Cyprus man becomes first international USBC gold coach

    11/02/07

    USBC Coaching

    Former top soccer player Mitsingas part of global bowling coach training focus

    2007USBCGoldCostasMitsingas.jpg Costas Mitsingas of Cyprus has become the first Gold coach from outside the United States to be certified by the United States Bowling Congress.

    Mitsingas, 36, of Nicosia, Cyprus, becomes the 30th Gold coach in the USBC Coaching program, which has more than 1,200 active certified coaches worldwide in its Coaches Association.

    To earn Gold certification, coaches must be certified through the USBC Coaching Silver level and have mastered coaching skills in the physical game, lane play, equipment, mental game, videotaping, video analysis and giving lessons. Gold is the highest level of certification attainable through USBC Coaching, which trains and certifies coaches to teach the sport of bowling. USBC Coaching is the only coaching program for bowling recognized by the United States Olympic Committee.

    "USBC welcomes Costas to the elite group of Gold coaches with our program," said co-Director of USBC Coaching and Team USA High-Performance Director David Garber. "Costas brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience in all aspects of bowling coaching disciplines such as scientific principles of modern bowling ball motion, exceptional communication skills and the effective use of videotape analysis when giving lessons."

    Training coaches such as Mitsingas is in keeping with USBC's efforts to grow coaching - and by extension the sport of bowling - on a global scale. Earlier this year, USBC trained and certified 38 Level One and Bronze coaches in Guatemala and legendary Filipino bowler Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno as a Level One and Bronze coach and Instructor.

    "Having high quality individuals such as Costas and Paeng in our program helps expand USBC's coaching reach to an international level," Garber said. "This, in turn, is important in our desire to grow the sport of bowling worldwide."

    Mitsingas began his quest to earn USBC Gold certification in 2000 after the gifted athlete quit a promising career as a soccer goalie in Cyprus due to an Achilles tendon injury the previous year. Mitsingas, a former track and field star and lifelong bowler who now carries a 200-plus average, put all of his energy into teaching the sport of bowling. He now coaches bowling full time.

    During his Gold program training, Mitsingas traveled three times to the U.S. to learn extensively about modern bowling equipment, instructional theories and other subjects from USBC Gold coaches Richard Shockley and Lou Marquez, former International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association president Tom Laskow, USBC Silver coach and pro shop owner Mark Robey, Bob Ray and PBA Hall of Famer and coach Dick Ritger. Mitsingas, a USBC Coaches Association member, also completed studies in ball fitting and drilling, advanced lane techniques and lane oil pattern design at Kegel training center in Florida.

    Shockley recently traveled to Cyprus to conduct the final evaluation and validation session of Mitsingas for USBC Coaching. Mitsingas is proficient using Ebonite BowlersMAPT and DigiTraxT, high-tech computer and video analysis software used by top USBC coaches.

    "His No. 1 asset is that he's a leader," Shockley said about Mitsingas. "These students are very fortunate to have this high level coaching for a nominal fee. Costas has a warm side and is very much a people person. I think his people skills and his hands-on technique make him a superior coach."

    For Mitsingas, there is no separating the words bowling and sport. In his coaching lessons with his students, he teaches them that bowling is most definitely a competitive sport.

    "My main concern is for this sport to survive, develop and become an Olympic event," Mitsingas said. "My dream is to try to help motivate people to see bowling as a sport. I love the sport of bowling. If I become one of the elite coaches in world I have a voice."