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#143321 - 01/06/11 07:57 PM Ball feels heavy on back swing
incognito Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 3
A/S/L: 33/m/la
Hello Everone! I'm new to the board and to the sport. I was trolling the web looking for help and ran into this board so here I am with my first post. Please excuse me if my bowling jargon is not correct.

I'm a new bowler who palm bowls or thumbless. To get more serious I got a ball and got it drilled for tips and decided to bowl with all three fingers. When I do this on my back swing I have no control of the ball and feel like I'm holding it for dear life. I don't have this problem at all when I palm bowl and I think since I cup my wrist this can be the difference. Using a lighter ball is about the same so I think my technique is wrong. I know you extend your arm then drop the ball to your back swing. But what is the proper hand position so that I have CONTROL of the ball in the back swing?

I actually got the ball drilled yesterday and played 5 games using the thumb. I went today and had to stop because I kept dropping the ball in my backswing.

I got a 14 lb ball. What am I doing wrong? Or is my ball too heavy?

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#143325 - 01/06/11 08:03 PM Re: Ball feels heavy on back swing [Re: incognito]
ryanfeia Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 10/19/10
Posts: 284
A/S/L: 26/M/Wisconsin
Welcome to the forums!

I'm not much for shot advice, I'll leave that for the coaches. If you had your ball drilled fingertip, there should really be no reason why you should drop the ball. A properly fitted ball should be able to swing pretty freely without gripping or muscling the shot.

I'll leave the rest of the critique for the coaches!

Hope you find everything you are looking for here and welcome aboard!
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#143329 - 01/06/11 08:37 PM Re: Ball feels heavy on back swing [Re: incognito]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 6256
A/S/L: 32/m/maryland
Originally Posted By: ryanfeia


I'm not much for shot advice, I'll leave that for the coaches. If you had your ball drilled fingertip, there should really be no reason why you should drop the ball. A properly fitted ball should be able to swing pretty freely without gripping or muscling the shot.


The key words is properly fitted and unfortunately there are still many drillers out there that can't do this because they don't know how or still believe stretching the span and putting reverse in the thumb is the best way. Even properly fit a ball can come off of the hand in the backswing, I've had it happen on several occasions. This usually means the hand is completely relaxed and either the thumb hole is too big, needs snugged up or the thumb pitch needs to go forward, assuming the span is correct.

Originally Posted By: incognito
Hello Everone! I'm new to the board and to the sport. I was trolling the web looking for help and ran into this board so here I am with my first post. Please excuse me if my bowling jargon is not correct.


First welcome to the site, and to bowling.

Originally Posted By: incognito
I'm a new bowler who palm bowls or thumbless. To get more serious I got a ball and got it drilled for tips and decided to bowl with all three fingers. When I do this on my back swing I have no control of the ball and feel like I'm holding it for dear life. I don't have this problem at all when I palm bowl and I think since I cup my wrist this can be the difference. Using a lighter ball is about the same so I think my technique is wrong. I know you extend your arm then drop the ball to your back swing. But what is the proper hand position so that I have CONTROL of the ball in the back swing?

I actually got the ball drilled yesterday and played 5 games using the thumb. I went today and had to stop because I kept dropping the ball in my backswing.

I got a 14 lb ball. What am I doing wrong? Or is my ball too heavy?


Congrats on getting your own ball, that's the first step to becoming serious about the sport. As it's been mention, ball fit is extremely important to bowling well and pain free.

First let's see if the fit is even close. With the grip of the ball facing up and setting on a table or even your lap, put just the thumb in the ball and lay the hand across the ball in a relaxed manner. You can slightly stretch it at first but let it relax and not say stretched. The midway point between the two knuckles of the ring and middle finger should fall on the inner leading edge of the respective finger holes, that is the side closest to the thumb hole. That is a correct relaxed span, and if that happens you either need to use some bowlers tape to snug up the thumb hole, have the thumb hole redone with less bevel, add forward pitch to the thumb or a combination of some or all of these.

As for what you are doing wrong, we can't exactly tell without seeing you bowl. You can make a video and load it up on YouTube and link it here. If you do make one video from directly behind showing your whole approach from head to toe, do the same from the ball side, again making sure the whole body can be seen throughout the whole approach.
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#143345 - 01/06/11 11:00 PM Re: Ball feels heavy on back swing [Re: incognito]
aoiten Offline
Legend

Registered: 03/03/10
Posts: 1391
A/S/L: amerika ni sunde iru
Maybe take the thumb back out and add a second hand for a two-handed approach? As a two-handed bowler, I only have trouble when the finger holes are too tight. Or, to keep it simple, just try adding some grip tape to snug up the thumb hole.

In my wife's case, she would add grip tape and /still/ drop the ball sometimes. We found that her thumb hole had some reverse pitch, so we re-drilled it with forward pitch. That helped a lot. Then when we drilled a spare ball, it ended up with too much forward pitch and it tends to hang near the base of the thumb. Not so good. So now we know that 1/4" forward pitch is the maximum she would want.

Trial and error is the only way to really get it right.

Oh! On a Norm Duke DVD, he said that when you push away the ball, think of how you would do it without ANY fingers in the ball. Your hand would need to be under the ball, yeah? You could also add some cup to your wrist.

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#143346 - 01/06/11 11:05 PM Re: Ball feels heavy on back swing [Re: incognito]
JW123 Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 438
A/S/L: 45/M/NJ
If you are dropping the ball too much, you are either breaking your wrist back in your backswing (so your thumb is on top of the ball and gravity takes over in the wrong way) or your fit is wrong. Also, if you find yourself grabbing the ball in your swing by bending your thumb, you are probably going to hurt your performance as it's very tough to make a consistent delivery when doing this.

I had these technique problems. Then last month I started wearing a simple glove (just to keep the wrist in a constant position without breaking it back) and starting out by making the lower part of my thumb (between the two joints) my pressure point in the thumbhole. Now I barely feel the ball in my swing, my swing and follow through are straighter, my release is more consistent, and the result is a 150 average bowler starting to shoot 500's in a three-game league and 700's in a four-game league like it's nothing.

The point is, when you spend your time thinking about how to not drop the ball, you aren't going to shoot to your potential.

And by the way, I can't think of a reason why your ball would be too heavy. A properly fitted 14 pound ball shouldn't feel any more burdensome than a randomly-selected 10 pound house ball that doesn't fit.
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#143357 - 01/07/11 01:52 AM Re: Ball feels heavy on back swing [Re: incognito]
B-Hammer Offline
Legend

Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 1805
A/S/L: 30/M/Bellingham WA
From Ron Clifton's Website: http://www.bowl4fun.com/ron/tip39.htm

Quote:
Some bowlers have a problem with dropping the ball too soon. This usually means the ball will fall off the thumb too early and the fingers won’t have time to position themselves under the ball in order to “catch it”. If you are not sure if you drop your ball too soon, then just listen the next time you bowl. Dropping the ball is usually announced loudly by a “boom” as the ball hits the approach.

Notice I said approach and not lane. If you are dropping the ball it is landing on the approach and not the lane surface. If you are hearing a loud “boom” but getting the ball out past the foul line dropping the ball is not your problem.



Why is dropping bad?

Dropping the ball robs you of the revs you need to have a powerful ball. Plus if you have a new high tech ball, you are not seeing its full potential.

What are the causes?

Like everything in bowling, there are many possible causes for dropping the ball. I will go through a few here and also provide the cure.

Too much room in the thumbhole:

It is hard to convey just how snug your thumbhole should be, so the best way to find out is to make it too snug and see what it feels like. Some newer bowlers don’t understand that the thumbhole needs to be drilled just a little bigger than the thumb and tightened up using tape and/or Ron C’s Magic Carpet.

The snugness of your thumbhole is critical to being able to perform a good release and not drop the ball. Everyone’s thumb swells and shrinks from day to day and even from game to game.

Buy some white tape from your Pro Shop and ask for a quick lesson on how and where to place it in the hole; this is very important.

Keep layering the tape, adding one piece at a time until your ball begins to hang on your thumb a little. Then take a piece out. This is the only way you will ever know how tight your thumbhole should be. If your thumb swells as you bowl and the thumbhole gets too small, take out another piece. If your thumb shrinks in size as you bowl, then add a piece.

Thumb pitch:

If you find yourself in a situation where the ball wants to fall off of your thumb no matter how tight you make the thumbhole, then you need to take a look at your thumb pitch. You will most likely need to move the pitch more forward.

Most bowlers have too much reverse pitch in their thumbholes so they never have any chance of throwing a ball without squeezing it tightly. Thumbhole pitch is “trial and error.” The only way you can ever really know the best pitch for your thumbhole is to keep drilling them.

Take an old ball and slug up the thumbhole. Then, drill it with ¼ inch more forward pitch than before and go bowl with it. If the ball comes off of your thumb just fine, then slug it and drill it another ¼ inch forward. Keep doing this until the ball hangs on your thumb. When the ball hangs you know you went too far. Back off to the last pitch drilled.

Once you have the thumbhole set up for the right size and pitch, you should not have to squeeze the ball to keep in on your thumb.


Open wrist:

If your wrist is weak or lazy, then it will be open just before the bottom of the swing. This means that your wrist is not straight or cupped, but bent back. This transfers more of the ball’s weight to the thumb so the ball falls off. Try to keep your wrist cupped and carry the ball’s weight on the fingers. If your wrist is too weak, then try one of the many wrist support s that are in the Pro Shop.

Throwing into the approach:

Throwing the ball into the approach means the bowler literally throws the ball into the approach like a crashing airplane. This is not really dropping the ball at all, but the bowler will suffer the same bad consequences as one who does drop the ball. This can usually be solved by placing a towel on the foul line and forcing yourself to get the ball over the towel. Just make sure you are not confusing dropping the ball with throwing the ball into the lane.

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#143381 - 01/07/11 10:28 AM Re: Ball feels heavy on back swing [Re: incognito]
sk8shorty01 Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 5136
A/S/L: 29/M/Merritt Island, FL
I agree that I would guess that you are slackening the wrist when your thumb is in because you say that you cup when the thumb is out. Try to cup the ball similar to your palm bowling when you bowl with the thumb in, the technique should be similar in both styles. Think about it this way, with the thumb in the ball and the wrist broken back, the thumb is pointing straight to the floor (with the ball at your ankle) and it just so happens that is the direction gravity is pulling the ball, therefore it is pulling the ball off the thumb. If you cupped up some the thumb would be pointing towards the lane and it allows gravity to pull the ball into the palm. This also makes the release easier because the thumb is pointing down lane and that is the direction the force of swing is pulling on the ball. Also, with a broken wrist, at the top of swing your thumb is facing the wall directly behind you, this just so happens to be the direction that the force of the swing is pulling the ball so its harder to hang on too. If you cup the wrist the thumb is pointing at the floor which allows the force of swing to be pulling the ball up and into the hand.

My second guess would be that because you are not used to using your thumb, you are also not used to getting the thumb fit correct for yourself. Do you use tape, and if so do you use it as much as you should? I put tape in and take it out about 3 times a night in total during a three game league set. During practice that might lower to two times because of the speed in which you bowl does not allow the thumb to swell up quite as much.

Here is the order I would check for issues:

1 - Ball fit, do the span test that Calvin mentioned.

2 - Thumb fit, snug up the hole with some tape.

3 - Check your wrist position.


I would strongly suggest finding a coach in your area if at all possible. They are definitely worth it. You can also post a video here and we can help as well.
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#143394 - 01/07/11 12:38 PM Re: Ball feels heavy on back swing [Re: sk8shorty01]
incognito Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 3
A/S/L: 33/m/la
Hello Everyone! Thank you very much for the warm welcome!

I forgot to mention that the first 5 games I bowled with the new ball using all 3 fingers, I didn't drop it once. But still didn't have any control when comparing to palm bowling. I think when I was dropping it yesterday, it was due to fatigue as my hands are not used to it yet.

Originally Posted By: ryanfeia
Welcome to the forums!

Thank you!



Originally Posted By: Calvin Pistorio

First let's see if the fit is even close. With the grip of the ball facing up and setting on a table or even your lap, put just the thumb in the ball and lay the hand across the ball in a relaxed manner. You can slightly stretch it at first but let it relax and not say stretched. The midway point between the two knuckles of the ring and middle finger should fall on the inner leading edge of the respective finger holes, that is the side closest to the thumb hole. That is a correct relaxed span, and if that happens you either need to use some bowlers tape to snug up the thumb hole, have the thumb hole redone with less bevel, add forward pitch to the thumb or a combination of some or all of these.

The fitment test was good.. =)

Originally Posted By: aoiten
Maybe take the thumb back out and add a second hand for a two-handed approach? As a two-handed bowler, I only have trouble when the finger holes are too tight. Or, to keep it simple, just try adding some grip tape to snug up the thumb hole.

I actually tried two handed bowling when my left hand was supporting the ball! I found that I can easily hook the ball this way, but I would like to bowl 1 handed.


Originally Posted By: B-Hammer
From Ron Clifton's Website: http://www.bowl4fun.com/ron/tip39.htm

Thanks for the good read... =)

Originally Posted By: sk8shorty01
I agree that I would guess that you are slackening the wrist when your thumb is in because you say that you cup when the thumb is out. Try to cup the ball similar to your palm bowling when you bowl with the thumb in, the technique should be similar in both styles. Think about it this way, with the thumb in the ball and the wrist broken back, the thumb is pointing straight to the floor (with the ball at your ankle) and it just so happens that is the direction gravity is pulling the ball, therefore it is pulling the ball off the thumb. If you cupped up some the thumb would be pointing towards the lane and it allows gravity to pull the ball into the palm. This also makes the release easier because the thumb is pointing down lane and that is the direction the force of swing is pulling on the ball. Also, with a broken wrist, at the top of swing your thumb is facing the wall directly behind you, this just so happens to be the direction that the force of the swing is pulling the ball so its harder to hang on too. If you cup the wrist the thumb is pointing at the floor which allows the force of swing to be pulling the ball up and into the hand.

Thanks for explaining the thumb position! I think this is the big part of my problem! I'll try to work on this next time and see how it goes....


I'll also try the tape as I'm not using any tape at the moment!

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#144616 - 01/20/11 05:30 PM Re: Ball feels heavy on back swing [Re: incognito]
incognito Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 3
A/S/L: 33/m/la
WOW! I'm SOLD!! The tape is amazing!

I got my tape in the mail yesterday and got to try it out. One piece of tape is all it took for me to hold onto my bowling ball with very very very little effort!

For the first time I had total control of my swing! I still have loong way to go, but I recommend trying the tape if you feel the need to grip the ball hard!


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