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#50975 - 03/01/08 04:04 PM Bowling Camps
1mrdad Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 8
A/S/L: 57/male/S.W. Chicago Suburbs
I just wanted to share my experience with everyone. I started bowling after a 20+ year lay off in 2002. Over the course of that time, my average peaked at 187 for the last couple of years. My delivery was inconsistent, and I had started to double dribble the ball. I had taken lessons from a couple of different coaches, but with no positive results. So, in June of 2007 I decided to attend [censored] Ritger's 5 day bowling camp that was held at Hawthorne Lanes in Vernon Hills, IL. The Ritger website advertised an average improvement of 10-15 pins for their students. My goal was to get into the 190's.
There were three instructors for 16 of us. The course was very detailed; the instructors and the techniques taught were excellent. All facets of the game were covered to include but not limited to stance, push away, approach, delivery, balance, spare shooting, adjusting for conditions, etc. The classes were about 6 hours/day for 5 days; the majority fof the time you had your hands on a bowling ball. It seemed as if you had your own personal instructor the entire time. I willingly completely changed my game, and the lead instructor even paid to have my ball redrilled in attempt to get a more consistent delivery.
I practiced the rest of the summer (about 150 games) trying to perfect my new found knowledge, and assuming that I would average in the middle 190's. My first week of the regular season fall league I shot 430!! The next week I shot 620, and the week after 450. I was so disheartend and disgusted over my inconsistency that I quit bowling!
In late October, another team asked me to sub for them because they had 2 guys off. I reluctantly agreed. In the last, 14 weeks that I have bowled for them, my average has just hit 206. I haven't shot lower than 580. My total game has become very consistent, and shooting spares is a non-issue. I don't know what the two month lay off fixed, but whatever it was obviosly worked. I am just now getting confident that this is not a fluke, and that I will be able to maintain this level.
I can't say enough about the positives for attending a bowling camp(especially [censored] Ritger's) to improve your game. If you have the time it is well worth it. For me at least, attending [censored] Ritger's bowling camp was much more beneficial than a one hour lesson because you can repeatedly practice new techniques until you have them perfected.
From my personal experience, don't expect over night miracles from bowling lessons, keep a positive attitude, and practice, practice practice..
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Legend

Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#50976 - 03/01/08 05:21 PM Re: Bowling Camps [Re: 1mrdad]
Brandon510 Offline
Legend

Registered: 08/05/06
Posts: 1990
A/S/L: 28/Male/California/Philippines
1mrdad - Welcome to the site. Thanks for telling us about your story. Thats great! I wish i could find bowling camp near me i would love to attend one.

Maybe the two months off just cleared your head and relaxed you mentally. So when you went in after two months you didnt put your self under too much pressure you just bowled and remmebered everything that was taught to you.
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#50984 - 03/01/08 06:28 PM Re: Bowling Camps [Re: Brandon510]
cgeorg Offline


Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 3567
A/S/L: Pittsburgh, Pa
You probably left the camp with your head swimming, full of all of the new things you had learned. With a cloudy mind, it's hard to just relax and execute shots. The 2 months probably gave your mind some time to clear itself up. Now, your muscle memory is able to take over, and your mind is able to focus on the shot at hand without thinking about everything you picked up at the camp.
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#50985 - 03/01/08 06:38 PM Re: Bowling Camps [Re: cgeorg]
General Pounder Offline
3x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 3397
A/S/L: 40/M/Midlothian, IL
I would like to know what something like that would cost. I think taking a full week to work on my game 6 hours a day would be great. My wife may get a little upset at me but, won't be the first time or the last.

Coming out of the camp, it sounds like you had enormous expectations. When you came out, you were probably trying so hard that you were not letting yourself just bowl. After taking the 2 months off, you stopped thinking and let yourself do what you were taught for those 30 hours.
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#50986 - 03/01/08 07:51 PM Re: Bowling Camps [Re: General Pounder]
sixbagger Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 135
A/S/L: Indiana
Originally Posted By: General Pounder
I would like to know what something like that would cost.


Not sure what this particular camp cost, but I am considering attending a camp this summer - the cost is some where around $400. I am pretty excited about the possibilities as I have no doubt it will help my game.

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#50987 - 03/01/08 08:46 PM Re: Bowling Camps [Re: sixbagger]
Brandon510 Offline
Legend

Registered: 08/05/06
Posts: 1990
A/S/L: 28/Male/California/Philippines
I did a search for the [censored] Ritger's camp and for the 5 day camp it about $499
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#50988 - 03/01/08 08:51 PM Re: Bowling Camps [Re: sixbagger]
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
About 5 or 6 years ago, I took the Bowling This Month three day (actually 2.5 day) clinic. At that time it was, I think, $375 early bird registration. Now I think its like $570.

I was averaging over 200+ at the time. And I can say honestly that I did not get much, if anything, from the class. The students were broken up into groups and since I had no prior clinic experience I did not put down a preferance for coach. I got Suzie Minshew and I was really looking forward to the clinic. At the last minute she could not make it and I ended up with a Silver Coach (I'm not going to name him) that spent most of his time on his lap top, rather then on the lanes with us. We were not allowed to go from group to group, coach to coach. Once you were given a coach that's where you stayed for two of the three days. I already knew how to do the one step drill so the hours we spent on that was wasted for me. I enjoyed the onlane time with Dr. Dean Hinitz who had a couple of mind of manner games concerning targetting and the gutter. Most of the class room time was spent talking about drillings (which I knew), and some lane surface differences. I was disappointed that there was no lane transition or spare shooting. It was just kind of a waste for me. My average did not go up nor did it go down. I think the clinic was geared more for those under 180.

I did do a two day clinic at a local center that has CATs. I got more out of those two days then the BTM clinic. We had 6 different sport conditions and were tutored on how to play them by many coaches. You could go from pattern to pattern whenever you wanted as long as the pair of lanes didn't get over X number of people on it. We also had the CATs done and analized, which was really fascinating. We again had Dr. Dean Hinitz for lecture. That clinic at $225 was much more informative and valuable to me.

I have not been to a Ritger clinic or Ron Cliffton clinic, but I think they might be a lot more productive. Or at least I would hope so. For me personally, I got more out of hourly lessons even at the high rate of $65/hr. I had a silver coach that had been on tour and had actual experience in being over 200 and how to improve at that level. After a year or so of lessons from her, I edged over the 205 mark closer to and sometimes at the 210 mark. Today the clinic is $570 and that's over 8 lessons with my old coach at $65/hr. I KNOW I would get more information and better coaching for my money from her and 8 lessons.

Bottom line, I still advocate private lessons from a good coach, and the CATs analysis if its available to you. Everybody learns a different way. And I don't regret that BTM clinic except that I wish I had had a better coach and that the coaches were more flexible in the created groups. I'm glad the Ritger clinic was good for you. At this point I would not recommend the BTM clinic. But its nice to know that there are some clinics out there that are more beneficial.

Erin

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#51001 - 03/02/08 07:14 AM Re: Bowling Camps [Re: Atochabsh]
CoachJim Offline
USBC Silver Coach

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 4665
A/S/L: Reston, Virginia USA
Ron Clifton's Southern California clinics are coming
March 28-29-30 in San Diego and April 4-5-6 in San Bernardino, check www.bowl4fun.com for details.

Erin I think you might have had a different opinion of the BTM clinic if you got to spend 5 days with Suzie Minshew, however it does sound like they should have given you your money back if she wasn't available, that is a lot of money for a so so coach.

I wish I had a place close to me that had the cats system.

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#51003 - 03/02/08 08:17 AM Re: Bowling Camps [Re: General Pounder]
1mrdad Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 8
A/S/L: 57/male/S.W. Chicago Suburbs
Originally Posted By: General Pounder
I would like to know what something like that would cost. I think taking a full week to work on my game 6 hours a day would be great. My wife may get a little upset at me but, won't be the first time or the last.


Pounder, I see we are from the same town. Here is the link to [censored] Ritger's Bowling Camp . They come to Hawthorne Lanes, in Vernon Hills in June every year.
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#51004 - 03/02/08 08:59 AM Re: Bowling Camps [Re: 1mrdad]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9710
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
1mrdad, I currently bowl at Hawthorn. Thanks for the info.
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