Bowling coaches Peter Somoff of Tacoma, Washington, and Mike Dias of Lafayette, Colorado, have received United States Bowling Congress Gold certification and are ready to use their knowledge and experience to help others excel.
The two have worked hard in recent months to showcase their skills and expertise in the field and in front of a panel of experts, and each will receive the Fred Borden USBC Gold Coach Award for successfully completing USBC Coaching’s Gold certification program.
The process of becoming a USBC Gold coach, the highest level that can be achieved through the USBC Coaching Certification and Development Department, is similar to obtaining a doctorate in a field of study.
The addition of Somoff and Dias brings the list of active Gold coaches to 21. Candidates must be knowledgeable of the latest techniques and information and be able to apply them.
The final review process requires a coach to conduct a class, participate in an oral exam and give lessons to bowlers of various skill levels. They must include lesson plans and a ball-motion study. The review board consists of active USBC Gold coaches and USBC staff. The review board also engages Gold candidates in discussions on subjects related to the disciplines.
“The USBC Gold program is welcoming two great coaches, who have dedicated themselves and their careers to learning and growing the sport of bowling,” said USBC Director of Coaching Stephen Padilla (above right). “We’re pleased to have such passionate coaches thriving within the program.”
Somoff, the Director of Global Technical Communications for Storm Products, spends much of his time conducting seminars about bowling balls, drilling techniques and other pro-shop-related topics, but his role also allows him to spend a lot of face time with bowlers eager to improve on the lanes.
Over the years, he has served a variety of roles with Storm and now covers a territory that includes Africa, Australia, Europe and the Middle East, where he meets with pro shops and their customers directly to educate them about the company’s products.
The 58-year-old has owned or operated more than a dozen pro shops during his career in the bowling industry, and he is an International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association (IBPSIA) Master Instructor.
Competitively, Somoff earned two Professional Bowlers Association regional titles during a PBA career that spanned from 1982-2003.
“I’m honored for this distinctive and unique award, and I would like to thank my family at Storm, my friends in the industry and my loved ones for their support,” Somoff said.
“In earning this recognition, I feel a great responsibility to not only teach the lessons that have been learned through research and experience, but also be aware and forge ahead in learning, openly working with other coaches globally and teaching the latest information in this ever-changing sport. I am very grateful for this opportunity.”
Dias, 58, has been coaching for more than three decades and appeared on Bowlers Journal International’s Top 100 Coaches list four consecutive times from 2011-2014.
On the lanes, he is a regular at top events such as the USBC Open Championships, USBC Masters and USBC Senior Masters. He is a two-time winner on the PBA50 Tour to go along with a pair of PBA50 regional titles and two standard PBA regional victories.
By trade, Dias is a software engineer, but he gives nearly 10 lessons a week and mentors other local coaches. He plans to do more camps and clinics in Colorado and eventually transition into a full-time coaching career.
“I am very humbled and proud to be able to join this group of Gold coaches,” Dias said. “It was a tough process with a lot of self-examination, and I’m now a better coach than I was two years ago.
“But, being a Gold coach isn’t an end point, it’s just a validation along the way. The journey will never end for me, and I hope to continue to learn as much as I can, so I can continue to help people improve.”
USBC Coaching Certification and Development also offers Level I, Bronze and Silver-level coaching opportunities, some of which can be completed online. The first Gold certification was awarded to longtime Team USA coach Fred Borden in 2000, and the award for completing the program was renamed in his honor in 2013.
Click here to learn more about USBC Coaching Certification and Development programs.