and not consistent at all. I would occasionally get lucky and get a strike. Finally, in the fourth game I tried using my grandma’s advice about looking at a pin. So, I found out during my fourth game that if I stand lined up with the fourth dot from the left and look at the farthest pin to the right, that about 60% of the time I was able to get the ball to curve and go right into the sweet spot. My consistency is still lacking but is much better than before. So now I need to see if maybe the speed is now a factor or if maybe I am not consistent because I am changing back and forth between my left hand engaging to spin the ball or not engaging. Basically, find out if it’s the fingers being to the right and not underneath is spinning the ball or if it’s the combination of both hands spinning the ball along with speed for the sweet pocket. So, my scores for games 1-3 were terrible being about 1-50. My fourth game where I was getting more consistent was 94. I think if I keep practicing and homing in on what does what, I can get my consistency up and thus my score will increase along with it. Later this week I will go play another 3-4 games. Overall, I think today was a good day and a good use of $14 as I gained experience and intel. So that is my journey I had today by myself just trying to try different things and finding out what works for me.

    1. Buy your own bowling ball that has “reactive resin” cover, and have your pro shop drill it for “fingertip” grips. That’s going to make hooking the ball much easier. The bowling balls they have at the bowling alley are not made to hook

    2. Yeah I been trying to learn how to hook on a consistent basis because without it I’m only averaging in the 120s….130s….I need to learn how to release and hook simultaneously. I been watching some PBA championships. I went up a little…but I still can’t get the hook down.

  10. Coach Mike(s), Thanks for the fine video with great explanation/demonstration.
    As a life long chicken winger I can’t seem to stay under & behind the ball all the way. Maybe I’m pulling ?
    Anyway, I can execute the last drill (getting hand out to produce revs ) but don’t understand how to do that when the ball is swinging. Learn to let the thumb come out then rip the fingers ?
    Thank you

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