Kathie Hahn the coach of both girls and boys bowling at Salem High School has been coaching for 9 seasons now. She actually started the bowling program here at Salem along with the current Canton coach. Her passion for the game started around 1996 when she coached a youth league on Saturdays and fell in love with the game. Her favorite part about coaching is sharing exciting moments with her players, for example, a perfect game or a personal best. This year for the first time in all 9 seasons of the program, the boys and girls won the division side by side. In the past the boys have won the division but this is a first for the girls side. She said, “It was a special moment that both groups shared together. I couldn’t be more proud of my players and I’m lucky to have shared the excitement with them.”
Coaching kids is already a tough job but Kathie says the hardest thing for her is handling an unhappy parent. Kathie says she learns something new each season on how to deal with negativity from parents that could affect their kids, and it’s hard wanting to make sure every parent and kid enjoys the program. Finding balance to coach and for other daily responsibilities isn’t hard for her because coaching is something she loves to do. Her children are grown up and her husband knows the huge commitment so having that support system behind her makes the job that much better. Coaching isn’t finished after the season is done, it’s really a year long job with all of the off season training and extra things they do. Coach Kathie also complimented her assistant coaching staff who helps her with all the decisions and she loves working with people who make you and her players better.
Coach Kathie really emphasises team chemistry and throughout her program has done her best to keep all players and teams close. She says this helps makes everyone’s experience more enjoyable and teaches players, in a individual sport like bowling, you win and lose together. To ensure this, she has both the boys and girls go out to breakfast on Saturday’s or Sunday’s before their tournaments and out to dinner after most in addition to that. Kathie says it’s just as important to have a good relationship with your players are the players have with each other.
When asked how she would describe her coaching style she said, “ I would say that I am very positive and encouraging, I try really hard to help the kids not dwell on the bad shots but move on and make a good second shot. If you make them feel good about themselves, the eagerness to become better is much higher.” Even though Kathie has been doing this for a long time she still gets nervous before a big match, especially against Canton or Plymouth. Park rival matches are always intense and she has become really close with the coaches and players from both the Canton and Plymouth programs. Coach Kathie says she sometimes finds it hard to stay super competitive when she never wants to see the look of defeat on any childs face. To help calm her nerves she relies on her captains to get the team into the huddle and talk to all the players. She said they do a great job with motivation and getting everyone focused and ready for the task at hand.
We wish Coach Kathie Hahn and both the boys and girls varsity bowling teams good luck with the season coming to a close. Congratulations to all players on winning the division!