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bowlfreak

Registered: 09/28/10
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello All,

I know that it has to feel comfortable and i know that you should be able to hold the ball without squeezing it. But that seems very unnatural to me. I recently got a new ball (mission) and i had the thumb drilled a bit tighter or smaller than my previous ball (tropical heat) however i still find it too loose so i have added two pieces of tape. it feels good but i still think I'm squeezing it somewhat in the back swing because i think its just gonna drop right out of my hand. Not sure its mental or not. Which leads me to ask how snug should it need to be? (i realize there may not be a response to this but I'm curious)
tsnide

Registered: 09/09/10
Posts: 221
Reply with quote  #2 
Someone please answer this for both of us!  I can't NOT squeeze, barring having the thumbhole just too tight to naturally "pop" off with the right timing.  I suspect my "need to squeeze" costs me a lot of reps, although Roth did well squeezing all those years (I assume that's where all those blisters/sores came form).

I actually throw a better ball (most of the time) thumbless, but I lose speed, and am pretty inconsistent with it.  If I could learn not to squeeze, without dropping the darn thing, that would help a ton.
themrfreeze

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Registered: 03/21/07
Posts: 3,098
Reply with quote  #3 
It's one of those things you can't really describe...you need to feel what it's supposed to be like to understand it.

Best way to try and describe it is that you insert your thumb in the hole, and keep your thumb straight so the tip of your fingernail just touches the back of the thumbhole, you should only need to apply a slight amount of forward pressure with your thumb to hold onto the ball. You should NOT have to bend your thumb at the knuckle at all.

And yeah, there's a huge mental hill to overcome with this. I personally have my thumbhole drilled quite large, then put a LOT of tape in the ball to get the fit to where I'm comfortable with it. There's nothing worse (IMHO) than having your thumb swell up, and not have the ability to open up the hole a little. I also use rosin if I feel I need a little extra grip.

Fordman

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 1,836
Reply with quote  #4 

I had a lot of trouble over the years either dropping the ball or hanging up.  Cost a lot of good scores.  I found these things called thumb pillows.  They come in 1\8 and 3\16 sizes.  Thumb is drilled a little larger  and the pillow is in the back of the hole.  I use the thumb tape to adjust it really tight and the little give from the sponge does the rest.  I'm not sure they are available everywhere or if they would work for everyone.  Good Luck.


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provalone77

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Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 124
Reply with quote  #5 
Have your span checked by a qualified proshop operator. Sounds like a span problem to me . In my experience, I have found thumb and squeeze problems 75 percent of the time, are the effect of an incorrect span. With the thumb inserted all the way in the hole, the edges of the finger gripping holes should fall half way between the 1st and second knuckle creases of the fingers, with the fingers spread over the gripping holes..

Another good test I tell people, is to insert your hand in the the ball and gently swing the ball by your side. If the nails of your fingers press against the back of the finger gripping holes the span is too long, or too much forward pitch in the fingers. Most of the time its the span.

bowlfreak

Registered: 09/28/10
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #6 

OK, so i went bowling last night just for practice and i decided i was going to keep adding tape until i consciously knew i was not squeezing the ball. Well i got up to 5 pieces and that's when it felt secure enough as to me feeling very confident that the ball would not drop out of my hand. I don't think I'm going to always use the five pieces. I spent the whole night adding/removing tape just to get a feel for it. I think my problem is mostly mental. until i overcome that "fear" of dropping the ball i will continue to rely on the extra pieces of tape. Unfortunately while being able to relax my arm/hand/fingers because the ball would not fall out, this led to me noticing that i have alot of issues to work on IE; timing, release, etc... It feels like when you go get your car fixed and a day or two later something else needs fixing. Great!. And yes i have had the span checked when i got my last ball (about two weeks ago) i was remeasured and one of the test that he did was he one you listed about the thumb being inside the ball and placing the fingers over the finger holes.

themrfreeze

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Registered: 03/21/07
Posts: 3,098
Reply with quote  #7 
5 pieces isn't a huge amount...I have 8-10 in each of my thumbholes...white in front, black in back. Seems excessive, but my thumb swells up a lot sometimes.
mrbowling300

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Registered: 02/17/07
Posts: 9,512
Reply with quote  #8 

I always get my thumb drilled a bit larger and fiddle around with tape.  I agree with themrfreeze on an earlier post in this thread, it's hard to describe when it's right, but when it is, you know that it is!  The goal is to have the grip fit like a glove where you don't even have to think about it, and just concentrate on hitting your target.

bowlfreak

Registered: 09/28/10
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #9 

Ok 5 seems little compared to 8-10 however i actually have an issue that even though i was using 5 pieces i was still using some slide rite powder on that finger just to ensure it was'nt going to stick due to moisture. Does that make any sense? does one thing have to do with the other?

provalone77

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Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 124
Reply with quote  #10 
5 pieces is probably the most I would say someone has to use , even boarding excessive. Do you have a very flat thumb (oval)? Then I could see how you are having these issues. Anybody I drill for never has to use more the 4 pieces or less, but I cant speak for everybody, feel is definably imperative to good shot making. If you have to think of your grip there is a problem.     
brian1969

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 1,238
Reply with quote  #11 
I think it's a personal preference, and only by tweaking how your ball is drilled will you find the right configuration for you.  If your pro shop has it, they have these plastic "balls" that they use to measure you and they have sized hole inserts that slide into the ball (kinda hard to describe).  My suggestion would be to have them set your span and fingertips, then keep trying different size thumb inserts in this thing until you get what you feel is the right thing.

Another option would be to go to thumb inserts in your actual ball.  The hole they drill in the ball is one size, they just insert different sizes of thumb grips.  Basically the same thing they do for fingers.  Try one out that feels right to you and if you think it's too tight or too loose, have them swap it out until you find the right size.  Then you know how big to drill your thumb hole (if thumb grips aren't your thing, that is).

Pitch also plays a role (the angle at which they drill the hole itself in relation to the ball).  If it's too great an angle in one direction or the other, it could cause you to hang up in the ball or even to lose it off your hand during your swing (neither of which are fun to have happen).

Personally, I always had my thumb a fraction bigger than what my thumb is, then I'd add or remove tape as needed.  I usually had one piece of white tape in the front for a better grip and one or two pieces of black tape in the back for a smoother release. 

Again, though, this is something you'll have to find out for yourself.  What I like/prefer (or anyone else) probably won't be something you like or would even feel comfortable with.  It could take time (years, maybe) for you to find the right combination, but you will eventually.  Just stick with it. =)

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bowlfreak

Registered: 09/28/10
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks brian1969,

I had a feeling it was not something someone would tell me and i would get it right away. I have though taken the advise of other about the tape and since then the fit is better. I will also try what you mentioned about using the black tape for the back of the thumb as this will help me with both my issues, 1) getting a more snug fit 2) my thumb sticking a bit upon release.

Thanks again for everyones input its been very helpful.
djrickysmith

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Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 847
Reply with quote  #13 
Just had 3 new balls drilled and they all have been ripping the skin off the top of my thumb (right across the thumb knuckle).  The span looks good, but I wonder which way I should change the pitch. 
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portsider

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Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 707
Reply with quote  #14 
If you're having trouble with too much friction on the top part of your thumb, you may want to consider a bit of reverse pitch for the thumbhole. At the very least, pitch it at 'zero'. At least this way, gravity will help get the ball off of your thumb a bit quicker. Do you, perhaps, as themrfreeze mentioned,  bend your thumb slightly in the thumbhole? If so, this will give almost the same effect as the hole being too small. Try consciously keeping your thumb straight in the thumbhole. You"ll have less friction on the top of your thumb that way. That may lessen some of the damage to your thumb.

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themrfreeze

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Registered: 03/21/07
Posts: 3,098
Reply with quote  #15 
Keeping my thumb straight was something I simply couldn't do in my youth, and now I know it was because my thumb hole wasn't fit properly.  It wasn't until a year or so after I started bowling again (~2007) that I finally had the courage to tighten up the thumb hole and do it.  Once you get the fit of the thumb hole right, it works great. 
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