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Class on how to coach two-handed bowlers well-received

Matt Cannizzaro
USBC Communications
Published: November 16, 2009 | Bowl.com
With more and more bowlers taking to the lanes with two hands like Australian sensation Jason Belmonte, the coaches at USBC have recognized the need to train other coaches to be able to help these players and facilitate their growth and improvement.

USBC Coaching recently hosted its first three-hour class with a curriculum designed entirely around the two-handed game. The class was held in conjunction with The Next Revolution event at AMF Euless Lanes near Dallas on Nov. 8.

The Next Revolution, a four-city tour that featured Belmonte, was created to give coaches and bowling fans a closer look at the two-handed style while also giving participants a chance to revolutionize their own games with help from some of the sport's biggest stars and top coaches.

The coaching class itself covered the similarities and differences between the two-handed and traditional bowling styles, proper coaching techniques related to the two-handed physical game, the importance of fitness and flexibility, biomechanics of the two-handed game and video analysis of two-handed bowlers.

In the two-handed approach, the bowler swings the ball with both hands through the whole approach up until the release point. This style generates considerably more revolutions as the ball rolls down the lane, resulting in increased pin action.

Eight coaches attended the introductory class, including Brad Hagen, a USBC Bronze coach and first-year coach at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Hagen is building the Sam Houston program from the ground up, and his squad will take to the lanes for the first time next season as an NCAA-sanctioned women's bowling program.

Hagen attended the class because he was curious about the intricacies of the two-handed style and wants to be as well-rounded a coach as possible.

"I have worked with two-handed bowlers before, but now I have a better understanding of the cause and effect of different aspects along with some of the other physical things involved with the style," Hagen said. "I was particularly interested in the video analysis and the analytical side of it. The class was very helpful overall. I highly encourage any coach who is open to the style and willing to learn to take the class and see what it's all about."

From here, USBC Coaching will use feedback from the participants to tweak the material and eventually integrate it into the various curriculums of the coaching program. There also will be additional opportunities to learn more about coaching two-handed bowlers at the USBC Coaches Summit in June.

"USBC Coaching recognized the need for information on how to coach two-handed bowlers and put the class together based on what we thought were the most important aspects and what people were asking for," said David Garber, USBC High Performance Director of Team USA and Coaching. "Bryan O'Keefe, our expert on two-handed bowling, along with exercise and conditioning specialist Nick Bohanan, are dealing with body typing and have come up with a program that will allow bowlers and coaches to learn more and improve." 

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