USBC Coaches Summit, Pro Shop Conference punch out in Orlando


    2008 Bowl Expo

    2008USBCCoachesSummitAttendees.jpg John O'Dell is a Silver level certified coach with the United States Bowling Congress Coaching program. He also has a background as a pro shop technician.

    Even with his experience and credentials, O'Dell realizes the value of attending the USBC Coaches Summit year after year to update his knowledge about technology and new trends in coaching.

    "I learn something different every time I attend the Summit," said O'Dell, of Stockton, Calif. "I've only missed one in 12 years."

    O'Dell was one of a group of bowling coaches, pro shop operators and proprietors from around the world who learned, networked and energized themselves at the 2008 USBC Coaches Summit and International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association Educational Conference. The events, which concluded their two-day runs on June 24 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla., are held in conjunction with International Bowl Expo in Orlando on June 25-26.

    Conference attendees heard and participated in presentations on a wide variety of topics that promoted working together as coaches, pro shop operators and proprietors to give today's bowlers what they want with an eye on what tomorrow's bowlers will need. Topics included emerging biomechanics technology from USBC, USBC bowling ball research, how to start a collegiate bowling program, advanced mental game techniques, basic pro shop skills for coaches, ball reactions and layouts, and a Strike Ten Skills Center primer.

    One growing area in the sport is the USBC Collegiate program. USBC Silver coach and Junior Team USA assistant coach Kim Terrell offered coaches tips and insight into the successes and challenges she dealt with in her first year as head bowling coach at Delaware State University during her June 24 seminar, "Establishing a Collegiate Bowling Program."

    Terrell defined club and varsity programs, discussed NCAA scholarship budgets, recruiting and academic issues, team building tips, and strength, conditioning and nutrition plans. Tournaments such as the USBC Junior Gold Championships, Teen Masters and USBC Youth Open Championships are fertile recruiting opportunities for college bowling coaches.

    Attendance was high for "Tools for the Future," a June 24 seminar by USBC that gave coaches and pro shop operators an inside look at new biomechanics technology that USBC has patented. Those "tools" will eventually be available to coaches and pro shop technicians when they work with bowlers.

    Recently patented motion capture, foot pressure and grip pressure systems developed by USBC give more precise data about bowlers' body movements than ever before in the sport of bowling. The sophisticated digital technology still is being fine tuned and will be available at the USBC International Training Center to be built at new USBC Headquarters in Arlington, Texas.

    It's all about USBC's emphasis on science, research and technology and how that can help coaches, pro shops and ultimately bowlers, said USBC Vice President - National Governing Body Neil Stremmel, who gave the presentation with USBC research engineer Paul Ridenour.

    "It's more information, more data, more science and technology and less guesswork," Stremmel said. "We want to get these tools out to pro shops and coaches."

    That information is important for bowling coaches to learn about each year at the USBC Coaches Summit, O'Dell said.

    "I recommend that every USBC Coach attend every Summit that's held because what you generate is a network," O'Dell said. "You're able to talk with the speakers and meet other coaches."

    Highlights of other June 24 coaching and pro shop seminars included:

    "Weeding your Mental Flower Garden," by Gordon Vadakin. Legendary Wichita State bowling coach and USBC Gold coach Gordon Vadakin identified negative thoughts that grow inside athletes and strategies for eliminating them.

    "Coaches Guide to Matching Equipment," by Bill Monce. USBC Silver coach and USBC Coaching Specialist Bill Monce discussed player styles and lane conditions to allow for optimal scoring.

    "How to Build and Manage a Successful Pro Shop Chain," by Jeff McCorvey. USBC coach Jeff McCorvey shared strategies on how he finds, staffs and makes profitable more than one shop.

    USBC Coaching certification courses have international flavor

    A total of 85 coaching students attended USBC Level I, Bronze and Silver certification courses held June 19-21 in Orlando.

    The sessions had an international flavor as students from the following locations: Aruba, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Greece, Egypt, Kuwait, Mexico, Singapore, Sweden, United States and Venezuela.

    In addition, a USBC Athlete Development Drills course was held on June 22 at AMF Sky Lanes in Orlando.