It’s back to school time as I write this. It’s back to bowling time as well for the majority of bowlers. This summer was a little bit different for me as I tried something I’ve never done before: I bowled lefthanded. I’ve bowled with my opposite hand before just fooling around or when I went bowling with non-bowling friends, but never in a league situation.
Before I get any further, let me clarify one thing: this was not about proving or disproving anything about the left side of the lane. This article is not meant to add fuel to the fire of the left/right debate in bowling. I never expected to average anything close to what I can with my right hand. I merely wanted to support my summer league and have some fun. In the process I learned quite a few things.
How it all began
I’d been using my opposite hand for fun long before taking a coaching course. As a kid working my first job at the lanes, I’d often throw house balls with my left hand to kill time. Being fairly ambidextrous, I wasn’t bad and developed a fairly decent approach. Anyone who has taken a coaching course can attest to the fact that you are encouraged to use your opposite hand as a learning experience.
Over time, the idea formed in my head that I could try it in league. I never had the right motivation until I saw another one of my friends bowl lefthanded. Everyone else I knew was pretty much incapable of throwing the ball with their opposite hand. The idea took root and we formed a team this summer comprised of four righthanded bowlers with three of us using our opposite hand and the other throwing a backup ball. The team name, of course, was ‘Too Many Righties.’
I’ve been bowling for about 24 years now and using a 15 pound ball for longer than I can remember. Bowling lefthanded, I’d basically be a new bowler with no real idea of what weight ball to use much less what kind since I have no previous experience. New bowlers often under-estimate how heavy their ball should be. I believe that many bowlers use equipment that is the wrong weight (too light).
My decision process ended up being fairly simple. Knowing my left arm and wrist would be a little weaker ...
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