Thumb Pitch Inquiry

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Skujo
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Thumb Pitch Inquiry

Post by Skujo » January 2nd, 2021, 11:54 pm

Im fairly new to the game, been at it for over a year or so and am semi up there in age. Im having a problem with the pitches in my thumb hole. Ive had three diff coaches/drillers tell me i need diff pitches on my thumb. I have one ball set up with 3/8 side pitch and 1/8 reverse pitch. My other ball has 1/8 side and 1/4 reverse pitch. Im sure it all comes down to comfort level and form. The differing recommendations kind of throw me off though. One night i throw one ball well, another night the other ball feels better and i perform better with it. One coach goes by the span chart to determine reverse pitch, which puts me at 1/4 reverse. What is the benefit of side pitch though, what are the cons?

Glenn
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Re: Thumb Pitch Inquiry

Post by Glenn » January 3rd, 2021, 8:01 pm

Hi, Skujo, and welcome.
I will give you one man's opinion.
The reverse thumb pitch will cause the thumb to leave the ball "earlier" while forward thumb pitch will hold the ball longer. The 1/8 to 1/4 reverse seems to be good choices.
As far as I know, there are no accepted values when it comes to lateral thumb pitch. The primary goal is to create a feel for a clean and injury-free release. Due to hand injuries and the wear-and-tear of age, I had to do some experimenting to find the most comfortable fit for me. My personal preference to have 5/8-to-3/4 left.
Have you done the Coke can overlay for thumb pitch to give you a place to start?
Increasing left lateral thumb pitch (for right-handers) allows the thumb to release more quickly, but it is all about avoiding any discomfort while not grabbing or dropping the ball. A left pitch may make it easier to stay behind the ball. I guess the goal is to be able to manipulate the ball and be accurate/consistent without discomfort.
So, how much is too much? IDK, but more than 1 inch left might be too much. I have read that 1/2 inch left is not that much -- your mileage may vary.
The only downside I can think of is having a lot of lateral pitch and trying to use those switch grips -- might give you problems.
Happy New Year!

Skujo
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Re: Thumb Pitch Inquiry

Post by Skujo » January 4th, 2021, 3:39 am

Ive had quite a few drills done on both balls for the thumb hole so ive been able to expensively experiment. I have not personally done the coke can overlay, this is the first id heard of it (its worth looking into). I do remember one of the drillers having me grab his forearm during my initial sizing, that may be what he was looking at, im not sure. Ive had some problems staying behind the ball, coming around the side here and there. My latest drill cut down on the lateral pitch, its now at 1/8. Its difficult to gauge what is working best with what i believe is an inconsistent release coupled with the multiple differing opinions. I can go out and throw 230s with the 1/8 lat pitch and then come back and throw a 140.
The reverse pitch works for me getting out of the ball quicker, that is for sure. My previous drill was a 1/16 reverse, and now 1/4. I have noticed a higher track with the 1/8 lat pitch as well.

Glenn
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Re: Thumb Pitch Inquiry

Post by Glenn » January 4th, 2021, 3:52 pm

Skujo, in my drive-by response, I forgot to ask a couple of questions.
1. Is your thumb drilled round or ovaled?
2. What is you span?
IMHO, when you reflexively release a ball with a lateral pitch in the 0 to 1/4 range, I think you have a tendency to come around the ball versus when you consciously try to stay behind the ball. This might have something to do with your inconsistency, or it could be related to other things in your game. I think it is quite common for house/league bowlers to experience good scoring game(s) followed by low scoring game(s) in a series. A lot of it is how well you listen to what the lanes are asking, and then delivering what is needed. And then there are days when nothing works and you are forced to just grind out a score.

Skujo
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Re: Thumb Pitch Inquiry

Post by Skujo » January 5th, 2021, 1:38 am

Appreciate your input. I would say the thumbhole is more round than oval, though im not quite sure, i was never asked my preference nor was it spoken of with any of the coaches or drillers. My span is 4 7/8".

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Re: Thumb Pitch Inquiry

Post by Glenn » January 5th, 2021, 4:22 pm

Given your span and without seeing your hand, a forward thumb pitch in the range of ¼ (very flexible) to ½ (very stiff) seems reasonable.
Back in the day, thumb holes were drilled round because the technology wasn't readily available to drill ovals. The best drillers seldom (if ever) drill round thumb holes today because almost no one has a truly round thumb (always some degree of oval). Round thumb holes with flat thumbs equal a lot of tape of which I am not a fan.
You seem to be in an area where you can shop around for a pro shop. I remember Randy Stoughton (and others), Kegel Training Center, saying that you need to ask your pro shop operator if he has the capability (can and will) to drill an oval thumb for you, is he going to find your PAP (takes about 5 minutes), and in the layout process is he going to use dual angle layout technique. For me, a good pro shop has to meet more than these three points (e.g. how does he interact with the customer) to get my business – not just a “good enough” kind of service.
Good luck.

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Re: Thumb Pitch Inquiry

Post by TomaHawk » January 5th, 2021, 4:58 pm

A lot of bowlers experience some size fluctuation in their hands for various reasons. People that work hard with their hands such as mechanics and carpenters are an example of people who could experience tremendous changes in the way a bowling ball would feel on any particular day. Something like washing your hands with a different soap could affect the way the ball comes off the hand too. Hot weather, cold weather, wet weather? There are so many physical variables it's amazing a person can get the bowling ball down the lane the same way twice.

Then, there is the mental factor. How a person responds to pressure, real or imagined, could play a major role in the execution of a shot. Becoming a good / great bowler is learning to control emotional responses to any given situation. Because there are lot of different psychological factors involved, knowing how we might respond to pressure is critical in making effective adjustments.

The physical element of throwing a bowling ball is reliant on a properly drilled bowling ball. The basic concern is to allow the bowler to (1) hold onto the ball, (2) allow the ball to swing freely without gripping it, (3) let go of it effectively, (4) there should not be any pain experienced when executing the shot. Sure, we can tweak various aspects of the grip, but above and beyond that, it's up to the bowler to roll the ball.

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kajmk
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Re: Thumb Pitch Inquiry

Post by kajmk » January 9th, 2021, 5:13 pm

Skujo, to an extent, your diet is a variable. Sodium content will influence water retention which might induce temporary size change. Skin condition, dry, moist, plays a roll.
As tomahawk said, proper and consistent grip pressure is very important.

Food for thought
On the wiki
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... p_Pressure
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... on_Johnson
Thumb pitch and size test test occurs about 1:35 into the video by Ron Hoppe
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so

There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

Empathize

John

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