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BowlingOldies

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Since I started running the junior program at Brunswick Zone Roswell last year, I've tried to give the kids a little something extra to spark their imagination and interest in our great sport. One of the things I'm encouraging our young players to do this year is hold their own little unofficial "mini-tournament" each week using their league scores to qualify for an after-league open play stepladder finals, which would then be bowled on another pair of lanes where we're laying out a different sport pattern each week for our junior bowlers to practice on. Today, we put out Mexico City to challenge our players. And fittingly, it came down to the two best junior bowlers we've got -- Charles and Logan. See who can navigate the perils of Mexico City to claim bragging rights for September 17th. And yes, that's me, your trusty Coach Randy on play-by-play.  And yes, this video went up on the Facebook page for the local association that stages monthly Junior Gold qualifiers for kids throughout the Atlanta metro.  I'm hoping that stuff like this will start to peel off a kid here and there to leave where they are and come bowl with us.  I'm intent on building this program into something really fun and special.

The two kids in this video, Charles and Logan, are two of the best U15 Boys in the state of Georgia.  Logan has been bowling with us for years, and he's the best "kid bowler" I've ever seen.  (As you may have seen from another post I put up today, he shot a big game this morning.  I won't spoil it for you if you haven't yet watched it.)  And Charles just came over to bowl with us starting this Fall.  He was the one kid in their age group that Logan kept having fits trying to beat in the last few years.  But Logan has taken some big steps forward in just the last six or eight months, and I'm sure you'll agree for such a pint-sized 13 year old, he throws a lot of ball.  A lot of TWELVE POUND ball.   (Yeah, I KNOW!!!)

I think you will enjoy this.  It's kids like these that give me great hope for the future of our sport.

Chipper

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Reply with quote  #2 
These kids got game! [smile]  For a tough pattern, they didn't make it look that hard, kudos for decent scores!  Our Saturday morning program, we're thinking of mini tournaments and stuff, but definitely not sport shot type shots.  It would be hard to convince the bowlers its worth doing when many just need help with fundamentals, or simply want to have fun on a Saturday morning.  I've had some say they weren't interested in intense coaching and just wanted a good time out.  We offer a sport bowling camp in the beginning of summer for those who really want to learn on the tough stuff.
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mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #3 
wow...what a fabulous concept Randy!!!  Was the pattern put down just for the "show"?  or do they bowl on this during league play as well???  Thanks for posting.  I wish I had something like this in bowling when I was younger!!!!
irishpogi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbowling300
wow...what a fabulous concept Randy!!!  Was the pattern put down just for the "show"?  or do they bowl on this during league play as well???  Thanks for posting.  I wish I had something like this in bowling when I was younger!!!!


Me too. 
BowlingOldies

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Reply with quote  #5 

As a "concept," it's really just trying to give the kids an idea on how to use their practice time to make it more fun.  Some of our kids would bowl after league and do their own little "stepladder" finals each week (bowling for nothing more than bragging rights).  All I did was suggest that they use their league scores to determine seedings for the stepladder, and then bowl off after league is over.

I've lobbied for months to get the bowing center to lay out a sport shot for the kids to practice on as often as possible, and this year they've agreed to give us a different pattern every week.  The WTBA patterns (usually the "city" patterns) are what the kids bowl on in Junior Gold qualifiers every month, and even most adult tournaments in the area use them.  My motivation is simply to build a program that kids from other centers would want to leave their center to come bowl in with us.  That's why I go to the trouble to edit a video and put the message on at the end.  It's more than a fun thing for our kids.  It's a promotional piece for our junior program.  And the more people in the Atlanta area I can get to see it, the more it will become obvious that something neat is going on with our youth program.

I'm glad you guys enjoyed it.

These two boys are two of the best U15 Boys in the state, and I intend to use them as a magnet to get as many more kids to come bowl with us as I possibly can.

mrbowling300

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Randy...you are a great ambassador to our game!!!!
BowlingOldies

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Thanks, Keith.  That's about the nicest thing you can say to me.  I think of myself as an evangelist for our sport, and heaven knows it needs some.  With all the naysayers out there, bowling needs some people out there (and not just USBC officials) spreading the word about what an interesting challenge our sport can provide if you actually dig into it enough to see that there just might be more to than meets the eye of the casual observer.  That was the message I carried to the newspaper reporter that wrote an article about our junior program back in the Spring, and it's the same message I bring whenever I'm talking to people who may not yet know that much about the game.

But at the risk of sounding like Whitney Houston, the children really are our future, and there are plenty of us coaches and youth directors who are beating the drum of bowling's youth movement.

It's funny.  When I first started getting back into coaching a few years ago, I did it primarily because our bowling center gave 30 free games a week to the junior league coaches.  Getting my butt out of bed early on Saturdays seemed a small price to pay to be able to bowl pretty much whenever I want without having to pay for it.  (Paying to bowl open play has long been against my religion ever since I used to bowl in Texas and my home house let PBA members bowl for free anytime lanes were available.  Believe me, I made ample use of the privilege, bowling upwards of around 150 games every week.)  But today, ever since I took over as the Youth Director at my local center and the the more I've gotten involved in coaching (both kids and adults) and working to grow our youth program, the less I'm inclined to bring on any coaches who want to do it only for the free games they'll get.  I want people who are committed to the game and to helping our kids.  For sure it's a way to give back to the game, or to use the modern parlance, to "pay it forward."  But it's more than that.  I see in what I do with the kids each week the ptotential for a real mentoring influence that I can have for this next generation.  And THAT is something that I think most adults -- certainly most PARENTS of children -- can embrace.  The fact that bowling benefits as a result makes it that much better.

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