Inside the ITRC with Rod Ross and Kim Terrell-Kearney


    Campus Spotlight

    USBCRodRossITCHeadCoach.jpg2009WWCCKimTerrellKearney2.jpgAs the countdown to the grand opening of the International Bowling Campus continues, readers will hear directly from some of the men and women who will work inside the International Training and Research Center on a day-to-day basis.

    This week, Rod Ross (pictured left), Head Coach, International Training and Research Center, and Kim Terrell-Kearney (right), Assistant Head Coach, International Training and Research Center, weigh in on how ITRC coaching programs will benefit USBC members, elite bowlers/teams and the sport of bowling as a whole.

    Provide some background as to why the International Training and Research Center team was created. How will your team's work benefit USBC members, elite bowlers/teams and the sport of bowling as a whole?

    RR: The International Training and Research Center will stand as the bowling industry's premier research and elite training facility. As such, many groups, USBC, BPAA, IBPSIA, etc., stand to benefit from its construction. But from my team's perspective, the ITRC is important for a few very specific reasons.

    First and foremost, USBC is bowling's national governing body, yet it didn't have its own facility for research and training of elite athletes. Building the ITRC eliminates that problem and puts USBC on-par with the national governing bodies of other major sports. This benefits all bowlers because it boosts bowling's credibility and position as a competitive, world-class sport, one worthy of inclusion in the Olympics.

    But the largest benefit of the ITRC team is that it connects to the end user, bowlers. The Equipment Specifications and Certifications team helps create and develop tools for coaches. USBC Coaching has trained coaches, helping them improve their knowledge and methods. The ITRC team is the marriage between the two because we actually get on the ground floor and work directly with bowlers. Obviously, this is a benefit to all USBC members because they will have the opportunity to improve their games by working with us directly or by studying the many resources we plan to publish.

    What initiatives will the ITRC team be working on during the training center's first year of operation?

    RR: Our most-noticeable initiative will be the implementation of coaching camps and clinics designed to improve the games of bowlers of all ages and ability levels. As you would expect, some of those will be specifically for Team USA and Junior Team USA, but we're going to open some up to members of international teams from other countries as well.

    We also will conduct sessions targeting USBC Junior Gold members, TNBA youth bowlers and interested collegiate bowling teams. But several learning opportunities will be directed at everyday bowlers, who will be given the opportunity to take individual or group lessons at the ITRC or to learn from informational webinars and online coaching tips. We are striving to make ITRC coaching services available to all USBC members regardless of whether they are able to visit the ITRC in person.

    Rod, famed bowler and coach Kim Terrell-Kearney will be your assistant head coach on the ITRC team. In your opinion, what special qualities or expertise does Kim bring to the ITRC team?

    RR: Kim and I worked together on the coaching staff of Junior Team USA, so we were already familiar with one another. Kim has an extremely unique knowledge of the sport because she's both a world-class bowler and an elite coach. She knows the game inside and out, including how to use the latest coaching technology to help her bowler succeed. Very few coaches have her level of expertise and skill in doing that.

    But perhaps more importantly, Kim's biggest asset to this team is that she's a completely different coach than I am. We usually arrive at the same place, but we take completely different paths to get there. This is actually our biggest strength because it makes us more diverse. That gives us a comprehensive bank of knowledge and perspectives to draw from when helping the bowlers with whom we work.

    Kim, you're an elite bowler, and you've had success in the coaching ranks as well. How does it feel to shift gears and start working on the ground floor at USBC?

    KTK: I'm extremely excited to be at USBC doing what I'm doing. The ITRC will be bowling's state-of-the-art coaching facility. To be able to work within that facility and use its technology to help bowlers is a unique opportunity that I am very thankful to have. It will help me become a better coach, a better player and a better ambassador for bowling. The work we will be doing in the ITRC will improve the sport for the next generation of bowlers. It's awe-inspiring to know that I'll be a part of that.


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