Teacher, avid bowler and personal trainer, Ralph Corey was thrilled when he learned that Westfield High School was in need of a head bowling coach.
"Unfortunately, the other school districts that I've worked in did not have a bowling team," said Corey, who played in performance-based leagues in his hometown on Long Island. "When I heard Westfield had an opening, I applied for it right away. I wanted to get back to the sport I enjoyed playing myself, but most importantly, to work with the athletes here in Westfield."
Of the many things the coach enjoys about the sport, he said the piece that appeals to him most is how it challenges players mentally and forces them "to stay positive, focused and to fight through adversity when things are not going right for you within the game."
Westfield Patch had a chance to speak with the coach about his team, coaching style and goals for the future.
What is your proudest moment as a coach?
I've had several moments over my seven years of coaching that I am proud of. But, my most recent moment came at the Old Bridge/Carteret Baker Bowling Tournament. My bowling team reached the Quarterfinals for the first time.
I was very proud of my athletes and it was exciting for me to witness my athletes compete against very strong and competitive school districts. Everyone on the team played an instrumental role and supported one another throughout the tournament.
What do you tell athletes who may be struggling, in order to inspire them?
I explain to those athletes how valuable they are to the team. I remind them how each athlete on the team has a role and to focus on what they bring to the team. I believe its imperative as a coach to find the positive during these challenging times and continue to praise their efforts. I will always support my athletes and guide them through the difficult times to keep them working hard and to overcome adversity.
If you weren't coaching right now, what other profession would you most like to have and why?
I am also a Health and Physical Education Teacher in the Westfield School District as well as a certified personal trainer. If I had to choose another profession, I would be involved with Sports Conditioning. I am an advocate of health and fitness and I would love to continue working with athletes who recognize how important it is in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and to help them succeed within their sports.
In what ways do athletes inspire you?
Athletes who are passionate about the game, work hard on and off the field (fitness-training), and maintain respect, integrity, and responsibility of the game, themselves and other athletes. In addition, athletes who fight through adversity to succeed.
What are your goals for the season?
- To develop each individual athlete's physical, intellectual and emotional, and social well-being through sport.
- To educate the athletes on rules, mechanics, etiquette, and principles of bowling.
- To develop the physical mechanics and skills required for a successful bowler.
- Implement athlete expectations throughout the season such as responsibility, respect, team, professionalism, communication, sportsmanship, and proper etiquette.
- To continue and build upon a very successful bowling program.