Mansfield resident Stephen Padilla joined an elite group recently when he earned his Gold level coaching certification from the United States Bowling Congress.
The 36-year-old Padilla highlighted a 10-year coaching career with the honor bestowed by the USBC Coaching Certification and and Development department. He is a coaching specialist at the International Training and Research Center on the International Bowling Campus in Arlington. His primary responsiblity is to organize and conduct Silver level certification classes, mentor many USBC certified coaches and oversee USBC's regional facilities program.
"Bowling was a part of my plan when I entered college, and thanks to persistence, hard work and some good fortune in the industry, working in the bowling center and actually competing, I've gotten this amazing opportunity," Padilla told bowl.com. "People coach many years to get to this level, and because of other opportunities, such as my first coaching position offered by Gold coach Richard Shockley, and several great jobs I've had along the way, I've been able to accelerate my coaching career. I am very grateful and excited to continue coaching."
To earn Gold status, candidates virtually go through a process similar to someone studying for a doctorate degree. Candidates must demonstrate their knowledge of the latest coaching techniques through practical application and discussion. The final review program requires a coach to conduct a class, participate in an oral exam and give lessons to bowlers of various skill levels. Some of the 24 active Gold coaches and USBC staff serve as the final review board.
"Stephen has dedicated much of his life and career to helping others improve and excel on the lanes, and he has worked very hard to become our newest USBC Gold coach," said USBC Director of Coaching Certification and Development Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller. "We congratulate him on his dedication and proudly welcome him into this elite group."
Padilla, who graduated from Florida State University in 2000 with a degree in nutrition and fitness, earned his Bronze certification in 2002 and Silver in 2004. He worked for Kegel Corporation in Florida from 2000 until he joined USBC in 2008.
His wife Brenda is a former Team USA member and joined her husband to win the Regular Doubles title at the 2009 USBC Open Championships in Las Vegas with a record 1,560.
"The things I had done in bowling leading up to that day in Las Vegas actually helped me more than I expected," Padilla said. "Coaching helped me see things differently and make better decisions. I didn't have to focus as much on the physical things to be successful.
"That experience, along with becoming a Gold coach, means a great deal to me, but they're different. They both have great emotional value and make me extremely proud, and it's amazing to be able to reach top level as both a coach and a player."