In this installment of The BTM Interview, we continue our chat 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.

In the first half of our interview with Coach Diercks, we discussed 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. In this second installment, we continue our discussion by exploring team culture issues and looking at why accountability matters in bowling and in all aspects of life.

As a college coach, what kinds of things do you look for when recruiting athletes to your program?

Well, to touch on my previous point about working on your game to make it look good versus a cause and effect that improves your shot repetition, a lot of times the bowler’s resume—what have they done?—will say a lot more about the type of player you’re getting than looking at a video and seeing how physically good they look.

So what do you consider more important: the talent of the player or the fit with your team’s culture?

There’s a two-part answer to that. Ideally, the fit with the team and the institution is most important. Sometimes, coaches aren’t looking at if this is the right fit for the player, if this is where they should be. For example, if we [Mount Mercy University] don’t excel in what they want to study, I’m going to be honest with the player about that. I wouldn’t suggest to anyone that ...

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Bowling This Month is an online magazine for serious competitive bowlers. Our only focus is on delivering cutting-edge technical information aimed at helping you become a better bowler.