By Lou Marquez on Dec 15, 2019 7:45:08 PM
Your grip on the bowling ball is, obviously, very important. If you have no control over the ball-either because you have too much or too little grip pressure-you'll never be able to develop any sort of consistency at any point from your stance through the release.
Before we talk about the actual grip pressure, let's first get our hand in the ball. It seems simple, right? Put your fingers in the holes. Sure, and there are multiple ways to do that, but the one we recommend generally tends to give bowlers the best control over the bowling ball.
Start by putting your middle and ring fingers into the ball, either to the first knuckle for a fingertip grip or the second knuckle for a conventional grip. Next, fold your hand over so your thumb can naturally slide into its spot. If your ball is laid out with a proper fit, your hand should be comfortable in the ball.
With the thumb, make sure you press against the ball rather than pinch. A pinch leads to squeezing the ball, which we don't want to do as it forces more of our muscles-forearms and biceps in particular-to tense up when we don't want them to. To press your thumb in the ball, keep it as flat as possible and resist the urge to pinch. Use as much of the pad of your thumb as possible, all the way down to the base at the palm.
Don't force your fingers or your thumb in. When you have to work too hard to get your hand in the ball, you end up with the same issue as pinching the thumb and force your muscles to do too much work for no benefit.
Some players, even at the highest levels of the sport, will vary their grip pressure. One way to do that is to put your thumb in first, then insert the fingers. Or, as some players do, insert one finger, then the thumb, then another finger.
Next time you're practicing, experiment with different grip pressures to see what feels the best to you and what gives you the most consistency. As I said, for most people, inserting the fingers first and then the thumb is the ideal way to go. However, it doesn't hurt to try other methods even if only to gain some extra knowledge about all of bowling's intricacies.