How did you decide to become a private coach?
It wasn’t so much of a decision. It was something I felt compelled to do. Having benefited so greatly from private instruction as a player, I felt a need to give back what I learned to young players in my area. Soon enough the word got out, and I moved from doing a few clients in my spare time to doing several clients a week. So I turned it into a small business: www.BostonBasketballInstruction.com and brought in a couple other great basketball coaches to join me.
What can a client expect from private lessons with you?
To learn more in one session than he or she ever imagined possible. Basketball remains a game of skill, technique, and above all else, footwork. I was a professional basketball player, but I’ve learned that the best players are not necessarily the best private coaches. I’ve gotten very good at breaking down complex moves into simple steps.
Describe what a typical lesson is like with you.
We warm up, stretch out, and then move into working on footwork, either post play or perimeter play, depending on what my player wants to focus on that day. Though I stress that all my players should know both. For me, it’s all about footwork and eliminating extraneous movements. We work on a variety of finishing moves, and I make sure that my players are comfortable with each move before we move on to anything more complicated. After the session, we recap what we covered and I tell my player what I want him or her to work on to prepare for the next basketball training session.
What is your coaching style?
I’m patient. I stress detail, footwork and balance. I’m tough on my players, but I’m also very supportive, and make the sessions as much fun as they are challenging.
Tell us about the most enjoyable moment you’ve had as a private coach.
There are a lot. One of my first clients came to me as a sophomore in high school and was very raw. Even making layups was a challenge for him. His goal was to improve enough to make his varsity high school team. Through working with me, he developed into a really good player, and is now playing college basketball at a great school.
Who is your favorite coach? Why?
Former Princeton basketball coach Pete Carril. Through the Princeton Offense and a great defense, he got the most out of the talent he had. He proved that a group of smart, skilled players who work together can beat a much more talented, athletic team. Watching his Tigers beat UCLA in the 1996 NCAA tournament was the best performance I’ve ever seen.