USBC coaches partner with Tenpin Bowling Association of France


    USBC Coaching

    20091124USBCClinicinFrance.jpgNow that Korea has followed up its impressive showing at the Women's World Championships earlier this year by winning the men's title at the 46th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup, where the USA failed to make the finals for the first time since 2003, it is increasingly clear that American dominance on the sport's international stage is no longer taken for granted.

    The list of nations that are emerging as perennial forces at world championship events includes Finland, Sweden, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and others. But there is a European nation which, according to some of the most respected coaches in the sport today, may soon count itself among the world's most formidable bowling talents: France.

    2009IBEFrankandMarkBuffa.jpg"The game of bowling in France is healthy and is going in the right direction," says United States Bowling Congress Gold coach Frank Buffa (left, with son Mark) of Canada. "If they continue along this line I foresee France becoming a powerhouse within the next four years."

    Buffa recently watched his student, Caroline Lagrange, seize a monumental victory at the World Cup in Malaysia. Fluent in both Italian and French, he recently served as a translator between the USBC and French athletes and coaches, who were seeking to learn about new coaching techniques and technologies. USBC Coaching is the only certification program officially recognized by the United States Olympic Committee.

    USBC coaches were invited by the Tenpin Bowling Association of France to exchange ideas with coaches and athletes. The invitation reflected both head coach Eric Couralt's interest in helping his athletes develop more quickly as well as the visible support that those athletes enjoy from their federation, which will be hosting the European Youth Championships next year.

    2008TeamUSATTDelBallard.jpgUSBCRodRossITCHeadCoach.jpg"Their Federation cares about its bowlers," explains USBC coaching specialist Del Ballard Jr. (pictured left) "It was an honor to go over there, and the fact that they invited us shows how much they care about how their bowlers perform."

    Armed with high-tech instructional tools such as high quality video cameras and laptops equipped with Bowlers Map and DigiTrax , USBC coaches Del Ballard and Rod Ross (right) shared ideas with approximately 30 adult and youth bowlers, and, in the process, discovered more untapped potential than they have ever seen.

    "They have some really good players," explains Ballard.

    Frank Buffa, whom Ballard describes as indispensable to a lasting partnership between the United States Bowling Congress and Tenpin Bowling Association of France, agrees.

    "I foresee quite a few strong bowlers coming out of their junior ranks who will be able to compete and win on the international level in the next few years," he predicts.

    Next month, USBC coaches will return to France for the Jeff de Bruges youth tournament at Plaza Bowling in Saint Maximin, host center of the 2010 European Youth Championships, to see how bowlers from those junior ranks are progressing as they prepare for the EYC in March and the World Youth Championships in July, 2010, in Helsinki, Finalnd.

    While the development of youth bowlers is essential to France's future success on the international bowling scene, Coach Buffa emphasizes the continuing support of the Tenpin Bowling Association of France is the most important component of that journey.

    "Their strong federation is really keen in improving the level of play of their bowlers," coach Buffa says.