To maintain light grip pressure, you need to:
1. Have the Proper Ball Fit. To keep tension out of the swing and be able to relax, you must have the proper grip. Both a good ball fit and the application of proper grip pressure have a major impact on the swing.
To develop a consistent swing, you need a ball that fits properly and you need to apply minimal grip pressure throughout the swing. You should be able to do this if the ball fits right. This will allow you to relax and repeat shots to become more consistent and accurate. A good ball fit includes proper hole size, span and pitches (hole angles). More specifics on ball fit can be found in Bowling Fundamentals, Second Edition (BF2E), pages 2-4.
2. Relax your Swing Arm. In bowling, you have to repeat shots and relaxing your arm enables you to create a reliable and consistent swing. Make sure your grip pressure is light and the muscles in your swing arm are relaxed in the stance. It is difficult to have a loose swing when the muscles in your arm start out tight. For more to relax your swing arm, see page 61 in BF2E.
3. Use Bowler’s Tape. Use bowler’s tape in the thumbhole to fine-tune the ball fit. Tape is meant to be used during play to maintain the proper hole size to keep up with the natural fluctuations in your thumb size. Put it in and take it out as necessary for any given shot. Never give up a shot if the size of the hole is not right.
You may notice a trend in how your thumb fluctuates in size, either shrinking or swelling when you bowl. In either case, use tape to make sure the ball fits your hand properly for the next shot. Your goal is to maintain a constant grip pressure from shot to shot. This means adjusting the ball to your hand, rather than your hand to the ball.
Improving your swing is addressed in detail in Chapter 5 of BF2E. For more on “Making Changes: Grip Pressure” see page 12. For more on “Bowler’s Tape”, see pages 13 & 76.
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