Article Contents

  • 1. Catching up
  • 2. Parents
  • 3. Practice
  • 4. Getting personal
  • 5. Smartphone and tablet apps for bowling
  • 6. My thoughts

I am so pleased and excited to see Bowling This Month back up and running. Our sport needs highly technical education. BTM brings the technical education to the athletic endeavors of serious bowlers and hopefully will be part of a long term reversal of the participation trend line. BTM, Kegel, and many coaches do yeoman’s work to continue our sport. I am very happy to be back writing about the sport I love.

Catching up

It’s been some time since my last article and rather than following the norm of focusing on one topic, I’m going to write about a variety of bowling-related subjects that will cover youth coaching, competing as a senior bowler, injuries, and the mental game.

I have coached a number of different sports, as well as played them, over my 54 years. I’ve coached elementary, middle school, high school, college, and adult athletes. I’ve coached and competed in both team and single competitions. I’ve competed on teams with and against amazing bowlers and other athletes, the vast majority of whom are good human beings. My body pays the price for the constant beating I have put on it (and still do) playing and coaching multiples days a week for all these years. I seem to be constantly fighting a new injury or injuries.

I see bowling from multiple angles and will share not just from my youth coaching experience, but also the competitive athlete view, particularly one who is struggling with age and injuries.


I see two major mistakes parents make with their young athletes. Generally, once a young athlete reaches double digit age, parents need to turn into supporter and cheerleader, not coach. While there are exceptions to this generality, they are very rare in my view.

I frequently see parents over-coaching during competition. As with any sport, it is easy to sit and make suggestions after every shot. Avoid this temptation. Remember that a bowler is trying to hit a two inch area ...

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Dug Barker

About Dug Barker

Dug Barker is a Silver Coach, Youth Director at Ken-Bowl Lanes, and is based in Louisville, KY. A member of the Positive Coaching Alliance, he is a two-time Top 100 Coach.