SEBRING—Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, two-time Professional Woman Bowler of the Year, has been bowling since she has 6 years old, but getting here has been a journey that started in the structured environment where she was raised.
Before she could join a youth league, her father insisted she first learn the right bowling etiquette and the four-step approach bowlers take before throwing the ball, right on the concourse of the bowling alley.
She’s 39 now, winner of 22 national titles, a member of the 2014 Adult Team USA and was on the 2011 Team USA team that won the gold medal.
Saturday, she shared with 30 to 35 youth bowlers at Sebring’s Heartland Bowl the importance of making right choices, the friendships she has formed after a lifetime of bowling, and gave them pointers in a two-hour clinic.
“I just love bowling. I know it sounds like such a cliche,” she said. “One of the key elements of bowling is it’s really about family and friends.”
She reminded youth bowlers it is the quality of practice time that matters, not the number of hours they put in, and that they “don’t have to be the greatest to win.”
“You don’t have to be the greatest to earn scholarship money,” she told the kids and their parents and grandparents gathered.
Dorin-Ballard was on the college bowling team of West Texas State University, which is now Texas A&M University.
The event was part of three days of activities the bowling alley is hosting for bowlers.
It wraps up today with pro bowlers Jason Belmonte and Mike Fagan coming to Heartland Bowl for a meet-and-greet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.