Swing Tempo = Peak Performance

Swing Tempo & Effort


If the best players in the world all have different hand positions, swing planes and various other technical sticking points, then it should be a pretty good indication that there’s more than one way to get it done.  The thing that links all of these players together is one of the most important fundamentals of the swing - swing tempo.  Swing tempo is the overall duration, or pace, of the swing.  It is one of the first components that becomes visual immediately when watching a player.  When I witness a fast tempo or a slow tempo, it is time to start connecting the dots. 


The best players in our sport all have the best tempo swings.  I like to call it “peak performance tempo.”  I have studied and worked with swing tempos of professionals and amateurs.  The player with the best rhythm and tempo is the one who lets the ball swing the arm and the feet follow the swing.  As I tell my players:  “the feet chase the swing.”  These are the players who have versatility in ball speed, hand positions that create different ball motions and are extremely accurate.


While watching the Tournament of Champions yesterday, I paid close attention to the first match between Matt O’Grady and BJ Moore, both young and outstanding players.  I have seen and bowled against Matt before and have always thought the sky is the limit with him.   I really don’t know much about BJ except he is highly regarded as one of the better young players in our sport today.  The lanes mandated soft touch at the bottom of the swing on the Don Johnson pattern.  The noticeable difference between Matt and BJ was their swing tempos.  Matt’s swing tempo was fluid, his footwork was managed by his swing and the result was proper ball motion, touch and accuracy.  BJ had a much quicker swing tempo.  It was visually evident that his feet dictated his entire swing; quick feet at the start and his swing had effort from start to the release.  The result being a tempo that was a bit too quick resulting in ball speed that didn’t read the pattern consistently.  When BJ cleans up his swing tempo, he’ll perform in the top tier consistently and win a lot.  I look forward to his evolution as a player.  Keep your eyes on Matt O’Grady - a swing tempo that is dictated by the ball and minimal effort, versatility and a mindset that is a “one shot warrior.”  Knowing Matt’s work ethic, his character and abilities, the Hall of Fame is a likely outcome.


Tempo is at the root of being able to repeat a successful swing and play at the highest level in our sport.  Improve your swing tempo by letting the ball swing the arm and your feet will follow the swing speed.  It’s well worth your time in practice to develop a “peak performance swing tempo”. 


Win the Day

Coach Shady