The First Bowling Combine Brought College
Prospects And Coaches Together Under The
Watchful Eye Of The USBC Coaching Staff
More than 70 youth bowlers descended on the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, in August to take part in the first Bowling Combine for College Prospects. The combine was for youth bowlers with college eligibility looking to learn about their games and show off their talents to college coaches.
Over the course of the two-day program they were put through tests that measured bowling skills, athleticism and bowling IQs. “This has been two years in the making,” said Team USA head coach Rod Ross, who along with program director Bryan O’Keefe, Team USA assistant coach Kim Terrell-Kearney and USBC performance specialist Nick Bohanan, evaluated the young bowlers. “We tried to develop measurables that took simple bowling average out of the equation. We’re trying to create a benchmark that will allow us to evaluate all bowlers, year after year.”
In addition to being evaluated in the gym and in the classroom, the youth bowlers spent four hours on the lanes. Bowling-specific drills included spare shooting, repeatability in launch, break point and release, minimum and maximum RPM, and accuracy in increasing and decreasing ball speed. Each bowler left the combine with a detailed summary of their results and their Performance Evaluation Test (PET) score, information they can forward to bowling programs around the country. The PET score allows bowlers to measure themselves against bowlers at future combines and, eventually, against all bowlers.
Additionally, the youth bowlers had an opportunity to interview with representatives from 18 collegiate bowling programs. The combine gave college coaches the opportunity to watch and evaluate players they otherwise might never have been able to see. “The coaches all agreed that some sort of uniform evaluation of college-eligible bowlers would be extremely helpful in the development of their programs and the sport in general,” added Ross.
To read more articles from the September 2011 edition, flip through the provided electronic issue below!
Permission granted by USBC/Luby Publishing