Michael Boroskae - 10 Pin Bowling
Making the Most of Technology - The Coach's Role
Coaching 10 pin bowling: “Toss a ball down a lane and knock some pins over.” Simple, right? Wrong!
Once an athlete has mastered the movement pattern of their sport and is at their physical and mental peak, additional improvement can be made through the optimization of the gear and equipment. Some sports rely more heavily on the optimization of technology than others. This is the case with 10 pin bowling where a huge part of success in the sport is driven by the technology. Michael Boroskae, one of Canada’s national team 10 pin bowling coaches, shares some tips for those coaches involved in highly technological sports.
In a sport that changes from one day to the next with new equipment technologies emerging on a monthly basis, Michael suggest that even as a coach, being a master of the sport is essential. “Get your feet wet,” he says, suggesting that for coaches to understand the complexities of a sport like 10-pin, it’s essential to have first-hand experience. “Get to know the equipment, get your hands on the latest gear and understand the particularities of how the various balls interact with the lanes and how they might suit the athlete’s style of play.”
Full-time coaches, and those involved at the leading edge of the equipment industry, can certainly commit to that. For example, Michael owns his own pro shop, drills balls, and services the equipment. However, not all coaches are able to commit to gaining such intimate knowledge and understanding. “If you cannot get to that depth of understanding as a coach, for whatever reason, or do not have the elite athlete background, you need to find a partner – someone to complement your skill set. You begin to build your own Integrated Support Team, or IST. Fill the gaps in your knowledge and seek to learn from those individuals, whether they are technical experts, gear connoisseurs, or otherwise,” suggests Michael.
Because a coach cannot be everything to everyone, it’s important to know when to point athletes in the direction of another expert. Coaches should resist the temptation to hang on to their athletes, as it can hinder their progress. This can also provide an opportunity for coaches to learn along with their athletes. “Coaches should never stop learning and can continue to develop their skills beyond their NCCP certification,” says Michael. “They can engage in professional development as it relates to the technology to better understand that part of the game.”
While technology plays a huge part in 10-pin and other technical sports, Michael suggests that coaches must stay grounded in their core responsibilities: “Athletes need to believe in themselves. Coaches need to place athletes in the centre of a positive environment. You must be there for them, and remove all their self-doubt.”