USBC Coaches Summit kicks off in Orlando


    2008 Bowl Expo

    2008USBCCoachesSummitBooth.jpg The 2008 United States Bowling Congress Coaches Summit and International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association Educational Conference began their two-day runs on Monday with a host of informative sessions at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

    The USBC Coaching booth was busy during the USBC Coaches Summit's opening day on June 23.

    2008IBELogo_small.jpg Top bowling industry experts led seminars that offered strategies to help coaches, pro shop operators and proprietors work together to help bowlers, their own businesses and the sport of bowling. The USBC Coaches Summit and IBPSIA conference are running in conjunction with the annual bowling trade show called International Bowl Expo June 25-27 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

    2008USBCCoachesSummitKellyBednar.jpg Kelly Bednar, USBC Silver coach and Director of Skills Center for Strike Ten Entertainment, explained how coaches, pro shops and proprietors can join forces during his seminar "What is Strike Ten Skills Center?"

    Trained coaching professionals working with pro shops in bowling centers become Strike Ten Skills Centers, moving casual bowlers to league bowlers to create new customers and long-term revenue streams.

    Coaches can attend Strike Ten Skills Center Teaching Professional Training Courses to receive instruction and pro shop skills. The next class will be Aug. 4-5 in Arlington, Texas. The idea is to create a recognizable brand of STE Skills Center bowling centers across the country.

    "Bowlers will always know there is a teaching professional on board to help them with their game," said Bednar, who estimated that 60 to 80 percent of first-time league bowlers quit the sport after one year. "The most important piece of the puzzle is the coaching professional."

    Strike Ten is the marketing arm of the bowling industry that is supported by USBC and managed by the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America.

    The always popular Dr. Dean Hinitz thrilled a big crowd at his seminar, "The Next Level: Advanced Work in The Mental Game." The Reno, Nev.-based sports psychologist offered attendees strategies for working with advanced players competing at a high level.

    Hinitz defined the three zones of competition (thinking, playing and coaching) and offered training and competition principles. He also gave coaches key questions to ask their students about their mental game; "Am I here?" (alert, present and active) and "What am I doing?" (focused on hitting the target on the lane, staying down at the line or another key action).

    2008USBCCoachesSummitPaulRidenour.jpg USBC National Governing Body – Vice President Neil Stremmel and USBC research engineer Paul Ridenour provided an update on a completed study of bowling ball motion. USBC and bowling ball manufacturing companies have worked together during the past two years on the research project, the goal of which was to determine which characteristics have greater effects on the motion of modern, high-tech bowling balls.

    USBC research engineer Paul Ridenour made a point during the ball motion testing update that was well-attended on June 23.

    One of the study's main findings is that the major factor in how a bowling ball reacts on the lane is the chemistry of its cover material. Modern bowling balls can be constructed with extremely aggressive, porous chemical materials in the cover, having the potential to more easily cut through the oil on the lane and hook harder and sharper into the pins. Left unregulated, modern bowling balls could have a disproportionate impact on scoring relative to player skill in the sport of bowling.

    USBC created a new manufacturing specification dealing with the porosity and chemistry of bowling ball surfaces. Recently approved and set to be implemented in April 2009, this initial specification sets precise limits for the first time on the gaps between microscopic indentations on the outer surface, or cover stock, of bowling balls. The distance between the tiny gaps has a significant impact on how aggressively a bowling ball can hook on a lane. This component was determined to be the No. 1 factor that affects bowling ball motion.

    The events continue Tuesday at the Rosen Shingle Creek with the following coaching seminars on the schedule:

    "Establishing a Collegiate Bowling Program," Kim Terrell, 8:45-10:15 a.m.
    First-year bowling head coach at Delaware State University and former pro bowler Kim Terrell will provide insight on issues she had dealt with and the goals she has established for her program and team.

    "Weeding your Mental Flower Garden," Gordon Vadakin, 10:30 a.m.-Noon
    Legendary Wichita State bowling coach and USBC Gold coach Gordon Vadakin will identify negative thoughts that grow inside athletes and strategies for eliminating them.

    "Coaches Guide to Matching Equipment," Bill Monce, 1:15-2:45 p.m.
    * USBC Silver coach and USBC Coaching Specialist Bill Monce will discuss player styles and lane conditions to allow for optimal scoring.

    "Idea Exchange," Bill Monce, 3-4:30 p.m.