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 Post subject: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:25 pm Post Number: #1 Post
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Hello everyone
I've been struggling with thumb issues since I started bowling almost 10 years ago.
Ive had around 10 balls, and at least 30 drillings, none of which ever felt right.
Tried different spans, played around with thumb pitches, oval/round holes, nothing helped.
I've literealy never been able to put my thumb insde the bowling ball sitting on my lap without feeling pain. My technique is pretty bad, since I've never been able to bowl more than a few games without having bloody thumbs or calluses up to the bone.

Today we tried another drilling, and it was an eye opener. My Span is 4 1/16 MF and 4 RF.
Went from 1/8 left lateral to 1/2 left, and suddenly all my thumb issues were gone.
Drilled 2 balls this way, one with 3/8 reverse, and one with 1/8 reverse. And both balls are so much better than anything I've ever tried before.
Today was the first time I've been able to bowl pain free.

Now for my question:

my pro shop guy said, with that much left pitch, I'll never be able to have a proper ball roll, since that much left pitch is abnormal for a right hander. What does he mean by that?

What do you think about that pitch? Is that an unhealthy ammount of left pitch?
How will that affect my release and ball roll? The drilling just feels so right to me, the ball sticks to my hand, and absolutely no grip pressure is needed, even with as much as 3/8 reverse (prefer the ball with 1/8 reverse tho).

But if that drilling will prevent me from getting a proper release and/or ball roll, I'll have to think of something different.
I'd appreciate any input from you guys.


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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:55 pm Post Number: #2 Post
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I think he means you won't be able to have proper ball roll with that much pitch because your thumb won't be exiting the way it should thus you will have inconsistencies such as maybe spinning it or rolling it end over end from shot to shot. The thing is while that much pitch is excessive, it feels right in your hand. As long as the ball feels right in your hand you will be able to handle the ball just fine. The issue is going to come down to timing.

I feel that as long as you have proper timing you will be able to achieve proper ball ball. Personally I've never seen that much lateral pitch before among any one, but as you have seen almost every grip works. I've seen people succeed with a spinner release, a full roller, and the proper 3/4 roll.


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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:00 pm Post Number: #3 Post
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Bowling shouldn't hurt your thumb. If the increased left pitch has stopped the pain you've probably got an extremely stiff thumb joint. Continue with the most comfortable combination of left and reverse pitches, practice, and prove your pro shop operator wrong. -- JohnP


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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:06 pm Post Number: #4 Post
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Thank you for your answer.
Could you maybe elaborate a bit further on how the lateral pitch affects the thumb timing?
I've had 1/8 left on ALL my drillings so far (result of the coke bottle test). I've had thumb pitches ranging from 1/4 reverse to 1/4 forward.
I get how the forward/reverse pitch affects the timing of the thumb, but how does the lateral pitch affect the timing?
Also, how would the lateral pitch affect the roll of the ball? is it harder/easier to get a proper 3/4 roll with a certain lateral pitch?
I'd love to know more about that topic.


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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:14 pm Post Number: #5 Post
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Increasing left lateral thumb pitch allows the thumb to release more quickly. Your Coke bottle test doesn't indicate the need for as much left lateral as you've started using, but the best indicator is the eliminated pain. As long as you're not grabbing or dropping the ball I'd stick with it. -- JohnP


Last edited by JohnP on Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:38 pm Post Number: #6 Post
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With left pitch (for a right hander) it is easier for most to stay behind the ball and that is necessary for a good "modern" release. 1/2" left is not that much, Gold coach Joe Slowinski recommends to use that and even more (over 1") on his ADT drilling instructions. There are various threads about Slowinski's method here plus he is also a forum member. I think you are probably a good candidate for ADT, if it feels right then 1/2" is just a number, a friend of mine uses 3/4" right, and that's even stranger for a right hander, and averages in the 220's, very smooth approach and release too...

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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:16 pm Post Number: #7 Post
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Thank you very much everyone for your input.
That really boosted my confidence.

I was under the impression that the lateral pitch will affect the release in a way that won't allow me to put the correct revs on the ball (somehow related to the thumb angle), but if it's a purely timing related thing, I'll be in the clear. I did notice the ball coming off my hand sooner, but that's none of my concerns right now. I'm just so happy that I was able to bowl 5 games in a row (something Ive never been able to do up to now) and we're going back to the lane again tomorrow as my thumb feels like I haven't been bowling at all. I can finally do some serious practicing, concentrating on bowling related stuff and not my thumb pains!.

I can fiddle around with a bit more forward pitch for the thumb timing. 3/8 reverse and 1/8 reverse were equally as comfortable,with no problems hanging up, so I might go for 0 or 1/16 and see how that works out.

I appreciate everyone's input!


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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:27 pm Post Number: #8 Post
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I tried Joe Slowinski's pitches and fell in love with them. using 1" left. I should say I was using 1" left. I decided to add my pinky finger as an experiment, so I pitched middle and ring fingers to the left so pinky was closer to the ball. When I made the change, I switched to 3/4" left in the thumb. Joe also realigns the center line to the ring finger, (which adds more foreward pitch or less reverse measured off the T line (when using the T method of laying out the ball).


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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:16 am Post Number: #9 Post
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JohnP wrote:
Increasing left lateral thumb pitch allows the thumb to release more quickly. Your Coke bottle test doesn't indicate the need for as much left lateral as you've started using, but the best indicator is the eliminated pain. As long as you're not grabbing or dripping the ball I'd stick with it. -- JohnP


Totally agree with JohnP. The "book" is only a guideline not gospel. While I do not advocate extreme left lateral pitches for most people, they have their place for some. If the bowler can rotate the ball, have no pain and still have accuracy than those "extreme" pitches are in no way "wrong". Look at the hand- it is a complex instrument with a LOT of variables- there is no fixed correct way to drill for it, only probabilities of success.

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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:30 am Post Number: #10 Post
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guruU2 wrote:
Look at the hand- it is a complex instrument with a LOT of variables- there is no fixed correct way to drill for it, only probabilities of success.


Each hand has a story to tell, they're pretty close to as unique as our own fingerprint.
Listen to Guru GP, he knows from much experience.

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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:38 am Post Number: #11 Post
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I've used ADT for 2.5 years with no issues. Took some trial and error to dial it in, and now using 1L x .5 Rev. I didn't notice any change in tilt, rotation or rev rate, but I have always tracked high and generally stay behind the ball. No problems changing the release.

I often bowl 12+ games/day with no problems. A key is to oval the thumb and use tape for a good fit. I like a lot of bevel and bury the thumb more than most. Friends have tried adding 1/4 to 1/2 inch of left pitch and found it very effective and comfortable.

The only downside is that I haven't tried a removable thumb as I'm not sure the large left pitch would work well. I may give it a shot and play around some more.

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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:13 am Post Number: #12 Post
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stevespo wrote:
The only downside is that I haven't tried a removable thumb as I'm not sure the large left pitch would work well. I may give it a shot and play around some more.

I use the "IT" removable thumb. What you have to do is drop the plastic ring down in the hole farther. If you don't, you cannot get it to screw in. I usually bevel a lot also because the Thumb IT will hang up on the top and make it hard to screw in.


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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:35 pm Post Number: #13 Post
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Thanks for the tips. Much appreciated.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:37 am Post Number: #14 Post
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Hello everyone

I just wanted to give a quick update for anyone that cares.
I’ve been able to bowl 15 games in the past week, which is something I’ve never been able to do, due to pain issues.
My thumb hasn’t been able to fully heal from the weeks before the new drilling, but at least it doesn’t get any worse anymore, which is a great plus for me.

Performance wise I’ve been really struggling with the new drillings.

While the feel of the ball in the hand is excellent, my game, and especially my release have been way off in those games.
I know 15 games is not a lot, and I’ll be needing a bit more time to get accustomed to the new drilling, somewhere in the back of my head something still doesn’t feel quite right.

I’ve been constantly dropping the ball way too early. This goes for the 1/8 reverse thumb, as well as the 3/8 reverse thumb ball. Thumbhole size seems correct, I have a really tight thumbhole, grip test as shown in the wiki checks out A.OK. Grip Pressure is as slow as it has ever been.
In those instances where I don’t dropt it early, or rotate my hand too early, I have the feeling that I just can’t get good revs on the ball.
I’m positive, that the dropping issue is mostly technique related (not staying behind the ball long enough), so I’ll be working on that before I make any further changes. But the fingers somehow feel off at the release.
You know that feeling when your thumb is out of the ball and you feel the weight on your fingers before they accelerating through the ball? I just don’t have that anymore.


I’m thinking of fiddling with the finger pitches for a bit, to change that. Unfortunately, I don’t have my finger pitches on hand, all I remember is, that they are close to the suggestions from the finger pitch chart, leaning slightly towards a bit more reverse than suggested (very inflexible fingers)
Finger pitches weren’t changed at all in the process of changing the lateral thumb pitch. I’ve tried going more forward with the fingers in the past, even tried using those powerlift inserts which led to troubles with callouses on my fingernails. That was when my thumb was still at 1/8 left.
Is there a correlation between lateral thumb pitch and finger pitches? (both forward/reverse and left/right)

Can anyone give me some suggestions on changes for the fingers, so I can get that feel back again? Or is that also a technique related issue?



I also have another question.
Since changing the thumb from 1/8 left to ½ left, I’ve been noticing the ball going over the left side of the thumb when the thumb is exiting the hole. Before the ball was going over the top of the thumb (which I assume was the reason for my pains)
While it feels completely natural, and doesn’t hurt, my bowling buddy said, it looks weird to him and he was questioning if that is the right way the thumb should exit the hole.

What are your thoughts on that issue?
Pitch related, or technique related? Ok or not ok?


On a side note, I just wanted to mention that I’ve been reading this forum (and the wiki) a LOT in the past week, and I so much appreciate everyone’s effort in helping out people like me.
I’ve learned so much more in here and from the wiki than in years of internet research.
You guys are a godsend!


Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:16 am Post Number: #15 Post
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Please post video in the coaching section so we can evaluate your technique.

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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:32 am Post Number: #16 Post
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Hello TonyPR

I'll try to get a comprehensive set of pictures/videos as suggested in the analysis guidelines this weekend. I'll also try to get up pictures of my fit. I have plenty of issues with my bowling game, I'm well aware of most of them. Really looking forward to the next months, because I feel I can now start to practice more seriously without my pain issues.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:45 pm Post Number: #17 Post
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JohnP wrote:
Increasing left lateral thumb pitch allows the thumb to release more quickly. Your Coke bottle test doesn't indicate the need for as much left lateral as you've started using, but the best indicator is the eliminated pain. As long as you're not grabbing or dropping the ball I'd stick with it. -- JohnP


You're dropping the ball, so try reducing the amount of left lateral, say from 1/2" to 3/8". Do this by replacing the thumb slug and redrilling. The slug should accommodate a 1/8" lateral change. -- JohnP


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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:26 pm Post Number: #18 Post
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regarding the coke bottle test:
https://imgur.com/a/E6tMC

Either I'm doing it wrong, or my pro shop did it wrong...
I also attached a picture of my span. I know what you guys are gonna say... weird thing is: we reduced my span by at least 1/4" a few weeks ago according to my driller. Either the measurements are way off, or something else is weird. I used to be at 4 5/16" and now I'm supposedly at 4". it can't be that it's still that much too long....

by the way, my ball is already slugged and redrilled a few times ( i tend to use the same ball to test out drillings)

Will hopefully be able to post videos tomorrow or the day after that.


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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:00 pm Post Number: #19 Post
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Cylinder diameter looks too large for your hand. Looks larger than a Coke can, and that's big for many people.

If your thumb is sitting comfortably in the hole, your span looks too long by 3/8 or more. That black line between 1st and 2nd knuckles should sit at the edge of the finger hole inserts, for a relaxed (not stretched) grip.

Naturally, some people like to stretch the span a bit, but it looks too long to me.

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 Post subject: Re: extreme lateral thumb pitches?
 Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:11 pm Post Number: #20 Post
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The can is exactly 2.5" as suggested by the wiki. having my fingers in a parallel manner doesn't seem natural to me. I can do it, but when I just naturally grab a can my fingers always point down and my thumb points up. (been watching how i drink my beers for the past week :lol: )

For refernce, here's a 1.5" diameter bottle:
https://imgur.com/fehvJxD

Am I doing it wrong?


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