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#196955 - 03/15/17 06:42 AM 2 handed bolwing
spectral Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 245
A/S/L: 24/M/Belgium
Hi all,

I will start with the backstory first, and my motivation. If you don't like reading long text you can skip straight to the question:

Back Story
I have been bowling for 10-12 years 1 handed so far (with thumb). After 3 years my average sky rocketed to 200+ average. People would tell me my form was not good (i had virtually no backswing and was muscling the ball incredibly) and i overturned the ball. Granted i had very little revs, And i could feel i was muscling the ball but i was very very accurate and could score on a lot of lane conditions. I would struggle a bit however on very slick lanes, since i got very very little pin reaction out of my ball, due to the lack of revs and also speed.

I decided to take up some coaching lessons and while it did increase my backswing and speed greatly, it did not increase my revs as much. It also made me less consistent in accuracy. The seasons after my average kept dropping and i am now around the 180.

The bowling alley i play at now changed it's oil pattern, and i get almost no reaction out of my ball anymore. I miss outside by 2-3 boards and it does not come back at all. I am a fairly accurate player still compared to other (semi-pro) players who throw 30% brooklyns and spray the ball over the lane with a lot of revs, but I am not a pro by far and don't have any desire to be one, so i need a bit of miss room to compete. My ball hits like a stone brick for the moment, get very little carry and zero reaction.

I am at the point where i lost all pleasure in bowling. You can flame me for saying this, but for me bowling is about getting some speed and revs and destroying the pins. I would rather average 190 and throwing a ball i feel comfortable about, than average 200 throwing it like a brick. As said before I don't have any aspirations to compete with the top players from my country. I am however willing to spend some practice time trying to be the best I can be.

So far for the back story.

Current Situation
I have been trying the one handed thumbless bowling style for fun sometimes and i can generate a tremendous amount of revs that way. Some of the best players in belgium have even said they have not seen much people generate that amount of revs, even 2 handed. So it's hard to believe i cannot generate more revs with my thumb in. My wrist is very strong (i train those muscles a lot in the fitness).
My main problem is that one handed thumbless my speed is way too low to keep up, I can only keep my spare ball in the pocket, all other balls hook off the lane.

I would very much like to invest some more time into learning 2 handed bowling, hoping i can perfect my form and pick up some speed. I have the impression 2 handed is easier to deliver speed than 1 handed thumbless.

I am a bit worried however about back strain and back injuries. I have been googling a bit and some say it is a problem, some say it is not. I would not want to start now and brick my back by the time I am 40. What are your guys thoughts about this?

Also do you think it is wise to start it myself based on movies of belmonte (and/or Palerma) or should i get coaching help straight away? I do not mind my average dropping for a while, I am hoping after 1 year of training I can get back to 170-180 at least

Edited by spectral (03/15/17 06:45 AM)

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#196956 - 03/15/17 10:17 AM Re: 2 handed bolwing [Re: spectral]
champ Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 2127
A/S/L: 30/M/AZ
If you're athletic and coordinated, I don't see anything in a two handed delivery that will cause more strain than a traditional one handed release. Sure, two-handed bowling opponents like to say, "we'll see how good Belmo is in five years when he blows his back out" but that's not an opinion based on athleticism or bio-mechanics; its more just distaste and looking for something to call out.

I say, if the general population thinks simply bending at the waist and opening the shoulders is something that will throw out their back, they don't have great prospects for old age. Use it or lose it.

In fact, I'd guess the two handed delivery puts less strain on the body since you're delivering the heavy object with two hands, and have the heavy object more balanced and centered on the body's core than in a conventional one handed delivery.

As far as learning how its done, there still aren't too many coaches that know enough about it to give great advice. But keep in mind when watching videos, every two-hander has a different technique. There is no one right way to do it.

I think Belmonte has the best delivery due to the athleticism of his movements. No stiff legs, good rhythm, simple, etc.

Good luck in trying it. I say just don't overdue it in terms of what you think you should be doing. Just get up there and swing the ball naturally with both hands. Let your body figure out what it needs to do to be in the right position.
Career Highs: 300/759

#196957 - 03/15/17 10:51 AM Re: 2 handed bolwing [Re: spectral]
W9JAB Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 272
A/S/L: 66/m/Il.
I said it before and I'll say it again,
two handed bowlers look like an old woman
tossing out a bucket of water.

L/T 48
Code Black

#196958 - 03/15/17 11:29 AM Re: 2 handed bolwing [Re: champ]
82Boat69 Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 631
A/S/L: 70/M/California
You're missing a few things in your observations. Those who perform the 2 handed delivery correctly and get the big rev's possible, have both feet off the ground just before taking a very seriously long last step. At the same time they are adjusting their body angle, spine tilt and getting all the way around their ball. It's like doing a Stem Christi in skiing or changing edges in snow boarding, all why accelerating to the foul line.

I'm 69 and have tried to accomplish this, only to end up on my face :-)

As we age, coordination diminishes. That's why you don't see anyone old doing it.

Even for those who are young and doing it, most don't get the speed and RPM's promised, because they're just taking a normal approach but delivering with 2 hands. To be able to throw 20 MPH with
550-650 RPM's requires some very serious coordination. I can think of only 4 who accomplish what 2-handed has to offer. The rest are just wannabes.

As more and more very young people come-up doing it, many will learn to do it correctly. Still, I don't think the elderly will use it because it does put forces on our bodies that can't be done as we age. It will be interesting to see how long Belmo can keep doing it well.

#196959 - 03/15/17 11:47 AM Re: 2 handed bolwing [Re: spectral]
mmalsed Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 1380
A/S/L: 43/M/Riverside, CA
I see two-handed as being a HUGE step up from thumbless (which has been around as long as I've been bowling)

If you're 24, go for it. you're young enough to be flexible and to build the right form to do it for a long time. We don't know how long someone like Belmo will be able to do it as the style hasn't really been around (in Belmo's style) for that long, but it looks to me like it can work for the long term.

You will get crap like above. smile If you're thin-skinned, be wary. Best answer is kicking of one's butt on the scoreboard. smile Even better answer is picking up spares (esp 10-pin) as that is one of the main complaints against two-handed bowling.

I see a number of kids doing it - the ones that are successful do NOT work on revs (that will come naturally) and not speed but rather they work on PROJECTION. Too many have their hands end up going vertical at the end of the swing, but look at Belmo - his right hand goes FORWARD and then up, not just up. If you're trying for revs, then the hand goes up - if you try to project the ball down the lane, then the hand goes forward. That make sense?

And remember, it's a balance between speed and revs. Good luck - and post some videos, even if it's just to tweak at W9JAB. angel
Avg: 206
Season High Gm: 279 / Lifetime: 290
Season High Ser: 762 / Lifetime: 762

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"Gotta kick at the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight"

#196961 - 03/15/17 11:51 AM Re: 2 handed bolwing [Re: 82Boat69]
champ Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 2127
A/S/L: 30/M/AZ
Originally Posted By: 82Boat69
As more and more very young people come-up doing it, many will learn to do it correctly. Still, I don't think the elderly will use it because it does put forces on our bodies that can't be done as we age. It will be interesting to see how long Belmo can keep doing it well.

This I agree with. Not picking on the elderly, but I can't imagine Belmo bowling two-handed as an 80 year old league bowler. Not because he's blown out his body through years of two-handing, but because the coordination does diminish.

So consider that in your pursuits. If you want to bowl two-handed, and want to be a life-long bowler, you will eventually probably have to take up one handed bowling again.

Boat's comment about the vast majority of two-handers being wannabes is also, right now, spot on. But in that sense that's true of most bowlers. We all wannabe that pro on TV with the exceptional physical game and the iron strong mental game. For me its Francois Lavoie and Dom Barrett. That's the poetry in motion I strive for.

Two-handing does require a fast approach. And all that movement coupled with fast footwork requires coordination and athleticism. But that was in the first sentence of my initial praise of two-handed bowling.

Also consider that you will also have to learn a ton in terms of bowling ball management, lane transition, controlling that power when the strokers have the better look, etc. Every upside has a downside.

All that being said, I believe two handed bowling is the future of the game.
Career Highs: 300/759

#196962 - 03/15/17 01:00 PM Re: 2 handed bolwing [Re: spectral]
spectral Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 245
A/S/L: 24/M/Belgium
hey all,

thanks for the comments, i currently am not looking for the discussion if bowling 2 handed is a real form of bowling or not.

Currently i just want to have fun in bowling again, and throwing a brick at the pins is not very fun for me. when bowling 1 handed I have a fast approach naturally, and i already use a hop step naturally. Most likely timing is 90% of my issues preventing me from doing a good release with thumb in.

My timing seems to be closer to a 2 handed bowler timing, and even the first time i attempted to throw it one handed without thumb (never even saw anyone do it), it felt really natural to me, while my one handed style has always felt forced.

Right now i'd rather be one of the wannabe thumbless bowlers than what I am doing now. But i have always tried to be as accurate as i can while bowling. I'm one of those guys who feels really bad after throwing a brooklyn strike while other guys on my team don't seem to care whether it is brooklyn or not. So i've always cared about throwing it as accurate as I can. I've been bowling with very low revs for so long that i won't be forcing it to get the maximum out of it.

I'd read articles about people who say that Belmo has claimed he will not be able to do this when he is 50. I've tried to search for them, but i can't find them. All i find is belmo saying he is not convinced it puts more strain on his body, he feels bowling one handed is putting more strain on his body.
And now he is nearing 30 and he never had any back ache or injury in his life.

I can't decide now if i'll still be bowling when i'm 50 or 60, but i like sports in general so I don't want to screw up my back. That's why i was asking questions for people's opinions on this.

#196965 - 03/15/17 04:38 PM Re: 2 handed bolwing [Re: spectral]
82Boat69 Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 631
A/S/L: 70/M/California
It sounds like you're in a slump and you may not be appreciating the mental drain as much as you might. Having fun while bowling can't only be about scoring big.

What made bowling fun before your current slump?

Adding revolutions isn't difficult and it's even easier for those who have a delivery that looks like they're starting a lawn mower with a pull cord. I'm one of those.

In your self description, you mention you have a hop/skip in your approach already and a very short back-swing and very few rev's.

I would start there. Many bowlers don't realize how simple the game is. I have a friend that equates a bowling approach to just dropping your arm and walking away from it as fast as you can :-)

If your hop/skip occurs at the wrong time, it will remove almost all of your back-swing. Without a back-swing, you will have to do all kinds of weird contortions to put any speed on the ball and any rev's on the ball.

If you think you can change to no-thumb or 2 handed, why haven't you changed your current delivery?

If you ask me, no thumb equates to no control. Very few do it successfully. The same applies to 2 hands.

You may be looking at 3 years of practice and the frustration that comes along to become proficient with no thumb or 2 hands. Where will your head be during those 3 years? Will you be having fun?

Before you make matters worse by trying the 2 most difficult deliveries in bowling, I would find a knowledgeable person to list everything you do well and everything you do poorly. I would then minimize everything you do poorly and maximize everything you do well. When you've done that, see where you are physically and mentally.

I don't want to sound like I'm lecturing, but you may be getting ready to waste a lot of time and come away more unhappy than you are now. If I could help you avoid that, it's worth giving you a heads up.

#196966 - 03/15/17 04:52 PM Re: 2 handed bolwing [Re: spectral]
Mkirchie Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 01/14/07
Posts: 794
A/S/L: 37/M/New Jersey
You are definitely at a crossroads. One thing to keep in mind is that it is most important that your ball speed matches your rev rate. You're describing yourself as a speed dominant bowler after the lessons you took. When you don't use your thumb, your revs go up, but you don't have the speed and are rev dominant. Neither is good, you want to be much closer to matching speed and revs. That leaves you either learning how to generate more revs with your thumb in the ball one-handed or generate more speed with a thumbless/2 handed style.

I'd lean towards trying to generate more revs one-handed only because I think it's the easier way to go for your situation. Belmonte has spent his entire life perfecting his 2 handed style. Additionally, you mention not trying to max out the revs two-handed. You might be able to get the amount of revs you would like with one hand instead of going to two. Keep in mind generating revs is not only about strength, it is about hand position, timing, leverage, and proper fit of the ball. Taking your thumb out helps get the hand under the ball and removes any problem with the thumb not fitting. I'm not sure how the coaching or pro-shops are in Belgium, so fixing those things could be an issue but you will have a much harder time trying to find someone who can help you two-handed.

Out of curiosity, where do you usually play on the lanes? I'm not sure if you tried, but you might need to make an adjustment or try to play a different line. I'm assume that you did try this, but I wasn't sure because you didn't mention where you play the lanes in your post. Additionally, try to find out what changes were made to the pattern if possible.

On an additional note, don't feel too bad when you end up with a good break on a Brooklyn strike. I go with the "I know I just got away with one" attitude. For every occasional lucky strike I get, there's a considerable number of solid 8 pins, solid 9 pins, and pocket 7-10 splits. The bowling universe balances itself out quite well.

Current Average - 225

#196969 - 03/15/17 07:17 PM Re: 2 handed bolwing [Re: spectral]
spectral Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 245
A/S/L: 24/M/Belgium
I have tried so many things generating more revs with thumb over the years and i can't get it done. I am speed dominant yes, but it's not like i throw it very hard.

A few weeks ago i had an inflammated muscle in my hand, the chiropractor noticed by accident i had a very inflexible thumb. I never realized this because it did not give me any problems but she pointed out correctly that i cannot bend my thumb at the second joint (the one closest to the hand). I can bend it very very slightly (like 5-10), while most people can bend it 45 or more. Maybe my thumb is part of the issue?

Right now i am using a wristguard which makes my thumb feels like it comfortably exits the ball. Without wristguard it feels like my thumb won't come out at all when i make the hole snug. My span however has been measured by multiple drillers and it should be fit pretty good to my hand.

So probably my thumb and timing are causing 99% of the issues together. My wrist is definitely strong enough for generating revs, but my whole body movement is not letting my wrist do it's work.

Throwing it 2 handed just feels more natural and i would genuinely like to give it a try, i have tried so many things over the years to get some more ball action and nothing works except without thumb

oh and MrKirchie, i ussually play the outside, because i mostly play on pretty easy house conditions. The bowling where i play at however is being run by 2 bowling players who have been multiple times national champions, and bowler of the year.
He likes to put a pattern that is hard to play (feels like a bit reverse to me, miss outside and it's gone). I moved very much to the left and try to play it 4-5 boards away from the pocket and it will probably go into the pocket. But i have almost no room for error. Miss slightly outside and it won't come back at all and get 6-7 pins. Miss inside gives me some room but not much and will hit flat on the headpin. All in all i think i am making the right adjustments but people with higher rev rates have more room for error. They generally average less on the condition than me and complain it is too hard, but only because they spray it like hell, because when you watch closely they have a few boards more room than me, and definitely more pin action

Edited by spectral (03/15/17 08:25 PM)

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