Article Contents

  • 1. #1: Don’t teach the game; teach the athlete
  • 2. #1: Listen/ask questions
  • 3. #1: No plan works perfectly
  • 4. #1: Medals are earned in training and collected at the event
  • 5. #1: May your worst enemy not be between your ears
  • 6. More to come…

In my career as a coach, I’ve worked with some amazing athletes and coaches. Over the years, there have been some key lessons that it seems everyone must learn and be reminded of from time to time. With this year winding down and planning for the next one underway, I wanted to share some of these key pieces that inform the way that I coach. Hopefully, they can help you.

We’ll cover 10 important lessons over the next two articles. Because I don’t believe that any of these are any more important than the others, they will all be #1.

#1: Don’t teach the game; teach the athlete

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to building greatness. Sure, there are trends and systems that you can use in terms of how much work you need to do and how many repetitions it takes for your brain to learn something, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.

As a bowler, you can’t be the next Belmo, or EJ, or Norm Duke; you can only be the best—and first—you. It sounds cliché, but it is so important to remember. In his interview with BTM a little while ago, Francois Lavoie even referenced losing a bit of himself trying to adapt his game rather than committing to who he was as a player.

As a bowler or as a coach, it’s important to remember that replicating success stories is impossible. It might be tempting for a coach to start teaching all their athletes in the same way once one bowler finds success. Or it might be tempting for a bowler to emulate someone else when they see success, but it won’t work. We can’t replicate what someone else is doing, but we …

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