In the April issue of BTM, I discussed coach’s philosophies about motor learning concepts, with discussions about feedback type and how long after shot attempts feedback is provided. In this month’s installment of Coaching Concepts, I ask the coaches to provide commentary about whether they use the whole bowling delivery or break the delivery into parts. This month I’ll include Dr. Dean Hinitz’s perspective about common performance issues that may be exacerbated by the way coaches teach athletes. I wrap up this series with a general discussion about these coach’s responses to help with future BTM issues.

Which coaching technique do you PRIMARILY use: instructing using the entire delivery as a whole or break down the delivery into different parts (e.g., armswing, slide, release, etc.) to explain correct technique? Why do you use this method of instruction?

Cheryl Munson stated, “Where necessary, I break the information down into parts. Usually, if a single part is “fixed”, the rest falls into sync. It is easier for any athlete to work in sections, rather than the entire approach/release.”

Rob Mautner explained, “Usually, I will focus on a specific part of the bowler’s game for the simple reason that I primarily coach high average bowlers. Unless I see a specific flaw in the bowler’s timing or balance, the high average bowler normally tells me the part of their game on which they want to work. Most of the time, they are right. Occasionally, their perceived problem is actually tied to something else; usually timing or footwork. In these cases, I will explain the root problem that I see and work with the bowler to correct it before we actually address the bowler’s perceived problem. Usually, correcting the root cause results in the bowler’s perceived problem fixing itself.”

Nick Bohanan elaborated by stating, “It is much easier to learn a new skill if it is broken down into little pieces. This is why when ...

Chris Mesagno

About Chris Mesagno

Dr. Chris Mesagno is a senior lecturer in Exercise and Sport Psychology at Federation University Australia and received his Ph.D. from Victoria University (Australia), specializing in Sport Psychology and Motor Learning. Dr. Chris is a competitive bowler of 30 years, he was a member and assistant coach of the University of Florida bowling team from 1998-2001, and he is both a Tenpin Bowling Australia Level 1 Certified Coach and a USBC Bronze Level Coach.