By Stephen Padilla
USBC Coaching Specialist
Once you are repeating shots and feel like you are getting enough power and ball speed at the pins, it's time to practice deliberately speeding up and slowing down your ball speed in order to promote versatility.
The ability to change your ball speed at will is crucial because it allows you to change your shot shape and the ball's reaction on the pins. Holding the ball lower in your stance can shorten your swing and speed up your footwork, making the ball travel faster. On the flip side, raising the ball in your stance can lengthen your swing and slow down your footsteps, making your travel slower. This may sound backward from what you've been taught, so if you don't believe it, just give it a try. A lot of players are having success controlling ball speed with these simple stance adjustments.
However, it really doesn't matter how you go about changing ball speed; it's just important for you to be able to do so when the need arises. Master this ability, and you will quickly find yourself well equipped to tackle any lane condition you face.