7-Peak Performance Anchors & Anchor #1

Through my many years of competing, studying the game and being coached by the best teachers in the world, I have developed seven physical pillars that create repetition, technique that is current and relevant and can be developed by any level player.  More importantly, it creates the best opportunity to repeat shot to shot.    I call it the 7-Peak Performance AnchorsThe 7 Peak Performance Anchors are:  Set-up Position, Timing, Footwork, Swing Path, Balance Arm, Release and Finish Position.  Over the next several months, the physical pillars that provide the opportunity for a player to perform at a peak level will be discussed in detail.  This blog will focus specifically on Anchor #1:  Set-Up Position.


The Set-up Position is so important as it affects many of the other physical anchors.  It provides a visual line of target to the body.  It is also the quickest and easiest of all the physical anchors to modify and develop.  Let's start with the Feet and work upward.  The Feet must always be pointed or square to your line of target.  The ball side foot (right for right-handers) is always staggered, which means it is slightly behind the opposite ball side foot.  This will slightly open the ball side hip, which provides proper body alignment and launch angle after release. 


The Knee Flex is not exaggerated but very slight.  I like to refer to it as if you were having a normal conversation with someone.  This is normally done with some flex in your legs/knees.  It is relaxed and very consistent with what we do each and every day.  Some bowlers like to start out with lots of knee bend.  Is this wrong?  Not necessarily.  Bowlers are unique and develop different techniques.  I have found out through 25+ years of coaching that most bowlers are out of this deep knee bend by step two or step three.  It also causes effort or stress in the Set-up Position.  Try having a conversation with someone with a deep knee bend.  You will be back into a slight knee bend within one minute. 


Your Hips should also be pointed or square to your target.  This allows for the ball swing to stay in the slot throughout the entire approach (swing will be discussed in the future). 


The Ball-side Arm should be parallel with the approach and the elbow gently located on the hip.  Some bowlers like the elbow in front of the hip, which works fine as long as the push-way direction stays in the slot.  Many bowlers who have the elbow in the front of the hip have right direction in the push-away which creates misdirection in the swing (lateral movement) and negatively affects the release and accuracy.


The Location of the Ball is positioned between the shoulder and the chin.  Some coaches call this the ball slot.  Many bowlers will have the ball right of the slot (between shoulder and slot).  This will usually create right movement in the push-away and the ball will swing behind the head (left), which again is misdirection in the swing.  Anytime I video tape a bowler from directly behind, I should never see any of the ball.  This ball location develops the entire swing direction.


The ball side Shoulder should always be slightly lower than the opposite shoulder (usually 6"-8").  This creates an easier ball side step (tightrope - this will be discussed in a future blog).  It also endorses proper swing direction as well.


The Upper Torso (upper body) should be slightly leaning forward.  When I use Bowler's Map, I like to see an angle of 15 degrees (this would be your spinal angle).  It provides for an athletic start and provides great balance at the start). 


Some other items that should be addressed would be the Distribution of the Weight of the Ball.  I like 60% of the weight on the ball side hand with the remaining 40% being supported by the non bowling hand.  This creates minimal grip pressure allowing for an effortless swing.   Last, the Wrist should be firm at the Set-up Position.  Many bowlers like to "cup" the wrist at the start, which increases grip pressure and endorses effort into the swing.  This makes it very challenging for a bowler to develop an effortless swing.


I have provided some visuals that support the information written in this blog.  Remember, we are all unique in our technique.  Some bowlers will have different Set-up Positions.  The question you need to ask is:  Does my technique create repetition in my physical game?  If yes, then leave it alone.  If you feel that you can't repeat enough, maybe it is time to modify your Set-up Position.  I believe the elements discussed in Anchor #1 - Set-Up Position provides the greatest opportunity for repetition.  Give it a try. 


In the next blog I will start discussing the Mental Game; what it takes to develop an Elite Mindset.  I think you will be excited to read about mental conditioning.  I believe it is the most neglected essential in performing at a peak level. 


My goal is to alternate between the physical side and mental game for blogs.  Stayed tuned for more blogs to come....





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