Bowling coach provides spark for overall team sucess

Florida A&M head coach Sheila Martin is the voice for the bowling team inspiring her players to excel as athletes and young women in her journey to propel the bowling team to the top of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.The Flint, Mich., native finished the regular season with an overall winning record of 70-42.In her first full season as the head coach of the bowling team, Martin continued to provide stability for her team through her words of wisdom during team workouts. Coming to Florida in the tenth grade and attending Florida A&M High school, Martin found inspiration from her basketball coach Harvey LeCount. He encouraged her along and other athletes to believe that any goal they set could be achieved.Martin said her goal is to get her players to realize that being a student athlete means also performing well academically.“I try to instill in them that even though you are individual players you’re also one as a team,” Martin said. “With these young ladies each time we have had a competition they have been able to bring out the best in each other and go a little further. Even though we have a lot of road trips I wanted the girls to be able to take care of their academics because that plays a huge part in this process, you’re a student first then an athlete.”Captain and senior Jazmin Bingham said Martin’s desire to bring out the best in her players is why the team performs at such a high level.“She pushes and drives us to do better unlike other individuals who may have given up on us,” Bingham said. “She knows that we all have talent and never wants to see that go to waste, so I think that is why she is always pushing us making sure that we’re doing whatever it was we needed to do so that we get to the next level.”Co-captain and junior Ashley Melson said her progression as a player can be attributed to the motivation Martin provided throughout the years.“Coach really helped me grow as a player by showing me how much better of a player I could be by focusing more in practice and making sure that I’m in line so my teammates could follow,” Melson said. “She showed me how to improve on my skills as a leader, if we needed advice on any situation or just someone to talk with she has always been there, sort of taking her players under her wing as one her daughters.”Martin has led the Florida A&M bowling team to .500 season with a .792 winning percentage in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Southern Division placing first with a record of (19-5). Her goal next year is to make the NCAA Women’s Bowling Championship.