In this installment of The BTM Interview, we’re chatting with Team USA Assistant Coach Andy Diercks. He is a USBC Silver-certified coach who has worked with Junior Team USA since 2017. Coach Diercks is also the head coach at Mount Mercy University and is the winner of the Women’s Kerm Helmer Coach of the Year award for 2020, 2021, and 2022.
We spoke the day before Coach Diercks departed to have a mini-camp with Junior Team USA before heading to the Youth World Championships in Sweden with Junior Team USA Head Coach Kelly Kulick. In the first half of this two-part interview, we discuss the differences and similarities between coaching college teams and Junior Team USA bowlers, why practicing on fresh lanes isn’t necessarily the best choice, and some of the traps that bowlers can fall into when training and working on their games.
With the Youth World Championships coming up, how do you treat your one-day prep camp before traveling compared to a week-long camp with your athletes?
The biggest thing I would say is that if we’re doing a week-long training camp, we’re going to be doing a lot more hands-on physical game work, but we’re not going to be breaking down anyone’s game before heading to the World Championships. It’s going to be more about us as a coaching staff understanding what equipment the bowlers have, how it rolls for them, and what surfaces they like. We want to get to know these athletes a little bit more, how they see ball motion, so we can help them match up [in competition]. These athletes are super-talented, so once we get there, we almost have a ball rep role, like out on tour. We help them with strategy and getting lined up more than anything. We’re not trying to micromanage anything.
They did make the change this year to not allowing surface changes during the block, so we really need to know their surfaces, and make sure they’ve got a good range in their six-ball bag. We do know the lane condition we’ll be bowling on, so we’ll ...
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