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Thread: new ball debacle

  1. #11
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Continued....

    LEVEL 1: I bowl with a bowler that is in the Iowa Bowling Hall of Fame. He's been bowling forever and his a former "coach" of a high school team. If I felt like something was "off"...I could probably ask him if there was something noticeable I was doing and he 'might' be able to help. The trick with this type of "coaching" is finding a guy with similar release, speed, etc...

    Pros: Costs nothing other than...

    Cons: ...your pride of asking a teammate for help...which in my case will lead to my teammates teasing me and asking if I also need help holding my wang in the bathroom. Also, I'm asking advice from a guy that I've beaten (outscored) at least one out of every three games.

    LEVEL 2: This center has a pro shop. I know of three other centers in my area that have pro shops. Two of those centers have former "professionals" that 'could' give me lessons. They likely have at LEAST a bronze level certification...and may be better "teachers" than the high average guy on your team.

    Pros: If there are pro shops and high school bowling teams around you...there are probably this level of coach. They are not that expensive. Three of my six coaches were at this level and I don't think any of them actually charged me a dime for coaching since I frequented their pro shop regularly. You can get these lessons for $0-$35 per half hour.

    Cons: Granted...these are 'usually' not very high level coaches....and some only give lessons as a "cost of doing business as a pro shop owner"...but its a good place to start.

    LEVEL 3: As I said, a couple of the pro shops in my area have former pros (PBA/PBA50) as owners.

    Pros: At least a half step up from Level 2....guys who have been at the highest level at least for a short time.

    Cons: They'll cost $25-$45 per half hour and just because they were a "pro" doesn't mean they know how to 'teach'. Also, these are going to be much harder to find.

    LEVEL 4 PBA50 and PBA Card Holders (non-national tour folks). I bowled against the girlfriend of Don Breeden over the summer and he would show up almost every night. He's friendly and knowledgeable and was coaching his girlfriend and her teammates. If I wanted to, I think he would be willing to coach me. I don't know if he has a USBC level of coaching certificate....but he is an example of a what I would consider a Level 4.

    Pros: He's FAR better a bowler than me. Our team bowled against him when he subbed on his girfriend's team and he easily dropped a 760+ series on us. He also subs in my Thursday league...and I can't see me getting to the point, anytime soon, where I can say..."Why take advice from him....I'm better than him."

    Cons: Again....in some areas (Las Vegas, Reno, St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago, New York, etc...) these guys are more plentiful than in rural areas. And, as stated above....PBA doesn't necessarily mean they can coach. Teaching is a skillset of it's own. Cost will likely be in the $25-$75 range per half hour.

    LEVEL 5: Low-Mid Level Clinics. A clinic doesn't give you as personalized an experience...but you usually have a good crew of folks that are used to teaching bowlers of various levels.

    Pros: Usually can get good instruction from qualified folks who frequently do this kind of thing.

    Cons: It's a once per year or once per 3-9 month kinda coaching. It also can be very expensive. There are cheap little instructional clinics for $5 for an hour on a Sunday morning where there are a few pros watching 40 or so bowlers....and there are clinics that cost $300-$1200 for 1-3 days. They also tend to be centralized in urban hubs...Vegas, St. Louis, New Jersey, etc...

    LEVEL 6: Here ya have two different options...both kinda at the same level. You have the USBC Silver and higher level USBC Bronze instructors that are not necessarily former PBA folks...but they have devoted a great deal of their life to learning about bowling and how to teach it. You also have PBA national level bowlers...at the top of their game. Tom Hess bowls in my Thursday league...I could always ask him if he gives lessons and try to get some instruction that way.

    Pros: These bowlers make a LIVING bowling...and are going to almost always be able to help.

    Cons: These are not easy to find. Most bowlers don't bowl in the same leagues with national tour PBA players...and not all PBA players are willing to coach....not to mention they often disappear for months while competing. Silver level USBC coaches are hard to find. You may have 2 near you...you may have to drive 5 hours to the nearest one. And this level can get expensive. $35-$125 an hour depending.

    LEVEL 7: USBC Training Center or Camp Bakkes.

    Pros: The USBC Training Center is like being trained by professional trainers to compete in the Olympics. They have a ton of cool techniques and technology. It's almost GUARANTEED to fix many of your flaws and raise your average 10-30 pins...minimum. Camp Bakkes is put on my one of the best coaches in the world and is probably the highest level "clinic" you'll find.

    Cons: For the USBC, if you live in San Antonio or Arlington....I think it's around $800. To travel and stay there for a week....you could easily spend $4,000 on training, food, lodging, and airfare expenses. Camp Bakkes will likely run in the $1500-$3,700 range depending on where the location is.

    LEVEL 8: A combination of Level 6s...national, PBA50, and PWBA pros...that ALSO are silver USBC certified.

    Pros: Best of both worlds. They live the game....they can teach the game. It's like LEVEL 7...with ONE person...focusing just on you.

    Cons: Even harder to find outside of several areas of the country. At LEAST $50/hour.

    I'd suggest starting at Level 1....and working your way up. I found Level 1 didn't work well because you were asking people for advice that often didn't know much about bowling...they just knew how to be a good league bowler throwing their style in one house. When I started bowling better than the pros at Level 2...and it became clear I knew as much as they did about ball technology...it was time to move up. I jumped up to Level 5...went to a weekly mini clinic put on by Barry Asher...but felt I needed more personalized instruction. I jumped up to a Level 6 and got some coaching and advice from someone like Rob M out in Vegas and then I was lucky in where I was located (southern, CA) and got to jump up to Level 8 for a couple years with bi-monthly lessons from Missy Parkin and monthly lessons from Mark Baker.

    No matter how you set up your levels, I've always agreed with Rob that coaching is very valuable. Rob and I may disagree on certain technique or ball-related stuff...from time to time...but there's no doubt that the limited time I got to receive instruction from Rob was very valuable. And, he taught me stuff about ball technology that I may not have gotten from even what I would consider "higher level" coaches....because you'd be surprised how many "higher level" or PBA calibre bowlers really don't know that much about the ball technology....thats sometimes left up to the ball reps for some pros. Missy definitely knew a lot about ball technology...but Mark was far more focused on the "technique" side of coaching.

    So, receiving coaching is like being a sponge...you take in as much as you can from as many good people as you can...and you hope that you can mold that instruction into something that makes you better. Sometimes (almost certain), coaches are going to disagree on their advice...and you have to try an "pick one" in terms of what you feel is best. Really good coaches will often change their advice when they see a student isn't gonna be able to do a certain thing well. Lots of coaching....no matter the sport...is getting the student to buy in to the coaching. And, that means the student needs to have success. If you try to force a student into a certain mold....even if its the 'right mold'...and the student fails to find success...the student will abandon the coaching.

    Am I actively seeking coaching? No...for financial reasons. If I don't get my financial situation fixed soon, my bowling career may come to end after this fall season. But...if I can get my finances in order...I plan to resume coaching as soon as possible. I have definitely fallen off in terms of performance from my days averaging 195 in two leagues....to now where I can't seem to crack 180. And it's hard to average 195 when your single-pin spare shooting has fallen from 80% to 75%.
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Brunswick Aura Mystic; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Brunswick Vintage Gold Rhino Pro; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
    USBC#: 8259-59071; USBC Sanctioned Average = 179; Lifetime Average = 169;
    Ball Speed: 15.7mph; Rev. Rate: 240rpm || High Game (sanc.) = 300 (268); High Series (sanc.) = 725 (689); Clean Games: 149

    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
    As your question started....with frustrations of finding a coach...a good coach...etc... It's not a simple answer.

    There are some real problems with "coaching"....not limited to bowling of course...

    2) What IS a coach? Is a pro shop owner a good coach? Maybe. Maybe not. Is a high average bowler a coach? Doubtful...but maybe. Is a USBC Bronze Certified Coach a "coach"? Sort of...a lot of time yes...sometimes, they just got that as part of owning a pro shop. Is a "pro" a good coach? What IS a "pro"? Does a Silver or Gold level coaching certification guarantee the coach is good AND good for YOU?

    So its not as simple as "you need coaching"...its more like, what level are you at and what level of coach do you need? So here's a guide based on my experience....and before you read this, take into account that I've received more actual coaching (6 different coaches, easily $1500 plus invested just in coaching...probably closer to $4,000...including a coach that has clients that are on the PBA national tour).

    Continued.....
    I would like to clarify a point about USBC certification. The USBC does not, to the best of my knowledge, just give a bronze certification to any pro shop owner who asks for one. If the PSO actually has a bronze certification, they have attended a day and a half long seminar on coaching AND passed a test to receive the certification. I admit that a decent PSO would probably already know a third to a half of the material covered, but still the certificate is not automatic.
    John

  3. #13

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    So, going back to your question about how many lessons it takes, it all depends on where you are, and where you want to be. Looking at your scores and your narrative, it seems to me that you have two problems: accuracy and a lack of understanding of the lanes and how oil transitions.

    1. Accuracy. This is something that a qualified coach can help you with, and usually in one lesson. Nine times out of ten accuracy problems relate to timing issues. As you tend to miss both inside and outside, I'd guess that you probably struggle with something that is called "late timing trying to be early." This is simply late timing where the bowler get the bowling shoulder involved and tries to correct the problem "on the fly." If he doesn't correct the late timing, then the shot misses to the outside. If he over corrects and gets the timing early, then he misses inside. Take one lesson to correct your accuracy issues, and then see how it goes. If, after a month or two, you are continuing to struggle, then take another less.

    2. In looking back at your frame-by-frame score posts, I'm amazed at how many times you go high in one frame, and light on the same lane in the next frame. Joe Slowinski wrote a great article for BTM where he talked about El Dorado (the good friction that gets the ball to the pocket), and El Diablo (the bad friction that causes the ball to lose energy and never make it back to the pocket). According to Slowinski, at some point a "Y" shape develops at the end of the pattern where the good friction is to the inside of the breakpoint, and the bad friction is to the outside of the breakpoint. At this point, you have to throw a perfect shot to strike. If you don't, splits and washouts are the result. I think this is what often happens to you with several lefties bowling on the same pair. As Slowinski says, "When you see the 'Y' ask yourself, why am I still playing here"?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    So, going back to your question about how many lessons it takes, it all depends on where you are, and where you want to be. Looking at your scores and your narrative, it seems to me that you have two problems: accuracy and a lack of understanding of the lanes and how oil transitions.

    1. Accuracy. This is something that a qualified coach can help you with, and usually in one lesson. Nine times out of ten accuracy problems relate to timing issues. As you tend to miss both inside and outside, I'd guess that you probably struggle with something that is called "late timing trying to be early." This is simply late timing where the bowler get the bowling shoulder involved and tries to correct the problem "on the fly." If he doesn't correct the late timing, then the shot misses to the outside. If he over corrects and gets the timing early, then he misses inside. Take one lesson to correct your accuracy issues, and then see how it goes. If, after a month or two, you are continuing to struggle, then take another less.

    2. In looking back at your frame-by-frame score posts, I'm amazed at how many times you go high in one frame, and light on the same lane in the next frame. Joe Slowinski wrote a great article for BTM where he talked about El Dorado (the good friction that gets the ball to the pocket), and El Diablo (the bad friction that causes the ball to lose energy and never make it back to the pocket). According to Slowinski, at some point a "Y" shape develops at the end of the pattern where the good friction is to the inside of the breakpoint, and the bad friction is to the outside of the breakpoint. At this point, you have to throw a perfect shot to strike. If you don't, splits and washouts are the result. I think this is what often happens to you with several lefties bowling on the same pair. As Slowinski says, "When you see the 'Y' ask yourself, why am I still playing here"?
    Definitely agree with missing both left and right and I remember you mentioned a week or so ago about the Y shape. We have 3 lefties on my team and last week there was one on the other team. When I'm bowling good I can feel the difference in my approach and release. Alot of it is timing but my whole thing changes as the night goes on and my speed increases and not on purpose.

    As for my level, I'm currently at 184 but was at 193 a couple months ago. I think fixing my form would fix the majority of my issues so in the respect I probably don't need that high of a level coach but I agree I need to learn more about transition and how to adjust. I don't care to be the top bowler in my league but would like to be at 200 or better and be more consistent.
    Arsenal "15# Radical Squatch Pearl" "15# Radical Conspiracy" "15# Brunswick Kingpin (at home on the shelf now)" "15# Hammer Black Widow Gold" "15# Brunswick Rhino Black Pearl"
    Rev Rate about 325 @ about 17.5 MPH * High Game: 267 - High Series: 657
    Oh, and LEFTY!!!
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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by boatman37 View Post
    As for my level, I'm currently at 184 but was at 193 a couple months ago. I think fixing my form would fix the majority of my issues so in the respect I probably don't need that high of a level coach but I agree I need to learn more about transition and how to adjust. I don't care to be the top bowler in my league but would like to be at 200 or better and be more consistent.
    A coach needs to be able to "see" your bowling. Lower level coaches compare your bowling to the norm (perfection). Higher level coaches actually see what you are doing and help you correct it. Stop with the excuses: distance, cost, etc., and just get the help you need. BTW, your speed increases because YOU DON'T WANT TO MOVE!

  6. #16
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    Much better night tonight but changed my attitude going in and went back to basics. Details in my other thread. 593 tonight
    Arsenal "15# Radical Squatch Pearl" "15# Radical Conspiracy" "15# Brunswick Kingpin (at home on the shelf now)" "15# Hammer Black Widow Gold" "15# Brunswick Rhino Black Pearl"
    Rev Rate about 325 @ about 17.5 MPH * High Game: 267 - High Series: 657
    Oh, and LEFTY!!!
    I am a proud member of bowlingboards.com bowling forums

  7. #17
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Anderson View Post
    I would like to clarify a point about USBC certification. The USBC does not, to the best of my knowledge, just give a bronze certification to any pro shop owner who asks for one. If the PSO actually has a bronze certification, they have attended a day and a half long seminar on coaching AND passed a test to receive the certification. I admit that a decent PSO would probably already know a third to a half of the material covered, but still the certificate is not automatic.
    No, its not automatic and I know many pro shop owners that don't bother getting it. Newer bowlers will tend to listen to pro shop owners instruction just because they figure the pro shop owner must know something.

    I'm just saying that "most" pro shop owners will take the time to get the bronze level certification if they plan on offering lessons. And, the bronze level certification isn't that hard to get. I could probably get a bronze level certificate and I suck at bowling and nobody should listen to any advice I offer on what they should do to get better. It's like when I went to get the USBC Junior Certification (to teach kids)....there was really nothing "new" that I learned...it was just basic technique stuff that I had either heard or read before. I didn't bother taking the test just because I really didn't have any need to coach kids...but it was a 1-day little class...not a week long dive into advanced techniques. I imagine the bronze certification isn't a ton harder.
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Brunswick Aura Mystic; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Brunswick Vintage Gold Rhino Pro; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
    USBC#: 8259-59071; USBC Sanctioned Average = 179; Lifetime Average = 169;
    Ball Speed: 15.7mph; Rev. Rate: 240rpm || High Game (sanc.) = 300 (268); High Series (sanc.) = 725 (689); Clean Games: 149

    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

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