I have been giving private basketball sessions in Boston for the past four years. I have developed a training method called “The Basketball Edge,” based on the principles I learned from my own private coach, and incorporating the lessons I found most helpful as a college and professional player.
I enjoy working with players of all ages and levels, but I especially enjoy the challenge of coaching teenagers, because with them I can make the biggest difference in their game and lives. The key to teaching teenagers is communication—reaching them where they live: it doesn’t matter how much you know if you can’t present it to them in ways they can immediately grasp.
Every kid is a natural-born learner, but teenagers, especially boys, can take a while to hit their stride when it comes to academics. I was that kind of high school student at first—I wasn’t even thinking about college, much less getting into a decent school. Basketball turned me on to learning and gave me an edge that made admission to a good school possible.
Sports is a great vehicle for discovering one’s potential as a learner. Once you learn that you can systematically set out to master something you care about—that you can learn to learn and gain the confidence, self-esteem, and rewards that come with discipline—then it’s just a short step to realizing you can succeed in any area of life you choose.
I was not a naturally gifted athlete, but I was willing to work hard at the game I loved and develop my skills, and I ended up having a great college career and an opportunity to play professionally with NBA players overseas. But it doesn’t matter what level you reach. What matters is developing yourself to the fullest extent of your ability. Having the opportunity to help kids do that with their basketball is for me, as a coach, a great joy and privilege.