As a bowler, the last thing you want is a heavy bowling ball dropped on your foot. Similarly, you also don't want to drop the ball during your approach to the lane, as it can mess up your shot. Want to reduce the chances of dropping your bowling ball? Keep these tips in mind:
1. Choose the correct weight for your ball.
If your ball is too heavy, its weight alone increases the chances you may drop it. You could easily drop a too heavy ball while carrying it around the bowling alley or while approaching the lane for your turn. To avoid that, choose the correct weight for your size and strength.
Generally, balls weigh between 6 and 16 pounds, and you want a ball that is roughly ten percent of your weight. If you weigh more than 160 pounds, try a 16 pound ball first. To test your strength, hold the ball with your arm extended downward along your side. If holding the ball in this position strains your arm, try a lighter ball.
2. Dry your hands and the ball.
To avoid dropping the ball at any time, your hands need to be dry. Luckily, bowling alleys have jets of air next to the ball return. Use these air streams to dry any sweat or moisture off your hands before picking up your ball. Also, have a ball towel on hand so you can dry any moisture that may have collected on your ball.
3. Tighten up your thumb hole.
The size of the thumb hole can also affect how likely you are to drop your ball. Essentially, if the hole is too big, you will be more likely to drop your ball during your approach to the lane. To remedy this situation, if you are using a ball provided by the bowling alley, try out several until you find one that is relatively tight on your thumb.
If you are buying your own bowling ball, on the other hand, take steps to semi-permanently tighten your hole. Ideally, start with a thumb hole that is just slightly bigger than your thumb. Then, tighten the thumb hole using tape -- use masking tape or get special bowling ball tape from the pro shop at your bowling alley or a bowling equipment specialist.
Place a piece of tape around the inside perimeter of the thumb hole. Place your thumb in the hole, and try to hold the ball with just your thumb. If the ball drops off your thumb, add another layer of tape and try again. When you finally have enough tape so that the ball will hang off your thumb, you are almost at the right snugness level. Now, remove your last layer of tape -- this is the smallest the hole can be without hanging off your thumb, and this width allows you to control your release rather than dropping the ball.
Keep in mind that if you get hot while playing, your thumb may swell, and as a result, you may need to remove additional layers of tape as you play. For more tips about choosing a proper size ball, contact a company like Bowler X.
4. Follow through.
Some people drop the ball in front of the foul line because they don't have ample follow through. Their swing loses momentum, and the ball almost falls off their hand toward the ground. To avoid this, focus on follow through and momentum. Don't get nervous and stop your swing midway through. Ideally, you should have a strong swing forward, and you should not release the ball until your hand is over the toe of the foot sliding forward.