Two-handed approach example of versatility, athleticism of young athletes


    USBC Coaching

    By Cary Pon, USBC Manager of Coaching Certification

    USBCCoachingLogo.jpg These are dynamic times for bowling. As the sport enters a new era, young athletes aren’t afraid to try different styles and techniques.

    One of these styles is the two-handed approach delivery, which has been quietly developing for approximately the last 15 years. Bowling is just beginning to see athletes who started bowling as two-handers as preschoolers now in their late teens and early 20s making their marks.

    Through this article – which includes several videos of young bowlers who use the two-handed approach delivery – bowling enthusiasts can develop an understanding of what makes this style successful. Physical abilities, personalities and athleticism create variations for every style of bowling – and the two-handed approach delivery is no exception to this rule.

    Agree with it or not, this style has become a part of bowling’s culture. Further evidence is the increasing number of USBC Junior Gold Championships athletes competing with this style over the last several years.

    These bowlers prove that if athletes are allowed to learn the sport “unrestricted” – by not being limited to the generally accepted conventions of how the sport should be played – we will see that bowling can be a very dynamic and exciting sport.

    Mike Dudley, a first-time participant at the 2007 Junior Gold Championships, is a 17-year-old from District Heights, Md. Mike participated in USBC Coaching’s annual video analysis session offered as part of the Junior Gold tournament.

    Not only does Mike use a two-handed approach, he only takes three steps. It is interesting to note that Mike started bowling with the typical two-handed delivery between his feet and without the guidance or restrictions from any coach. His game has evolved to where he now delivers the ball from the right side with both hands.

    Another successful two-handed bowler is Jamie Foster, 23, who was named 2006 Collegiate Rookie of the Year while bowling for Pikeville College in Kentucky. The Mesquite, Texas, native secured a spot on USBC’s 2007 Junior Team USA using a two-handed approach delivery with four steps.

    Video clips of:

    Danish bowler puts on exhibition

    Prior to the 2007 USBC Bowling Coaches Summit, a USBC Bronze certification class was held for primarily international coaches at Texas Station Bowling Center in Las Vegas.

    The class needed a bowler to analyze. Anders Hansen and Teddy Jepsen, two coaches from Denmark, said they had an individual the class could study but he had an average over 200.

    Earlier in that class the concepts of “not coaching by the book” and developing the ability to “coach what you see” were discussed. In that dialogue a brief reference to the two-handed approach delivery was made. As it turned out, the entire class got the opportunity to meet Morten Albeck, a 20-year-old bowler from Hvidovre, Denmark. Following the on-lanes training, Morten rolled a number of shots for everyone to observe first hand. This exhibition added to their coaching education and perspective of the sport.

    Morten, whose parents are also bowlers, said he remembered rolling a ball on the floor of their home at age 4. Having no desire to participate in any other sport, Morten practices more than three hours at a time, three to four times a week. He does not have a personal coach but does receive coaching from Christer Backe (Danish team coach) and Søren Larsen.

    It is interesting to note that his dominant delivery is a standard one hand (right) with the thumb in the ball release. He developed the alternative ways of delivering the ball because he "heard that it was good for the brain to practice with the left hand." Morten has also been influenced by the Denny’s PBA Skill Challenge on TV and by Finland’s Osku Palermaa and Australia’s Jason Belmonte.

    Even more so today, it is important for bowling coaches to coach athletes and not coach exactly what is in the textbook or manual.

    Video clips of Morten Albeck:

    NOTE: Watch the videos to expand the perception and vision of what an athlete can do when allowed to learn.