In bowling, the stance happens on the approach before any steps are even taken. How you set up your stance directly impacts what your ball is going to do on the lane and at the pins.
Isolating how to hold a bowling ball and distribute its weight properly in the stance will help you reduce your grip pressure throughout the approach resulting in a good release with proper ball motion down the lane.
Putting Your Hand Into the Bowling Ball
In order to get the bowling ball weight evenly distributed in both hands, first, we need to get the bowling ball in your hand.
Generally, you want to put your fingers in first, then roll the bowling ball onto your thumb.
Finally, cradle the bowling ball in both your throwing and off hands.
It doesn’t matter which style of bowler you are; how you position your hand in the ball has an effect on ball motion down the lane.
It is important to note that when you pick up the bowling ball off of the ball return, you need to use both hands.
Using both hands eliminates excessive squeezing or grip pressure. Eliminating grip pressure will allow your fingers to come out of the ball faster, helping to create more revs.
The non-dominant throwing hand should be parallel to the dominant throwing hand in the stance.
Your hands and fingers need to be close together when getting set up in your stance with proper ball placement.
If you set up with your hands and fingers further apart, you will have a weaker ball reaction.
Most traditional bowlers insert their fingers into the holes and roll the bowling ball onto the thumb.
If you have a really flexible thumb or are double-jointed, you can try to put your thumb into the bowling ball first. You should decide for yourself which method is better.
If you want more axis rotation on the ball, try tucking your pinky in, resulting in the knuckle touching the bowling ball.
If you are trying to get a more end-over-end roll down the lane, position your fingers more parallel to the approach.
The goal when holding your bowling ball is not to squeeze. To help avoid squeezing, try to shift a majority of the bowling ball’s weight into your non-throwing hand when in the stance.
Many lane play and physical game issues can be traced back to bowling ball fit problems.
If you find yourself grabbing the ball to keep it in your hand throughout your swing, visit your pro shop and get your span checked.
Even Weight Distribution
Evenly distributing the bowling ball weight plays a key role in grip pressure throughout the swing and release.
When you evenly distribute the weight of the bowling ball, your bowling hand, forearm, and shoulder remain loose and enable your grip pressure to reduce through the shot.
When you put the majority of the bowling ball weight onto your bowling hand, problems occur like:
- • Swing alignment
- • Timing issues
- • Injury (fingers, wrist, hand, shoulder, forearm)
With these simple adjustments to your game, your ball will roll better down the lane, and you’ll notice at the end of your competition that your hand and wrist will feel better than before.