IamA professional bowler. Ranked #1 in the world. I use a new technique that achieves maximum power and curve (2 handed) AMA!
2013-14 PBA Player of the year 2009-10 PBA Rookie of the year 3 time World Bowler of the year 9 career PBA titles including 3 majors
Thanks heaps everyone for the awesome questions. But that's it from me, it's 2:40am in Sweden where I am and soon I'll just be typing 'zzzz's (thats a terrible joke - you can tell how tired I am after that awful joke)
I will for sure do another AMA in the future!
thats the best question so far - to answer your question - Ed Fisher. Had a ridiculous cover drive and cut shot!
Did you really crinkle the water bottle or is Rash a baby?
If i wanted to put him off with a water bottle I would have thrown it at his head :) so nah, i did not do it on purpose
I have a piggyback question for this one. Did the fiasco with rash and the water bottle cause your switch to a refillable sport water bottle?
I use that Storm bottle because its a little extra exposure for Storm. I've used glasses and other bottles after the 'incident' but I have always liked to help my sponsors out where I can.
Jason, thank you so much for participating in this Reddit AMA and welcome to our community!
I am a moderator at the bowling subreddit /r/bowling and I'm ecstatic you're here with us today!
- What advice do you give to young bowlers looking to compete at a high level?
- What would you do if you weren't bowling?
- How did you obtain your great relationships with Storm and IAB? And what can we as bowlers do to foster relationships with the companies we love?
Thanks so much and I can't wait to hear from you! Best of luck in the Summer Swing!
Edit: I'll probably have more questions soon, but I'm bowling in league right now, working on a 279 game!
Mate No worries - this is fun. 1: Don't think success comes easy. You have to have a strong work ethic and be prepared to face many lows before reaching your goals. 2: I'd be working with my dad at our family bowling in my home town, but in a dream world I'd be a movie critic. Love me a night at the flicks. 3: I was introduced to the owner of Storm in 2001 through a great bowler and friend Tim Mack. Bill Chrisman (the owner of Storm) saw potential in me and knew I needed a little help to reach that potential. He gave me a contract and the rest is history. As far as the IAB - I created that company with fellow Storm staffer Diandra Asbaty and long time friend Ron Hoppe 3 years ago. What started as a few coaching clinics turned into an awesome online bowling community for all ages and averages. I am very proud of what we have created in the IAB
Don't get nervous coming down the final frames :)
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
Not Pete Weber :)
What do you think of all the backlash against your technique...? It seems to be hated in the bowling community.
I'm not really sure I understand it to be honest. I stay behind the foul line and knock over the same 10 pins as everyone else. I can only guess that if I was coming 78th every week, most people wouldn't care how I was bowling
Do you think it's a problem for the sport that many people aren't aware of the huge divide in difficulty between bowling on a sport shot pattern versus a typical house shot? If so, what do you think could be done?
It's one of the biggest issues we have with bowling. Our environment is invisible thus making the level of difficulty of a pattern impossible to tell, unless your bowling on it. The best way to fix this is issue is to educate those about these differences and try and get more people to bowl on these patterns so that can see it first hand
What would it mean to you to win a major with your family in the crowd?
Wow - this question kind of took me away for a moment. I think about this often. I sacrifice so much when I leave home to bowl on tour, I miss my family more than anything. It's bitter sweet to tell them via the phone when i have success. Im excited to tell everyone that I won, but I wished they were there to see it.
One day I will win a major with my wife and kids there and I'll let you know then how emotional it is for me
What kind of practice regimen do you have in order to fine tune your shotmaking skills? I've been bowling for most of my life and have been wondering how to approach practice in order to make it as effective as it can be.
It all really depends on my form - if I bowling well and everything feels good i usually limit my practice a little bit. If there is something specific i need to work on or i feel a little off, I work on it till I'm happy with my game
Thoughts on the blue oil?
Great for TV to show the fans our playing field - but don't like that the oil doesn't come up a strong near the edges - even a tough pattern looks rather easy with blue oil, when it simply isn't the case
Seeing that bowling isn't exactly on the forefront of the sporting world, how does it feel to be the best? Would you like more fame/attention or are you happy with the level the sport is at right now?
It feels great to be bowling so well. I'm a competitive person by nature and don't like losing. So to be doing well certainly makes me proud and happy. As far as fame - I am not in the sport to be famous, but i do want bowling to be respected more by the media and the public. If that were to happen, then i guess more fame would come with it and I'm prepared to accept it - except if that fame means a photographer tries to interrupt me while I'm trying to eat - no one gets between me and a piece of cheesecake :)
Where I'm located, bowling gets expensive when I have free time. How would you recommend practicing if I can't always afford the lanes?
Thats a great question. There are some drills that you can do at home - V drills, kneel down drills, swing drills and release drills. check out www.iabowling.com to learn about the circle. An online community that can help you with exactly what you are asking
When/if you bowl at public bowling alleys, what do you put your name down as in the computer?
Some places only give me 5 letters - so when that happens it's usually Belmo My european friends often like to type my name in as 'the kangaroo' when we can use more than 5 letters :)
What's your favourite ball at the moment?
I'm a big zero gravity fan right now - it's a strong ball but gives me so much length also. Kind of perfect for a guy with 600rpm :)
Hi Jason. Huge fan and congrats on the back-to-back majors!
I had a few questions for you:
1) Does your ball company give you an extra incentive to use their newest balls on the telecasts? I ask that because it seems like often TV finalists will use their company’s newest balls on the shows despite their reactions with those balls being erratic, including last year’s U.S. Open where your ball reaction with the Hyroad Pearl was… less than ideal.
2) What’s your most memorable PBA tour win?
And 3) Is Mike Fagan really as cool as he looks?
1: Most of the pros do earn incentives for wins but the best part about Storm is they never force us to use equipment on TV that we don't want to use. They would rather us win with the best ball for that condition than lose using the newest release. Although if we are able to win with the newest release that does make them a little bit happier :)
2: My most memorable was my 2013 USBC masters win. My first major. It was a great title match and i performed so well. I was really proud of that title.
3: Mike is a cool guy - but don't take my word for it, you can ask him, he will tell you the same :) :)
Belmo, when are you coming to Perth? Come to Perth.
Mate - I haven't been to Perth in years. I would love to come back. I have a great track record there too :)
Let me know when the next big event is on there and I'll see if it works with my schedule
Hey Belmo! How long do you think it will be until we see a female two hander move up the ranks to win a major. Is there anyone I should look out for? I frequently watch the P-league bowling out of Japan and they've got a competitor coming up next season who's using two hands. Really exciting to see the sport change.
You have to share me the link of this two handed girl - I am surprised there isn't more girls doing it. Girls tend to have a harder time create rotation. A 2 handed bowler would destroy the fields if she got really good
-What is your strike percentage on a THS?
-Is it true that you basically grew up in a bowling center your family owned?
-In 20 years how many 2-handers do you see in the top 25 on tour?
-What is the single best thing that could be done to improve bowlings popularity around the world?
1: I have no idea what my strike % is on any pattern. lanetalk.com did have some stats for the WSOB in vegas - but i cant remember what they were. I average around 235 in my house league at home, but I'm not sure how many strikes a night I get :)
2: It is true! My family still own it and run today
3: Good question - I would say 10
4: The single best thing is that every bowler that bowls introduce a new bowler to the sport. If we doubles our memberships all over the world - bowling would be in a much better place
Good morning Belmo! I'm a huge fan.
What are your thoughts on the current status of the PBA? In terms of marketing and where the league is heading.
Every bowler wants the PBA to strive - it's not in its best place right now, but i really believe it has an opportunity to turn the corner (such a bad pun haha) - the staff at the PBA are doing their best to make bowling better and we as players need to show our support of the sport more now than ever!
When you're having a streak of bad games (if you ever do), what do you do to get out of that rut? Take some time off to regroup? Power through it?
I first have to understand the cause of those bad games. If it's technique or lack of knowledge about the pattern I am bowling on or the equipment in my hands. Once I know that answer I can work on fixing the issue
So happy you decided to do the AMA Belmo, I love watching you bowl. I was wondering, on those days where the lane dries up and you're pitching it over the gutter, what keeps you from switching to a less aggressive ball like a urethane ball to finish up the match with a more reasonable lineup?
It's all about angle of entry into the pocket - if I think that lofting will create the best angle entry for me, I will do it. There have been plenty of times I have sued plastic, if i think that will work the best. It's all based on what I think will knock over the pins best for me
I'd hazard a guess and say that you lose angle into the pins when you switch to a less aggressive ball and take the same line.
Have you ever thrown a small child the same way you throw the ball?
Once, but they didn't come back through the ball return and I had to go get her. Figured i was too lazy to keep going down the back to retrieve her so I stopped. She appreciated me stopping also :)
Hey Jason, I'm a big fan. Thanks so much for doing this ama.
Do you think bowling will ever be a "mainstream" sport again like it was in the sixties and early seventies? If so, how?
I think it can - but it has to start now and it will take a long time to rebuild that main stream status. It's all about educating the media and the public - we also have to help build our memberships for all of our governing bodies to help grow the sport
I coach a local travel team that bowls matches 5v5 on Saturdays. It's scratch and competitive, but it's not high school or college so it doesn't get taken as seriously as it should. As a coach, how do you go about working with teenagers that either A. don't listen, or B. don't take the game or your advice seriously?
You will have to find some common group that you can break through with them. I often get to know my students likes and dislikes off the lanes. Sometimes you can use that info to help explain things on the lanes
What is your favorite bowling movie? Hard mode: Not that one.
It hasn't been release yet - it's called "split" - i get a little cameo in this movie :) thats why it's my favourite
Hi. I bowl two-handed and you're the reason why, so thank you. :)
I have trouble with my form in part because of a lack of coaching resources. I'd like to have a coach but needless to say there's not very many bowlers around who can help, in fact I've never seen another two-hander bowling in person. I watch a lot of videos of you and Osku bowling and take video of myself bowling and put the two side-by-side to see what I like and what I don't like. I then focus on one thing I think I could do better from what I see each time I go practice.
I'd love advice on how to improve my technique, especially with regards to consistently hitting my mark (arrows or breakpoint). It feels like when I release I could be as much as 2-3 boards away from an arrow target in either direction, which obviously results in nothing good down the lane. Also, any advice on adapting one-handed coaching advice to two-handed mechanics?
Mate - tough question to answer :) There are many reasons for your inconsistency - with your limited coaching resources - I suggest you reach out to my company - the IAB - we have an online coaching company called the circle that helps over 300 members from all over the world with their games via the internet. I believe the doors to the circle are closed because we are all full (we want to focus on the members we have) but if a spot open up, join our mailing list www.iabowling.com and if a spot opens up you can be notified.
Would you rather fight one Wes Malott-sized Pete Weber, or 100 Pete Weber-sized Wes Malotts?
I'd take on the one BIG Pete weber - you never heard of the David Vs Goliath story :)
What, in your opinion, is the best way to increase bowling's popularity?
I'm interested in what can happen at different levels too - from current league bowlers all the way to the pros and even organizations like ESPN that show bowling on television. What do you think should be done?
First thing that needs to happen is to educate the media and the public more about what we do, and how difficult it really is.
We then need to build our core membership group. We everyone bowler introduced one new bowler each to bowling, we'd be in a much better position!
Belmo! Just wanted to say I love the charisma and entertainment you bring to the sport, my man. That cross chop to PDW at the PBA League semifinal was great.
What would you say was the most enjoyable/memorable shot of your career? Conversely, what would you consider to be your most heartbreaking miss/open?
The 2nd split in this video is one of the most memorable career moments for sure :)
The worst was the entire 2013 US Open game :)
How did your relationship with Diandra Asbaty progress to the point where you guys have your own online coaching system?
Also, a lot of those free resources that the IAB has have helped my game considerably, so I sincerely thank everybody involved.
3 years ago - we were asked by Ron Hoppe to do a bootcamp with him in Chicago. After that camp, we worked so well together we decided to do more. The biggest problem we faced was that we couldn't do enough clinics to help enough people. We brained stormed and the "circle" was invented to allow people from all over the world the chance to get coached by us via the web.
I love that our resources have helped you and we will continue to release those resources into the future.
What's the best way to tackle dry or shorter patterns for somebody with high revs? I messed with wrist position for a while, but then got myself all sorts of messed up and couldn't hook to save my life. Now I'm back to staying behind the ball and getting a good hook on it, but I'm also back to having trouble with those conditions.
I tend to use stronger equipment and have the ball bleed energy to control the back end. Or i use urethane :)
At what age did you bowl your first 300 game/800 series and how many do you have to date? Big fan btw!
I was 16 for my first 300 and for my first 800
Thanks for being a fan :)
Which pattern provides the hardest shot after the oil begins to break down?
Also, thanks for the AMA. I'm a big fan.
The US Open pattern is the hardest pattern we bowl on tour - its such a brutal pattern
SO many questions I want to ask, but I'll keep it to one. Where do you think professional bowling will be in 20 years? I mean, you're obviously going to win many titles and be in the PBA hall of fame some day, but I wonder if there will be a PBA in 20 years. So many fans of bowling and the PBA HATE how ESPN covers bowling (taped shows) and the campy things that the PBA has done to try and get people to watch bowling (like the outdoor show a few years ago--those lanes were HELLACIOUS). Your style and technique are helping to keep bowling relevant.
Oh, and the "mean things about Jason" thing you do every once in a while--funny stuff man.
I think what happens in the next 3 years will determine where the PBA will be in 20. We need to start to create a strong foundation to build on for the years to come. ESPN is a supporter of the PBA - if they were not, we wouldn't be on their network. The taped shows are a result of a cost cutting measure for the PBA (it costs around $150K to record a single show) the ability to record multiple shows saves the PBA a lot of money and personally, as much as I agree that LIVE shows are better for everyone, its understandable compromise As for the 'campy' things the PBA are doing - every decision they make is made for a reason. We may not all know what that reason is, but they are doing their best to help bowling grow
What do you think the best way of teaching a straight bowler to hook a ball?
Quite a broad question. The quickest way is to bowl 2 handed. You'll see a huge difference in ball motion very fast. But if your keen to keep your one handed style, I suggest to get 'under the ball' more and create a flicking action with your wrist at the release point - the motion is like when you use a yoyo - that flicking action
What is your favorite place to eat when you are in the United States?
It's a restaurant in Chicago called 'Next' - look it up - it's awesome
Hey what's up Belmo,
So, I'm eighteen years old, and I've been bowling since I as soon as I could walk, it feels like. I underwent labrum reconstruction surgery three weeks ago, and I won't be able to bowl until August. When I stopped bowling in December, due to the pain in my shoulder, I felt like I was at the top of my game. I was bowling 20-25 games a week, and my mental game, and knowledge of the sport was at an all time high.
I guess my question is, how do I bounce back from this injury? And have you ever had to go through any injury like this, and how did you push through?
Thanks for making a bunch of ole' farts uncomfortable about the evolution of bowling!
I have not had to go through anything like you have. I once stubbed my toe before league, does that count ? haha - just kidding. Seriously though - your knowledge can continue to grow without bowling. keep reading about bowling and watching bowling videos. There is so much great information (www.iabowling.com) is a great place to look also.
In terms of your come back to the lanes - i'd take it slow and ask your medical professionals when they thing the right time for you to come back is.
I really appreciate how you seem very down to earth and are always trying to branch out to the fans through youtube, and the like. My question is what would you be doing if you weren't a freak of bowling nature that can hurl the ball so freaking hard and fast?
I'd be working with my dad in my home town in the family bowl. I grew up in that place and it will always be special to me. I can see myself one day (one day ages from now haha) taking over and running the bowl. Bowling is such a huge part of my life, I just can't see myself ever wanting to do something that didn't involve the sport I love
I just got started bowling 2 handed due to wrist pain. I've noticed it's a lot more strain on my forearm. Are there any special warmups or workouts that you do to help with that?
I wish I knew more about the body to answer this more comfortably for you. My best advice is ask a physician who knows what they are talking about :) As for me, I try to stretch and warm up as best I can before and after every session of bowling
I have started sport bowling this past year (I'm 15) and average 204. My questions that although I play the boards with my feet, I don't pay attention to them at the arrows. I just sorta know where I need to throw it. Should I practice looking at the boards or continue to do what I do? What do I do?
It's important to have a target - its a good way to make adjustments. I suggest you start to at least take notice what board your ball rolls over at your target area!
How's it going Belmo? I am a collegiate bowler and I always look forward to being matched up with certain individuals/teams at tournaments. My question for you: Do you ever look forward to being matched with certain bowlers for qualifying games? For what reasons? And do you ever look forward to bowling against certain bowlers in match play/stepladder play and for what reasons? Thanks!
EDIT: Also, I look forward to watching you bowl at the 2015 Masters in Green Bay, Wisconsin! My former teammates' father owns the bowling alley where it will be held.
Mate I'm good, thanks for asking.
I love bowling with and against Pete Weber and Norm Duke. They are my bowling idols and I enjoy watching them bowl so much. it's also an amazing feeling to bowl against them!
Looking forward seeing you there!
Did you have fun competing against Vin Gerrard? And are you a fan of professional wrestling?
Double question I know!
It was fun - Vin is a crazy guy and actually not a bad bowler (still can't believe he beat me one game :) haha) He and I have become mates and he is doing his part in help promoting bowling. I use to follow a little wrestling back in the day, but haven't watched so much of it the past few years.
Bill O'Neil won his singles match against Osku, and yet you didn't shove shaving cream in his face. Is that rivalry over? Will the Real Deal never get what's coming to him?
haha - I will get Billy back when the time is right. I won a major when he smashed cream in my face, so a one on one match with Osku doesn't seem worthy of retaliation :) But trust me - it's coming!
How young was you when you started playing and how many hours a week did you train?
I started bowling when i was 18 months old - I bowled almost everyday as a kid (it became my second home) but i didn't look at it as training, i looked at it as a kid who wanted to just have fun. I realise now though, all those countless hours spent bowling were also considered practice :) So to answer your question, i practiced 8 hours a day 5 days a week for 16 years :)
Hey Belmo I bowl two-handed because of you. Thanks man. Anyway, is that split at the 2014 USBC Masters(3-4-6-7-9-10) your favorite split pick-up of your career?
what this split https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkR12W4VQ6A haha Yeah its for sure my most favourite spilt spare on TV
Thanks for being a fan mate!
Hey belmo I'm a big fan of yours and changed to two handed as well. Will you ever come to Toronto, Canada or Canada in general? Or how much will it cost for you to come for a proam event? I would love to the extreme to see you bowl live
I'd love to come to Canada. I wish it were as simple as paying me a bunch of money to come bowl :) but my schedule is so full and I am away from home so much already, unless there was a big tournament in Canada to lure me there. It would be very difficult to have me come just for a pro am
Tell me honestly, is it really a gravy train with biscuit wheels?
only sometimes :)
These are the questions I originally had when I submitted the request. If you get some time, I'd love your take on these things. If not, at least tell me what was going through your mind when you busted out the crotch-chop towards my fellow Show-Me Stater Pete Weber! lol That was awesome!
Do you believe that bowling could regain the prominence it once had? If so, how?
What are some of the most common things bowlers could work on to improve their scores?
How good did it feel to bust out the crotch chop aka "suck it" towards Pete Weber in the Elias Cup quarterfinals?
Are there some major differences between bowling alleys in different countries or do they all have that familiar feel? (Arcade room, snack stand, and such)
Why do you think some people have such a problem with your two-handed bowling style?
1: I have no idea why i did that to Pete :) the last thing I want to do is make him angry and go all green on me and bet me by 100 :)
2: I do, but it will be a long road. It's all about educating the media and the public about what we do and how we do it.
3: Simplest answer for this is make your spares
4: It felt weird :) won't do that again I don't think
5: Every country has it's own feel on the lanes. But they are certainly close to each other. I mean all the lanes are the same length and have 10 pins at the other end :)
6: I don't mind people having an opinion on two handed bowling. We two handers are bowling well within the rules so I'm quite ok hearing all the complaining :)
How can I go about getting tickets to see a PBA event?
Depending the venue we are at - you can call the bowl and buy tickets or email them
I am pretty excited about The Circle, can you explain what we should expect on a daily basis from it content wise? Also, can you pretty please convince Storm to produce your spare ball?
Mate - we have so much info in the circle its crazy - all the resources, live video shows ( we have one tomorrow night actually) and about a billion forum questions already posted. The coaching staff are also in there daily (we try to be anyway, depending on travel schedules and family) - so I can assure you, you will love it and learn so much. As for my spare ball - I'm working on it :)
Fellow two-hander here. I've seen a few videos of you throwing a one handed shot, and it looks pretty well practiced.
How often do you still throw one handed to keep that aspect of your game? Do you feel that things you practice one hand help two hand, and vice versa?
I never bowl or practice one handed - its a rare sighting to see me do it :)
One day I will do it on the PBA tV show :) Not sure when though!
How good were you at bowling when you were younger? (From when you were born until about 18)
I didn't really get really really good till I was about 16. It was then when I started to make more of my spares and began realising that I didn't need to break pins every frame to win tournaments :)
Who's the best batsman you ever faced?
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