2 handed bowler

How to Bowl with the 2 Handed Style: Key to adjust ball speed? (Part 5)

In 2-handed bowling, you don’t only need ball rev but also speed to have more strikes and carry. This article will show you simple tips to adjust your bowling ball speed, especially for 2 handed players.

What if you don’t have enough ball speed?

The ball misses the pocket to the left or right side.

Less or no strikes, less satisfied => No FUN!

A similar consequence goes with too much ball speed.

It would be best if you have enough ball speed to make the ball reach the pins with optimal revolutions.

What makes your ball speed?

The nature of your physique dictates the distribution ratio of these 2 elements.

  1. The bowling ball’s potential energy.
  2. The footwork tempo.

This is my personal ball speed ratio:

  1. 50% of the bowling ball’s potential energy.
  2. 50% from the footwork.

According to this distribution ratio, my bowling ball potential energy is optimized by the upper body kinetics or the continuous swing plane with proper timing.

The key is finding the “bread and butter” swing plane and timing model.

My swing plane must be continuous from the beginning to the end with the slightest pressure and control from the arm and hands. When synced with the proper timing, the ball accumulates optimal potential energy converted to speed when released to the lane.

The more pressure you use from the hands and arm to control the ball during the swing, the more potential energy it loses, affecting the speed at the release point.

Consequently, you often end up using the upper body muscles to make up for the loss of speed, meaning more tired in the long run.

The other 50% of my ball speed comes from footwork tempo or lower body movement. When released, your footwork adds more kinetic energy or speed to the ball.

But be careful!  When it comes to heavy objects like a 15lbs bowling ball, it’s naturally hard to run as fast as you can, or it might ruin your balance when you stop.

My footwork is responsible for syncing with the continuous swing plane and proper timing. Also, It should be firm at the release point to help me have good balance before “firing in the hole.”

I don’t want to sacrifice my balance for speed and trade off my consistency. So the key is finding the maximum footwork tempo tolerance.

Your body physiques dictate your strategies for ball speed.

It depends on your height, skeletal system, muscular size, joint flexibility, upper or lower body dominance, etc… So it’s crucial that you understand the nature of your body. There’s no single pattern for all.

How to trigger the ball speed you want on the lane? 

For more ball speed, you can follow this simple tip: Lower your ball when holding.

Then you step, push away, swing, and release as usual.

When lowering the ball, you tend to lean forward a bit and start the swing earlier after the push away, triggering your lower body to start moving faster to reach the foul line before the ball.

This is because an earlier swing makes your timing and body tempo faster to reach the foul line before the ball, hence creating faster speed. 

** Please don’t forget the continuous swing plane with proper timing we mentioned earlier when executing this tip. 

Due to the footwork and the ball coming to the foul line faster, you also have to start the finger rotation faster to maintain the same rev rate. Otherwise, you will end up increasing the footwork while decreasing the rev rate. It’s hard to sync altogether when you try to reach a certain level of speed. You will find it hard to make your rev rate consistent like before. Again, finding your speed tolerance is the key.

If you still don’t satisfy with the more generated speed, stand back farther to the foul line when holding the ball lower. When standing farther to the foul line, you have naturally triggered your brain to think that you need to move faster to reach the foul line because the distance is longer.

** But be aware that your balance will hurt when running too fast to the foul line. You don’t want it, by the way. Adjust and find a balance between footwork tempo and the upper body to create your desired ball speed.

For less ball speed, you need to reverse this tip: Holding your ball higher, starting from the waistline or upper a bit

You will notice that when holding the ball a bit higher, it will start the swing later after the push away. This is because later swing automatically makes your timing and body tempo slower to reach the foul line, hence decreasing the ball speed.

You might also have to stand closer to the foul line to match the footwork distance with the slower body tempo.

That’s it! Let’s wrap up.

Ball speed comes from 2 elements synced together:

  1. The bowling ball’s potential energy optimized by the upper body kinetics.
  2. The footwork tempo.

The key is finding your “bread and butter” swing plane and timing model and understanding the nature of your body physique.

More speed: Lower the ball and/or stand further from the foul line.

Less speed: Raiser the ball higher and/or stand closer to the foul line.

Ball speed is only meaningful when it helps you reach the final goal. So you don’t need to compare your ball speed with other bowlers, as long as you feel happy bowling.

Now it’s time you hit the lanes and test my tips. If it helps improve your game, don’t forget to come back and give me some comments; also, like or share this article with your friends if they want to improve.

See you in the next episode on how to spare the 10-pin for 2-handed bowlers. Until then, enjoy bowling!

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