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Role of the Coach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Slowinski   
Saturday, 23 September 2006

This short piece talks about the general roles of a coach in bowling.  It should help you conceptualize how to support your bowlers.


A mediocre coach tells,A good coach explains,A superior coach demonstrates,But the great coach inspires

-Martens, 2004 

The Beginning Essentials - The United Kingdom Coaching Strategy describes the role of the coach as one which "enables the athlete to achieve levels of performance to a degree that may not have been possible if left to his/her own endeavors.”   To accomplish this, as a coach, you have five essential tasks to complete to help each athlete grow as a bowler and evolve up to their elite potential.  These tasks include: observing, listening, isolating and documenting problem areas, engineering a change and incorporating changes into the bowler’s individual style (Borden & Elias 1990).    

Observe - Great coaches have what is referred to as the “Coach’s Eye.”  They are able, through close observation, to locate strengths and weaknesses of the individual athlete as well as recommend changes to address the individual need areas.  By learning the content of this handbook and practicing the process of the keen observation of evaluation, you will improve your coach’s eye.  Use video tape frequently to examine truths that are not self evident with the naked eye.  As a AA coach, you will help build bowlers who have fluid mechanics.  But, this requires the observation skills of a trained coach.    

Listen - Only so much can be done through visual inspection.  Communication with the athlete is critical.  This is a two-fold process.  The bowler can help identify feelings that can’t be seen and the discussion can aid him/her in developing a better feel for their game.  Bowling is a game of knowledge and skill but it is also very much a sport where athletes excel with outstanding feel.  

Identify & Document - Great coaches maintain detailed records and collect data on individual athletes.  As a coach, you should maintain a portfolio on each student that includes: paper records, scoring documents, pictures and video clips.  The portfolio will serve as a data repository which can be utilized to measure individual performance over time as well as diagnose strengths and weaknesses.  Portfolio documentation should be used to work through a cyclical improvement process: (1) determine needs; (2) develop an action plan; (3) measure progress; (4) return to # 1 to evaluate progress and continue cycle.  In the handbook, I have included a recommend record keeping system that will help you determine a bowler’s current level of performance as well as over time.    

Engineer a Change - Through the information contained in this handbook, you will acquire the knowledge to implement both a general training program as well as an individualized improvement plan for each athlete.  A great coach possesses both knowledge and skill to develop improvement and training programs.    

Incorporating Changes in an Individualized Style - The individual body type as well as the unique individual personality of each bowler should always be taken into consideration when helping them evolve as an athlete.  An improvement plan should always be individualized to incorporate the unique style of the bowler.  For example, if a bowler wants to be like Tommy Jones or Pete Weber, then help them to achieve this goal while also maintaining the developmental training program outlined in this manual.  In addition, as you improve your skills in developing young bowlers, you will learn to incorporate recommendations based on the physical attributes of your athletes.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 September 2006 )
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