Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

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Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by roguegeek » February 17th, 2020, 8:27 am

I stopped playing about 15 years ago. I was playing league and had an average around 212. Not great, but I was happy with it and was having fun. This last week, I played 30 games over three nights with a friend and got the itch again. Played on a standard house shot with some miscellaneous 16 lbs reactive ball and averaged 150, so I got a long way to go to get back to where I was. I was also quite sore after it. My goal would be to practice for a while on my own to get my average back up and get comfortable before eventually getting into a league. A couple of questions...
  • I was playing one-hand, no thumb before. I know it was looked down upon quite a bit, but that's how I played. What are the general thoughts on this type of release these days? I'm not looking for personal thoughts. I'm more interested in general consensus.
  • I played with 16 lbs before, but I'm thinking of going down to 15 lbs. Any thoughts on this?
  • I don't have a good understanding of the equipment out there right now. I want to buy one ball for now to find a baseline before spending any money on expanding an arsenal. I've gone to three pro shops and am getting general recommendations of Storm's Hy-Road, Hy-Road Pearl, Hy-Road X, Tropical Surge, and Phaze III. Money isn't a concern as much finding a baseline for myself is. What are you thoughts on these? Do you have any other ball recommendations considering what I'm trying to do?
Anything other feedback any of you can think of would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by SomyP » February 17th, 2020, 9:56 am

With no thumb bowlers and two handed bowling becoming more common, it's less frowned upon these days. It's actually encouraged. Again the name of the game is not how, it's how many.

Weight of ball is personal preference. Most use 15 lbs, while some use 16 lbs. With the dynamics of today's equipment, there is little to no difference in 1 pound. Will a 16 lb carry more? Only slightly, but not enough to make a huge difference. Personally I use 15 lbs because after long days of bowling with 16 I was sore. Best decision I made was dropping that 1 lb to not only decrease fatigue, but increase longevity.

Hy-road would be my recommendation to start. It's got just enough hook to work with based on how it is drilled up. If you have any old balls, bring them to the pro shop operator. Even better if that pro shop is inside a bowling alley. This gives the driller the advantage to measure your axis point, tilt, speed, rotation and any other variables so as to make a proper ball choice. Proper fit will make a huge difference in your game. Ever since I went to my current ball driller, my average has not dropped under 200 except for one season and that was due to nagging injuries.

Keep in mind if you are not planning on using your thumb ever, you cannot have a thumb hole. It will count as a balance hole and will be considered illegal per USBC rules as of august of this year 2020. If you want to continue using just 2 fingers and palm the ball, get a plastic spare ball along with the reactive ball to make spare shooting a bit easier.

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by kajmk » February 17th, 2020, 5:08 pm

Glad to see you are back to bowling. I just realized, it's been about 15 years away for me too.

My advice is to get your physical game back to where it feels natural again. If you can work with a coach, all the better. Review bowling specific exercise and stretching.

As for equipment, consult with a well respected/recommended PSO. Bring your favorite well worn bowling ball with you, so the PSO can examine it, bring some notes of bullet points to ask/discuss. If the PSO can watch you bowl, that's a PLUS.

Bare in mind that you have most likely changed in some ways over that much time.
A good PSO will analyze your hand, strength, flexibility, size, etc.

Spend money sparingly on equipment until you have regained consistency are reestablished your core foundations.
Practice with a purpose, don't scoreboard watch!

As for equipment - BJI Ball guides in separate annual PDF by year 2010 - 2019
https://www.bowlersjournal.com/annual-b ... s-archive/

I hope you've rekindled a flame that will never go out.
Enjoy the ride.
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

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by BrokenArrow » February 17th, 2020, 8:31 pm

I'm a no thumb bowler myself and have been that way for over a decade. I feel it has become much more accepted then it was 8+ years ago. Jason Belmonte really shook the game up when he came in throwing two hands with a 600 rev rate and a 20mph ball speed. Honestly at this point in the game people don't really care how you get it down the lane. I'm in multiple leagues bowling with no thumb and not one person has said a word about it.

As far as ball weight, you should use as heavy as you feel comfortable with. Personally I use 15. I can throw 16 but I get more speed and move revs on 15 and tend to throw the pins around better. I would worry more about revs and speed and accuracy then ball weight. If you can do it with 16 then great, but 15 will def get the job done. Most pros throw 15.

As far as an arsenal, without knowing your ball speed and rev rate and all your other stats its alittle tough to say. However, I would stay away from the phaze 3. I would assume you have a high rev rate with no thumb. I bought a phaze 3 and it hooks like a bat out of hell for me and it very choppy and unpredictable. It hasn't seen much play from me. I would personally suggest a solid just because they have a much more predictable continuous motion and would be good to get you back on track. My personal favorite ball for consistency is the Rip'd solid. Everyone is gonna come disagree with me but it what works for me and I an a one handed no thumb bowler. Any of the weaker solids would be good though I would think. Pearls are more snappy on the back end and might be harder to control when you haven't done it in a while.

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by roguegeek » February 17th, 2020, 8:40 pm

kajmk wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 5:08 pm
I hope you've rekindled a flame that will never go out.
Enjoy the ride.
Thanks!
SomyP wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 9:56 am
With no thumb bowlers and two handed bowling becoming more common, it's less frowned upon these days. It's actually encouraged. Again the name of the game is not how, it's how many.
SomyP wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 9:56 am
Keep in mind if you are not planning on using your thumb ever, you cannot have a thumb hole. It will count as a balance hole and will be considered illegal per USBC rules as of august of this year 2020. If you want to continue using just 2 fingers and palm the ball, get a plastic spare ball along with the reactive ball to make spare shooting a bit easier.
BrokenArrow wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 8:31 pm
I'm a no thumb bowler myself and have been that way for over a decade. I feel it has become much more accepted then it was 8+ years ago. Jason Belmonte really shook the game up when he came in throwing two hands with a 600 rev rate and a 20mph ball speed. Honestly at this point in the game people don't really care how you get it down the lane. I'm in multiple leagues bowling with no thumb and not one person has said a word about it.
Thanks for all of the feedback. If I could touch on the release a little bit more, that would be great. I would like to learn how to be proficient with a thumb-in release. I'm not sure if this is a common path people have tried, but it's something I would like to be better at. Could anyone touch on some of the issues going from thumb-out to thumb-in? Is it going to be a difficult transition or is it easier than going from thumb-in to thumb-out? Any feedback you guys could give me on this would be much appreciated.

Thanks for the heads up on the rule change as well. For this first ball, I thinking I would like to drill it for thumb-in so I could play around with different mechanics and, when the time comes to play something that's dictated by USBC, if I choose to stay thumb-out, deal with that then. Thoughts on this as well?

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by boomer » February 17th, 2020, 8:54 pm

I'd focus on getting a good thumb fit - relaxed but that will hold onto your hand until you release it.

I'd also get ahold of a coach. You're going to be going from a style where you MUST cup your wrist and bend your arm a lot (to keep from the ball falling off your hand) to one where you have actual control over the ball during the swing. A coach is going to be able to see some of those habits and change them.

I think it's worth it. You will get a lot more control over your ball and your swing. With no-thumb, you are highly constrained in what you can do - because of how much you must cup and bend your elbow. Stick your thumb in and, voila, you lose a few constraints and get some flexibility. :)

Welcome back!

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by kajmk » February 17th, 2020, 8:56 pm

Quick comment on ball weight and rpms.
Just for fun, when at the bowling center line up a few house balls of ascending 14 -16
Roll a few thumbless, see which ones have the most RPMS.

Off the top of my head
As for learning with the thumb in.
Phase 1 - Mov


Phase 2
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14031&p=109835&hilit=Helms#p109835

Phase 3


Phase 4


Drills
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... ence_video

KTC tips by Warren, Wilted, Stoughton
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

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by BrokenArrow » February 17th, 2020, 9:29 pm

I tried thumb in and I HATED it. It felt very unnatural and I went home with a very sore shoulder. Honestly, if you aren't happy with the way you are throwing the ball right now I think a better transition would be 2 handed.

I would stay the way you are. You said you averaged 212 with it in the past. That means it obviously works. 2 handed will get you more speed and keep the revs. Thumb in will get you more speed and you will most likely lose some revs. So with more speed and less revs youd have to change your whole game and go alot straighter. Not a good idea in my opinion.

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by 44boyd » February 18th, 2020, 12:38 am

Depends on how your form is. Most no thumbers have horrible technique, Tom Daugherty and Johnny Petraglia Jr are the exception. If you want to baby step into using your thumb, try a Detroit half thumb (Tom Smallwood just uses thumb down to knuckle). You get the revs of no thumb but with more control. If that’s still too hard on your body then try the thumb in. Learning to get your thumb out quickly in a good hand position is the challenge of using the thumb.
Stacy

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by kajmk » February 18th, 2020, 4:28 pm

A good friend of mine who has been a PSO and Coach told me "bowling should not hurt".

Bowling might hurt you for a variety of reasons, especially after a layoff.
Your current state of fitness should not be overlooked.
Lack of preparation by not warming up your body by stretching.
Too much too soon! Baseball pitchers and catchers arrive at Camp first to prep.
Pitchers will gradually increase counts and effort.


viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2948&p=23281&hilit=Legs#p23281

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13109&p=101679&hili ... al#p101679
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

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by boomer » February 18th, 2020, 9:14 pm

BrokenArrow wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 9:29 pm
I tried thumb in and I HATED it. It felt very unnatural and I went home with a very sore shoulder. Honestly, if you aren't happy with the way you are throwing the ball right now I think a better transition would be 2 handed.

I would stay the way you are. You said you averaged 212 with it in the past. That means it obviously works. 2 handed will get you more speed and keep the revs. Thumb in will get you more speed and you will most likely lose some revs. So with more speed and less revs youd have to change your whole game and go alot straighter. Not a good idea in my opinion.
somewhat true. If you put your thumb in the ball, you MAY lose some revs, but you gain control. Bowling is not all about the revs. Go to a dry house with revs and you'll hate it. Notice that Belmo is not always on TV - sometimes it's the guys with control that win. Wait - I think about every tournament this year, it's the guys with control who've won. :)

And I'm NOT knocking no-thumb or two-handed. If you have fun and don't hurt, DO IT. :) Bowl with me, we'll have fun. I do NOT make fun of you - in fact, I've helped one two-hander on our league a bit - he wasn't projecting the ball enough and wasn't in the oil (what oil there was) enough. I like everyone bowling.

BUT - bowling is about control, adjustment and repeat-ability. If you can do that with no thumb, awesome! :) I mean it. If you only want to bowl at your house and have it figured out - awesome! Seriously! But I like to play - once my knee is back (and it's getting there) I want to bowl tournaments with some friends. I want to get back to the USBC Nats. Those take control, adjustment, and repeat-ability. HOW YOU GET IT, is up to you! :)

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by BrokenArrow » February 18th, 2020, 9:28 pm

I mean don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you can't have revs with the thumb in. Ej Tacket is a prime example, holy rev rate.

I think bowling is a mix of basically everything. Accuracy, Repeat-ability, revs, speed and alittle bit of luck (aka carry).

My biggest issue as a one handed no thumb bowler is projecting. I can keep it around the same revs, same speed, same tilt but when I miss I don't get it out far enough and go through the face. Any high rev bowler is going to have the same issue if they don't project.

I tried the thumb in and I just couldn't twist my hand the same way to produce any revs. I'm sure if I learned with the thumb in then having my thumb out would feel unnatural. I honestly don't knock anyone for bowling any way. I don't care if you put the ball at the fowl line and then kick it. My point is that for someone that has been bowling with the thumb out, having the thumb in is going to be very different. You can't twist your wrist the same as you would with the thumb out. When I tried it I felt like I was going to break either my thumb or my wrist, it just felt very unnatural. I'm sure with practice and coaching and putting more effort into keeping my thumb in I could have got it eventually, but I also just feel like if it ain't broke don't fix it

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by 44boyd » February 18th, 2020, 9:59 pm

Well the way you keep using the words “twist the wrist” there’s the issue. It’s a cup to uncupping of the wrist no matter thumb in or out. Hence why I say Tom Daugherty, he simply rolls the ball with forward roll and the revs take over to get hook. A simple cocking of the fingers in and do the same roll it off the fingers release will give more rotation for a more violent move off the backend. It’s an effortless release, just need the muscle to hold the cup until the bottom of the swing. If you’re flinging it off your hand like you just noticed poo on it, that’s the wrong type of roll
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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by boomer » February 19th, 2020, 8:53 pm

that's absolutely true - and why I said it would be best to get a coach or someone to watch - there are multiple habits to CHANGE if he wants to go thumb in. One is that wrist twist - you don't do that with thumb in, it's BAD. :) It hurts. One is the elbow - that has to change.

And sometimes something that may seem un-broke may be broke - just not that one would notice. I have several guys who bowl no-thumb. My son-in-law's father (not sure what that makes him. . . LOL) bowls no thumb. When he comes to my house, he has NO idea how to make things work. When they go to another house, they have a hard time making adjustments - because their range of adjustment is lower than mine - just because of the way they deliver, how they have to hold their hand and elbow to deliver. Is their way wrong? No. Is it limited? Yes. Does it bother me? No. Does it make me not bowl with them? Well, yes, I won't bowl tournaments with them if I want to do well; no, I will bowl with them in league or anyplace for fun. :) And most definitely I'll bowl against them in a challenging format. heh heh heh

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by roguegeek » March 3rd, 2020, 8:52 am

Hey guys. It's been a couple weeks and figure I'd give you an updated on what's been going on and where I'm at so I can get more feedback from you all.

I purchased a 15 lb Hy-Road and had it drilled for thumb-in. I've done about 40-50 games on it over the last couple of weeks. All of them were drills, working on mechanics, and generally just trying to get comfortable being out there again. None of it was attempting to be competitive. All of it was done on a typical house shot. About a third of them were thumb-in and the rest were majority thumb-out. I did some games two-handed. I was only averaging around 160 over all games and I did zero spare practicing.

Thumb-in was interesting. I like the speed, but I'm having problems getting my revs going. Strangely enough, I'm feeling the least in control with my thumb in. A huge positive, though, is I'm feeling the least amount of pain when bowling this way. I do have a problem where the thumb is pretty tight to begin with, but as the night goes on, it swells and I just can't get it out of the hole before literally throwing and bouncing the ball down the lane. I'm going to speak with the pro shop to open the thumb up ever so slightly. I'm also feeling like the weight might be a little too much for me as I can't get a good cup with my wrist, but maybe that's just me needing more reps. Any thoughts, feedback, or advice you have on continuing with thumb-in would be nice to read.

Thumb-out felt way more natural for me, as it was the way I bowled before, but I have the opposite problem that I do with thumb-in. I'm over-revving and not getting enough speed. Everything seems to miss a little left from where I'm intending and there's no way I can pick up a 10 pin. I'm also feeling some pain from rolling this way. My ring finger consistently swells after a session and needs to be iced down. My wrist has some pain as well. I feel like I'd do better with speed and pain if I went down on weight, but that's just me speculating right now. Again, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.

Two-handed thumb-out was just a disaster for me. I couldn't get anything to feel right, but the nice thing was I had the speed and the revs. I just didn't have the control or the mechanics. I don't really have much to say about the experience except I want to play with it a little more before dismissing it.

I'm going to be searching for an instructor to help me out with everything. I'm also clearly out of shape, which I know it attributing to a large amount of my mechanical failures and subsequent pain. So that's something I need to work on.

What do you guys think? Just keep going at it? Should I change anything? Do you need more information I'm not giving you? How do you feel about trying a 14 lb ball? Any feedback you can offer would be much appreciated. Thanks again!

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by boomer » March 3rd, 2020, 11:27 pm

sounds like you're progressing

Here's one thing that we've mentioned before - when you have thumb in, DO NOT CUP. Hold your wrist straight instead. If you feel like you can't hold your wrist straight, there are some exercises or get a brace. I HAVE to use a brace as I've had some wrist damage (work related - decades ago) - but do not cup. You don't need to. That's a no-thumb habit. :)

By keeping your wrist straight, hand behind the ball, and allowing your hand to come around the ball and finishing with your fingers, you will get plenty of side-roll.

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by roguegeek » March 4th, 2020, 3:12 am

boomer wrote:
March 3rd, 2020, 11:27 pm
Here's one thing that we've mentioned before - when you have thumb in, DO NOT CUP. Hold your wrist straight instead. If you feel like you can't hold your wrist straight, there are some exercises or get a brace. I HAVE to use a brace as I've had some wrist damage (work related - decades ago) - but do not cup. You don't need to. That's a no-thumb habit. :)

By keeping your wrist straight, hand behind the ball, and allowing your hand to come around the ball and finishing with your fingers, you will get plenty of side-roll.
Alright. No cupping. I’m going out tonight to only do release drills. No approaches. If I’m having problems keeping that wrist straight, you think a brace will help with that? Will it impede getting more revs out of the ball? Is there anything you can recommend to get my revs up with a thumb-in release?

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by kajmk » March 4th, 2020, 4:04 pm

I'm going to be searching for an instructor to help me out with everything. I'm also clearly out of shape, which I know it attributing to a large amount of my mechanical failures and subsequent pain. So that's something I need to work on.
Highly advisable.
There are several videos gleaned from the USBC on YouTube that are germane to bowling fitness.

Sample from USBC.



Mobility and strength in the core muscles.


Often overlooked, the glutes ...
Check out Jeff's videos on this and other areas too.



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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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by boomer » March 4th, 2020, 8:21 pm

Kajmk - seeing a few thumbnails of glutes is quite a turnoff. . .

Roguegeek - a brace may drop your revs initially, but you will get them back with proper technique - i.e. keeping your hand behind, letting your thumbe out as you pass your ankle and then letting your hand come around and fingers through.

There's a proper delivery drill out there - it's not a cup-wrist, it's a straight wrist deal. Really good.

Here you go.

avoid videos of butts. . . LOL

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Re: Re-entering the sport. Could use some help...

Post by roguegeek » March 5th, 2020, 2:58 am

boomer wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 8:21 pm
There's a proper delivery drill out there - it's not a cup-wrist, it's a straight wrist deal. Really good.

Here you go.
That’s probably the best drill I’ve seen so far. I’ll try it out tonight.

I really wish there was some sort of slow mo video out there that showed the actual release with more detail. Trying to wrap my head around it from just reading has been a challenge.

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