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Thread: Tips for keeping elbow in line (2-handed delivery)?

  1. #1

    Default Tips for keeping elbow in line (2-handed delivery)?

    Brief history of the problem:

    I've been forced to switch to a two-handed release due to issues with hand tendonitis. Also, while I continue to shoot spares straight, I've had to back all the way down to a 10-pound ball for spares to relieve grip pressure. I've been battling this pain in my hand (the act of gripping, even lightly, is the issue) for almost 20 years now and it's gotten so that a switch to two-handed has been my only option to stay with the sport.

    I'm not as young (46) or athletic as most, so my progress has been slow. I've finally gotten to where I can put up a 200+ score once in a while but I don't have the consistency to back it up for an entire set.

    The problem seems to be the inability to maintain the swing path of my elbow for an entire set. This week I closed with a horrid 112 game (several gutter balls) because of the sudden issue with chicken-winging it on the delivery. The game prior to this was a solid 191 game.

    This lack of consistency is bothersome to say the least. I've been playing around with my pushaway, trying to figure whether an inline, back-and-forth arm travel is best, or whether I need to figure-eight the ball a bit.

    I may also be cutting off my delivery short. I do notice my scoring issues come when I let my ball speed drop. Anyone have any technique tips that might work here? I feel like a beginner again after 30 years of throwing one-handed.

    Jess

  2. #2
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    Jess,

    A couple questions about your physical ability that may shed some light for those who want to try and help. First question, you talk significantly about the struggles with grip pressure - what does the flexibility in your wrist look like - both cupping and lateral movement? Second, how would you describe your hip mobility - specifically in regards to your ability to complete a cross over step?

    With the description above I wouldn't really be comfortable giving advice without a minimum of a video from a few different angles - and even at that point I would be very cautious. My biggest concern on this front is that through the internet you are not going to be able to have a shot by shot exchange with someone to discuss how changes feel and if they are being conducted properly. Reading the issue you describe (chicken winging the ball) a potentially popular assumption of what you are doing is either (a) you are swinging the ball around your body rather than walking around your ball path (causing the inconsistent ball path) or (b) you have a lot of subconscious cues in your bowling and one of those is as you need to get the ball down the lane you are coming around it more (in which the chicken wing allows you to get to the side of the ball more). My caution for you specifically is that you have some physical concerns that at this point priority number 1 is making sure you do not make these worse in an attempt to guess what could improve your game at this point - there is a lot of information on the internet (some good and some bad) and much of it is very general and not specific to the bowler.


    Hopefully you will be able to find someone local who is qualified to help you out - 43 is an early age to cause some additional, and potentially permanent, damage especially in bowling where you could easily have 30 - 40 more years to enjoy the game.
    Currently in the bag: Roto Grip Hyper Cell (@2000), Hammer Gauntlet Fury (@1000 polished), Roto Grip Idol (@2000), Hammer Cherry Vibe (@1500 polished), Hammer Black Widow Urethane (@1000), Jet Blackbird

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    Quote Originally Posted by JessN16 View Post
    Brief history of the problem:

    I've been forced to switch to a two-handed release due to issues with hand tendonitis. Also, while I continue to shoot spares straight, I've had to back all the way down to a 10-pound ball for spares to relieve grip pressure. I've been battling this pain in my hand (the act of gripping, even lightly, is the issue) for almost 20 years now and it's gotten so that a switch to two-handed has been my only option to stay with the sport.

    I'm not as young (46) or athletic as most, so my progress has been slow. I've finally gotten to where I can put up a 200+ score once in a while but I don't have the consistency to back it up for an entire set.

    The problem seems to be the inability to maintain the swing path of my elbow for an entire set. This week I closed with a horrid 112 game (several gutter balls) because of the sudden issue with chicken-winging it on the delivery. The game prior to this was a solid 191 game.

    This lack of consistency is bothersome to say the least. I've been playing around with my pushaway, trying to figure whether an inline, back-and-forth arm travel is best, or whether I need to figure-eight the ball a bit.

    I may also be cutting off my delivery short. I do notice my scoring issues come when I let my ball speed drop. Anyone have any technique tips that might work here? I feel like a beginner again after 30 years of throwing one-handed.

    Jess
    First, the stock answer: Get a good local coach.

    Historically, players were told to stick a folded bowling towel, or a hand towel, in their armpit and practice the delivery without dropping the towel. Iím not sure that would work with the two hand delivery, and even with one hand players it is only used with beginners. I have found that if I wear a light elbow brace or a compression sleeve I keep the elbow in.
    My only other suggestion would be to practice your approach in slow motion, as if you were doing Tai Chi. Just focus on what your arm is doing and donít worry about where the ball goes at first. Having a friend watch and give positive feedback when the elbow stays in would be even better.
    John

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALazySavage View Post
    Jess,

    A couple questions about your physical ability that may shed some light for those who want to try and help. First question, you talk significantly about the struggles with grip pressure - what does the flexibility in your wrist look like - both cupping and lateral movement? Second, how would you describe your hip mobility - specifically in regards to your ability to complete a cross over step?

    With the description above I wouldn't really be comfortable giving advice without a minimum of a video from a few different angles - and even at that point I would be very cautious. My biggest concern on this front is that through the internet you are not going to be able to have a shot by shot exchange with someone to discuss how changes feel and if they are being conducted properly. Reading the issue you describe (chicken winging the ball) a potentially popular assumption of what you are doing is either (a) you are swinging the ball around your body rather than walking around your ball path (causing the inconsistent ball path) or (b) you have a lot of subconscious cues in your bowling and one of those is as you need to get the ball down the lane you are coming around it more (in which the chicken wing allows you to get to the side of the ball more). My caution for you specifically is that you have some physical concerns that at this point priority number 1 is making sure you do not make these worse in an attempt to guess what could improve your game at this point - there is a lot of information on the internet (some good and some bad) and much of it is very general and not specific to the bowler.


    Hopefully you will be able to find someone local who is qualified to help you out - 43 is an early age to cause some additional, and potentially permanent, damage especially in bowling where you could easily have 30 - 40 more years to enjoy the game.
    Thanks for the response. I realize video would be helpful but due to internet trolls I refuse to use that. So we'll have to go the old-fashioned way of questions and answers:

    1) Wrist flexibility: Maximum cup angle, probably 90 degrees to my forearm. Lateral flexibility: About 45 degrees toward the body, about 20 degrees away from the body (measured in middle fingertip angle to the forearm). I'd say that's below average. Overall wrist strength: Not terrible, not great. Sometimes the same issues that affect gripping the ball pop up here. I get what amounts to carpal tunnel pain, mostly in the center palmside of the wrist, and on the back of the hand at the outside base of the wrist joint. That particular area has become arthritic enough to develop a knot on the bone. However, two-handed bowling is mostly painless for me. If you put a 14-, 15- or 16-pound ball in my hand drilled fingertip and ask me to use a regular grip, I'll get somewhere between 8 and 16 frames in before I want to quit. And this is even with me drilling a pinky finger hole in the ball to help distribute the weight.

    2) Hip mobility: I'm naturally built with wide hips and shoulders anyway. I kind of look like a square block from behind. My hips have never been all that flexible, and as I've got older, I've added weight I need to lose, which doesn't make anything better. I also have a bad *right* knee (not slide knee) from an old baseball injury that requires me to use a Robbys Kneed-It brace. Again, like with the wrist, I have LESS knee pain with a two-handed delivery. The only pain that I have two-handed that I didn't have one-handed is in my right shoulder, and that's from trying to force speed into the delivery, since I dropped from being a slightly speed-dominant tweener down to a VERY rev-dominant cranker with the change. Most nights I can't use anything but urethane pearl (an old Visionary Slate Blue Gargoyle), as everything else just hooks way too much.

    Basically if I'd had to stay one-handed, I'd be done by now. And the only thing really keeping me going is I had my first child late in life, at age 41. He's 5 now, and he loves bowling and loves to watch Daddy bowl and cheer for him. I have no illusions about being competitive anymore, although I do want to enjoy myself. But mostly, I'm just biding my time until I can bowl with my son. Still, dropping from a 200 average back down into the 140s/150s is difficult to take, and while I'm not a great athlete or even a great bowler, I did do well enough in this sport before to know that I should be able to figure out how to do it again.

    Jess

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Anderson View Post
    First, the stock answer: Get a good local coach.

    Historically, players were told to stick a folded bowling towel, or a hand towel, in their armpit and practice the delivery without dropping the towel. Iím not sure that would work with the two hand delivery, and even with one hand players it is only used with beginners. I have found that if I wear a light elbow brace or a compression sleeve I keep the elbow in.
    My only other suggestion would be to practice your approach in slow motion, as if you were doing Tai Chi. Just focus on what your arm is doing and donít worry about where the ball goes at first. Having a friend watch and give positive feedback when the elbow stays in would be even better.
    Funny you mention that about slow-motion approach. I do it all the time around the house and in the center.

    The towel trick probably won't work two-handed since there's sort of a "lift" in the delivery and the opening of the shoulders.

    I would love to get a local coach, but there aren't any here. One of the other issues I have is that I live in a rural area, 45 minutes away from the nearest center, which has no pro shop and no coaches.

    Jess

  6. #6
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    One big key for two handed bowlers is placement of the off hand. The off hand should be in front of the ball during setup, this frees up the swing and may be one of your issues if you aren't doing it now. Also there are a couple of videos on YouTube where Belmo is teaching someone to bowl two handed and there were a lot of good tips in it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonNJ View Post
    One big key for two handed bowlers is placement of the off hand. The off hand should be in front of the ball during setup, this frees up the swing and may be one of your issues if you aren't doing it now. Also there are a couple of videos on YouTube where Belmo is teaching someone to bowl two handed and there were a lot of good tips in it.
    Thank you. I'll try to incorporate more of that, and find those videos.

    Jess

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