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Two-Handed Bowling Footwork

To be an effective two-handed bowler, you must start with proper bowling mechanics. As a USBC bronze level coach, I stress that mechanically, you must start with your feet. Two-handed bowling footwork is the key to success.

Whether you take four, five or even more steps, how you get to the line starts and finishes with proper footwork. If you go too slow, you may not have enough power and speed in the ball to get through the three phases of the ball roll. Those three phases are: skid, hook, and roll. If you go too fast, you could have too much power and speed on the ball which will also affect those three phases.

So how does a two hander find the proper footwork mechanics? First, narrow down how many steps you are going to take. Then practice proper foot placement so as not to drift too many boards, which could cause you to lose leverage. Let the speed of your feet be dictated by the length and volume of the pattern on which you are bowling. Your feet will generally be slower for long patterns, and a little faster when on short, lower volume patterns. There are times, however, when you may start with slower feet and then end up having to get your feet moving faster as the pattern burns up during competition.

A two-hander’s foot speed tends to be more aggressive than a one-handed counterpart. The legs of two-handed bowlers have become increasingly important as a need to create the momentum and speed necessary to support a higher rev rate and ball speed. The tempo created is built throughout the entire approach. This tempo is needed due to the fact that a two-hander does not have a full, high arcing backswing. As a quick aside, if you do have that high arcing backswing, that is something you will want to work on lowering. A high backswing will many times create timing problems as well as targeting and hand position issues.
Most all two-handed bowlers’ feet are different. Kyle Troup, for example, takes four steps on the approach, so his feet get going instantly. Jesper Svennson, who has lit up the PBA Tour this season, takes a traditional five step approach for a two-handed bowler. As he gets into his fourth step, his feet are separated sideways, which is not conventional for many two-handed bowlers, but it works for him. Osku Palermaa is a two-handed bowler who I like to call “speed dominant,” as his ball speed is higher than most who throw it with two hands. Osku is one of the few that can get away with playing the outside part of the lane with high performance bowling balls. He is also, of course, able to play any part of the lane as well. Jason Belmonte is by far the pinnacle of two-handed bowling. His footwork is the best by far for any two-handed bowler today and for those who want to master great footwork, he is the one to watch. Belmo is able to play all parts of the lane with precise accuracy and power. His feet are even and he has a skip that generates much of his power and rev rate.
Whether you take 3, 4, 5 or more steps, find the footwork that fits your game best. Watch how all parts of your game reacts to the pace of your two-handed bowling footwork. Practice and more practice will get you going in the right direction and help give you the results everyone strives for.

Hello everyone and greetings from the Bowling Mecca of the World, also known as Las Vegas! My name is Nick Pollak. I am 18 years old and I’m a two-handed bowler as well as a USBC Bronze level coach. I am thankful to have been invited to join the bowlingball.comteam to write about the sport I love. I look forward to sharing many articles with you and hope to interact with many of you to get feedback and topic ideas you would like to see.

Did I mention I am a two hander? I wasn't always but that all changed in January of 2015 when my one-handed mechanics became a tremendous liability. For each and every one of my fellow two-handers, it should be noted that we are all different in our styles of approach, rev rate, speed and release. I look forward to sharing my perspective of the sport I love, as a competitive bowler and as a two-hander.


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