Website – https://www.iamd1thebook.com/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @CoChrisD1
Chris Meadows is the co-author of I AM D-1: How to Conquer the World of Travel Basketball, His mission is to empower the world of rising basketball players and their families by sharing the keys of the D-1 MINDSET.
Chris is the Founder of Momentum Skills Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina and as a player development consultant/ trainer Chris has worked with programs from the ACC, BIG EAST, SEC, ATLANTIC 10, MAC, MAAC, PAC-12, and Mountain West Conferences.
Meadows was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona where he was named to the Street and Smith Honorable Mention- High School All-American team. He was also named the best ball handler while attending the Blue Chip All-American basketball camp. As a student athlete, Chris started his college journey in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona at South Mountain Community College. He later accepted a basketball scholarship to attend Saint Bonaventure University, where he played point guard. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he began a career in education and coaching high school basketball in the mid 1990’s in New York.
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Get ready to take some notes as you listen to this episode with Chris Meadows, player development coach and author of I am D-1.
What We Discuss with Chris Meadows
- The why behind Chris’ new book “I am D-1”
- Growing up in Phoenix tagging along with his two older brothers just trying to get into a game
- Playing pickup ball in high school with the guys at Arizona State
- Studying Isiah Thomas and Kevin Johnson as a point guard
- Finding the best games in the city and going from gym to gym
- Playing pickup with Walter Davis, Larry Nance, and other Suns’ players
- “There’s nothing like a gym packed with the best players to play pickup.”
- His experience at the Blue Chip All-America Basketball Camp
- The death of Len Bias
- Having to go Prop 48 because he wasn’t as serious about school as he should have been
- How he ended up going JUCO at South Mountain Community College and creating a winning legacy
- Finishing his college career at St. Bonaventure
- Playing against Mark Macon of Temple in his first big time game at St. Bonaventurw
- Why there is so much pressure on kids playing basketball today
- Playing for Dwayne Casey during NBA Summer League after graduating from St. Bonaventure
- Getting started with his teaching and coaching career in New York
- “Coming out of college my whole purpose was really to have an impact with young people.”
- Starting the Western New York Shooting Stars
- Leadership and connecting with players came naturally
- Needing to learn the X’s and O’s as a young coach
- Studying film to gain the knowledge he needed
- Why he prefers watching games with the sound off
- His system for saving video to his phone so it’s always accessible
- Moving to Charlotte, North Carolina and starting up his training business there
- Leaving teaching to train full-time
- Opening his own facility, Momentum Skills Academy
- The challenges in coaching/training your own child and why it may be wise to have them work with another coach
- “You gotta be all in and don’t set your target on where you are right now.”
- “Your biggest competition is yourself.”
- It’s not just the player who has to sacrifice, it’s the entire family.
- “I know a lot of kids who train like a champion, get in a game and the defense moves. It’s not a cone. They don’t know how to react.”
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THANKS, CHRIS MEADOWS
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TRANSCRIPT FOR CHRIS MEADOWS – PLAYER DEVELOPMENT COACH & AUTHOR OF THE NEW BOOK “I AM D-1” – EPISODE 435
[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing ing here with my cohost Jason Sunkle tonight, and we are pleased to be joined by Chris Meadows, the author of the brand new book. I am D-1 and player development coach. Chris, welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast.
Chris Meadows: [00:00:17] Hey, it is great to be here, Mike. I’m just really thrilled, man.
You guys do such a great job with the podcast and it’s actually an honor for me to be here tonight. So I’m looking forward to it.
Mike Klinzing: [00:00:26] Well, we appreciate that. And we work hard to try to be able to provide value to our audience and to be able to draw out some of the great things that our guests have been able to do.
And we’re looking forward to digging in with you tonight, for sure. We thought that the best way to serve our audience tonight would be to let you start off by giving your elevator pitch for your new book. I am. give us a quick overview of. The book, the why behind it. And just tell us a little bit about where people can find out more about the book.
I am D-1 and what [00:01:00] you’ve put together.
Chris Meadows: [00:01:02] I appreciate the opportunity and that’s a greatnquestion. You know, the why behind it. And I think it’s a pretty easy and a pretty simple answer. Anyone who was in the world of youth sports or I’ll ssay high school sports in general.
You see the prominence that sports take in any particular family’s life. So right now we have literally thousands, hundreds of thousands of young people and families who are on this track and these young people, their ultimate goal is to play at the highest level of college sports. Whether it’s basketball, football, baseball, you name it.
And I just so happened to focus on basketball because that’s a large part of my background. And I am D-1 is almost like a mantra that many kids use. You know, you can hear it as young as nine or 10 years old. I’m the one they know they want to play division one sports, division one basketball. But with that being said, there are a lot of things.
There are a lot of intangibles, a lot of variables [00:02:00] that are required along this road to travel basketball. And many families are willing to make the commitment. And many young people are willing to do what they think is necessary to achieve that goal. But there aren’t many people who really understand not only what it requires, but understand the level of commitment, the details that are involved and also the key things you need to do to ensure that you maximize your potential along this road.
So, you don’t get a second chance to do it, you know? So once you start along this road, Mike and Jason, the key is when you would do something or when you engage with something in the way you only have one shot, you don’t get a second chance. I mean, that is valuable, that requires that you have good resources.
It requires that you have a knowledge of what you’re trying to accomplish and that you understand the commitment level and, and that you’re all in. And so those things all equate to success. If you know [00:03:00] how to handle it. And so many families want it. I see so many kids who want it, so many young people who want it, but it’s like someone having, wanting to go to a beach, but they don’t have a roadmap.
They don’t have a way to get there. They don’t have a GPS. So I am D-1 is really like a GPS that was formulated really out of the ability to just care and love these young people enough to just say, man, I can’t watch this. I don’t want to watch it. I want to be a part of the solution. I want to help them so that they maximize their ability, their resources.
And at the end of the road, they grab a hold of this goal. So that’s what was behind I am D-1 how to conquer the world to travel basketball.
Mike Klinzing: [00:03:37] We are going to dive into the book much more as we go through the entire episode and we learn more about Chris’s story. Before we move to that, though, I want you to share where can people pre-order the book and find out more about it. And then we’ll also share this at the end of the episode, but I think it’s important to get that out there, right here at the top.
Chris Meadows: [00:03:56] Well, right now you can actually go on pre-order and you can pre-order the [00:04:00] book today, tonight ehen you hear this at IamD1the book.com, we kinda made it simple.
Iamd1the book.com. It will actually launch on Amazon, it will go live Monday night, April 5th, the night of the national championship game. So we are, we are going to kick it off with a bang the day of the national championship, April 5th. And then you will be able to find this in your big box, sporting good retailers as well.
So it’s not a conventional book that should be placed in a Barnes and Noble. Not that many people are going out anyway. So we are going to meet our customers and our people, our families and players, where they are. So when you go into those sporting good retailers, you’ll be able to see and get your hands on I amD-1, the book.
Mike Klinzing: [00:04:45] That’s awesome. And I think that anybody who’s listened to our show for more than a couple of episodes knows that one of the things that I truly believe is important when you talk about helping players and parents to navigate the travel basketball space [00:05:00] is educating them on what they should look for.
Because as you well know, when people are going through this experience, as you said, they only get one shot at it. And a lot of parents, especially if you have one child and it’s your first child, or you have one child who maybe is more talented or more willing and dedicated to the game of basketball.
You’re not quite sure what you’re supposed to do. And when it’s your first time through it, if you don’t have some guidance and you don’t have somebody who has experienced like you have, or like I have who have been through it as a player and been through it as a coach and maybe even been through it as a parent, then.
It’s easy to make bad decisions, and it’s easy to get information that can throw you off track. And so I think that what you’ve created here, and as I said, we’ll dive into this a little bit deeper as we go through your whole entire story. But what you’ve created here is going to be a tremendously valuable resource for parents and kids who are trying to navigate today’s youth basketball system.
So. Let’s go back in time to when you were a [00:06:00] kid, tell us a little bit about your first experiences with the game of basketball and how you got involved in the game when you were younger.
Chris Meadows: [00:06:09] It’s interesting. This part was actually edited from the book because I wanted it to be not so many stories, but I can remember being young.
I had two older brothers and in our neighborhood we had guys who really could play. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. And you wouldn’t think a lot of ballplayers would come from there, but we did have a lot in the part of Phoenix. I grew up in you know, have a guys like Stevie Coulter, who was a point guard with MJ when he first got to the Bulls.
We just had a lot of big time players, Mark Alarie played at Duke. And so I used to go and travel with my brothers in the neighborhood. And it was interesting. I was young and they didn’t always want me to go. I would see these guys playing man. I’m telling you I would follow them at a distance and they would start playing.
They look up and there I am. And so eventually they just start saying, all right, come on, let’s go. We know you got to come anyway. And [00:07:00] I would see these games and I would see these games just, I mean, a guy’s doing things just right there in the neighborhood. I mean, dunking the ball, doing all sorts of things.
And then as I got older, I would be able to go to see these same guys play in high school. And I can remember going to see some of these games where it was literally standing room only, and the same guys in my neighborhood that would be at my house, or we’d be playing in someone’s backyard. They were the stars and these games and these major high school games.
And so from that point on, I was already hooked. So I joined the boys club when I was about eight or nine years old. And man, it just took off like a wildfire and I played every sport. So I played in Arizona baseball, football. I haven’t, I was a golfer, but Ijust kind of migrated towards basketball.
Mike Klinzing: [00:07:51] At what point did basketball kind of overwhelm all the other sports? When did you start to really zero in on the game of basketball?
Chris Meadows: [00:07:59] Well, I [00:08:00] continued to play basketball and football exclusively all the way up through middle school. And I played freshman football and I separated my shoulder. I was a quarterback and I got injured and I only played maybe the first five games.
And I came back, I missed a few games of the basketball season. And then I was moved up to varsity as a freshman. And we had some really good players in our state. And that was the last time I played football after that injury. And you know, at that point it just took off. It was like, I literally, I played basketball everyday, all day in the summer.
I went from gym to gym. I’d play with the guys at Arizona State University. They had a bunch of guys that could really play and went to the NBA and I remember being in eighth grade and I was my eighth grade coach. My middle school coach sent me.
He actually paid for me to go to the camp. He was like, you need to go to this camp. Doug Collins was the coach there. It was funny though, college and Henry Bibby. Mike B ibby’s dad was the coach and I was on the state. [00:09:00] And so I went there. And, and just so happened. I don’t know if you remember this name.
Mike Klinzing: [00:09:05] Fat Lever, absolutely. Denver nuggets. Original triple double guys. Yeah, exactly. That’s right.
Chris Meadows: [00:09:14] Yeah, he was, he was a cool guy man. It was funny story. He had just got a new bike cause they ride bikes around campus. And when you come into the activity center at Arizona State, it’s a steep ramp where like the visitors and everybody will come in.
Like if you’re driving a bus or something, And I’m riding is like not a mountain mountain bikes back then it was like a 10 speed or something, hit the front brakes and I flipped and I literally crack his front bike tire and he had just gotten the bike. That’s not good. So, I go to that camp and you know, I did pretty well and I was moved up and, and at that time that’s kinda like that was a turning point where my name really started to get out there.
As one of the premier players to watch going to that [00:10:00] camp. So that, that was a big moment for me.
Mike Klinzing: [00:10:02] All right. Give people an idea of like, if we have any parents listening, I’m sure coaches, especially coaches who are around our age, kind of have an understanding, but just give people an idea of. The way that you grew up in the game of basketball, we kind of got a little window of it with what you were talking about when you said going from gym to gym and chasing down games with guys that were older than you when you were in seventh, eighth grade.
But I don’t think that the kids that grow up today. Necessarily understand how different it was back when you were growing up. Back. When I was growing up where there was so much more pickup basketball, and I dunno what the pickup basketball outdoor scene was like in Phoenix when it was a hundred degrees in the summertime, but just give us idea of what your, what your basketball experiences look like as a middle school and high school kid, maybe comparatively to what a kids experience growing up in Phoenix might be like today.
Chris Meadows: [00:10:54] Day and night is day and night. First of all, there were there weren’t trainers back then, there were [00:11:00] literally, there were not trainers like I, if there was, I didn’t have one I didn’t hear about it. None of my friends who played at a high level, did we actually, if your coach worked with you on something, he would work with you.
But for me growing up, it was literally, we knew where the pickup games were and we would go to those gyms. And if you got there before all the guys, did you shot. You know, the big thing was we’d go around the world seven spots back and forth, back and forth you create moves. I’d watch Isaiah Thomas play and I literally was studying his moves. Like I would mimic everything he did because he was a dynamic point guard at the time. And then when I got to high school, KJ was playing for Phoenix and he was a little older than me. And he would actually come in and hoop with us. So we would literally, my routine was pick up ball and we knew where the parks were at night and then it was just gym, the gym, the gym. And literally before I was even [00:12:00] afraid, ball was life. It wasn’t about training. Like a week we play one-on-ones all day, like my best friend. Hey we stay pretty much together every summer and we would get up and we would go out and we would shoot.
We would go down to the park, we go to the gym and then we got the high school summer leagues. That was a big deal. And I was pretty fortunate. Like when I was in high school, I was probably like maybe a sophomore and Paul Westphal. I think he passed recently. He was a coach for the Phoenix Suns. He was a coach at Grand Canyon college. It wasn’t even D one. And it was Walter Davis, Larry Nance, like all the Phoenix Suns would play in this gym. And I was the only high school kid. It was closed run. No one knew about it and they let me play with them.
So I literally got a chance to play with NBA all-stars as a ninth and 10th grader. And I probably didn’t take even one shot again. I didn’t even care. It was like I was on the floor and I was playing defense and I was just giving up the ball. [00:13:00] But man, that experience right there, it, I would leave there and go home, go to a park, go to a gym and work on my game.
So the next day when I come back, I’d want to show those guys that I can really play. So the basketball scene was about really competing. And you had to have a little swag because there were no parents, no parents took you to the gym, it wasn’t heard of. My dad worked. So you really had to have a love for it.
And it was all about just trying to find out where the players played. And that’s what we did pretty much every day.
Mike Klinzing: [00:13:31] All right, I’m going to adjust your mic. I’m going to jump in. I’m going to jump in,
Jason Sunkle: [00:13:33] Chris. So I want to know, do you have a memorable story that you can share with us? From playing with NBA players.
Is there something that stands out in your mind that you think of the first thing that you think of when you played with them?
Chris Meadows: Yeah, I mean, yes I do because Walter Davis growing up was one of my idols. He played at Carolina, I guess. I didn’t know him. Then I just knew Walter when he played with the Suns.
And then Larry Nance he won the dunk contest, [00:14:00] Dunking two balls. So I’m in a gym with these guys and first of all I was a little kid and I was confident. So I was young. I was like, man, I’m going to show these guys. I can play. And the game was playing at a different pace and it was much easier because those guys didn’t drive and they were so talented.
They just, he just shot the ball. Like they made it simple. They were pros, but I can remember playing. And there was some guys who played college ball and maybe some pros from overseas. And D-1 day guys would just kinda, they dismissed me, some people did. While I was playing Walter and Larry Nance would always make sure that I played with them.
Come on a little guy, come on little, man. Let’s go. You with us. And I remember playing and it was a lot of elite players and I made a move one time and, and I put a guy down, like he fell. And then I finished the basket and I’m so locked in that I turned around, I’m playing defense.
I’m just really playing defense and I’m looking around. The game stops. I’m [00:15:00] looking around at all. The pros are on the floor, laughing, they’re actually laughing at the guy that was guarding me because he used to talk so much smack and they would just laugh. I mean, they were rising and they were all over this day.
And so that was kind of like a coming of age moment for me. They were like, Oh, you belong now. So that was something that stood out for a 15 year old, 10th grader who was playing with those guys. So that was kind of a fun story, but just seeing those guys behind the scenes, not on TV.
I mean, I couldn’t even sleep at night the nights before we went to play pickup with those guys, I’d be so excited.
Mike Klinzing: [00:15:32] Isn’t amazing that your experience is eerily similar to what mine was in terms of driving around and finding gyms and finding the courts where people were playing. And it always amazed me that somehow.
All these good players kind of knew where the runs were on a given night. You knew it’s Jim on a Tuesday night, which Jim, you were supposed to be at, and you knew which playground had good games on [00:16:00] Sunday. And when you were younger, you knew you had to get there early. So you could get in that first game and maybe Alex, maybe you have a chance to run on the court.
You know, when you’re, when you’re 14, when you’re 14, you’re like, I gotta be the first guy there so that when they put the first 10 together, And they’re still waiting on somebody. I can sneak in that first game and then I gotta be the last one to leave. Cause maybe when everybody’s tired, I’ll be able to sneak back into that last game.
It’s just, it’s amazing to me that. Everybody just kind of knew. And I don’t know how it was when you were growing up in Phoenix, but there were some gyms and playgrounds that we would occasionally go to and play at where you were like, w this is the best gym that this level of player can find. Like there’s a.
There was a Cleveland Heights, Y YMCA here, that’s in a suburb of Cleveland and it’s like this really small Y YMCA gym. The walls are brick. They’re like a foot from the sidelines and the baseline it’s probably out of the court. It was probably like two thirds, the size of a regulation court. And there were times you’d [00:17:00] go there and we’d have.
There’ll be NBA players in there, Ron Harper be in there playing, or Cedric, Tony would be in there playing. And you know, you just, you look at that now. And you’re like, why were these guys playing in these little gyms where they’re going to get smashed into the wall and all these different things. It’s just, I look back on those times and I’ve said it so many times on the podcast, but I really feel like that.
And I can hear it in the enthusiasm, in your voice too. How important that was to you and your development as a basketball player, but just in terms of. The sheer enjoyment and love of the game that you develop through through that. And that’s one of the things that I sometimes worry about in today’s system that we get so caught up in what the next step is going to be and what I have to do in order to get to be a middle school player, what I have to do to be a high school player and what I have to do to be this.
And we sometimes forget that. Hey, man, it’s a game and it’s supposed to be fun. And I think sometimes when you always play with officials and you always play with your mom and dad in the stands, as you referenced [00:18:00] that mom and dad, weren’t taking you to the gym, you were getting there yourself with your buddies and figuring out how to do that.
And it’s a different system. And there are obviously a lot of positives to what goes on today. But I do think that there’s some factor and I don’t know what you call it. Maybe just an it factor that. I think kids miss out on today. And like I said, I can hear the enthusiasm for that system and your voice for sure.
Chris Meadows: [00:18:24] And you know, it’s just something that I wouldn’t trade it for the world because I was talking to someone, I think I was talking to maybe Skylar Diggs’ dad. And we were talking about the book. It was right when I finished writing it.
And he used the phrase that I thought, wow, you just articulated how I felt you put it into words. And then what he did is he said, Chris, you basically were obligated to write this book. Like you said and that’s why you told me that. And I was like, wow. You know, I [00:19:00] felt like I had to give back. It’s something I wanted to give back and not just to the families and the players within my grasp.
There are a lot of kids, not only in America, but throughout the world that are trying to come and play division one sports, division one basketball, and the way I grew up playing, when you get to the core of basketball, when you get to those elite players, even in high school, there’s nothing like a gym packed with the best players to play pickup.
Like people would pay money for that. And a lot of kids today are robbed of that opportunity. And to me, that’s where your IQ, that’s where your toughness comes in. That’s confidence you built. I built confidence basically in a vacuum. No one, no parent fostered that that came from just me competing against the best.
So it’s interesting. Mike, when I was a junior or sophomore, sophomore, maybe I was invited to [00:20:00] a really good camp. It was one of the best in the country. It was called the Blue Chip All-American camp. And I got an invite. And I remember like Rex Chapman, all those guys were there.
It was like on the border of Ohio and Kentucky.
Mike Klinzing: [00:20:10] And I went to blue chip when I was a kid.
Chris Meadows: [00:20:13] It was crazy. I went there and I played it and then they’d had me in the top division so I was like, wow. I didn’t know what to expect. And I played against a lot of good players, but I had never been in an environment like that.
Where guards were six, five. You know, doing what I did shooting around guys blind through there. Boom. You know, dunking the ball.
So before that I worked out pretty much solo by myself. It’s fine. I would take this no joke. I would take the chairs from my kitchen table. My mother wasn’t around.
I would take them in my backyard and I would literally be working on moves like the going around the chairs, just working on moves. So when I went there, I went there with another good buddy of mine. He got an invite too, so we flew from Phoenix out to, I think somewhere in [00:21:00] Ohio, then they picked us up and drove us to the camp.
And I was in a zone that entire weekend what’s funny about it. It was the same exact I woke up one day and there was a day Len Bias died. That’s why I’ll never forget.
Mike Klinzing: [00:21:17] I was at basketball camp. I was at a team camp when and Mark West who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers was speaking.
And I remember somebody from the camp, like one of the coaches came walking out while Mark West was talking and whispered in his ear. And then Mark West was the person who. Told us campers as we were sitting there. And I was probably, I dunno. So that would have been, I guess I was, I was probably maybe a sophomore in high school maybe that year.
Chris Meadows: [00:21:47] Yeah, probably the, about the same age. I was maybe a sophomore too. Yeah.
Mike Klinzing: [00:21:52] So I might’ve been a little younger, but I graduated from high school in 88. So I was 87. [00:22:00] Okay. All right. Yeah. So we’re right there. So somewhere we were somewhere in that same vicinity and yeah, that was shocking for sure. That’s a whole other podcast.
Chris Meadows: [00:22:12] Yeah. I’ll never forget because of that I was there, but you know, I actually had at that Blue Chip All American camp I ended up being selected back then. They used to have like a top, whatever they had two all-star games. I made the top 15 or top, whatever, all star game.
And I don’t even know they were going to have an all-star game. First of all, it was the final night of the camp and it was amazing. All these college coaches were sitting around the court and I didn’t play the best in the all-star game, but just to make it with all those guys.
And from that point on, like I knew when I came back, I knew that I had a chance, like to do something really special because the guys who were at that camp. They were guys who they, they played for years in the NBA. [00:23:00] So that was that was an awesome experience.
Mike Klinzing: [00:23:03] Talk a little bit about how that experience and your high school clinical experience, how does that lead into your college decision?
Talk us a little bit about your own experiences being recruited and how you made the decision to pick the school that you did. And just give us a little bit of background on all that.
Chris Meadows: [00:23:21] So, this is interesting, and this is sort of the fuel that I always have for young people here. So like we were talking about my parents really weren’t, they were supportive, but they weren’t involved.
I don’t know if that’s a contradiction, but I have six sisters, three brothers, it was 10 of us in a family. So we had a clan, you know? So my dad was working. My mom was taking care of the home and when I play ball, that was something I did. Like today, we’re all invested in our kids’ sports but my dad was like, Hey, I’ll come see you play.
So one of the things that happened with me was school was never a challenge to [00:24:00] me. Like school was never difficult, but when I got older, I actually wasn’t as focused as I should have been. So I actually ended up going as a prop 48. That was a first year or second year. I don’t know if you remember that.
Absolutely. And it was embarrassing because I had all these scholarship opportunities. I had like a trash bag full of letters and all these cultures and I played as a senior. It was me. I played against like, okay. Yeah, I understand. And if you remember him from New York Malik Seely was the one that like, yeah, they would play it for Riverside church.
Like, and I was one of the premier point guards in America. Like back then they had the old magazine Street and Smith. So I was actually a Street & Smith and all that. So we’d have YouTube
Mike Klinzing: [00:24:48] The blue ribbon college basketball year book. Do you remember that was put out by Chris Wallace. I used to get that thing and I would have the top, whatever 50 high school players, [00:25:00] memorized every year. I’d look at those little tiny black and white photos. I’d read their stats. I’m like, can I match any of these guys? Am I as good? Like I might be as good as this guy who knows.
Chris Meadows: [00:25:09] Yeah, that was great, man. It gave you some imagination back there.
There was no ESPN top, whatever, for sure. All that. So, but, so I had to go with Juco, but coming out of high school You know, I play senior prep and we play it against, this was my class that I played against in all this senior all-star game. Larry Johnson, LaBradford Smith, Eric Murdock, Lee Mayberry. These are all like first round guys who, LJ won a national championship one at UNLV.
So these are the guys that I played against. Like we became friends because we ended up going at each other on every major event. So I ended up going Juco and I come out, I went to South Mountain community college. And so when I came back out, there’s certain things that you’ll relate to basketball.
People will grab, it’s hard to stay on the [00:26:00] same trajectory when you get off that path. And so I got off of that path that probably could have led me to at least being in a NBA camp coming out. So I tried to get back on and coming out. I ended up choosing St. Bonaventure because I had to go somewhere for two years.
I had to go somewhere where I could play. And when they recruited me, I was like, man, the A-10 was great back there. It had Penn State, Temple, Rutgers West Virginia. And we had like seven teams in the tournament. George Washington was good. So I ended up going there.
And it was a great place for me to be at that time in my life. Basketball didn’t go as I would hope, but man, I just made some great, great relationships. And you know, one of my teammates is currently an almost a head NBA coach and just made great relationships, but basketball, you [00:27:00] know, basically it took me around the world.
I was selected to play on all-star team. We played in Spain. It was just a great experience for me in college basketball to play on ESPN and just do those things that now I look back, man, I cherish those opportunities.
Mike Klinzing: [00:27:14] I think there’s something to be said for that. Chris, when you start talking about just off the top, when we say that kids want to get to this next level and they want to be able to do this and they want to be able to do that.
AnD-1 of the things that I always say is that you have to kind of stop and also make sure that you are. Looking around at what you’re doing at any given moment and that you’re enjoying the journey. And that’s not to say that we can all define, enjoy how we want to define it. And obviously there’s tough moments and you got to work hard and you got to bust your tail to accomplish anything in this game.
But I think what I see too often, Is you see people that are just focused on that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And for some people, maybe that’s dreaming of an [00:28:00] NBA career. And for other kids, it might just be being a high school, varsity starter, but everybody’s kind of always focused on that next thing.
And what I take out of what you just shared with us is you had a lot of experiences that a lot of kids. Across the country are dreaming about, you got to play against guys who played in the NBA, you got to compete with them and then maybe things didn’t go quite the way. That you had originally planned, but instead of being bitter about it, instead of being upset about it, you made the best of it and you look at it and you say, wow, what a great opportunity.
And you took advantage of it. And I think that there’s, there’s a powerful lesson in that, that the game can do so many great things for you beyond just. Whatever your ultimate goal in the game is which clearly for most kids, at some point they all, everybody dreams about playing in the NBA. And for most of us we fall short of that and we don’t make it, but just like you and I look back on my time as a player, it’s tremendously, tremendously valuable.
So [00:29:00] to go along with that, why don’t you share for us either from high school or college? Just give us your favorite moment from your basketball career as either a high school player or a college player.
Chris Meadows: [00:29:11] Wow. You ask great questions. You’re forcing me to really kind of go back, man. It’s not like I graduated last year.
Mike Klinzing: [00:29:18] Well, good. That’s my job here.
Chris Meadows: [00:29:22] Just thinking about that. I just enjoyed the game so much. I love the game so much, but you know, I have one, I have a couple from St. Bonaventure, but one of the things that I enjoy most, so the junior college I went to briefly, it was never a great basketball program. And I was recruited by all the best junior college programs, but I’m proud that I was the first and only team at that time to ever make it to the national junior college playoffs where that I put that help put that school on the map. So when I go back there, that team picture is still hanging up there.
And that kind of opened the flood gates. And I was one of the first guys to ever get a [00:30:00] division one scholarship from going there. So I have a legacy there and that’s pretty cool. Cause at the time I just, I don’t know. I was so confident in what I did. I just feel wherever I go, we’re going to win, you know?
And it wasn’t about me scoring 50. I was a point guard only I was probably like 14, 15, but we won and that’s what, to me that defines a, a legitimate point guard. You got to win. So that was big. And then as a sophomore. You know, man playing in Phoenix, Arizona, something that I cherish.
And I was on a podcast a couple months ago and their host actually went and dug up one of my, some articles. And I had seen him since high school and you know, I had to rub it in my kid’s face as I see, I told you I could play. But I was one of the top like five schools in the state as, as a sophomore as a 15 year old playing varsity.
And that was not what I shot for. It was just a result of just playing hard. But that was a pretty cool thing to be able to do. And [00:31:00] back then, like I said, we didn’t have internet, so I used to have to get the paper. So that’s what I would be doing in my first block.
Instead of paying attention, I was probably reading the sports page. So those are the cool ones, the memories. And then my final memory is my first major game at St. Bonaventure. A lot of the audience may not remember this, but he was like, the biggest recruit in the country. And I had to match up with six-five playing guard, Mark Macon at Temple.
I started that game and he was like a lottery pick, I think he played for John Chaney who just passed. And you know, I was like, man, I’m looking around, like, I’m doing this I’m here, I’m competing against this guy. I saw all his stuff on TV. So that was like a reality check moment where you just got to go compete now and, and now those are the moments that I hope every kid gets a chance to experience. Like you said, it’s so much pressure put on kids today. And I was just playing, like I literally was just playing. And if I had a [00:32:00] different mindset, I may have been able to play at a higher level after college, but I played hard, but I was just playing, man.
It wasn’t pressure on me. You know, it was no pressure on me and a lot of kids today, they just. They got so much pressure. They can’t enjoy those moments.
Mike Klinzing: [00:32:13] Yeah. That’s a great point. I think that it’s definitely. A case now where there is a lot of pressure, because you said it very well. When you talked about your parents, that they were supportive, but not necessarily involved in what you were doing.
And today it’s, it’s very, very rare. And now we’re not just talking about you, who was an elite player we’re talking about. Kids who might barely make their middle school team that have parents that are super involved and super invested and are in the stands and are putting pressure on their kid.
And it goes back to what I said before. I think that sometimes that. Suck some of the fun out of the game. And I’ve said it numerous times on the podcast that some [00:33:00] of my best basketball moments, if you asked me for some of my favorite basketball memories, I’ll have some from my high school career, I’ll have some from my college career, but I’ll have a bunch from the playground and from playing pickup basketball.
And no, those are things that just don’t. I think kids today, miss out on that, because as you said, they feel a tremendous amount of pressure. And I think social media adds to that because as you said, when you’re playing pickup basketball and Phoenix, Arizona, as a kid, you have no idea that there’s a kid in Massachusetts that’s really good.
Or some kid in Seattle, that’s tearing it up now. Everybody knows everybody. And you can watch whatever videos you want and you can compare yourself to whoever you want. This person’s highlights and that person’s highlights. And it’s just a really, really challenging. Environment, which is why I think that what you’re trying to do here in educating people is such a tremendous, has such tremendous value because people just need to understand what the [00:34:00] process looks like, so they can better navigate it one so that hopefully they do get better results and they can achieve their goal.
But to hopefully along the way, They can take the time to stop and really enjoy what they’re doing. Because again, the reason why we all pick up a ball when we’re a kid is because it’s fun because we love watching that ball go through the net and that’s why kids start playing the game. And you hope that that love for it.
Continue. So let’s go ahead and talk a little bit about as you’re in college, your degree is in elementary education. So were you thinking teacher and coach. As you were thinking about what you wanted to do with the rest of your life, or just give me an idea of what your mindset was as you were getting ready to graduate from school.
Chris Meadows: [00:34:43] Well as soon as I finished, I was fortunate the NBA summer league at that time was in it was in California, it was in LA. And so I got invited to play. They used to have free agent teams. So Dwayne Casey was my coach, the Dwayne Casey, who’s an NBA coach right now. He was [00:35:00] actually my NBA, my NBA summer league coach play with like Jonathan Edwards or just play with Georgetown.
Like we had a really good team and, and I kinda got it out of my system. You know, I went at that level and I’m like, man, I don’t have agent. These guys are like, it was a different game. And then you see the NBA teams come and play. So my thing was I had a really good life. I was happy with my experience.
So I was like I want to work with young people. Like I literally, the people impacted me the most were my middle school coaches, Coach Mirella, Coach love. Like, I still remember those guys when I go home, I used to go see him. And I was like, I want to have an impact on young people. So I was like, definitely going to coach.
Like I’m going to teach, I want to be in a school. I want to do that. It wasn’t even about the money. Like, it really wasn’t about the money at that point. Like it was I was young just coming out of college. And so when I finished school, I actually got a job teaching at a place in Western New York called Randolph Academy.
And it was a school for kids [00:36:00] that had trouble. You know, they were, it was like alternative school. And I start there, I’m looking around all these kids. I’m like, man, they have no athletics here. Like no team. So we started a club team and a year later we were actually admitted to the New York state high school Federation.
And then a year after that we won our conference. I went to the state play off.
Mike Klinzing: [00:36:19] That’s awesome. That’s awesome.
Chris Meadows: [00:36:22] Bunch of kids that never played, they were always in trouble. It was like watching the old white shadow movie or something I can read. And it was like Joe Clark, it was funny, but it was so rewarding to see these guys have success that had never had success and we trained and actually had a guy end up going to play at a high level one of my guys, he ended up getting a division one scholarship and we just used to work we were just in the gym and that was like, just when things were different. I didn’t have any kids at that time.
So coming out of college my whole [00:37:00] purpose was really to have an impact with young people and really taste a game because I felt like in all due respect, I just felt like I had some people, not all my coaches, but a few coaches. I used to wonder, like, cause I was very fortunate to have good coaches when I was young.
So when I got older, I had a couple of coaches and I was like, I want to make sure that I can teach kids how to play. Cause I knew I’d be honest with you. There was one situation I got in where I knew that there were two situations. We played against a guy named Ben Carstarphen. He was a point guard with Mark Macon at Temple.
He had transferred back from Iowa. When I played this guy, I realized this kid knows something. I don’t know. And I don’t have coaches who can teach me that. So that’s when you talk about not having trainers, like he knew how to alleviate defensive pressure and stuff like that. I’d press room. And I would talk with you.
I would talk to, and I would always get to be able to get people, rip them. This kid would just do little things. He was savvy. I was like, man, it’s like, I [00:38:00] can’t even bother this guy. So I wanted to be able to teach kids on the court, like how to really be effective, whether you’re white, black fast, slow.
Like if I coached you as a matter of fact, what was funny? I started I started a travel team called the Western New York Shooting Stars and one of my former college teammates was a college coach at Kent State. He was an associate head coach. And he came to see us play. He was at Bob Gibbons at Ohio state tournament.
Okay. Who was the coach? Garland Mance. Was his name? Yeah, I
Mike Klinzing: [00:38:33] don’t know. I don’t know him personally, but I know of him.
Chris Meadows: [00:38:38] Yeah. He played with Jalen Rose on the same high school team and Southwestern and Jay was a really, he was a really good college coach. So this is a funny story. He comes to see us play and we’d beaten teams like we’d beat.
And I was ignorant. I didn’t know, like, Oh, these teams of such and such could select from it. You know, Connecticut, I’m just head down working with my guys in the corner of Western New York. So we go on these tournaments. [00:39:00] And our team racially is like, what? Probably like six white guys, four black guys and me, a five, 10 black guy.
And my boy comes up to me after one of our games. He’s watching us play. He’s like, man, you look like the old school bosses.
Yeah, that’s fine. Nobody thinks you guys are going away but we were winning. And it was such like, I still have a close bond with all those guys today because that was a joke.
Like we go in, we would laugh like, and you know, we’re going to be up by 20 before they realize we can play. Cause they don’t have a warm up heart. Sometimes I sit on the bench like, Oh, what are we doing? And so that was my passion. Coming out of college was just man, whoever I connect with, I want to help these kids become great and earn a scholarship. It wasn’t even about D-1 back then. So that’s the thing about the book. People think is exclusively about the level. It’s not about the level, it’s not about the level.
Mike Klinzing: [00:39:59] All right. So let me ask [00:40:00] you this. When you started out, what’s something that immediately as a coach that you knew you were good at, and then conversely, what’s something that maybe didn’t come as naturally to you.
About coaching. It could maybe be something off the floor or administratively or on the floor, whatever, but what’s something that you felt like it was a natural fit for you as a coach. And what was something that maybe you had to work a little bit harder as to perfect your craft?
Chris Meadows: [00:40:30] Leadership and connecting with players was natural.
Like if I ever had to talk to a family about getting a kid to play for me, it was over, it’s still that way today. Like I, not in a confident, not in an arrogant way at all, but I know I can do that because I can relate. Whether you’re black, whether you’re white, Hispanic, and I have kids my own in the back then I just love the game.
So my thing was, I know that your son, your daughter, what they want, and I can help them get it, because it wasn’t [00:41:00] about me right back then, like I had, no, I didn’t care about a name. I didn’t care about the big name coaches. It was about me making sure my kids were going to be successful. So I knew I was good at that.
And I knew I was good at motivating and teaching the game. But what I wasn’t good at was I had to really learn the X and O not the X and O IQ wise, but I had to go learn all offenses that would really allow my players to play. Like I had to go learn different sets that would really like so we wouldn’t be like a one trick pony.
Okay. We take that away. These guys can’t hoop. So I had to really start studying basketball, like, Hey, what are some sets that are going to get movement on this side? What are some sets like quick hitters for my guys who can really shoot that can maybe put it on the floor. Like I had to become a student more.
So when I was a point guard, I was a student, but now it’s a different perspective. I had to learn this thing from a coaching perspective in terms of late game situations. I know how, what to do. I [00:42:00] know how to do it, but I don’t know what to do in terms of. Do I have the right play for this situation. So I had to really become like, stay up night at night, like back then watch games or video record them.
And so I had to really study to help my players be successful. And I put in a lot of work. And then with the player development part that was always worked. Like I’d never stopped doing that. I would just get videos and break things down. And so I had to work to become a good coach in terms of just making my players.
Successful in game situations you can be a great communicator, which a lot of coaches are. You can be a great motivator, but man, some place, some people are gifted at just X and O and I had to work at that. That wasn’t natural for me, cause I was always so good off the bounce. I didn’t need to play.
I definitely didn’t want to scream because I knew my man don’t be, don’t get me a screen. Cause I was going to beat my guy. But when I, when I started coaching, I had to humble myself and say, you got to get better, man. You don’t, it’s a lot you don’t know. So that was something I had to work on.
[00:43:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:42:59] I think that’s really interesting because I think especially if you’re a former player, what oftentimes happens is that you go back and you teach and run and do the things that.
The coaches that you played for did, because that’s what like my first job as a coach, I was a JV basketball coach at Bay high school here in the state. And my first two years is that JV coach. I basically ran the same drills, the same offense, everything that. I had learned from either my high school coach, who I played for the same high school coach, my entire high school career.
And I played for the same college coach, my entire college career. And so those were really the only two coaches that I was around. And I didn’t recognize my shortcomings quite as fast as you did. I just thought, Hey, I I was a good player. I know what I’m doing. And. I’ve got this wealth of knowledge that I can share with people.
And I didn’t necessarily go out, especially when I was [00:44:00] younger and do some of the things that you described, which is go out and study the game and go to clinics and take the time and break down the X’s. And O’s I kind of just always relied on, well, Hey, I was a good player and I wish looking back retrospectively, I kind of wish I had spent more time doing what you described, which is.
You know, watching games and breaking things down and using film a lot more, but for whatever reason, back at that time, I just didn’t do it. And it’s interesting that you were able to recognize that pretty early on, and I’m sure I’m sure that tremendously had a positive impact on what you did right from the get go, and then continue to improve throughout your career as a coach and working with the player development stuff.
And as film gets better and easier to use, I’m sure you continue to utilize it more. I’m guessing.
Chris Meadows: [00:44:45] Yeah, I’m a film junkie. And what’s funny is when I’m by myself I actually, my wife will come into a room and if my daughter and my son they don’t live home now. Cause they’re both in college and, but my wife isn’t in the room.
I watch [00:45:00] games without the sound. And she was like, why don’t you do that? And I’m like, because I really want to see the game because announcers, they can sway. You know, I don’t always watch it entertainment. I’m really trying to learn and see who does what well and how things are going and what are they doing here?
And so I watched the game really without sound. And I’m like, man, this coach is just off the hook. Like they come out of a timeout and they score like, like I, I just pick up so many things and I’ll, I’ll rewind it. And I actually break down a lot of film and I’ll post certain things like, I broke down.
I did a like a 90 second clip with the Celtics and Kemba Walker on a screen in a row. Just how they cleared out the empty side, like everything with Brad Stevens, man. He’s mastered what he does and how he lets his players play. But he puts them in situations where you have one or two options.
So you better be good at either making this pocket pass or hitting a floater. And if they come, you gotta throw a lob and how they set it up and it’s going to work cause you have to re react to it. So I’m [00:46:00] always breaking down film and I’ll save it on my phone. So if there is a quick hitter that I see, I’m going to go back to it at some point, if I’m coaching a game or if there’s something like my daughter, she’s a college point guard.
So I’ll send her a lot of stuff. You know, I’m like, Hey, you need to look at this. You need to like really incorporate this in your game or things like that. So I’m a film junkie video.
Mike Klinzing: [00:46:21] How do you incorporate that stuff? How do you store it? Cause I know if you’re watching as much as what you’re describing, that you’re seeing stuff all the time that you’re like, Oh, I want to steal that all.
I need to incorporate this into what we do. So do you have, do you have, do you have a system for, for storage for that you have a file system or how do you go about doing that? Obviously the technology to be able to do it as much better than it was. 10 or 15 years ago, but just what’s your process like for when you see something again, whether it’s a play, whether it’s just a quote, whether it’s whatever, what’s your system for kind of putting that away so that you can reference it or do you not have one?
And you’re just kind of, it’s kind of just hotspot.
Chris Meadows: [00:46:59] Nah, I’m actually getting [00:47:00] better than that at this point. I’m like, I can’t keep bad habits. So I actually upgraded my phone to like 256 gigs storage. Cause I don’t really store anything on my computer cause I can never get to it when I need it. Right.
Everything is on my phone and either you can do it through Google drive or if you got the cloud and I have a Dropbox account. So, and then I created a file just in my Google in my photos on my phone and my Apple my favorite photos were iPhone. So I will literally just hit pause on the TV.
Get my camera out and I’ll run it back and I’ll record it. And then what I do is I, I have a system where I actually immediately input it into Imovie. And so I can voiceover like I have two different apps, so I go to I movie, boom, drop it queue it up and I’ll rewind it back. I’ll voiceover and I’ll cut it and I’ll play it again.
I’ll duplicate the film. Like I break it down. Boom, [00:48:00] boom, boom. Real quick. And and so like one of my friends, he’s a pretty, maybe the most successful college assistant in the country. And so we talk and he’s a junkie like me. So I will actually end up calling and texting like one in the morning.
He’s still up. He’ll hit me with a text. I’m like, yeah, I’m up. It’s a little laugh, but I’m watching video. So he’ll be like, it was a, it was a play. That one of the w MBA teams ran at the end of a game. And when we finished this, I have to send it to, it was the cleanest clicker I’ve ever seen in my life.
It was, it was like watching a pinball machine, bang, bang, bang, bang, and next thing you know, it was a layup and I was telling him about it. He’s like, Hey, I got it right here. He said, he sent it to him. He was like, that was a great play. I’m thinking nobody else in the world, like record that.
And he had a name of it, everything. So I’ll actually rewind things. And it’s not basketball. So we’re watching the super bowl and I tell him, yeah. Oh, I think I got it rewind just real [00:49:00] quick. So I see something, I forget, I don’t know if it was Brady or somebody did something I’m like, that’s something that I need to talk about when I’m talking to a group of people or players, like anything.
That I feel could help people. I’m going to it’s in my phone, it’s on my phone and that’s what I do. I’ll store save it store. And if I need to use it for illustration, I’ll input it in right into Imovie and just keep it up
Mike Klinzing: [00:49:24] That’s awesome. I mean, I think it’s interesting talking to people.
That’s a question that I’d love to ask. Whenever somebody says that I like to get this. Information or I like to steal this or I go to get to go to a clinic or I’m watching film late at night. And it’s always fascinating to hear how different people you have to set up your system that works for you.
And I love kind of hearing how people organize themselves and organize their, organize their day and organize all their information. So that’s very cool that you have it all on your phone. Cause obviously you carry that with you all the time. So it gives you access instantly, no matter what you’re doing, no matter where you are.
And it sounds like a good [00:50:00] system. So let’s talk a little bit about. What you did, you eventually relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina. And at that point you started the momentum skills Academy. So talk to us about what that has been like for you. Give us an idea of what you do there in Charlotte, all the different programs you have.
And then as we work our way through that, we’ll start working towards the idea and how you came up with the idea for writing the book. All right.
Chris Meadows: [00:50:26] Well, I kind of already shared what was happening in Western New York training I’m coaching. And then my son was born.
My daughter was really young. We moved here like maybe third grade and my son was probably like six they’re, two grades apart. So immediately I jumped into the high school coaching business. And as soon as I land, I connect with like the top travel programs. And my brother knows some guys out here. So he kind of prearranged the meetings and I get connected with one of the top [00:51:00] boys programs with talent wise in the country.
And then I get a job and I get a varsity coaching job. So I’m training in the summer and I’m coaching and man, it’s just like, that was it. You know, that was my life. My son’s playing, he’s in middle school now and he gets a little older, so. The more, I, the more, the longer I’m here, the more people I meet and the more I start to train, and then it just gets amped up.
Like if you’ve never been in Carolina, like, guess who they call it, hoop state for a reason, like it is hoop state 24/7, like where I was, it was you could spring snow melt. You might do some different, no, it was like basketball year round. And not just at basketball year, round level 10, like it was, I mean, I love the game, but as an adult, I had never experienced anything like it, and the parents were more committed than the kids, unfortunately. So every kid had a trainer and it was serious. So [00:52:00] I get swept right up in it that’s my love, it’s my passion. So next thing you know, I’m training these kids from all over.
I’m just training kids from Greensboro, Charlotte, and you know, and I’m still studying the game and, and I still played a lot and I was playing a lot. So. Next thing, you know you know, culture like the middle, the middle school travel team. And in my high school guys are having success. You know, we’re going into playoffs and at a school that traditionally hadn’t been very good.
So I made a guy and he has this town, it has this like, basically a sports Plex where it has like indoor soccer fields. You know, it has like just kind of this space and he had a half-court with a net, like just what the half court glass back board. So we talked and he was like, Hey, you want to just kind of rent the space?
You can, you can just pay to train. So next thing you know, it’s like, it’s funny, seriously, like two or three [00:53:00] months. I got like 80, 90, a hundred people just coming in on a regular basis. Just like training.
Mike Klinzing: [00:53:05] Sorry. Are you doing this full time at this point? Are you doing training full-time at this point?
Chris Meadows: [00:53:09] Are you still teaching?That was it. I wasn’t at the time I was still teaching. Okay. And then it got to the point to where I’m like, Hmm. You know, I’m looking at all these other trainers around him. Like I think I could make more money doing this than I do teaching and it’s not work. It’s a hobby for sure. And so.
I’m looking up in this facility and I’m looking around like, man, the majority of people coming in here are coming to wait on this court for me to train them because I used to start training at three cause I would teach until then. Right. And I’d be there till 10 in the morning. I mean 10 at night.
Then it started getting to where players were like, Hey coach, can we get in before school? So I go there from five to six 15 and go to school. I’m like, okay. So he was like, would you like to just run this? Would you like to manage this. And [00:54:00] we worked out a deal where I left teaching and I just came there and I built it up to about 200 clients.
And I had guys that play like SEC, ACC, Conference USA, high schools like girls, boys. It was, it was like spreading throughout the entire city of Charlotte and beyond. And then from there. It was like, okay. It may be time for you to think about getting your own facility. So found a location. You know, I had some people helped me, like I said, things I know I’m not great at I didn’t major in business.
So I found some people who would, who were good with, with the business side of it in terms of just understanding and understanding how to acquire a building. And then we outfitted it. You know, we had it designed and we had a wood floor put in, it’d be a hoops at each end. We had a parent lounge to keep the parents away from the training floor.
They had a glass window, they could stay, we call it the fishbowl. So I would say off the court. And we went at it and that’s how the [00:55:00] Momentum Skills Academy was born right there.
Mike Klinzing: [00:55:02] Who was your first hire? Who was the first trainer that you hired to work underneath you?
Chris Meadows: [00:55:09] Well, I wouldn’t say he worked underneath me.
I would say he worked alongside me because he used to work with me when I was at my other facility. And he’s the only guy I really ever allowed my daughter to even train with, because not that I didn’t trust people, but this guy knew his stuff. Like he knew it and he loved it and he was good at it. Like he has a guy right now and that’s with the, with the Mavericks that he, that he traded from when he was young.
And his name was Jody, and Jody, when my daughter got older it was like, okay, I gotta know when to say when I’d be treated her, but she wasn’t it was like pouring water and a cup with a lid. It wasn’t going through, so I, alright. You want to go to Jody? We’ll take you to Jody.
So cause it, and wasn’t getting to know more. So he wasn’t trying to hear my voice anymore. How,
Mike Klinzing: [00:55:54] When did you come to that realization? When did you come to that realization with your daughter? Cause that’s something that. [00:56:00] I thought it’d be fascinating because when I was training kids before I had my own kids and people would come to me and they would say, You’re telling them the exact same thing.
I was telling them, but he wouldn’t listen to me. And I used to look at those people out of the corner of my eye. Like, what are you talking about? Like, you’re crazy. And then once you have your own kids, you come to realize that they hear your voice on so many things that, as we’ve said, all throughout the podcast and I, basketball is supposed to be fun.
And then. There’s a limit to how much they want to hear dad with their sport when they’re already hearing dad on a million other things. So I completely can relate, but I think people who, if you’re a trainer out there that doesn’t have your own kids, you’re probably still going. I don’t really understand why my kid wouldn’t listen to me, but it’s true.
It’s totally true. And they need to hear a different voice. They do.
Chris Meadows: [00:56:48] And Mike is crazy, man. I’m not going to say his name, but I have a point guard right now. That’s in 10th grade. I trained his kids at that first facility I was telling you about. I trained him. Well, he was probably eight. He was the youngest kid I ever [00:57:00] trained.
And this kid was talented and his dad was a former big-time college football player. And he would bring him to me and I would be amazed at how good this kid was. And his dad was standing behind him. I told him he had a net with a half court was his dad was standing there and he would yell at him the whole time.
He was like, God and his dad he’s a muscular guy. It’s good guy, too. But now we’ve kind of come full circle we’re back. And he’s one of the hottest players in the country. He’s legit. He’s only a sophomore. Like he, I went to see them play last night. He does stuff to some pro point guards don’t do, but you know, a dad said we started back watching video together last week.
Dad’s like, you can have any time you want. He’s tuned him out. He literally told them out his dad laughed at one of our video sessions and literally. He just told him. So once the dad walked in, his body language changed, his demeanor changed. He went on defense mode to kind of just argue with his dad, what his dad [00:58:00] left, man.
He, he kind of led the discussion and he’s actually, I told his dad, man, your son is very smart, very mature. And he is an elite leader. Like he’s got to play it, whatever school he will. And he is tough, but his he’s tuned his dad out. It’s not gonna, he hears him. Right. It is not the same. I realize that when my daughter like, I could literally see it. Like, she’d be rolling her eyes. We’d train her with other peers. Like, she’d be like, just looking at me like, will you shut up? Like she won’t even look at me.
Mike Klinzing: [00:58:27] It’s so true. I think the other thing too, that’s interesting is, and this is a decision that I think as a parent, it’s hard to come to this realization, but I was always one, like my kids, all of them. And I have three, none of them, I would say up, at least until this point in their life have had anywhere near the love of the game, like you described, or like what I had growing up. And yet as a parent, it’s difficult sometimes to not you have to strike that balance of where do you push and where do you not push and where do you provide opportunity and where do you not and all those [00:59:00] kinds of things.
And so I think one of the things that you worry about as a parent or that I think about, and try to just look around at other experiences with. Other players and their parents and things I’ve seen. And just the situation like you described with the young man that you were working with and his father at a certain point, too, you have to look at like, what’s the harm you’re doing to the long-term relationship.
If you keep being that person who’s in their ear, yelling at them on the basketball floor at a certain point, do they become resentful and you damage that relationship. So when they’re 25, they’re looking back and going, man, I don’t want to go see dad, he’s a pain in the neck and there’s something to be there.
Yeah. But there’s something to be said. Yeah. There’s something to be said for that. And I think it’s, and it’s a different call. It, I mean trying to navigate that as a father and then as a coach on the other side of it, and then knowing that if your kid has some ability that you want to try to help them to get the most out of it [01:00:00] and you kind of know what they should be doing, but yet they don’t want to hear it from you.
It’s a difficult, difficult road to navigate properly, which again goes to educating yourself and in a lot of cases, educating other parents who are going through that for the first time, what that, what that means and what it looks like.
Chris Meadows: [01:00:19] You know, it’s, it’s funny, man. I had a conversation with a good friend of mine.
He’s in the basketball now. His son is a junior and he has another son at seventh grade. And we talked about that and I, and I told him, I said one of the things that I learned. It is this, and I’m looking at, I told you about my friend who his son is really special for sure. It comes a point in time.
Like when me and my daughter, it came to a point in time to where I thought she just wasn’t as focused as she needed to be. And so sometimes being a parent, even if I wasn’t a basketball, you gotta be a parent and not a friend. So you gotta make some tough decisions. But when you add in that basketball, It just magnifies everything because now [01:01:00] when I go to do what I’m supposed to enjoy, yes, it was telling me what to do.
Right. You know, like it’s like, I can’t get away from this dude. So even if I’m not listening to him as a daughter or whatever, but when I go to do what I really like to do most, I gotta look at him too. So, it’s one of those things where you have to make a decision. And this is what I shared with my guy earlier today.
I know some people who are really drawn to their kid’s heart, like drove them. Like my cattle drove him and they made it to the highest level. And some of them are even playing professionally. But at what point was it like the law of diminished returns because they made it, but you have no relationship, right?
Exactly. Was that worth it, but now you can’t even connect. Like me and my daughter, it was like fire and ice man. Like it was, we were going at it like, Hey button, each other, like really, like I’m telling you that no [01:02:00] talking in the house, everybody’s uncomfortable, no talking at the dinner table. I’m mad, she’s mad.
And now it’s like different when she came out of high school, she was the number three 43 player in the country. She went to Georgetown and when she came out and. It’s amazing. She has a love for the game that I have. Like, she really has a love, like, she’ll send me your ESPN plus password.
I got to watch games a day. You know, what time Westbrook playing or like she’s did you see this? Like when she comes home is, is cool. Cause my wife for my son, they might be upstairs watching a movie on Netflix and me and her somewhere watching a game you know, like that’s what we do, you know?
And, and so. It came to a point to where things worked out. You know, it took some realization on my part and some maturity on her part. But I think when she went away to college that helped out because she realized a lot of things I would [01:03:00] say, and why I was acting the way I was acting. But I also realized at some point I used to take a personal where she wanted, like, when we were like, well, she could go train with, with Jody.
He was, he was my guy and I trusted him, but I was talking, I took it as a slight, like, I’m your dad. You want to train with me? But it really was nothing personal. Like I had to realize that’s her space, man. Like she needed that space. Like in a lot of parents don’t realize that’s not your space. We had our space when we were at that stage.
So we laugh now she’ll call every now and then, Hey dad, can you come work me out? You know, I go to her, she’s at High Point University and I’d go work her out. You know, I’ll go work out when only, when she asks And after every game she call, Hey, what’d you think? So it’s a cool situation.
But I was never like just all or nothing but it was to a point where I had to pull back, like I had to realize, man, you got to pull back. Like, if she don’t want it, she doesn’t [01:04:00] want it. I can’t make her want it. And I can’t like, I can’t be over the top but I did tell him you’re going to do it.
You gotta be all in. But a lot of parents that I know they don’t get that and I want to help them. And I talk about that in certain parts of the book.
Mike Klinzing: [01:04:12] Yeah. That is hard to do. It is. Easy to say that you want to step back. It’s easy to, to talk about it. It is really hard. It is really hard to do to take that step back.
If you’re someone who loves the game and you know, you kind of have an idea of you know what the potholes in the road are what it takes to be able to get there, but sometimes you have to realize as a parent that the message is never going to get to your kid from you.
It’s got to get to your kid from somebody else, but that is really, really, really hard. And even though I know it’s the right thing to do, and I know that I’ve tried to do it. As right as I [01:05:00] possibly can, just with the things that you and I have been talking about, but there are still days where it’s hard, where I see one of the kids sitting around and Hey, you want to go shoot?
And not today there’s part of me that says, well, I don’t, I don’t care we’re going because I’m not just going to watch you sit around, but then you think. They don’t really want to go, then it’s not, it’s no longer about them. It’s about me. And again, that’s not to say that you never push or encourage or do anything, but it’s a fine line to walk and it’s hard and it’s very hard to do so.
Chris Meadows: [01:05:30] It is very challenging. No, it was just very challenging.
Mike Klinzing: [01:05:32] Let’s jump in. Let’s jump into the book. So tell us about, tell me some of the things that give you the general synopsis of if I get this book. What am going to learn as a parent? What am I going to learn as a player? What are some of the key takeaways that you want people to get from, from the book?
Chris Meadows: [01:05:53] Wow. So let’s start from a player perspective. Okay. You know, we open up now it’s important [01:06:00] that people understand this book is not for the player who wants to play rec league or upward basketball. This is for a player who really wants to play, like compete. Not necessarily to be more concerned with the snack after the game, like this is a whole different book.
This is for those players out there who really don’t matter what level, but they want to be their best. So that’s why the subtitle is how to conquer the road of travel basketball. So the very first chapter starting off is called scholarships, not trophies. So we’re not trying to play. It’s good to win trophies when it comes, but players are going to know right off the bat.
What is your ultimate goal? In the end, you could be seventh grade. You don’t have to think about a scholarship right now, but you have to think about competing. So it’s okay. If you play against a ninth grader or you play against a seventh grader and you lose like the kid I was telling you about earlier, they lost last night, but I was like, man, it’s not a bad deal.
You can learn from this. Like, so it’s letting you know from day one, you have to [01:07:00] compete at a high level. And you have to have the mentality to weather setbacks or a loss or a bad game. It’s okay. It’s part of, it’s part of your growth process, but you’re looking at the big picture and that’s why we say scholarships.
This is a big picture. Don’t get all over blown up by what happens today. What’s the big picture about who cares? If you had a number one ranked players, eighth grader, that’s not important. They’re never really the best player at ninth, 10th or 11th. Like, unless you’re LeBron, he was the best player, probably eight grade but.
You know we all heard the story about Jordan and I can say it too. I remember becoming a junior thing, man. I can’t use to be good. What happened? You know? So I want parents and players to know from the jump players, gotta know, man, you gotta be all in and don’t set your target on where you are right now.
Just know you’re going to be able to reach your goal and look at the big picture. So it’s about the scholarship in the end. And it’ll be nice to go and look and say you won. You know, when I went to the Blue Chip All-American camp, I still got the [01:08:00] trophy. I won the best by an award and at the camp. And that was great.
That was a validation of my hard work. So trophy should be a validation of your hard work. You shouldn’t hunt them. You’re a big thing to be about the big picture. So players to take away from this whole book honestly, is that you have got to be your biggest competition is yourself and, and in the next chapter two is about sacrifice.
And I want players and parents to know is sacrifice on every level. You know, me and my daughter went into gym. It’s funny. I look back, I don’t know how I did it. We were in the gym every day at five o’clock in the morning. She would come knock on my door. I tell my wife, man, I hope she was oversleeping today.
And we would get up and we would go and we’d be at the Y we work out like 40 minute workouts shooting, workout, little ball-handling get out of there, get her to school by our Chick-fil-A on the way to school. And then after practicing weight, we get up some shots. Like it was a sacrifice. There were a lot of times he had to meet our [01:09:00] friends at the mall, or maybe the next day, it was a sacrifice.
And then it was a sacrifice for us as a family. Like, think about it. We gotta have a tournament. And we might be, we might, we might be out at $800 for a weekend. Absolutely. Everybody pays $20, Friday night pass $20, Saturday, $20 Sunday. And if you bring in a husband, wife, and another person that’s 200 bucks while passes, then you got to eat, you have hotels.
So like we literally sacrificed. So I wanted people to understand what is the true commitment here, and then. You know what you and I talked about training, we talked about training and, and how to, what was the balance between training and play playing is one chapter called balance. And it’s all about how do you balance what should be the right mix of training and playing?
You know, I know a lot of kids who train like a champion, get in a game and the defense moves. It’s [01:10:00] not a cone. They don’t know how to react. And I know some kids who compete at a level 10. But then their skill set is deficient. So when it’s in a tight situation, they don’t have skills to make a play, but they compete like a dog.
So we wrote, we want players to understand the reality of that. And then what is it going to take for you to really stand out to a college coach? Like II’ve never seen a college coach go look at a score book after a game. Never. And I’ve never seen many college coaches in a summer league stay to the end of a game at a showcase, unless it’s a really good two teams playing a close game. They always go to another court. So what is it that you need to do away from the court to stand out? And most guys, they may have played bad at score. That was a game. I got to tell you this game as my daughter had been committed from West Virginia and she played a game, I think was her most perfect.
Showcase game, she scored six points and she literally cried after the game. [01:11:00] And I was so thankful. One of the other coaches from a different team saw the game and right when I was getting ready to talk to her console, her, he said, can I talk to Courtney for a minute? I said sure. And I overheard what he said.
He was like, you played the best game I’ve seen a point guard play in years. She didn’t value what college coaches valued. She didn’t realize she ran the team, had no turnovers. And probably was responsible for 50 points, just getting in the lane, dropping passes, kicking out and leadership. Like if I’m a college coach, I would’ve said, I want you, but she didn’t value that.
And a lot of parents tell them, Oh, my kids go out. They’re like, man, that’s not even a coach. They got people that can do that. Now they got a kid who plays six, seven on the wing and that’s going to shoot the lights out. Can you handle pressure? Like I want them to know that and then how to do it, give them a template on how to do it.
So I wanted them to be able to pick this book up from a player’s perspective. And also the stories that we share, I want them to be able to say, man, I gotta read that again. That was entertaining, but it was true. And, and make it something that they like. [01:12:00] It’s like a fire. I wanted this to be a fire that when you put this book down or you stop listening to this on your AirPods or, or you’re a digital book, or if you’re riding somewhere and you’re listening to it, you’re gonna like your peer.
No one will have to say anything to you again, like you’re going to understand, man, I’m not giving enough. Or I’m, I’m on the right track, but I got, I got gotta step up a little bit more, or I need to do this specifically. Like I want to players to be able to say, man, this is a one book I really read that I can resonate with and everyone who’s read it right now, player coach parents, I hold my breath because you know, you want people, but I’m gonna tell you, I I’ve just been humbled.
I let my wife read the emails or text messages and I’ve just been humbled. Like the people. At like high levels and parents and players, the coaches, they’re like, man, the world needs to read this book. Like, that’s what I keep getting. So I’m just humbled by the response and that it can play a role.
And [01:13:00] even these parents to something I think I have to add is that we, none of us know, don’t know, we don’t know what we don’t know. And that’s, we hear that phrase a lot, but. I’ve literally almost had tears in my eyes for some parents that have moved their kids from certain teams. And I had a player that the parent, the father moved this player from my team and I, this was one of the two players I had built the team around was a totally financed team.
Nobody had to pay. We played a national schedule. We traveled around the whole country. So a few years ago, and his dad just pulled the kid. And I called and I called and never would respond. So we went on, had a phenomenal summer, like every game we played literally 200 coaches. Like it was, it was prime time and I got the team picture and all of the players on that team have committed to division one schools out 11 players as, I mean, I’m going to post it pretty soon.
It was pretty special. I didn’t realize that till I looked at it. I think the last one just committed to old dominion and So we’re playing [01:14:00] in a tournament and a player whose father pulled it from the team. This was sad. I see the player and the parents watching us play. And we’re like, literally Gino is sitting and all these players, all these coaches are watching us play and the parents call and they try to get back on. But at that point it was too late. Cause I had already committed. We were moving and this kid nothing’s wrong with this. But this kid was being recruited and we had this kid on the verge of getting ready to sign, what a division one school, and now the parents are paying for her part partial of this kid to go to college and play because of just a ill-advised decision.
The father made the mother didn’t want to do it. She called and talked to me, but the dad he went on his own agenda and. He wanted to coach his own kid. And they plan on a four-day plan on a course where nobody was there. Only parents, no coaches even went back to the corner of the facility where they were playing.
So I want this book to be allow parents to say, if [01:15:00] you do that, if you don’t play with a really good team, your program director or a coach, they better have some relationships to get the coaches to your court. Like they need to understand the value of the decisions they make. And it’s hard for them because it’s not what they do.
So. I haven’t read too many manuscripts that were really truthful and honest without making you read 500 pages to get to it. And then we didn’t want to do that.
Mike Klinzing: [01:15:24] Well, I think that, again, the education of people, players, parents is so critical because again, most of them only go through this experience once and.
They don’t know where the different roads are and they don’t know which people they should trust. They don’t know which programs they should be, and they don’t know how to identify. What makes a good a U program? What makes a good AAU coach, what they should be looking for? And I know that this book is going to be able to help educate them on some of those processes that are [01:16:00] so, so important as you go down this road and try to figure out what it is that you’re trying to do.
So before we wrap things up, once again, Chris, will you please share. Where people can go to find out more about the book where they can go to pre-order it. And then after you do that, let us know how people can connect with you on social media. And then I’ll jump back in and wrap this up.
Chris Meadows: [01:16:22] All right. So everyone out there listening today, right now, you can find us, you can find the book at IamD1M ,the book.com at IamD1the book.com.
You can find the book there. You know, we can, you can place your orders and then it will go alive on Amazon. Monday, March, I mean, Monday, April 5th. The day of the national championship it will go live on Amazon and you can find us on Twitter. You can find us at I D-1 I am D-1[01:17:00] underscore and D-1.
I am IAMD-1 at Twitter and I also have another account coach, Chris you know, on Twitter as well. And they’re both basically connected because that was my original account. So a lot of people follow me there at CEO, Chris D-1, and they don’t know IgE on Instagram again.
You know, you can follow, you can follow us at IMD-1, the book on Instagram. I am the one in the book on Instagram. You can follow us there.
Mike Klinzing: [01:17:31] Chris. We will put all of that in the show notes so that people can find you and find the book. And I just want to say to you, first of all, thanks for being willing to take some time out of your schedule to jump on with us.
I think this has been a great episode, tremendously educational for anyone coach player, parent, who was listening to the episode. I think that. They got a tremendous amount of value out of what you had to share with us tonight. And I’m sure that anyone who has a child who’s [01:18:00] going through the youth basketball system today, that their interest in the book has been piqued by what we’ve talked about.
So I’m excited to be able to get my hands on it and check it out. And I’m sure based on our conversation, that a lot of the things that. I’ve been trying to share with people for years and years and years are things that you’ve been able to articulate very, very well, very well in your book, and I’m looking forward to getting it and hopefully there’ll be a lot of people out there that will go out and pick up their copy.
And pre-order it. So again, Chris, can’t thank you enough for joining us tonight and to everyone out there. Thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next step episode. Thanks Chris. Thank you. Nice work, my man.