The Five Tools for Elite Skill Development

ALL players (selected team, developmental team and non-selected members) in the Shocker Bowling Program receive five tools to assist with their skill development after the tryout process has ended:

1) Free Bowling Practice

This is something that most players will be taking advantage of from the beginning of the fall semester. Free practice allows athletes to take the new information they are learning and apply it on the lanes. Shocker bowlers have access to free practice both on and off campus. Student-athletes are encouraged to take advantage of this privilege, as most collegiate bowling programs do not offer this opportunity to their bowlers.

2)  Team Training Binder

Every student-athlete in the Shocker Bowling Program receives a 200 page binder known as a "team training binder." This binder is filled with cutting edge educational material on all major facets of the sport of bowling. Information on the physical game, bowling equipment, lane play, sports psychology, and physical conditioning is included in the team training binder. The information in each team book comes from a variety of elite sources, such as the USBC Coaching Certification Program; former Team USA Head Coach, Fred Borden; USBC C.A.T.S. program; Brunswick; the Kegel Company and materials designed specifically for the Wichita State University Bowling Program.This binder is brought to each educational session where our staff of master instructors supplements the binder with further handouts and information. The information in this team binder is highly beneficial to improving a student-athletes skills and abilities both on and off the lanes.

3) Educational Classes

Every student-athlete in the Shocker Bowling Program is able to attend these classes throughout the year. Each class will cover a different topic. Subjects that may be discussed include: time management & study skills, drug & alcohol awareness, physical game, equipment, lane play, sports psychology, professional tours, life after college, bowling balls, team play, and physical training.

Topics will be presented by a numerous guest speakers who are professionals and experts in their field. Most of these speakers are well known in the bowling industry and come from all over the country. These experts include the Kegel Company, world renowned sports psychologist Dr. Dean Hinitz, ball motion guru Rick Benoit, bowling genius Fred Borden, and WSU's nationally recognized coaching staff fronted by Head Coach Gordon Vadakin and Assistant Coach Mark Lewis. The lessons provided by these individuals greatly contributes to making the program's Elite Skill Center successful and unprecedented. Most of the material presented during these sessions will be beyond what is included in the TEAM BOOKS.

4) Corporate Ball Purchasing Program

With the support of several corporate sponsors, USBC sanctioned intercollegiate bowlers in the program are allowed to purchase new bowling balls and shoes at deep discounts. This exceptional program gives athletes the ability to purchase, drill and use the latest bowling balls at significantly reduced costs. 

5) Coaching

All selected team members will receive coaching and individual skill training through the organized team practices with the head coach and assistant coach. Because of the investment made toward all student-athletes who are involved in the Shocker Bowling Program, all non-selected players will be REQUIRED to participate in the ASSOCIATE COACHING PROGRAM following the conclusion of tryouts and team selection.

The associate coaching program is designed to help student-athletes improve their bowling skills. This program is made up primarily of talented Shocker alumni who live in the Wichita area and volunteer their time to help student-athletes, while giving back to the Shocker Bowling Program. Some of the associate coaches include: Rick Steelsmith, Justin Hromek, Lonnie Waliczek, Nathan Bohr, Matt McFayden, Brent Bartman, Casey Slaughter, Chris Drewes, Melissa Hurst, Olivia Sandham, Jessica Baker, Jake Peters and many other talented bowlers.

Initial assignment of players into the associate coaching program is reserved for incoming freshman and transfer students. Once those student-athletes have been assigned an associate coach, additional assignments will be set up for other non-selected players to take advantage of the associate coaching program.

Associate Coaching Program Requirements:

Each non-selected player in the associate coaching program will be required to meet the following guidelines. Failure to meet any of the listed guidelines may result in disciplinary action deemed appropriate by the head coaching staff. Disciplinary action may include suspension of some bowling team privileges and up to and including removal from the Shocker bowling team and having your bowling program ID card revoked. The following guidelines are also part of the requirements of the HPS 110D, a one-credit hour class offered only to Shocker bowlers.

  1. It is the responsibility of the student-athlete to contact their assigned associate coach and schedule meeting dates and times.
  2. Each student-athlete is required to meet with their associate coach a minimum of three times before the end of the fall semester (an exception may be allowed due to the unavailability of the associate coach, i.e.: pros on tour).

6) In addition to these five tools above included in the Shocker Bowling Skill Development Program, many players will get the opportunity to compete collegiately either as part of the selected team or part of the DEVELOPMENTAL TEAM(S).

Student-athletes selected for the developmental team will get the opportunity to gain competitive experience in a condensed season of events. This team is designed to enhance the players' skills training using all of the services provided by the Elite Skill Center. Athletes on the developmental team are encouraged to work hard and dedicate their time to improving their skills as to prepare them for the next year's tryout process and team selection.

By using the educational materials provided (team training binder & educational classes), equipment (corporate ball purchasing program), individual training with a coach (associate coaching), practice (FREE), and team play training (developmental team membership), a non-selected player will be better prepared to not only make the selected team the following year, but also be a contributor to the team.

The head coaching staff reserves the right to make decisions or changes in policies at their discretion regarding all aspects of the Elite Skills Center.