Physical / Injuries
Physical Q&A  [1-20]   [21-40]  [41-60]

Randy September 24, 2007

Hi Walter Ray and Paige,
How do you stay in shape?

Also, do you take nutritional supplements?
If so, what do you take?
Thanks for your time.

Hi Randy,
Basically I watch how much I eat. I don't necessarily clean my plate when I go out to eat which is quite often. I try to mainly drink water. I do exercise once in a while, but not as often as I should. I do take a multi-vitamin and glucosamine chondroitin several times a week. I hope this helps you.

Carl September 18, 2007 East Rockaway NY Is there anything you do specifically to protect your hand and especially the wrist from wear and tear? Hi Carl, I don't use anything to protect my hand and wrist while I bowl. Basically the strength that I have developed over the years has sufficed. Once in a great while my fingers and thumb will split and then I will use a 'new skin' type of product.

Paul September 15, 2007

I have a weak shoulder,i've been bowling for 35 years,but recently developed a sore shoulder. is there any kind of device that would help me,I would really like your advice. thank you.

Hi Paul,
It sounds like you might want to go see a Dr. or at least a physical trainer. I wouldn't want to give you any advice which may cause more injury.

Gary June 12, 2007
Bloomfield Hills

I am 66 and havent bowled in 2 years due to a herniated disc i was averaging 195-200. Questions: what is the lightest weight ball i can throw and get appropriate carry? should i bowl with a back brace? any manufacturers better with lighter weighted balls? any exercises/stretches recommended before i bowl? i know everyone is different but i really need advice and i coudnt think of a better person to ask. thanks gary

Hi Gary,
I would think that a 14 pound ball should still give pretty decent carry if you have a decent hook. If you go lighter than that you will probably start leaving more light pocket taps and or splits. But the helicopter bowlers from Taiwan use around 11 pounds, but don't hook the ball. You might want to consult a physical therapist on good stretching exercises as I don't want to give you bad advice. Good luck.

Harry March 21, 2007
San Diego

Walter Ray,
Do you think a large beer belly impedes my ability to score?

Hi Harry,
I really can't say for sure, but it might. I would think that a person would have to make some kind of physical accommodation with their swing to incorporate a disproportionately large belly.

Adam March 15, 2007
Hales Corners

While bowling in tournys, day after day does your bowling hand /fingers/wrist swell or ache?

What do you exactly type or note in in your little computer type thing after every shot during a tournament?

How do you mentally prepare for every tournament and shot you make? What thoughts cross your mind?

Hi Adam,

Both of my hands ache due to minor arthritis and my bowling hand, wrist and fingers are bit more sore due to bowling.

I use a program called Frames in which I record every pin that I leave and my opponents. You should be able to see all of my scoresheets for the last few years on my website.

I really don't do a whole lot special before a tournament. Sometimes if I think a particular shot that I may not be the greatest at, like playing 6th arrow, I will think about it before a block.

Richard March 5, 2007

Mr. Williams:
I have been experiencing very sore fingers after I release by ball. I use inserts. What do you think is causing this?
Thank you

Hi Richard,
It depends on exactly where on your fingers are getting sore. I would consult with your pro shop operator and ask them. Most good operators should be able to diagnose your issue. Since I have never seen your ball or watched you bowl, it would be irresponsible to try to tell you what was wrong. Some players do have problems with some finger inserts. I hope you figure it out. Good luck!

Tabitha February 28, 2007
Bay City

My father has commented on this site before. He must be a real fan. I always look up to him in bowling, he enjoys it so much.

I have a question.
1. I have been bowling since I was a little girl. My dad has told me that a wrist card is useless, but it seems like whenever I throw, my wrist turns. What is an alternative to a wrist guard, or do you recommend using one?
Thank you!

Hi Tabitha,
Not all wrist guards are useless. Most professionals don't need them as their wrists are strong enough to keep their wrists in the position that they want. Sometimes females have weaker wrists and need a little bit of extra support. However, it is also a matter of learning the proper technique for keeping your wrist/hand in a better position during release. Talk to your dad and local pro shop operator about what combination of wrist device and or technique (lessons) would be best for you.

Jeff February 17, 2007
Coral Springs

Hi Walter Ray,
I would appreciate your comments on the effects of aging in professional bowling. We non-professional sports "types" can easily understand how age affects professional football and basketball players. Can you talk about exactly what it is in professional bowling that affects bowlers in their forties (and above) that gives the advantage to the younger professional bowlers? Thank you and congratulations on you outstanding carrer. Like many others, I await number 42!!

Hi Jeff,
Bowling isn't quite as demanding as some of the other sports. It is more like golf, where a player in the late 40's and 50's can still be competitive with the younger players. What some of the younger players have is bodies which allow them to throw the ball a bit harder with more revolutions which can make the pins dance around more.

Michael January 22, 2007
Fort Wayne

First I'd like to say that although perhaps cliche on this board I feel like you're the best bowler of both the 20th and 21st centuries and since I was a junior bowler over 15 years ago I've held you in the highest esteem. When ever you are on TV, I feel like I need to watch or record the telecast. I am always rooting for you to win.

My question is about fitness and bowling. In golf and other sports the 90s brought upon a great awareness that repeatability of athletic movements can be positively impacted by a high level of fitness. I would like to hear from you what you think about fitness and bowling and how if at all you've incorporated exercise and or nutrition into your life.
Kind Regards,

Hi Michael,
I have never been for much exercise. When I was younger I was very thin. I am 6' 2" and weighed around 165 # when I was first on tour. Over the years I would add a few pounds as do most people when they get older. A few years ago I was weighing around 210 which I thought was starting to get a bit big. My wife decided to become serious about losing some weight so I kind of joined her. Basically I stopped eating everything that was on my plate when we went out to eat. Over the next 6 - 12 months I ended up losing about 25 pounds. I even worked out a bit. But I am not very good at keeping to my work out routine and hardly ever do that while I am on tour. As far as nutrition, I probably don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, but do eat them. Fortunately I am pretty healthy and don't seem to have any major problems. As I am getting older I need to stay in better shape to stay up with the younger bowlers, so hopefully I won't get too out of shape again.

John December 24, 2006

I noticed the Video for for pitching shows you pitching left-handed. Do you bowl right-handed and pitch left-handed?

Hi John,
I am right handed. But when I was 13 I broke my finger and learned how to pitch left handed. When I was 18 I broke my wrist and practiced left handed some more. I got to where I was pitching decent and decided to enter a tournament left handed. Until I was 30 I used to hold an average pitching left handed of around 55%. That is pretty good, but I used to average 85% right handed, so it was never really an issue for me. Then in 2003 & 2004 I averaged under 70% right handed at the world tournaments. For me that was way below how I want to pitch. I figured that if I put some practice in that I could get to around 70% left handed. I did practice and the last 2 years at the world tournament I averaged about 72.5% finishing 2nd. That is still a big drop from when I pitched well right handed, but I am having more fun competing.

I don't really bowl left handed. Maybe I should put some practice in.

Gino December 8, 2006
Pearl River

Hello Walter Ray,
I am a big fan of yours!! You are truly a top-notch bowler! I watch you every chance I get. I am having a problem with my thumb as I am getting calluses. I bowl 3 times a week. Any idea how I can bowl without getting calluses on my thumb or am I bowling incorrectly.

Thank you and hope to see you on TV again soon!

Hi Gino,
Getting calluses is part of bowling, especially if you start bowling lots of games. You can check with your local pro shop operator if tweaking you grip is in order.

CJ October 22, 2006
New York

Hey Walter Ray, I have two questions that I hope you will be able to answer...

First, do you do anything during the year to stay in shape for bowling? If so, what are some good exercises to help improve your game and be more consistent?

Second, like you, I take a 5-step approach. At the end of my slide, I sometimes notice that my left (sliding) foot is pointed a little to the right rather than straight at the pins after I release the ball. Is this something I should fix or should I leave it as it is?

Hope you get to answer this. Thanks alot.

Hi CJ,
I really don't do a lot of exercises. During the off season, I pitch horseshoes and play golf for most of my exercise. About once a week I may actually do some real exercises, but usually not even that often. Bowling is probably the best exercise for bowling. But you need a strong wrist and good knees.

If your foot is pointed a bit to the right when you slide that shouldn't be a horrible thing. If it seems that you make better shots when your foot is more perpendicular to the foul line then try to do that more often, but if not then I wouldn't worry about it. Repetition is the key! Whatever it is you do, you need to do it consitently.

Tim October 20, 2006

First, I admit to being a huge fan, having followed you since 1990 or so. The reappearance of PBA on ESPN Classic helps me remember how much I've enjoyed bowling and your success over the years. My question is, Is there a standard adjustment one should try whenever apparently solid pocket shots are leaving ringing tens (6 flies across the front of the 10 and doesn't catch it)? I've been told move uo,m back, in, out, and my favorite response, don't worry about it. That was my wife, so she can be forgiven. I try to watch the 6 on every shot, and I understand how entry angle can make the difference; it's changing my release that I seem to have trouble managing consistently.
Thanks, and continued success!

Hi Tim,
My basic goal is to hit the pocket. Leaving a ringing or solid 10 pin where the 6 pin flies around the 10 not laying in the channel is a good shot. A slight amount left or right will be a strike. If you can hit that exact spot where you leave the ringing 10 pin every time then you moving a slight amount would be a good thing. But I am not that good so I try to keep hitting the pocket. A solid 10 pin is part of the game as frustrating as it is.

Ron May 21, 2006

Hi Walter Ray,
For some reason, lately I've really had a lot of problems with my thumb shrinking and swelling while I practice or bowl in leagues. (Usually, I've never had such big fluctuations.) I don't know if it's because it's the spring and there seem to be wide fluctuations in humidity levels, for example. I know it's very frustrating for me because sometimes I'll be dropping the ball off my hand and missing spares. Then I put a piece of black tape in and it seems too tight, then I don't get the ball off my hand cleanly, getting hung up in the ball. I know when the fit is good, I feel much better about my spare game and seem to make a much higher percentage with relative ease.

Would you have any suggestions or tricks of the trade you've learned through the years? I know you blow in the thumb hole. Any other suggestions? Or do you know of any products which might help me?

I know it's kind of tough for me right now where I'm kind of doing like Norm Duke-putting in a piece of tape on one shot, then taking the piece of tape out on the next shot, then putting it in again on the next shot, etc.

What a perfect world it would be if only a person's thumb didn't shrink or swell...

Hi Ron,
Some bowler's thumbs are changing sizes constantly. It is kind of frustrating taking a piece of tape out and then 2 frames later putting another one back in. Since you are using thin black pieces you might want to try pieces which are 3/8 or 1/2 inches in width. Norm and I use cork inserts on the finger side of the thumb hole and they are always sliding around. Norm is a bit pickier about his thumb hole than I am, but there are many times when I can't quite get the feel that I am looking for also.

Ron May 11, 2006

Hi Walter Ray,
When I bowl a lot, I've started to feel a lot of pain in my ankle and even more on the ball of my plant foot (left foot). It almost feels like a stress fracture or something. It's sort of strange in that I really don't feel the pain for the most part in other activities, but only bowling or if I walk a last amount. Usually, I don't feel the pain so much even while I'm bowling, but after I get home. I know it's quite painful if I go barefoot. It seems like when I put on my slippers and have some support, then it's better. I'm in my early 40's now and have put on some weight over the last couple of years so I suppose that may be contributing to this problem.

I know you aren't a doc, but I wondered if you had known other bowlers who had had similar problems. Would you have any suggestions?

Hi Ron,
You should see a doctor, preferably one specializing in feet. I know that many bowlers have had problems with their feet, but they usually get help from a doctor.

Tim July 1, 2006

If you were to help a beginning bowler with a medium hook, where would you have him stand with his feet, and look with his eyes for a target?
Thanks, Great Bowling to you, Tim

Hi Tim,
It depends on the lane conditions that the bowler was bowling on, but I would recommend targeting around the 2nd arrow (10th board) and adjusting their feet until they are hitting the pocket. Depending on the lane conditions, they will most likely have to adjust their target as well.

Physical Q&A  [1-20]  [21-40]   [41-60]

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