"Foundation Frame" by Michelle Mullen

Bowlers Journal International Column

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 7.27.10 AM

Read Michelle’s “FOUNDATION FRAME” Columns:

Listen to what reader, Bob Loffredo has to say:

Dear Michelle, I want to thank for your August article of BJI. I have been bowling for 48 years. For most of those years I have been bending over too far from the waist. This has caused many problems over the years that have greatly limited my potential. I have had lessons from some great coaches along with some all time great bowlers. But alas no change. I consider myself a student of the game but could not seem to correct my game myself to get to the next level. Then I read your article last night on Timing: Posture and Leverage. WOW! I thought your article was written specifically to me. I have early timing. This I believe was caused by leaning forward on the approach and chasing the ball throughout my delivery. Of course, this has greatly limited my ability to repeat shots. After I read your article last night I went to practice today with hope. I decided to lean backwards on my setup. What seemed over exaggerated to me seemed like it was barely noticable to my friend and coach, John Handegard. On my first full game of trying this technique I threw 11 straight quality shots. All of a sudden I have leverage, I'm no longer off balance when I finish my shot and I feel like I can now wait on the ball. Thank you just doesn't seem like enough. Your friend, Bob Loffredo Missouri City, TX

February 2020 “Swing Secret: Give Up Control”

BALL REACTION AFFECTS your swing and ability to relax. When we do not see a good reaction on the lanes, we naturally start to force the shot because what we’re doing is not working; the swing tightens up and we become erratic, rather than letting the ball do the work.  Read more


December 2019 “When Advice to ‘Stay Behind It’ Only Exacerbates a Lack of Hook”

IN APRIL, WE ADDRESSED “turning the ball'” clarified how more turn is not always more hook, and how staying behind the ball more can actually get the ball to roll sooner and hook more. This definitely is the case when the ball is over-skidding on the lane because of too much side turn, or rotation, causing it to spin more than roll. It will appear that there is not enough backend, when we the problem actually is that the ball is not grabbing soon enough. Here, rather than trying to turn it more to get it to hook more on the backend. it would be better to stay behind the ball longer to create more forward roll so the ball can grab sooner. Read more


October 2019 “Swing Help from the Shoulders”

WHILE “SWING IS KING,” it’s important to understand the role shoulders play in maintaining a healthy swing plane. Since we want our arm swinging to be virtually straight at a 90-degree angle to our shoulders it is up to our shoulders to line up the swing to the desired target line. If we fail to do this, we either miss the pins we are shooting at or we get them, but with an altered swing plane.  Read more


August 2019 “Some Changes Are Timeless”

CAROLYN DORIN-BALLARD and I were discussing the presentation I would give to coaches at the 2019 Turbo tech Collegiate Expo. I chose to talk about how, when it comes to developing your game, some changes are not timeless. Read more


June 2019 “How to Practice”

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I practice? What should I practice? How should I practice? These are all great questions that I am asked all the time. How you practice is as important as what you practice. Read more


February 2019 “To Focus or Not to Focus”

AS A COACH, I have become more and more intrigued by the thoughts I don’t hear. Obviously, there is communication between my students and me, necessary for them to understand the concepts and learn how to apply them. However, I have become increasingly concerned about the thoughts inside the player’s head that I don’t get to hear, wondering what their focus might actually be at any point in time.  Read more


December 2018 “The Evolution of Timing”

WHEN BOWLERS COME in for lessons, it’s common to hear that they are having a hard time hitting their target. Typically, it has nothing to do with a lack of focus. Rather, it has to do with their timing, affecting their leverage at the line. Read more


October 2018 “Getting That Identical Feel”

SOME BOWLERS ARE more sensitive to their “feel” than others, and their performance largely depends on it. Especially for them, getting an identical in each of their bowling balls is critical.  Read more


August 2018 “Is It Time to Go Straight?”

WHILE USING YOUR strike ball and the 3-6-9 system, or a variation of it, has been a popular way to pick up spares, it can be a disadvantage for you to continue using this strategy. With all the different equipment, lane conditions and angles now in play, taking ball reaction out of the equation has become the preferred strategy of many.  Read more


June 2018 “Emotions, Strategy & Confidence”

IN OUR EXAMINATION of the mental game, we’ve addressed how to focus on performance versus income, and discussed renewing your focus with every pre-shot routine. Now, let’s take a close look at managing your emotions, strategy, and confidence.  Read more


February 2018 “Develop a Great Shot-making Routine”

GREAT BOWLERS LEARN how to repeat shots.  It’s not about being perfect, but about being able to repeat a similar motion from shot to shot.  It is part of a sound mental game and cultivating this ability begins with a good shot making routine.  Read more


December 2017 “The Power of a Great Mental Game”

TO BE A SUCCESSFUL bowler, you need to make good physicalshots, develop sound lane-play strategy and control your mental game. Your mental game involves remaining calm, relaxed and properly focused under stressful conditions. The better your physical game, the more important your mental game becomes in your quest for success…Read more

October 2017 “Does Your Ball Hook Enough?”

BOWLERS OFTEN come into the shop or take a lesson, claiming that their ball does not hook enough.  If this is happening to you, it can make you start pulling the ball — if not consciously, then subconsciously…. Read more

August 2017 “Drifting:  How to Correct It”

HOW YOU LINE UP and make adjustments largely determines whether you will develop a drift.  Drifting is defined as ending on a board other than the one on which you started in the stance. It’s important to establish a realistic relationship between your stance and your target to… Read More

June 2017 “Lining Up and Lane Adjustments”

IT’S IMPORTANT TO line up to walk straight. The relationship between your stance position and your target forms an angle to affect the trajectory of the ball. To maintain this angle at delivery, walk straight during the approach. Walking diagonally will alter the target line. You need to establish a realistic relationship between your stance and your target to enable you to walk straight. Read more

April 2017 “Footwork:  Walking Naturally”

THE KEY TO GOOD FOOTWORK is to walk naturally and, in general, walk straight. You want to develop good rhythm and natural momentum on the approach. For consistency and power, you need sound biomechanics when taking your steps. And starting the proper distance from the foul line is integral to establishing good footwork. Read more

February 2017 “Dealing With the ‘Other’ Corner Pin”

OUR DECEMBER COLUMN focused on picking up the 10-pin (or the 7-pin for left-handed bowlers), including the suggestion to use a plastic ball. There are three reasons to also consider using a plastic ball when attempting to convert the 7-pin (or the 10-pin for lefties). Read more

Bowlers Journal preview

December 2016 “Picking Up the Corner Pin”

LET’S FACE IT: As a right-hander, you probably leave the 10-pin a lot. If you’re a lefty, it’s the 7-pin. This is just a fact, and while you need to figure out how to carry it more often, you must become proficient at picking it up. This comes up frequently in lessons, and the higher the average, the more important it becomes to have a higher conversion rate on this pin in order to maintain and improve your average.Read More

October 2016 “Balancing Power and Repetition”

Last time we looked at the effect timing has on your posture and leverage at the line. While we focused on the side view in analyzing this position, this column we are going to focus on the finish position from the back view. Specifically, I had mentioned “staying tall”, keeping the shoulders up to maintain upper body posture. With this, we still want to get low at the line; however, with your hips. Let’s take a closer look at the function your legs play to achieve a strong, athletic delivery position at the finish. Read More

August 2016 “Timing, Part II: Posture and Leverage”

LAST TIME, we explored how it feels to adjust your timing, especially the effect it has on the overall feel of your rhythm and control. Adjusting your timing, especially in the start, affects both how much control you feel and how fast you are moving to the line.  Now let’s take a look at how your timing affects your posture and your overall leverage.  Read more

Bowlers Journal June 2016

June 2016 “Timing, Part I: Control & Rhythm”

“Timing affects all aspects of the approach, including your rhythm, posture, delivery, release and accuracy.  When you improve your timing, those other aspects improve as well.”

Just about every bowler I have ever met — professionals included — has a timing issue in the start.  It seems tht no one is immune to this: we all have a read more

APRIL 2016 “Swing is King: Stance and Start”

“In the February issue, we addressed grip pressure, the importance of a good ball fi t, and the use of bowler’s tape in the thumbhole to keep from having to squeeze the ball. These are all key to being able to relax your hand in the ball, leading to a more relaxed swing.  Always remember: “Swing is king.”

Now it’s time to address the stance, and how to start your swing. Professionals spend a lot of time read more

Bowlers Journal Cover February 2016

FEBRUARY 2016 “Tale of the Tape: Get a Grip”

“I continually am amazed by the impact that a bowler’s grip pressure has on their performance. Generally speaking, the better the bowler, the lighter the grip pressure. Relaxing your grip is the quickest way to improve your swing and release. Too many bowlers squeeze the ball, applying excessive grip pressure. Do you? You may not even be aware of it.

Excessive grip pressure simply can be due to…” read more


BF2E CoverHTPUS cover