Rotation Practice - Your One Stop Pro Shop!

Bryan O’Keefe, USBC Gold Coach and Director of Coaching at McKendree University, provides a simple at-home solution to diversifying your release.

With a dowel, drill and a 6-pound plastic ball, you can practice hand positions that create different rotations for any lane condition thrown your way.

Just find your PAP (Positive Axis Point), drill a hole, insert the dowel and you’re good to go.

This drill isolates the release, saving wear and tear on your body. No longer will you have to concern yourself with the entire approach and finish position, you can now repeat the release and the release only.

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29 Comments on “Rotation Practice”

  1. Hmmm interesting. Something you could practice during downtime but I sure as heck won’t be drilling an extra hole in my $200 ball for that.

    1. hi everyone ,if anyone else is searching for youtube lawn bowls tips try Berts Bowls Guide (Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now ) ? Ive heard some super things about it and my work buddy got cool results with it.

    2. @TheGame I believe they’re applying that rule Jan. 1st 2020. At least, in the tournaments I’ve rolled in thus far, they haven’t told the competitors that they couldn’t roll with our balls that has a hole.

    3. @Coffee Sploosh There might be rule changes coming that will change things but i actually didn’t mean that a hole was completely illegal. I know i didn’t make that clear. What i was referring to was the part about a wider hole and i do believe that there are rules now that will only allow a certain size hole. If that’s right then you wouldn’t really be able to play around with the size too much since the hole had to be pretty small. If i’m not mistaken the only reason you are allowed to get a hole is to get the balance back that is lost when drilling fingerholes and for the slight off balance balls are from the factory. Different people needs different size finger holes and that could create a different imbalances that could make a hole needed.

  2. I realize that no one probably cares, but I am having an MRI taken tomorrow to see if I’ve torn a tendon that would require surgery. I just need to get that off my chest. That means no bowling for 6+ months. Also any tips for what to do about being out that long? As in to get back on top of my game?

    1. Take it slow when you return to bowling to avoid unnecessary injury, and don’t worry about being too rusty, I’ve stopped for over a year and my average actually increased to the highest its ever been upon my return. However, I changed my own approach and it has been killing my sliding leg, so telling myself to take it easy and not go crazy up there, I’m teaching myself how to be more consistent with everything.

      But damn does it hurt.

    2. World of No Borders I’m having major back surgery on Nov-18th. I’ll be in the hospital 6-8days, convalesent hospital minimum 2weeks, and a rehab facility 40-60days. My Dr. is a reconstructive back surgeon from Southern California. My sliding leg ” which doesn’t slide” I’m 6’4 261lbs. Has put tremendous strain on my left hip and lower back. Any suggestions on recovery?? Thank you 😃

    3. @tkraoepl Through a series of events I am actually back at it. I ended up having more complications which took out another year for healing but I ultimately am back bowling again. I have had to switch to 2 handing to help with some of the strain (it works really weird). Overall it took about 10-20 off my average but I’m still fighting my way back up to be where I once was!

    4. @Tucker C Hell yeah! Glad to hear that you are bowling again and shooting some decent games. Sounds like you have made it a long way and are almost back at your best. I wish you good luck on the rest of your journey back to the top.

  3. how would one who is in a wheelchair utilize this method? i need to have one hand on my chair to keep some sort of balance.

    1. Hi,

      A couple of suggestions for practicing axis rotation from a wheelchair would be:

      * Raising the ball onto a table or platform high enough to be able to use your opposite hand to guide the ball position. You’re looking to get a feel for different hand positions and you don’t necessary need to throw the ball to understand placement.

      * Use a device, such as the Rev/Ball Motion Trainer, to position the ball and simulate multiple hand positions. This device, or something like it can position the hand and allow release without the ball hanging from the hand and having to be thrown on a lane.

      ** Rev/Ball Motion Trainer found here:

      ** Videos for its use can be found throughout the internet.

      Look for a certified coach in your area to assist with any coaching needs and follow this link to the American Wheelchair Bowling Association (AWBA) for more help with assisted bowling techniques.

      Thanks for continuing with the Bowling Academy.

      Stephen Padilla

  4. i need help..ive been playing bowling for many years but unfortunately with no coach..i used to have an average of 200 pins and i noticed that the way i was playing wouldnt get me any further…no balance, inconsistent hook and not good equipment..after that i started to change my style a bit and thats where the problem appeared…after gaining some balance and good timing..i noticed that my armswing was bad…my arm comes behind my back and i cant have a steady throw..i had a problem at the pushaway,which i fixed with no different result in the end..not to mention im getting worse and worse as time goes on..Without a ball or even with a little of weight i can do the approach perfectly,but when i get a ball in my hand it all goes 17 yo,184 height and i throw a 15 lb ball…any suggestions are appreciated .. (i have a local tour in a few weeks wish me luck)

    1. When I see people wrapping it signals to me that they are really gripping it. If your push-out is good, your arms will naturally want to swing straight back and straight forward like a pendulum. So because wrapping isn’t natural it is simply you not being relaxed. With the people I work with I make sure their ball fits them perfectly so it hangs onto them, their push-out is towards their mark, and then they literally let the rest happen. I always say don’t throw it, the ball will swing with your natural arm motion and then you will follow through naturally. As simple as “Relax” sounds that is the biggest problem I see when it comes to wrapping. Then you truly have to throw the ball somewhere instead of it falling off your hand at the right spot.

    2. Hi,It can be difficult to diagnose a physical game issue
      without being able to review it on video to analyze what parts of the
      body are causing the arm swing to go behind your back. We recommend
      using video to record yourself and review if you choose not to work with
      a coach. Although a second set of eyes may be helpful in this
      The “Find A Coach” feature of is one of the best ways to locate a certified coach in your area. Visit use the “Find a…” tab to locate Find A Coach, enter your zip code and a radius then click “search.”
      There are several videos about the physical game and arm
      swing on the Bowling Academy that can help you develop a program and
      improve your game. Also visiting a pro shop professional, one with
      coaching experience, can be a great start and having a certified coach
      can increase the chances of making the right adjustments.
      To locate a certified pro shop operator in your area, use
      the IBPSIA website and search by using your zip code. Here’s their web
      Look for a USBC certified coach and IBPSIA Pro Shop
      professional in your area and work with them to increase your average.
      While they may be a little out of the way (logistically) they journey
      can be worth it.
      Thank you for continuing with the Bowling Academy.
      Stephen Padilla

    3. damn if your delema doesn’t sound similar to mine. I didn’t bowl for 20 years. came back, by third season back, average in the high 190’s. thought “hmmm, lets change a little here, there and get into the 2-0’s. now, pathetically, I am averaging 170 and can not figure out why….

  5. Interesting training method although the 45 degree release seems like it would possibly get your elbow out too early. I know it’s just a stationary training method however when I’m around the side it happens with a whip of my wrist not a stationary position with my elbow out and around the ball like that.

  6. There are several factors in bowls techniques for beginners. One resource I found that successfully combines these is the Berts bowls guide (check it out on google) definately the most incredible resource that I’ve seen. look at the super information.

    1. Hi Bill.  Thank you for the suggestion.  I will forward this on to the proper department.Thanks!

  7. But the new rules say we can’t have any other holes besides the holes that we put our fingers and thumb in

    1. I doubt he intends to compete in a USBC sanctioned event with that ball since he intentionally drilled a ball that wont be rolled down the lane and returned as he mentioned during the video.

  8. These release drills just never translate with an actual swing. As soon as the ball is coming on the downswing everything changes. I have practiced these drills forever and they are just not natural

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