With the top training tools and evaluation systems in the world, the International Training and Research Center has attracted national teams from across the globe. Now one of Europe’s leading bowling programs has joined the growing list of nations using the ITRC as a temporary training home.
While Denmark might be the reigning men’s and women’s European team champion, both teams decided to make the trip to Arlington to see if they might discover that extra edge before they attempt to defend their titles this summer. They are the first European team to train at the ITRC.
“We’re trying to be better, of course,” Denmark coach Christer Backe said. “The reason we came here is I believe they have the best facilities in the world. I’m really looking forward to seeing how things work and how they measure everything and we’ll have something we can take away.”
Last summer, Denmark topped Finland to claim the Men’s European Championships team title and Denmark won the five-player team competition at the 2010 Women’s European Championships.
The women will look to defend their title in June while the men will look to do the same in August.
“It’s quite an honor to have a team of this caliber come over here,” Team USA head coach Rod Ross said. “They are getting ready for the championships this year. It’s great they have decided to come over here and see how we are doing things and let us help them.”
Ross said the training will not stop for the Denmark teams once they leave the ITRC.
“We’re able to give them plans for their players when they go back to help develop them and continue their growth,” Ross said. “This trip is not just about this week, but actually about the next six months to a year for the players.”
Several national teams have trained at the ITRC, including the Dominican Republic, Chile and Singapore. Following its training session, the Dominican Republic had its best performance at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games with three gold medals and one bronze medal.
“I want to get a better flow in my game, be more consistent and get a little more knowledge about the game,” said Mik Stampe, who was on the team that won the European title. “We’re just trying to get more consistent.”
The ITRC has some of the most innovative and cutting-edge coaching technologies available in the bowling industry today, including high-speed video cameras, motion-capture devices, foot-pressure sensors and goggles enhanced with cameras to show exactly where a player is looking during the approach and delivery. A DVR system also is in place and can record any video feed to let a bowler see what they did on their last shot as soon as they step off the lane.
The ITRC also is the home training center for Team USA and Junior Team USA.