Ball Fit Advice

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jegreco516
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Ball Fit Advice

Post by jegreco516 »

Hi all,

I have a question about my ball fit. Despite having several fitting evaluations and adjustments, I am still having trouble with my fit. No matter what I do, I still cannot seem to relax my hand and minimize grip pressure. I have had lessons about where to apply finger/thumb pressure and have played with tape placement and amount for awhile. Despite this, I still do not feel like the ball sits well on my hand where I can apply a light grip pressure. I was curious about people's thoughts on my palm position. I am concerned that the pinky side of my palm does not sit flat on the ball, leading to excess muscular involvement. I should note that my thumb is very inflexible which has led to my current pitches (see attached). I have included my spec sheet and several pictures of my grip for review. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Jeremy
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by kajmk »

Two cents -
See if this helps a little. In the stance, squeeze the ball a few seconds then relax.
Try th I first with a few 1 step foul line drills as a safety measure. This is an old "trick" I read many moons ago.


Some reference material
Finger Dancing
http://www.bowl4fun.com/ron/tip11.htm

From the wiki
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... p_Pressure

Duke on the grip




Ron Hoppe
FF to about 1:38 a test to assess thumb pitch


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May all beings everywhere be happy and free,
and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life
contribute in some way to that happiness
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by jegreco516 »

kajmk wrote: July 28th, 2021, 4:39 pm Two cents -
See if this helps a little. In the stance, squeeze the ball a few seconds then relax.
Try th I first with a few 1 step foul line drills as a safety measure. This is an old "trick" I read many moons ago.

Good luck!


Thanks for the info. I have watched the Duke series more times than I would like to admit...I have been only doing foul line drills in order to fix this issue. I feel like my hand is in a disadvantaged position to hold the ball. The ball feels very heavy and not supported by the whole palm. I am a very strong person (I can Farmer's Carry 2x body weight) and still feel weak and unable to use minimal pressure at the foul line (even with tape manipulation). How can these young kids do this drill with minimal grip pressure? ( )
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by TomaHawk »

From the pics, the fit appears to be pretty good. What we can't really determine is your hand flexibility and structure. If you have a wide hand, stiff joints, or both, you might need some sort of offset thumb.

One other note, most bowlers who put their thumb all the way in the ball will have a very difficult getting their palm to rest flat on the ball. The pitches that would allow a bowler to do so would be pretty extreme and could hinder the release motion. Again, it would depend on your basic hand structure. Most bowler's palms will be off the ball as in your pics.
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by jegreco516 »

TomaHawk wrote: July 29th, 2021, 1:58 am From the pics, the fit appears to be pretty good. What we can't really determine is your hand flexibility and structure. If you have a wide hand, stiff joints, or both, you might need some sort of offset thumb.

One other note, most bowlers who put their thumb all the way in the ball will have a very difficult getting their palm to rest flat on the ball. The pitches that would allow a bowler to do so would be pretty extreme and could hinder the release motion. Again, it would depend on your basic hand structure. Most bowler's palms will be off the ball as in your pics.

I was told by my pro shop the the thumb is “offset”. It definitely feels more comfortable than other bowling balls I’ve had. However, even with tape I still feel like the ball is heavy and requires muscle to hold. If I relax my hand the thumb slips out. If I add more tape, the ball won’t come off my hand. I have tried this using foul line drills with no luck. I really just dont understand how the ball can be supported without grip pressure and muscular tension.
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by jegreco516 »

I am wondering if I just need forward pitch to have the ball be easier to hold onto. I have been wondering this for awhile but have never done it because my pro shop says that my finger inflexibility (ring and middle) won't allow for a lot of forward pitch. Thoughts?
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by rmack »

Pitch manipulation can be done in conjunction with span adjustments. When you have stiff joints you have to bend the second knuckle to compensate, many fitters fear going too short with the span... but closing the hand will help with reducing the pressure.
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by jegreco516 »

rmack wrote: July 29th, 2021, 6:02 am Pitch manipulation can be done in conjunction with span adjustments. When you have stiff joints you have to bend the second knuckle to compensate, many fitters fear going too short with the span... but closing the hand will help with reducing the pressure.
Okay, good to know. If I were to go into a pro shop for pitch changes, is it reasonable to ask for a drilling with forward pitch even though my current drilling has reverse in the thumb? I honestly can't afford to keep making minor pitch changes by plugging and re-drilling. How much forward pitch should I ask for as a good starting point? Is there a cheaper way to go through this process?
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by MegaMav »

jegreco516 wrote: July 29th, 2021, 3:22 pm Okay, good to know. If I were to go into a pro shop for pitch changes, is it reasonable to ask for a drilling with forward pitch even though my current drilling has reverse in the thumb? I honestly can't afford to keep making minor pitch changes by plugging and re-drilling. How much forward pitch should I ask for as a good starting point? Is there a cheaper way to go through this process?
Pitch isnt arbitrary. It's anatomical.
Finding a pro shop with a reputation of fitting properly is the cheapest way.
This isnt something to go it alone.
Go into the wiki here and look at the fitting guide as a good starting point.
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... itting.pdf
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by TomaHawk »

Some bowling balls, I can't explain why, just feel heavier than others. Theory, it is because of the core orientation or where the "weights" of the ball are located.

Looking at your grip stats, the reverse pitches in your fingers might be a little extreme, it depends on the type of inserts you are using and your span. Maybe I overlooked it, but the span and thumb pitch are not visible in the pic.

Gravity does all the work when swinging a bowling ball. Most novice bowlers tend to accelerate the swing when the ball starts to feel weightless due to the forces of gravity. Those two swing positions are at the top of the swing and behind the hip as the ball is descending.

*The only point the swing should be accelerated is directly at the point of release, right at the ankle. That acceleration is downward and outward, not upward.

In your bowling approach drills, let the ball fall of your hand wherever it may want to do so. Whether it be taking the ball backward, at the top of the swing, on the downswing, wherever. Try to resist the urge to squeeze the ball anywhere in the swing. Then the pro shop operator can adjust your span and pitches accordingly. Sometimes, just a bit a tape is needed, white tape to create friction (helps you hold on to the ball), black to adjust the hole size.

That drill can potentially save you a lot of time and money.
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by kajmk »

Tagging along to the comments made on your hands characteristics
The good PSO'S will physically examine your hand, finger flexibility , skin texture, sizes, any unique characteristics.

J R Raymond has some good videos.
In this video, he illustrates the direction your thumb should be applying pressure. It is exactly what was explained to me by a top notch bowler and PSO. It is somewhat COUNTER INTUITIVE and will take repetition to make it a habit. Be sure to read Mo's comments in the wiki article I posted earlier.
Listen carefully to J Rr's explanation and caveat about tape.



As you know, there is a big difference between the farmers carry and the bowling grip.
Farmers carry, your hand employs a pure power grip and is perpendicular to the floor.
A bowling grip is part power, part finesse.

Norm Dukes drill with the Tuna can gives you an idea of the role of the thumb and fingers.
The thumbs role is not to bear the weight, just to help keep it on the hand to allow a full conventional bowling swing. Roll some shots using the thumbless style, the thumb is used to support the ball. Hold your ball in the palm of your hand, no fingers no thumb, probably feels light!



Ron Hoppe has some good videos on swing and grip.

I copied the text from that wiki article below.
***


Reducing Grip Pressure

Most successful bowlers realize that grip tension is an enemy of a bowler being all they can be.
The advice by Mo and MegaMav (Eric) might just get you to your next level. These are simple but golden nuggets of advice that no bowler should overlook.
MegaMavs could be part of some bowlers pre-shot routines.

One of the list of usual suspects in the lineup of what is hurting a bowlers game is
an improper or less than optimum grip and that is why many coaches if not all
will always evaluate a bowlers grip and remind bowlers that their grip should be reassessed on a regular basis.
Squeezing is like trying to drive a car with one foot on the brake and one foot on the accelerator.

The quotes below are excerpts from a topic called KUNGFU GRIP viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4015&hilit=kungfu


Quote 1 is by Mo Pinel - A Drill
Mo --- If you feel it slipping, you should add tape as we discussed. But then, if you grab it, you'll probably hit yourself in the forehead.
There is a drill that says to open your hand at the top of the backswing.
The ball will stay on your hand 'til the foul line. Try it.
You will be surprised. If the ball start to slip after you open your hand at the top, add tape.

Additional clarification as written by kart300 via post 18 on viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4015&p=63032#p63032
Follow this with a sensation of touching the fingernails and thumbnail to the back of the holes as you reach the high point and keep that hand feeling and relax into the downswing. You need the right amount of tape to get this successfully off your hand at the right time.

Quote 2 is by MegaMav (Eric)
I got over that by just letting the ball come off my hand.
If its does, get another piece of tape, who cares if someone sees it.
If its going to come off, its in the front of the hinge or at the bottom on the way back.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free,
and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life
contribute in some way to that happiness
and to that freedom for all.

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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by kajmk »

Tomahawks post came in while I was finishing my last blurb.
Regarding his good points about some balls feeling heavier.
Grab a dumbbell (not me) , now offset your hand to the extreme left or right, notice how different it feels than when you hold it dead center.
Caveat, A guy as strong as you, may not notice unless the dumbbell is heavy.

For interesting videos on anatomy, check out Sam Webster
Sample
May all beings everywhere be happy and free,
and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life
contribute in some way to that happiness
and to that freedom for all.

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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by jegreco516 »

TomaHawk wrote: July 29th, 2021, 5:18 pm Some bowling balls, I can't explain why, just feel heavier than others. Theory, it is because of the core orientation or where the "weights" of the ball are located.

Looking at your grip stats, the reverse pitches in your fingers might be a little extreme, it depends on the type of inserts you are using and your span. Maybe I overlooked it, but the span and thumb pitch are not visible in the pic.

Gravity does all the work when swinging a bowling ball. Most novice bowlers tend to accelerate the swing when the ball starts to feel weightless due to the forces of gravity. Those two swing positions are at the top of the swing and behind the hip as the ball is descending.

*The only point the swing should be accelerated is directly at the point of release, right at the ankle. That acceleration is downward and outward, not upward.

In your bowling approach drills, let the ball fall of your hand wherever it may want to do so. Whether it be taking the ball backward, at the top of the swing, on the downswing, wherever. Try to resist the urge to squeeze the ball anywhere in the swing. Then the pro shop operator can adjust your span and pitches accordingly. Sometimes, just a bit a tape is needed, white tape to create friction (helps you hold on to the ball), black to adjust the hole size.

That drill can potentially save you a lot of time and money.
I believe the thumb pitches are not listed because it was drilled as an “offset” thumb. That’s what my pro shop said anyway.

If I understand you correctly, are you saying that without the help of gravity you will have to apply excess grip pressure. Only when gravity is introduced can your hand relax. So I’m a foul line drill, I will feel the full weight of the ball (mostly on the base of my thumb and fingers). Once I swing it forward, only then can it swing backwards allowing the thumb and hand to relax. Is this correct?
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by jegreco516 »

kajmk wrote: July 29th, 2021, 5:26 pm Tomahawks post came in while I was finishing my last blurb.
Regarding his good points about some balls feeling heavier.
Grab a dumbbell (not me) , now offset your hand to the extreme left or right, notice how different it feels than when you hold it dead center.
Caveat, A guy as strong as you, may not notice unless the dumbbell is heavy.

For interesting videos on anatomy, check out Sam Webster
Sample
So your saying that different balls change how well you can “cradle” the weight due to the core’s position? If so, how does this affect a bowler? Do bowlers choose bowling balls based on how they feel in the hand?
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by jegreco516 »

kajmk wrote: July 29th, 2021, 5:20 pm Tagging along to the comments made on your hands characteristics
The good PSO'S will physically examine your hand, finger flexibility , skin texture, sizes, any unique characteristics.

J R Raymond has some good videos.
In this video, he illustrates the direction your thumb should be applying pressure. It is exactly what was explained to me by a top notch bowler and PSO. It is somewhat COUNTER INTUITIVE and will take repetition to make it a habit. Be sure to read Mo's comments in the wiki article I posted earlier.
Listen carefully to J Rr's explanation and caveat about tape.



As you know, there is a big difference between the farmers carry and the bowling grip.
Farmers carry, your hand employs a pure power grip and is perpendicular to the floor.
A bowling grip is part power, part finesse.

Norm Dukes drill with the Tuna can gives you an idea of the role of the thumb and fingers.
The thumbs role is not to bear the weight, just to help keep it on the hand to allow a full conventional bowling swing. Roll some shots using the thumbless style, the thumb is used to support the ball. Hold your ball in the palm of your hand, no fingers no thumb, probably feels light!



Ron Hoppe has some good videos on swing and grip.

I copied the text from that wiki article below.
***


Reducing Grip Pressure

Most successful bowlers realize that grip tension is an enemy of a bowler being all they can be.
The advice by Mo and MegaMav (Eric) might just get you to your next level. These are simple but golden nuggets of advice that no bowler should overlook.
MegaMavs could be part of some bowlers pre-shot routines.

One of the list of usual suspects in the lineup of what is hurting a bowlers game is
an improper or less than optimum grip and that is why many coaches if not all
will always evaluate a bowlers grip and remind bowlers that their grip should be reassessed on a regular basis.
Squeezing is like trying to drive a car with one foot on the brake and one foot on the accelerator.

The quotes below are excerpts from a topic called KUNGFU GRIP viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4015&hilit=kungfu


Quote 1 is by Mo Pinel - A Drill
Mo --- If you feel it slipping, you should add tape as we discussed. But then, if you grab it, you'll probably hit yourself in the forehead.
There is a drill that says to open your hand at the top of the backswing.
The ball will stay on your hand 'til the foul line. Try it.
You will be surprised. If the ball start to slip after you open your hand at the top, add tape.

Additional clarification as written by kart300 via post 18 on viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4015&p=63032#p63032
Follow this with a sensation of touching the fingernails and thumbnail to the back of the holes as you reach the high point and keep that hand feeling and relax into the downswing. You need the right amount of tape to get this successfully off your hand at the right time.

Quote 2 is by MegaMav (Eric)
I got over that by just letting the ball come off my hand.
If its does, get another piece of tape, who cares if someone sees it.
If its going to come off, its in the front of the hinge or at the bottom on the way back.
I love the JR Raymond series and apply what he teaches. However, I do not understand how holding a tuna can and rolling it is applicable to rolling a bowling ball with all 3 fingers in. I can roll a tuna can (or bowling ball without a thumb) easily but as soon as the thumb goes into a ball the weight of the ball is largely supported by said thumb. Maybe this changes when the ball is in a free swing but if you are just holding the ball at your side, I don’t understand how it’s possible to not have excess weight placed on the thumb (base).
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by jegreco516 »

MegaMav wrote: July 29th, 2021, 5:11 pm Pitch isnt arbitrary. It's anatomical.
Finding a pro shop with a reputation of fitting properly is the cheapest way.
This isnt something to go it alone.
Go into the wiki here and look at the fitting guide as a good starting point.
http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... itting.pdf
My ball feels comfortable given my anatomy. However, I am unable to not hold the weight of the ball using the base of my thumb (80%) and fingers (20%). This led me to question whether or not I should move to a forward pitch and adjust the other variables to fit the anatomical specs of my hand
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by MegaMav »

jegreco516 wrote: July 29th, 2021, 5:42 pm My ball feels comfortable given my anatomy. However, I am unable to not hold the weight of the ball using the base of my thumb (80%) and fingers (20%). This led me to question whether or not I should move to a forward pitch and adjust the other variables to fit the anatomical specs of my hand
Most dont know what a good fit feels like, but if thats the case then it's likely not enough tape OR the tape is too low in the ball.
Also try tackier tapes like VISE Proformance tape. You can find sample packs to get the correct drag for you.
Based on your pictures, your thumb isnt seated all the way to the knuckle.
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by jegreco516 »

MegaMav wrote: July 29th, 2021, 5:52 pm Most dont know what a good fit feels like, but if thats the case then it's likely not enough tape OR the tape is too low in the ball.
Also try tackier tapes like VISE Proformance tape. You can find sample packs to get the correct drag for you.
Based on your pictures, your thumb isnt seated all the way to the knuckle.
I tried inserting my thumb in as much as possible while using white textured tape. I still feel like the weight is supported by the thumb and the ball sometimes is able to come off but others it doesn't at all. I swear I am not bending my thumb at the distal joint. My hand is as relaxed as it can be. I wish there was a way to know exactly how this was supposed to feel..
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by TomaHawk »

MegaMav eluded to something that may be somewhat of importance, your thumb could be shaped like a cone. That is another "if". I have seen the base of the thumb be as much as four sizes bigger than the tip. If that were to be the case, your thumb hole would require a method of drilling called tiering. The bottom of the hole is quite a bit smaller than the top.

You could discuss that with your pro shop.
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Re: Ball Fit Advice

Post by jegreco516 »

TomaHawk wrote: July 29th, 2021, 11:14 pm MegaMav eluded to something that may be somewhat of importance, your thumb could be shaped like a cone. That is another "if". I have seen the base of the thumb be as much as four sizes bigger than the tip. If that were to be the case, your thumb hole would require a method of drilling called tiering. The bottom of the hole is quite a bit smaller than the top.

You could discuss that with your pro shop.
I think that is me. Base is definitely bigger than top. Do all pro shops do this?
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