Pin Perspectives: My First USBC Open Championships Experience – Part 2

What I learned along the way


In the first half of this series, we discussed the planning and preparation that went into my first trip to the USBC Open Championships. This time around, we’ll take a deep dive into the experience itself, the highs and lows, and the lessons learned.

After arriving at the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino at 1:00 AM on Wednesday night, we discovered three things:

  • There is no bellhop service at that hour.
  • Reaching our rooms required lots of walking, using a combination of escalators, lugging suitcases and bowling bags up steps, and an elevator.
  • At least we didn’t need to eat dinner from a soda and candy machine since, as we later learned, there is a 24-hour restaurant located in the middle of the three “Row” hotels in Reno (Circus Circus, Silver Legacy, and Eldorado).

My “bonus” day

Since most of my Open Championships (OC) group, including our captain, were not arriving until Friday, Thursday was a freebie day for me. I took a short ride to nearby Coconut Bowl in Sparks, Nevada, for a scheduled lesson with renowned coach Mike Jasnau. What better way to add to my bowling vacation than to have a lesson with a great coach?!

The lesson was eye-opening, as expected, very pleasant, and informative. Coach Jasnau provided me with the direction I had been seeking to address my ongoing physical game issues. The one caution I would stress, which Coach Jasnau validated, was that bowling in the OC is neither the time nor place to begin breaking down your physical game and making drastic changes. Attempting to do so will guarantee an aggravating and upsetting OC experience, which is not what anyone wants!

So, we agreed that I would alter my stance by standing a bit taller rather than bending over from the waist as I had been, and I would move my non-bowling hand from the front of the ball in my stance to a more physically-supporting position underneath the ball, and that would be all I would change during the OC.


Once I returned home to Long Island, then I would begin the arduous but necessary process of making some major changes to improve my excessively late timing. As they say, there’s a time and a place for everything. Should you take advantage of excellent coaching ...

Joe Hoenig

About Joe Hoenig

Joe Hoenig is a USBC Silver coach and a graduate of the Dick Ritger Bowling Camps. A Licensed Master Social Worker by profession, Joe works full-time as a Clinical Trainer and Educator for a health insurance plan and takes his love of teaching and bowling onto the lanes, coaching both youth and adult students of all ages and skill levels. Additionally, Joe is a volunteer coach for the Suffolk County, NY Bowlympics youth travel league, which calls South Levittown Lanes its home.