New York Sport Bowling league that includes coaching eyes the next generation
The future of bowling has been changing almost daily for the past couple of decades. New balls, new conditions, new surfaces have created a "scary" future.
But the next revolution in bowling isn't going to be equipment – it's going to be the performers on the lanes. The Clover Lanes Summer Youth Sport Classic League in Rochester , N.Y. , is preparing the next generation for this revolution. "Each week we have a lesson plan that will take between five and 20 minutes before league play starts," Dodds said. "The lesson will be on how to adjust to conditions and they all get a handout to go with the lesson. We also have coaches on the lanes during the league and for the 10 minutes of practice before league play starts." - USBC Coaching Master Bronze and Silver Level certified coach Brian Dodds.
"The next generation in bowling is going to be as different as Tiger Woods is to golf today," said United States Bowling Congress Coaching Master Bronze and Silver Level certified coach Brian Dodds, one of the league's founders and coaches. "There is a new generation that is going to raise the bar in our sport."
To foster this new generation, Brad Buckert, owner of Begin'rs To Pros Pro Shop in the Rochester area, devised a Sport League that stresses organized instruction along with the challenging Sport Bowling conditions.
"Brad is dedicated to developing youth players in our area," said Dodds. "And he deserves the credit for creating this league." Dodds, Burkett, Clover Lanes Manager David Myers, Tom Garren of the 11th Frame Pro Shop and David Mack are all USBC Coaching certified coaches. They sat one night talking about the future of bowling and created a league to fit it.
The league was reaping benefits even before it entered its second season. During the inaugural season youth participants Rich Ferraro and Nick Secours, along with adult player Bill Stoddard, went to New York's Empire State Games and won the Men's Trios competition. "Each week we have a lesson plan that will take between five and 20 minutes before league play starts," Dodds said. "The lesson will be on how to adjust to conditions and they all get a handout to go with the lesson. We also have coaches on the lanes during the league and for the 10 minutes of practice before league play starts."
The Clover Youth Sport Classic runs for 12 weeks and the youth, paired in doubles teams, shoot two, two-game matches each week. There were 34 boys and 17 girls who took up the challenge last summer when teams changed partners at mid-season. For the $12 league fee, the players also received 10 free practice games per day between May 15 through Aug. 31 and 10 games a month for the rest of the year. "While every bowler struggled to learn the changes needed in their games, everyone found that focus and consistency were at a premium," Dodds said. "Immediate results come to no one, but the ability to 'grind it out' and maintain a concentrated effort to pick spares proved to be keys to every bowler's learning and growth."
The proof of instruction combined with the Sport Bowling conditions proved a winner for the players in the Empire State Games. "Nick Secours told me, 'Mr. Dodds, our experience through the league helped us to hang in there, keep our focus and find our shot,'" Dodds said. "That let us know that we were on the right track and that Brad's league and program were a success." Another easy measure of success of the league is that Rochester 's AMF Dewey Gardens , Bowl-A-Roll and AMF Empire Lanes are also forming summer youth Sport leagues.
A shortened version of this instructional Sport League also would work wonderfully as a late summer "Back to Bowling" session. It would give players of all ages a chance to learn new skills just in time for the start of the winter league season.