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Bowl Opinion - May 2016 - Turbo's Collegiate Expo Provides Incredible Opportunies For High School Bowlers 5/​25/2016

by Jim Goodwin

We have known Turbo Bowling Accessories Company President Lori Mraz for a long time. Lori's dad, Dave Bernhardt, who founded Turbo 2N1 Grips in 1989, was a top bowler in the Detroit area and has been a regular
competitor  on the PBA Senior Tour and PBA50 Tour for decades. Lori is now married to Jeff Mraz, President of Ace Mitchell Bowling Products.

No family has ever been more into bowling than this one. Their business is manufacturing some of the finest bowling products in the world; but their hearts and souls are deeply embedded in the sport. They absolutely love the game and support it in every way possible.

Turbo has always been committed to and involved in coaching. They established their Turbo Tech Training Center at their factory in Chesterfield, Michigan even before John Davis built his famous Kegel Training Center in Florida. That love for coaching created the Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo six years ago, and in that very short time, it has evolved to become one of bowling's premier events. We would find little argument in saying it is the most important event ever developed for high school bowlers.

The 6th annual Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo will roll July 12-14 at Western Bowl in Indianapolis, and just like the past several Expos, it will be a sell-out. The past two events have been limited to 168 registrants, but because Western has 80 lanes, 204 spots are available this year. Through mid April, only 40 spots were still open.

Anyone who knows Lori and Dave also knows that they never, ever do anything less than 100%, and the Collegiate Expo is no exception to that hard-and-fast Turbo philosophy. They pull out all the stops, and never stop looking for ways to improve and make the event better.

Over the past two or three years, college bowling coaches have figured out that there is no better place to find new bowling talent for their teams than the Turbo Collegiate Expo. On the flip side of that coin, high school bowlers and their parents have learned that there is no better place to meet college coaches and explore scholarship opportunities than this incredible event.

Experts tell us that the key to making any educational event successful is to have a strong faculty of presenters, and the Turbo Collegiate Expo has such a strong field of coaches it looks like a Hall of Fame reunion.

Start with Event and Pro Staff Coordinator Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, who is now a full time staff member at Turbo. Her amazing credentials include 20 PWBA titles and more than two decades of coaching experience.

Carolyn's job for Turbo also includes recruiting and managing pro and amateur staff players, and if that sounds glamorous, it is not. She is responsible for hundreds of players... yes, we said hundreds. As we said, no company in bowling is more into the sport than Turbo, and that commitment includes having top bowlers representing its products across the globe.

What has been achieved at Turbo as a result of their support of players and the sport is brand loyalty. Like Starbucks and Apple, Turbo has rabid fans. They have created a culture that makes people want to be a part of their team. Lori Mraz deserves a standing ovation for having the wisdom to employ her marketing skills to develop this extremely smart business strategy.

Getting back to The Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo, where else in bowling can a high school bowler go to get training from more than a dozen of the best professional coaches in the world, including five USBC Gold Level coaches?

USBC Gold Coaches participating in Collegiate Expo this year include Bill Spigner, Hank Boomershine, Ron Hatfield, Randy Stoughton, and Del Warren. Add to that coaches Diandra Asbaty, Josh Blanchard, Lindsay Boomershine, Jeff Carter, Tom Carter, Ryan Ciminelli, Jason Couch, Tim Mack, Shannon Pluhowsky, Ronnie Russell, Jordan Vanover, and Dave Wodka... all world class bowlers and coaches, most with both college and professional credentials.

How's that for a Hall of Fame line up?

And one more coach, perhaps the most important one of all, is Team USA Sports Psychologist Dr. Dean Hinitz. Dr. Dean has been a fixture at all five prior Expos, and his training in mental techniques and strategies is the best in the world. He also provides valuable advice for the parents of student bowlers about how to provide essential support and positive encouragement during competition.

Last year, 35 colleges sent coaches and representatives to Collegiate Expo V. Parents of student bowlers who want to have a chance to bowl in college are thrilled to have a place where they can get so much information. It saves them valuable time and money. It is one-stop shopping for scholarship opportunities, info about student life, and solid advice that could make a huge difference in future success and happiness for their young bowlers.

Another brilliant move by Lori Mraz from the very beginning of Collegiate Expo was to make it an event not just for Turbo, but for the entire industry. She did that by contacting virtually every company in bowling and giving them a meaningful role in the event.

The result is that Expo has more than 25 sponsors, including every major ball company, which means that students and their parents can get tons of technical information that is absolutely necessary for success in today's college and professional game. Seminars on the technical aspects of the sport by the best experts in the world take the mystery out of today's very complex sport.

Finally, and most important - what makes the Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo so vital and special is that it gives students, parents, college and professional coaches, sponsors, and everyone involved a place where lifetime friendships and relationships are made; a place where all can feel great about a sport most of us have loved our entire lives. What could be better than that?

Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine.