With the school year complete, the White Station bowling team hopped into cars and headed to Arlington, Texas, to train at the International Training and Research Center. The team began its two days of working with ITRC head coach Rod Ross and his staff on Thursday.
"I told coach Ross I felt like the level of knowledge I had had reached the apex point and that for our program to go to the next level I needed to get us around more knowledge," said Michael Catlin, a USBC Bronze coach who has led the program at White Station for nine years. "And why not go down and train with the people who train the best in the world? That's why we are here, to soak up as much knowledge as we can and go to the next level."
White Station is located in Memphis, Tenn., so the trip to the ITRC, located at the International Bowling Campus, took about 7 1/2 hours. The Spartans have 11 players on the trip, five boys and six girls.
"Once I walked in the door, it was awesome," Catlin said. "We felt welcomed by the coaches. The friendliness - being from the south we enjoy Southern hospitality - and the professionalism of everybody has been really great."
Kim Terrell-Kearney, ITRC and Team USA assistant head coach who helped lead the team through stretching exercises, said White Station, the first high school team to train at the ITRC, will be treated the same as every team that comes to the facility.
"It's the same premise as what we do with college teams that come in, as well as Team USA," Terrell-Kearney said. "The beginning part of the visit we gather a lot of information, figure out their weaknesses, then give them ways to correct those and get them prepared to be successful on any pattern they run into."
White Station bowler Danny Hopper said the experience so far has been great, including the evaluation with USBC Sports Performance Specialist Nick Bohanan.
"I enjoyed the physical workout; I needed it," Hooper said of the ITRC. "This is really cool. I didn't expect any of this."