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Author Topic: I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.  (Read 1598 times)

JessN16

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I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.
« on: February 22, 2019, 04:07:46 AM »
There comes a point when you're either going to get better, or you're not. And then you have to decide whether you're even going to continue at all.

The last five years have been rough for me. I moved to a much harder house than I'd been accustomed to over the previous 10 years, and when I did my average dropped about 35 pins. I've still been able to bowl at a higher average in out-of-town tournaments, so I know my basic abilities are still there, but there's a laundry list of things that have changed for me recently as a function of getting older.

There was the heart attack, the sudden onset of come-and-go gout (lots of things happen after heart attacks, some that don't seem related but really are), a flare-up of tendonitis in my right Achilles. There's the arthritic right wrist, made worse by years of bowling with the wrong span and pitches. Weight gain. A degenerative right knee caused by a baseball injury from way back in 1988.

Last year, I made some equipment changes and bought myself a 10-pin jump in average from the year before, but that still only put me in the mid-170s (at this new house, we have fewer than 5 people averaging deuce). Regardless, that made me feel good, because I saw progress. But when the 2018-2019 season began, I lost most of that modest gain and am back to thinking 510 is a "good" series.

Sure, I can still have a good game (or get lucky) and roll a 230. But I usually frame it with a 150 on one side and a 160 on the other. We don't get a lot of help from the lanes here, but my bigger problem is myself -- my inconsistency, my aches and pains, my lack of time to practice.

Given that it's hard to get excited about watching yourself and your game disintegrate, I kind of hit a fork in the road a month ago: Either I would get better, or I would get gone. The one thing I will not do, especially at such a young age, is fall back to where I was when I was a beginner. I can already tell I'm not going to be happy in my senior years playing out the string.

The single biggest issue to overcome is definitely the wrist pain. No combination of pitches or spans seems to fix it anymore. My absolute, upper limit is 6 games bowled at a time. Sometimes I don't even get three. I'm worthless as a tournament bowler even though my last tournament, I finished second in handicap and eighth in scratch scores for all events. I just happened to get very lucky with my body that day.

I'm not sure going two-handed is going to solve that, but at least it takes the thumb out of the equation. Switching over gives me something to look forward to, at any rate. Maybe I'll find something I didn't know was there in the first place.

I've considered blogging the change, but I don't really have a place to blog. I don't want to bore everyone else here by posting banal league details every week. But I do want to see if it's possible to do, and if it is, I want to share that with other middle-age/older guys who are at a similar crossroads.

Or I'm going to give it all up. There's really no in-between anymore.

Jess

 

BowlingForDonuts

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Re: I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2019, 12:49:49 PM »
Bowling is a great way to prolong your life in general imo so kudos and glad to see you continue doing what you enjoy.  By the way if find you need a step down from the SBG Pyramid has the Pathogen Blue Dot Spare plastic ball with a core for $75 shipped.  Has a decent motor in it.
Less is more especially with forum posts.

JessN16

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Re: I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2019, 07:28:36 PM »
In the interest of leaving no ball unthrown, how is your other wrist?  With such a large delivery overhaul maybe it's be easier to switch sides.  We've had a couple folk out here that have been successful going lefty.

I've known several people to switch over the years and none got better. Only one that I can think of even maintained. I've got a good friend currently doing it for shoulder injury reasons and he's struggling. Worse than that, I bowled with a guy about 20 years ago who had blown out his right shoulder, switched, then proceeded to blow out his left shoulder as well.

I wasn't born with particularly strong wrists, and it took many years of building up my right wrist before I could throw with power, then another 10 years or so before I could ditch the wrist brace. I don't want to endanger my other wrist without the promise of much payback.

More things are sore this morning a day after two-handing it for the first time, notably my right bicep and shoulder. It's not an "injured" sore; it's more like how sore you are when you do 50 sit-ups after having not done any in a couple of years.

Jess

michael.willis9

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Re: I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2019, 12:03:10 AM »
Iím 33 but Iím also pondering this for a few reasons...

Thumb swelling:  Iíve had different PSOs over the years, we tried different things, and I still deal with major thumb swelling. The common denominator is me and my fat thumb. Iíve had several great seriesí ruined by thumb swelling.

Knee pain:  fully admitting that Iím my normal 1-handed delivery, Iím a planter not a slider. When I was younger it was never an issue but now that Iím a little older i feel it more.  When I bowl two handed, I hop and slide and I donít have the knee pain. If this where a stand alone issue, I could work on it. But pair it with other issues and I question it.

Elbow soreness: with my backswing, I tend to get some elbow pains. Iíve been wearing a sleeve to combat this and itís been slightly effective. My two hand delivery is more compact and I donít feel it as much.

Plus the idea that it opens up the lane more. As a one hander, Iím speed dominant and have to be more of a shot maker than anything. Which is fine. But I donít have a lot of wiggle room. In our sport shot league, outside of 5 is unplayable for me. While tonight I had swelling so bad I had to finish the last of 6 games as a two hander. And the OOB for me as a 1 hander was now suddenly playable as a two hander.

Iím strongly considering finishing the season as is, but using the summer to switch to two hands and going full two hander next year

JessN16

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Re: I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2019, 12:23:21 AM »
Week Two...

Practice scores: 132, 136
League scores (one-handed, immediately following practice): 180, 195, 246 (Dyno-Thane Threshold)

Summary: I bowled the first practice game with polished urethane (Visionary Slate Blue Gargoyle) and the second with a polished solid reactive (Storm Dark Thunder). I incorporated the skip-step into the delivery this week after practicing it "dry" in my driveway (i.e., without a ball in my hand). Whereas last week I had lost 6-7 mph from my one-handed delivery, I picked back up probably 3 mph and was throwing around 13 mph this week. That's not optimal, but it's progress.

The biggest contributor to those mediocre scores were seven different occurrences of this: 1/. That would be picking off the 7-pin on the first ball, and then clearing the rack for the spare. Of course, when you do that three times in a row, you've scored a whopping 33 or so over three frames. With both balls, I found myself gradually taking hand out of the ball by weakening my wrist position, or simply not rotating out of the ball at delivery, in an effort to keep the ball pocket-side. That helped, but again, that's not an optimal play. It did, however, tell me that I'm going to be able to make small changes in the delivery and adjust.

One thing I was not expecting tonight was a fair bit of pain in the middle finger after I was done with two-handed practice. This was the result of a pitch issue, and I'm not sure how to fix it. The SBG has forward pitch in the fingers (my old measurements), while the DT is reverse-pitched in the fingers. I was much more comfortable throwing the DT. Where the pain was coming from, though, was from the side of the fingers if I tried to come around the ball strongly. I'm wondering if I'm going to have to have extreme right pitch in those two fingers eventually. If so, that's not optimal, because now I would have to plug all my equipment. However, I'm sitting here typing this still with soreness in my finger, and since going two-handed is mostly about getting rid of pain, I'm not going to just tolerate it. I guess the middle finger is hanging up in the insert and getting jerked sideways at release.

On the flip side, I could have bowled as much as I wanted to tonight and had no wrist pain, forearm pain or shoulder pain. I haven't had that kind of experience in years.

Going from this into league and switching back to one-handed bowling, I found I was able, for the second straight week, to be very consistent and make better adjustments in the wrist. I still got a little wrist and hand pain afterward, though.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to do this again next week. It all depends, week to week, on my work schedule.

Jess
« Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 12:31:26 AM by JessN16 »

JessN16

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Re: I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2019, 12:42:20 AM »
Week 3:
Practice scores: 140, 92
League scores (one-handed): 180, 163, 209

The first practice game was the first time I've really thought "I've got something to work with here." I hit the pocket 9 times out of 11 balls, and left a bunch of single pins I couldn't pick up. This is the first time I've had spare-shooting trouble on the right side.

The focus this week was continuing to improve ballspeed, and after a good first game, I tried to go too quickly and ended up destroying my timing. A friend later told me I was closing up too much at the foul line and shoving the ball with my shoulder in an attempt to generate speed, which was pulling everything left of target.

Once in league, I bowled better than my score the first game, lost my look in game two and then de-shelled in game three, opening up with a spare and five-bagger. I was on a 230-ish pace headed into the final game but finished with two ugly opens (5-4, 6-1) to really kill my score.

Weekly pain check: Didn't stretch my hand and fingers enough and ended up with mild pain in the middle finger again, which is confirming the need to change pitches. I was hoping to avoid doing anything other than plugging a bunch of thumbholes but I might not get that lucky.

Four weeks left until summer league and then I'm going to bowl the summer two-handed. So I've basically got a maximum of eight practice games to figure out how I want to attack this. Gulp.

Jess

Mbosco

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Re: I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2019, 02:43:05 AM »
Just something to be aware of: you may wish to let a league official for your summer league know about your two handed quest so you don't have to deal with people accusing you of bagging.  Even in a summer league, people can sometimes suck.

JessN16

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Re: I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2019, 03:28:00 AM »
Just something to be aware of: you may wish to let a league official for your summer league know about your two handed quest so you don't have to deal with people accusing you of bagging.  Even in a summer league, people can sometimes suck.

I'm sort of a guinea pig right now for a half-dozen other guys who are thinking of doing the same thing. We're a small league and it's kind of gotten around what I'm planning on doing.

Most are unsure of my sanity, some flat-out tell me not to do it and a couple are very supportive, perhaps because they like to watch train wrecks as they occur. Fortunately, if I bowl the whole summer and don't get out of the 130s/140s it still won't affect any tournament averages I have, because this fall average will still be sitting there. I'm probably going to end the fall league around 170. League high right now is 195.

Jess

michael.willis9

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Re: I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2019, 09:41:46 AM »
im definitely planning on giving two hands a go for summer to determine if i want to officially switch, but i'm considering shooting spares one handed.  i'm going to give two hands a go but i'm already a good spare shooter, may keep bowling one handed for spares only

LuckyLefty

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Re: I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2019, 02:50:18 PM »
Well Jess fascinating!

I have gone through the same thing going to a no oil in the mids house on the left and going down a ton in average and then having a nice tournament year in many other houses in the state! 

As to two handed, after I damaged my right hand as a pre teenager who knew of two handed then?  As I got half decent under favorable conditions for me (oily)as a lefty it didn't enter my mind at all that two handed back to righty would become an option I would think of.

Maybe I should!

One thing I will say is that as the Father of one of the best two handed form bowlers I have ever seen(you met him when he was near 10! and a one hander at that time I think) that the absolute most important step in becoming good at it is a flowing, distance covering, fast moving, skip step!

Jason Belmonte has one!  Osku Palemaa has one and Jesper Svensson has one.

If you don' have one you will lose almost 3 miles per hour and probably 100 revs potential in both areas.

While out here we have a marvelous two hander who does not skip step is it TWOHand834?  I think!  Good guy and very nice form.

The problem is that in most cases without the skip step one ends up typically rev dominant instead of matched.  And one gives up a tremendous amount of rev/speed potential.

We recently had one of our marvelous one handed local bowlers give a two year attempt to two handed bowling and he refused to skip/step.  I am not sure if he ever got to 200.  He is now back to bowling one handed and is absolutely killing it with his very direct and effecive style.

I would recommend that most who are interested practice without a ball flying down the approach and feeling very light on their feet and undertake a distance covering fast moving skip step before ever throwing a ball two handed.

If you can't do it without a ball you will never be able to do it with one!

For who endevour to this athletic endevour "may the skip be with you"

Go Forth and strike a lot!

Sincerely,

Luckylefty

It takes Courage to have Faith, and Faith to have Courage.

James M. McCurley, New Orleans, Louisiana

JessN16

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Re: I'm 46, and I'm probably switching to 2-handed bowling.
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2019, 11:58:29 PM »
Week 4...
Practice scores: 118, 99, 90, 114
League scores (one-handed): 189, 152
League scores (two-handed): 175

Practice was completely unfruitful this week. In a quest to pick up speed, I found myself getting my timing all out of whack. Once that happened, I would spray the ball all around until I would either suddenly regain my timing, or not.

After my fourth practice game this week -- which ended in three straight marks as I switched from resin back to pearl urethane and went back to the basics -- I didn't intend to actually bowl two-handed in league until my original plan, which was first week of summer league.

And then my wrist decided it had other ideas.

Toward the middle of Game 2 tonight, I began to have the familiar old wrist pain coming from the right side of my wrist (as viewed from above). I described it to a friend tonight as feeling like I had karate-chopped a doorframe. My entire wrist hurt from basically the fat of my hand, through the entire wrist joint and about six inches up forearm. This is "normal" for me.

By the time the game ended, I could no longer abide the pain. It was either switch or quit, and I chose to switch.

I don't know what made this game different from all my practice games. Maybe I just focused more intently, knowing that if I botched this up it was going to cost three teammates and not just myself. I pulled out my Visionary Slate Blue Gargoyle (urethane pearl), made my approach slower, more deliberate and straighter, and ... shot 175.

I had one open frame -- the first, which went -7. After that, I rolled off seven consecutive spares, including two 3-10 conversions, then went X/X in the ninth and 10th for 175.

This was probably the happiest I've been while bowling in a long, long time. I actually committed to something difficult and pulled it off. And, my wrist stopped hurting. It's sore now (as it always is for a day or two after bowling) but I bet that changes next week if I decide to shoot all three games two-handed.

That's now a possibility, because despite winning all games tonight, our team was eliminated from contention with three weeks left. Any damage I do to the team these last three weeks will be minimal.

Jess