Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @CoachCSpartz
Chistopher Spartz is the inventor & founder of SWSH. He is also the creator of Christopher Spartz Basketball and Spartz Sportz. Chris has been in and around basketball for decades. His experiences as a player, then later a coach and trainer, have given him the valuable insight into how the game is played, taught, and coached. Having participated in the highest levels of play, his passion for coaching has led to the creation of SWSH for use by players of all ages at all levels of play.
Prior to founding Spartz Sportz, Christopher was an assistant coach for the Costa Rican National Basketball team as they prepared for FIBA World Championships in 2015.
From August 2013-2015, Spartz was the Recruiting and Operations Coordinator for the men’s basketball team at The Ohio State University under Thad Matta. He served as an assistant coach at his alma mater St. Ambrose University from 2011-2013.
As a player, Spartz played four years at St. Ambrose and then toured the world as a member of the Washington Generals competing against the Harlem Globetrotters, playing in more than 30 different countries.
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Be ready to take some notes as you listen to this episode with Kevin Sapara, Head Boys’ Basketball Coach at Strongsville High School in the state of Ohio.
What We Discuss with Christopher Spartz
- The SWSH shooting sleeve controls 41% of a player’s shot
- The three-step shooting process that allows you to really understand what it’s supposed to feel like to be a great shooter
- His experiences overseas playing for the Washington Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters
- The perspective he gained from eating a meal with US troops stationed overseas
- Why he took a sales job after finishing his playing career with the Washington Generals
- Doing some workouts and coaching in Chicago while working his sales job and how that drew him back into the game
- Getting a call from his college head coach asking him to come back and coach
- Shadowing Josh Pastner at Memphis and Bill Self at Kansas to see if college coaching was a direction he wanted to go
- How those experiences influenced his decision to return to alma mater, leave his sales job, and start coaching
- Being given the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them
- “None of this stuff you draw up works if the players don’t believe the person that’s sharing it with them.”
- “You have to be an everyday person. You have to earn that every day.”
- Working camps in the summer to learn and to network
- How he got a an opportunity to meet with Thad Matta at Ohio State and turned that meeting into a position on the staff at Ohio State
- Feeling humbled every day both at St. Ambrose and at Ohio State
- “No job is too big or too small. You do it because it’s what’s best for the team.”
- Learning to be a servant leader and getting into the trenches with the players
- Talking business and life with Coach Matta
- Being an assistant coach with the Costa Rican National Team
- Getting engaged and trying to figure out his next step after Ohio State
- Having an opportunity to join a friend in Indianapolis to work on a basketball academy and instead choosing to start his own back in Chicago
- “It starts with one person. If you don’t serve that person in a way that you can actually get them better and serve their specific needs, it’s kind of irrelevant.”
- The challenge of starting his training business
- “It had to be less about me and where I’d been and more about them and where they are.”
- Developing and growing as a trainer and a business owner
- Becoming someone that could help and be more present for the people that needed the help
- His process for learning on both the basketball side and the business side
- The importance of delegating and giving responsibility to others in order to grow your business and spend time with family
- Staying vision focused and letting his team do their work, while trying to learn from them at the same time
- Advice for basketball trainers wanting to start their own business
- Learning from the mistakes of others and talking to experts in different fields
- Advice on handling competition in your basketball business
- The story of the aha moment when he had the idea for SWSH
- How SWSH develops muscle memory for your shot and helps players understand what a good shot feels like
- How the bridge that connects your two arms helps control the shot
- The best way to train with SWSH
- How he believes SWSH can scale at camps and clinics around the world
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THANKS, CHRISTOPHER SPARTZ
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TRANSCRIPT FOR CHRISTOPHER SPARTZ – INVENTOR OF THE SWSH BASKETBALL SHOOTING SLEEVE & FOUNDER OF SPARTZ SPORTZ – EPISODE 425
[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here without my co-host, Jason Sunkle tonight, but I am pleased to be joined by Christopher Spartz from SWSH official. Christopher has created a unique shooting sleeve product that can help players to improve their jump shot. And so he’s come on tonight to be able to share that with us, Christopher, welcome to the podcast.
Christopher Spartz: [00:00:25] First of all, thank you for having me, Mike. It’s a pleasure.
Mike Klinzing: [00:00:28] We are excited to be able to have you on learn more about your product, how it can help basketball players improve their shot, and also learn a little bit about the history of how you came to create the product. So why don’t you give us a quick overview before we dive a little bit into your background and how the company got started
Christopher Spartz: [00:00:45] Yeah, I appreciate it. You know, I’ve been a big fan and I’ve been listening to you since quarantine started and it’s really cool to finally be here and be sharing this brand new product with you. We developed [00:01:00] SWSH and it really has been a team effort. I developed SWSH with a bunch of different people, but really what we came to was a product that controls 41% of the shot. It’s a staggering number because there’s nothing else on the planet that provides or generates as much as 17% of the interest of someone’s Jumpshot. So we’re really excited about that. And what it does is it really allows the player to understand what a shot feels like and looks like a good one. One that will generate a SWSH more times than if you’re shooting hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of shots, and you’re not able to decipher what’s good and what’s bad about it. And what we’ve done, which is super unique and which is really, really cool and exciting for us, is we’ve tied [00:02:00] a three-step shooting process that allows you to really understand what it’s supposed to feel like to be a great shooter. And it’s for players, young and old. And man this is a really exciting time for us, not just because it’s 2021. I think we’re all excited to step into that new era, but because we’ve now launched it. We’re live about a month in here and it’s generated a lot of interest and excitement and we’re just really fortunate to be able to be here and share that on your podcasts.
Mike Klinzing: [00:02:35] All right, before we dive into your background and we work our way up to getting into a more detailed explanation of the product.
Why don’t you first share right off the top here, where can people go to find out more? So if they’re jumping on and listening to this episode and they’re like, okay, I’m intrigued by what I’m hearing, where can they go to find out more about the product? And then we’ll dive into your background.
Christopher Spartz: [00:02:56] Yes, they can go to SWSH [00:03:00] official.com.
That’s SWSHofficial.com and they can find out more about it. They can buy their own there, or they could go to our Instagram page at SWSH_official, or they can find me @CoachCSpartz. And you’ll find out more information there as well.
Mike Klinzing: [00:03:22] Awesome. All right. So give us your background, Chris, talk to me a little bit about how you came to be involved in this space.
What’s your basketball background? What’s your business background and how did you come up with the idea for this product?
Christopher Spartz: [00:03:35] Sure. Well, I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. I played many, many sports and then eventually settled in college and played just basketball was a part of a final four program, a sweet 16 team at the division two NAIA level.
And played for a legendary coach, John Boulden. So I was spoiled in that respect. I played with some great teammates [00:04:00] and had an opportunity to play basketball after college, I played in 36 countries, professionally and in 48 States. And it wasn’t long before my career ended and a new one started and I got into sales in Chicago.
And I loved it. I really did. And, but I missed basketball. So I went back, I got my masters at my Alma mater at St. Ambrose University and had a chance to coach with the very same coach that I played for, which is a really treat to see them in a different light coach Ray Shevlin, and then. It wasn’t long after I earned my master’s degree, that I had an opportunity to go and coach at the Ohio State University and coach with Thad Matta and the Buckeyes. And when I was there, I was the recruiting and operations coordinator. And in back-to-back years we had top five recruiting class in the country, had an opportunity to coach and be around some great [00:05:00] people like Aaron Craft and D’Angelo Russell and yeah.
Keita Bates-Diop, J-Sean Tate, and the list goes on and on, but then had an opportunity to coach the Costa Rican national team. As they prepared for the FIBA world championships and was at a really unique space where I’ve found the love of my life in Ohio and wanted to spend more time with her and build a life.
And what we decided to do is go back to Chicago and build a business around basketball. And so now we run a premier basketball Academy out of the suburbs of Chicago, where now we offer a suite of services. From group, individual workouts, travel teams, camps, clinics, showcases. And we’re very fortunate to train players from seven different NBA organizations, players from six different continents, right out of the suburbs of Chicago.
And so it’s been fun building and growing with these [00:06:00] individuals and families that we serve. But along the way, I stumbled upon some fun ideas and concepts. And then. Wow. Two years after we started. Here we are at SWSH and we’ve launched it and it’s been a lot of fun. And here I am talking to you, Mike, the Hoop Heads Pod.
Mike Klinzing: [00:06:20] Well, there’s a lot to unpack from what you just said in terms of your background. So let’s maybe work backwards. And talk about some of the different things that you’ve been able to do as a player. And then that you’ve been able to do as a coach. One of the questions that I have to ask of anybody who has played basketball overseas anywhere is what is what’s the craziest story you can tell me about your time playing overseas and keeping in mind that we try to keep it PG 13, as far as the stories go, but everybody I know that has played overseas has at least one crazy [00:07:00] story somehow related to their basketball planning experience.
So give me the best one that you feel comfortable sharing on the pod.
Christopher Spartz: [00:07:08] Yeah, well, I guess I have two really cool ones. One was, we played in Romania and Romania at the time was, I mean, a third world country. And it was a really, really rough spot. But at the same time we’re in the capital city of Bucharest, and we’re invited to the parliament, which is one of the largest governmental buildings in the world.
And you go up there and you get checked by the security and you have golden cross, your room by like by golden cross the room and there’s nothing in it. There’s no, like it was, it blew my mind, just the mass of this [00:08:00] place. And you sit in there and you meet with the head of their government.
And then we go out and we look out over the balcony. To the city of Romania. That was just, it was really struggling at the time. And so it was crazy because there was so much perspective in that, in this amazing, wonderful place that it could close you off and offer you zero perspective.
If you close the doors. But all you had to do is look outside to show you, Hey, look, there’s a lot that needs to be done here. Let’s focus, let’s get our hands dirty and let’s make this place a little bit better. And so at the time I was playing with the Washington Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters and they’re the ambassadors of Goodwill.
And so it wasn’t, but three and a half hours later we’re performing in front of 15,000 in Bucharest. And. You know, they wanted happiness. [00:09:00] They wanted something more. They wanted something that they could hang on to that brought them some light in, in in an otherwise life of turmoil and so it was a great, great moment that I look back on and have these pictures from.
I remember literally like, Eight feet behind me was these golden dressing rooms and eight feet behind me was this vast, vast world of a third world country. So it was an interesting moment for me. I think another great moment was when I was playing with the Washington Generals against the Globetrotters, we did a couple of tours for the troops overseas.
For me, one of them was in Europe and then another one was in Asia. And I had an opportunity in Germany to sit down with some of the troops and eat and just connect. And you want to talk about [00:10:00] perspective. It was one of those like aha moments where you go, like, why are you here? And they’re going, you have no idea what it means to us, for you to wear a Washington Generals Jersey. You represent us. This is like, we were rooting for you and I’m going, Hey, I’m not the guy. They’re the guys, right. Or you’re the guys and we’re here to support you guys. And I mean, I have the chills thinking about how special those moments were.
You know, be able to spend time with them, eat with them and get to know them and their stories and where they came from and why they were serving. And it was really, really cool.
Mike Klinzing: [00:10:43] So yeah, that’s good. I really like hearing those stories about the experiences that people have. And just again, when you think about us growing up here in the United States, and then you get an opportunity to go and travel overseas and just how
eye opening it can be both in terms of the standard of living and the [00:11:00] different situations that people all throughout the world live in. And how did you get hooked up with the Washington Generals? What did that process look like? Because that’s something that I don’t think a lot of people necessarily in the basketball space, even have a real idea of what the General’s role is, because obviously you go back to the seventies kind of during the heyday of the Globetrotters, and most kids probably knew who the Washington Generals were at that time. Whereas today I don’t think the knowledge is necessarily out there. So just talk a little bit about how you got connected to the Generals and the Globetrotters and what that process was like.
Christopher Spartz: [00:11:33] Well, that’s a great question because I had the same question when they asked me to be a part of it. I received a call by a guy by the name of John Ferrari and he was the GM of the Washington Generals I go that ain’t true. There’s no way, there’s no way this guy, this thing is real.
And I talked to my agent. I said, whether or not calling you because I was looking at two other opportunities and one in Germany, one in [00:12:00] London. And before, you know it, he goes, Hey man, this is pretty cool. Like I’m looking into this a little bit. You get to travel the world, you get to continue to compete.
You’re not scratching and clawing. And if it goes right, you’re going to have the same, if not better opportunities. Having been a little bit more well-versed in the travel and those expectations that are tied to it I can sell that down the river. So. I got the call randomly.
Now I played in a couple of combines and I think they got my contact information from that, but it was a really interesting decision that I had to make. You know, how legitimate was it, you know? And so I only knew them from like the cartoon. Right? And, and so it was really cool though.
The first time I ever met the Globetrotters I’m walking into, they had already done a training camp and they didn’t like the guy that they had. [00:13:00] So they picked me, and so I rolled up, we were going on a military tour through Spain. And we were in Virginia at a military base there.
And I’m at the hotel and a bunch of Globetrotters are walking around. I go, Hey man, this is pretty cool. And so before long you ended up building these great relationships with them. You know, I’ve been a part of Globetrotter, weddings, and then mine. And there were a couple of Generals that were in my wedding.
So these great relationships over time and traveling the world together, experiencing real life together on the road was really unique and really special and holds a lot of great dear memories for me.
Mike Klinzing: [00:13:50] Did you ever get hit in the head with a ball during one of the Globetrotters routines like I did?
Christopher Spartz: [00:13:56] Wait. You did?
Mike Klinzing: [00:13:58] I did. So I’ll [00:14:00] tell you my story with the Globetrotters. I think I’ve told this once, maybe on the podcast out of 400 episodes. So hopefully it’s not too redundant for anybody who’s listening, but when I was probably. And I was right shortly after I graduated from college. So I must’ve been 22, 23, 24, somewhere in that range.
And there was a radio station contest where you had to come down and do like a one-minute quote routine basketball routine. And then you could be chosen to be a Washington general for a night here in Cleveland and play out at the old Richfield Coliseum. And. You would get an opportunity to be on the floor with the Globetrotters as a member of the Washington generals.
So somebody heard about this. I didn’t hear it on the radio, but one of my friends heard about it and told me, Hey, you should go and try to. Try to do this. And at first I was kinda like, eh I don’t know if I want to, I dunno if I want to go do that and have somebody clowning on me and all this [00:15:00] stuff.
And then the more I thought about it, I’m like I kind of grew up, grew up on the globe, Trotters with the wide world of sports as a kid of the seventies and being able to see, as you said you got him on the Scooby-Doo cartoons and everything else I’m like, this would be again, it’s a unique experience in basketball that not many people get an opportunity to have.
So I went to the tryout. And I, to be honest, I don’t even remember what I did. I think I just shot the ball and just did normal basketball things. But I do remember other people doing like cartwheels with the ball and flips and all these other different things. And for whatever reason they chose me. So like a week later I got to go and.
Got a uniform from the Washington generals, which when I look at that uniform now, it was, it was right at the tail end of the, of the short shorts era. So when I look at that particular uniform, the clothes that I had, it was, they, they were, they were small back then. And they’re really small now that I’m a 50 year old man.
But anyway so they went through and I got to meet with [00:16:00] the coach of the generals and, and meet with the players. And they showed me, they showed me one routine that I was going to be in. I was going to go in for. Play for a minute or two, something like that. And while I was playing, they were going to have me part of a thing where the globe Trotter were kind of doing, doing a weave kind of around the top of the key, where they’re making passes.
And basically what they told me is you have to stick to your globe Trotter, whoever it is that you’re guarding. You have to stay right on their back in order to make sure that you don’t get hit in the head with the ball. Well, somehow in the course of doing all that, I must not have stayed close enough to my Globetrotters back.
And I ended up taking a ball off the head, turning the, during the routine, but I played a minute or two. At some point they call the foul the ref, let me go to, they let me go to the free throw line. And they actually let me shoot two free throws. I was expecting obviously something to happen. My pants to get [00:17:00] pulled down or who knows what, but I got to shoot my free throws unobstructed and I went two for two at the Richfield Coliseum as a member of the Washington Generals.
Playing against the Harlem Globetrotters. So that is my Washington Generals. Harlem Globetrotter claim to fame is getting hit in the head with a ball and going two for two at the line as a member of the Washington Generals. So somewhere in the annals of Washington General’s history, my name was etched in the score book.
Probably not as often as yours, I’m sure.
Christopher Spartz: [00:17:31] No. How cool is that? That’s an incredible story. I love it. And you know, we had different experiences like yours, but I don’t remember anybody hitting those free throws. I mean, I remember the nerves. You could feel the nerves of our guest Generals. I mean, it was like, it was palpable.
So it’s so funny that you say that because honestly, I can’t remember anybody ever making the two free throws and not getting made fun of. So it sounds like you [00:18:00] had a really wonderful experience as a General.
Mike Klinzing: [00:18:04] I did, like I said, I was really surprised that I didn’t get that I didn’t get made fun of.
And I thought that was clearly going to be part of a part of the deal. But again, I guess once I took a ball off the head, if they had anything planned for me, they decided probably getting hit in the head in front of 15,000 people was probably enough embarrassment for one night.
Christopher Spartz: [00:18:25] Well, it sounds like you took it well, and that was a great story.
I love hearing more General Globetrotter stories. It’s awesome. It’s really, really cool.
Mike Klinzing: [00:18:35] Yeah, that’s a fun experience. I’m sure. And as you said that, be able to go and get around to all those different countries and just be a part of it and, and see the world at a young age. You know, the value in that, just forget about the basketball side of it, but just as a human being sir, I’m sure it was incredibly valuable.
And once you’re done with that, Then you come back and again, you get a quote unquote real [00:19:00] job, but eventually coaching starts calling your name. Why coaching? What was it about wanting to get back into coaching? And obviously you returned back to your Alma mater, as you said, the coach that coached you when you were playing there, but what was it about coaching that was calling you?
Was it just a matter of, Hey, I really want to be involved in basketball. Is that the main driver and coaching seemed like the right way to do it? Or what was the Genesis for you getting back into the game of basketball as a coach?
Christopher Spartz: [00:19:27] That’s a great question. After I was done playing basketball, I really needed a break.
I don’t think I picked up a ball for like eight months. But then I started getting back into it by teaching back where I grew up and I would leave the city where I was living and go back out to the suburbs and work a kid out because somebody from the neighborhood knew that I was back and saw me as a resource that could help.
And then. I would run out like a camp or coach a team. And that was within like a [00:20:00] two year span. And, and then I started going to games and so it was like a natural progression back to the game. And it was a different, like appreciation for the game. It was a different vantage point from the game.
It wasn’t as a player anymore. It was more as an onlooker and like experiencing it in a new light and from a new lens. Right. And so then I literally got a call from my former head coach and he said, Hey, look, we’d love to have you back here. I heard you’ve been around games and I heard that you’re starting to get an itch.
And I said, I don’t know about that. But when your head coach calls, you listen and you pick up. And so before I did that, before I committed to going back and like leaving my job, which I really enjoyed and living in Chicago and I loved it. So. I [00:21:00] decided what I was going to do was still work my corporate job and then go spend time with people that were really, really good in college coaching and really dive in and find out like, is this, does this make sense with this profession?
And what is it like behind closed doors? And so what I did was at the time Josh Pastner had just taken the job and done really well in his first two years at Memphis. From Coach Cal and he was the young star at the time. And so I said, man, he’s a young star. He answered my letter, he called me and he said, Hey, I want to talk to you.
You messaged me. And I appreciate that. How can I help you? I said, can I spend some time with you? So I went and spent time with him for like a week and got to know him and kind of the ins and outs of what they were doing. Yeah. And like helped coach their camp. It was really, really kind of him to do that, but I also had an opportunity to get in at [00:22:00] Kansas and I spent two weeks at Kansas.
So I spent three weeks. I was supposed to be working my job remotely which now everybody knows how to do that, but at the time was so foreign. And then I had an opportunity to really dive in at Kansas and Bill Self was wonderful with me. He kind of took me under his wing and Danny Manning, Barry Hinson and Coach Dooley.
Like the whole staff was just wonderful and what they would do, like at the end of a day or every couple days they would say, Hey, how are you feeling? What are your questions? What are the things that you’re thinking about? And it really allowed me to feel like welcomed into this community that I knew nothing about, but like a high level of community.
I didn’t deserve to sit in these rooms in my opinion. Right. So, super humbled. And at the end of my time at Kansas, I sat down with Bill Self in his office and he said, well, what, [00:23:00] do you want to do? And I said, well I want to lead a multi-million dollar organization.
And it wasn’t the money, it was the responsibility that was tied to that. I wanted to do something that really meant something, but I want to have an impact. Right. And he said, son, I run a multi-million dollar organization here and I can add value to, and I go, bam. He goes, anything you want me to do to help you out?
I’ll help you. Let me know. I’ll be there for you. I’ll be a mentor, be an advisor. And I was like, I’m in, right. So I called up my my former head coach on my ride back from Kansas to Chicago. And he said, I’m going to have to tell my boss this first, but I’m going to leave that job. I’m going to go get paid $400 a month.
I’m going to go get my master’s degree and I’m gonna come work for you. I’m going to learn every day and I’m going to do the [00:24:00] best I can to make the program even better. And I don’t know how that’s possible because you’re a legend, but I want to do it and I want to do it with you. And that was it. And so I was off and running.
Mike Klinzing: [00:24:14] What did you learn about coaching in that first year? And what was it like, kind of going behind the curtain with a program that you had been a player because obviously that relationship. Is now different when it’s not a player coach relationship, but it’s a one colleague to another. How did you make that transition?
And then what did you learn about coaching that first year that kind of surprised you, or maybe it was different from what you thought the experience would be like?
Christopher Spartz: [00:24:38] Well, I always thought I was the coach on the floor. And then as a coach, I realized I knew nothing. Right. And it was really cool because I got to see a man that I looked up to so much day to day.
And the love that I had for him and the [00:25:00] appreciation. It grew even more to see who he was every day behind closed doors. He was such a good man. And he was such a great leader by way of here’s one of the things I learned is he allowed me to make mistakes.
He knew that there was a lot that I had to learn, but he allowed room for that. And he gave me responsibilities to where he knew, if I was going to fail in that I would fail in a small arena. And it was my own conscience. He knew I worked hard and I cared and he knew I was somebody that was harder on myself than anybody else ever could.
And so for him to drive me no percentage in it, right. But he also knew that he needed to give me freedom to make those mistakes. And he also gave me opportunities to lead within his program, whether it was from the recruiting efforts or it was [00:26:00] an opportunity to really build deep rooted relationships with each player.
And that’s another lesson that I really learned was none of this stuff you draw up works if they don’t believe the person that’s sharing it to them, or believe in the success that they’ve proven and at this juncture, I hadn’t proven anything. I could talk about playing basketball and having success at the same location that they’d had or that they were at, but that’s short lived, you have to be an everyday person. So you have to earn that every day. And I learned that I really did. And so it wasn’t always right or wrong. I had to really build real relationships with them. And that was something that I love doing, and I really relished that opportunity, but then it also gave me an opportunity to build up our leader, build up our head coach. So he didn’t have to spend all his time doing that. And he could be the [00:27:00] CEO. He could be our leader and so when those players were struggling, it wasn’t the lead dogs fault.
It was let’s get better. How can I help you? And all he wants is for you to be happy. And all he wants is for everybody to win here. So how can we do that together? And so that was, that was an honor for me to be able to do that.
Mike Klinzing: [00:27:23] Yeah, I’m sure to be able to go back to your Alma mater and be a part of that, and then just kind of learn on the job, as you said, and being given the opportunity to make mistakes and to learn on the job, especially for someone who like yourself at that point, it sounds like you probably had some aspirations as you went forward to stay and remain in the co in coaching at the college level, which I’m sure leads you to your next opportunity at Ohio state.
So talk a little bit about how. You get that chance, what that was like, what relationship kind of led you to be able to have that opportunity. And then we can dive into what some of your [00:28:00] responsibilities were and what that was like being with the Buckeyes for two years.
Christopher Spartz: [00:28:02] Yeah, sure. So I was hungry once I got a taste of coaching in the college space.
I really got hungry. I wanted to learn more. And so in the summers, I would go to different colleges and universities and work their basketball camps and network and build relationships with other coaches. And most importantly, just like try to like latch on and learn from them. It was less about like getting another job.
It was more about like, Just tell me everything, and I was fortunate to have gotten in front of some really great people like the John Beleins of the world and obviously getting back in front of the Bill Selfs and building deeper relationships with them. And then I got in front of Coach Matta and I was told I had 15 minutes to get around him because his circle is very, very tight [00:29:00] and so I was working their basketball camp, and I got 15 minutes and this is kind of a funny story because I was super nervous at the time. He had just come off of, I don’t know, like four straight, Big 10 championships or whatever it was. And they said, Hey, you have your 15 minutes now.
And I was like, okay, well I want to make a good first impression. And so I wanted to make sure my hair was right. So I went, ran to the car, I did my hair and then I locked my keys in my car and I’m like, Oh my gosh, what am I going to do? Like, forget it. Let’s see how quickly and positively do you respond on this one?
So I walked in there like that didn’t just happen. I’ll deal with that later. And I got an opportunity to spend 15, 30, 45, an hour, maybe an hour and a half later, we’re sitting there chatting it up and talking about life. He’s an Illinois guy, I’m an Illinois guy. And you know, what I found out was he’s as much as we all put some of these guys [00:30:00] on this pedestal for all the success that they’ve had.
And we see them on TV as these larger than life, he was as decent of a man that I ever met as normal, as conversational, as grateful a listener as anybody I’ve ever met. And I was blown away. I was blown away and it wasn’t long before, I think it was about a week and a half later after that camp, he called me and he said, Hey, we want to create a position for you here at Ohio State.
I’d love to find a way to get you here, and make you a part of what we have here. And there’s something that I did with Brad Stevens in his first role, in the division one space. And I think it would be very similar. What are your thoughts? And I’m on my cell phone, I had to pull over.
I go sounds like a great idea to me. Right? So it wasn’t, but [00:31:00] maybe two months later that I was on staff at Ohio State and we were ripping and running and I was learning every day again, just on a larger scale. Everything was just so much bigger. And so that was wonderful. Great opportunity.
Mike Klinzing: [00:31:16] All right. So what was similar to your experience as a coach at St. Ambrose? And what was different about the experience at Ohio state? So clearly two different levels of college basketball. I’m sure there were some similarities, but I’m sure there was also some big differences. So maybe just talk about the compare and contrast between the two places.
Christopher Spartz: [00:31:37] There’s two things. One in my role, there was a similarity. The similarity was people, real relationships diving, really deep to get to know and help and serve the players. That’s who Coach Matta was and that’s who the staff was. And so that was [00:32:00] by nature. I think what made both of these amazing coaches that I learned from, so great. They were great leaders, but they were great men. And so it’s amazing the success that followed because the players believed in them, they believed them. They really bought in. And so that was something that was evident upon arrival. And then what was very similar for me was I was humbled every day, whether I was at St. Ambrose University, I couldn’t believe I was back at my school and I was coaching there. And like I could help in any way was really humbling. But then now being at Ohio state, I was humbled every day because I was around people that were smarter than me every day. And they were on a different wavelength in my mind based off of just life experiences and basketball coaching experiences. And so where did I fit in? What could I do? [00:33:00] that’s better than them. And so finding my niche and finding my role within that staff was something that was a constant. It was fun. It was hard. It was all those things, but I was just so lucky to be around such smart people and some great players.
Like the players were really, really good, but they were also like awesome kids, like amazing kids. And so that was really fun. Building those relationships with them and really helping them in whatever way I could.
Mike Klinzing: [00:33:33] So what did you take away from that experience that has helped you since you left that job as an entrepreneur and the various ventures that you’ve had, what did you take away from that?
Christopher Spartz: [00:33:45] No job is too big or too small. You do it because it’s what’s best for the team. It’s what’s best for the success. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but [00:34:00] sustainable success. Coach Matta is there before everybody in a lights out gym, working with Aaron Craft to try to get his shot where it needs to be before anybody showed up All be it, he had his coffee in one hand and Aaron’s running around chasing it.
But he was in the weight room with the guy. And so being a real servant and being somebody that was in the trenches with the guys doing what they would do, that was something that I learned that I take with me every day and try to look at myself in the mirror and make sure I’m doing every day.
You know, as the example, right?
Mike Klinzing: [00:34:47] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I’m assuming that obviously being at obviously at Ohio State could have potentially opened some doors for you, whether to remain at Ohio State or whether to [00:35:00] move on to another position as a college basketball coach. Also, what was the decision making process for leaving college coaching at that point, rather than continuing to go along that path?
And going along the path of entrepreneurship, starting the basketball Academy and eventually getting to SWSH and all the other things that you’ve done. Just talk about the decision to leave college basketball coaching and why you made that decision. And if you’ve looked back on it and just kind of reflect on what that time period in your life was like.
Christopher Spartz: [00:35:34] I miss college coaching. I miss the relationships, right. I miss being in the foxhole when you lose, I miss trying to help figure it out. And I miss that. And most importantly, I miss those people, but I had an opportunity to coach the Costa Rican national team. It was like a little sabbatical.
I sat down with [00:36:00] Coach Matta. I said, Hey, look, I have this really cool opportunity. What do you think? He’s like, yeah. It’s like in business and we would talk more business stuff sometimes and that was fun. That was a fun, little dynamic that we had because he always wanted to learn more about where I was or had been.
And he was always super intrigued. I really looked up to him with the way that he approached things that he didn’t understand. He was a great listener, asked 10 questions and so he was like, yeah, it’s like a sabbatical, right? Yeah. And we talked about like, how companies allow people to go and spend however much time they needed to go and then come back.
And they were this well-rounded human with life experiences that added more value to their company than they did before. Right. And they welcomed them back with open arms. And so, yeah. There was no different when I decided to go to the Costa Rican national team as they were preparing for the world championships.
But in that I gained a lot of clarity and, and what I realized was one, I loved my wife [00:37:00] and at the time she came down at the very end of that time in Costa Rica. And I proposed to her and we got engaged. with the rest of our life, right.
As most serious couples like my wife and I would have on their first dinner as engaged couples. But we sat down and we really kind of talked about what the next step would be. And so I explored potentially going to Indianapolis and building a business with a friend who, He was on the Globetrotters and he was blowing up.
I mean, he was doing running a great training Academy in Indianapolis and was training all these great players and he thought, well, maybe you should always come here. And he was always like, Hey, come down here and we’ll blow this up. We’ll do it together. And I thought about it. I really did it. And we were really close to making that happen very, very close.
[00:38:00] And, and then I just said, well, I could go to Indianapolis or I could just go to Chicago and do it. And here’s one of the things that building a basketball Academy or a basketball organization meant to me, it meant having a bigger impact. Not the 12 guys in the locker room a year.
It was like, If I do this, right I can help more kids and share what I’ve learned. Like that could be cool and I certainly didn’t think I had it all figured out, like on how it was going to look and play out. Everybody would want to train with me because I’ve been here and I’ve done this.
I was pretty clueless and it’s amazing what it’s turned into and why, but it was definitely a group effort. My family has been very supportive [00:39:00] and my wife has been just a rock. We’ve experienced some heartache and we’ve experienced some ups and downs as many couples do in life. And we’re just so happy to be here now and to have what we have and to be continuing to be as passionate as we are even more, every day now that we’re building and creating and doing more for more people. And so that’s been, really cool how it’s transpired into what it has today.
Mike Klinzing: [00:39:31] So how did the vision of what you thought it was going to be, how does that differ from what it is today? In other words, what did you think it was going to be? And what is it?
Christopher Spartz: [00:39:40] Well, it’s super selfish. When I left Ohio state and the Costa Rican national team, I thought people would train with me because that’s where I’d been.
And no one else had done that. Right. You can hear how [00:40:00] selfish that sounds, but that’s exactly how I thought I would start a business that way. Well, it starts with one person. If you don’t serve that person in a way that you can actually get them better and serve their specific needs, it’s kind of irrelevant.
And then what happened was when I decided it had to be less about me and where I’d been and more about them and where they are, everything changed and the business blew up. And we have, I think I mentioned earlier, we’ve had players come from six different continents around the world.
We have a kid come from Madagascar every summer to just come and train with us and players from seven different NBA organizations have worked with us in seven different G league organizations. And it’s kind of taken on a new life of its own, because it hasn’t been about [00:41:00] me or where I’ve been, a lot of players don’t know these things that I’ve shared with you, they don’t know and that I played at this level or in that country, or they don’t know that I coached at Ohio State.
I thought that would be a big draw it’s certainly on my biography page on our website, but it’s not something I talk about because it’s them, we talk about it’s them. We want to get to know them deeper. And because we’re able to get to know them deeper, we’re able to help them to the core.
And so it’s been really, really fun in that light.
Mike Klinzing: [00:41:37] What was the biggest challenge of getting that started and keeping it going? Once you came to the realization that you were there to serve the players that you were working with, as opposed to, for lack of a better way of saying it, serving yourself, what’s been the biggest logistical challenge to building the basketball Academy [00:42:00] into not just a fun project, but a viable business.
Christopher Spartz: [00:42:05] That’s a great question. I think I knew when I was asking those hard questions, like, why are more kids not training with me? Like, why not me? I have the best branding, I have the background, I have the knowledge and it’s amazing how much my teaching has changed and developed. In five years now, it’s crazy to think what I was teaching then to now I kind of feel a little bad for some of those kids and some of those players to where I am now, I feel so much more well versed in the space.
I guess you feel that in any space and you’ve been there long enough. But I think that’s when I really started asking the hard questions that I started diving a little bit deeper into. Like, if you want to make a real change in the business, where does that start? And it started with me [00:43:00] and it started with really becoming someone that could help and be more present for the people that needed the help and that helped me in turn as a result of helping them. It served the greater purpose of starting to build a business. And then as more people started coming on, you learn about where you’re putting your money and where you’re not putting your money. And what type of marketing funds are here.
And just all that type of stuff that you don’t you think that you don’t know and you start learning and you start asking questions of other people in the space. And there was definitely a learning curve to it. But now I pride myself in trying to help anybody else that’s in this space.
And if you have any questions, like how can I help you and get you to the next level a little bit quicker than I got there. So it’s been fun.
Mike Klinzing: [00:43:58] Yeah, absolutely. So who do [00:44:00] you, who’s your go-to mentors or people that you look to? Let’s take it into two different directions. So from a basketball standpoint, when you’re talking about, Hey, what I taught and the things that I was doing five years ago, compared to what I’m doing now, where did you go to improve your craft in that area?
And then who do you go to on the business side as a mentor in that arena? When you have a question that’s not basketball related that, but that’s marketing directed or that’s finance directed or that’s facility directed. Where do you go for that kind of advice?
Christopher Spartz: [00:44:33] Well, early on, I thought I could do all of that.
I thought I could do all of it and, and early on, it was good that I had to learn how to do all of it. But as things grew and my bandwidth shortened it was important for me to start giving up responsibility whether it was to other trainers, just let them do it. [00:45:00] Like the business is going to grow because they’re going to be here and they’re empowered.
Just being more open to suggestions and being more open to other trainers coming in and sharing what they’ve learned. And like, I didn’t have it all figured out. What other things have you learned from the places you’ve been as a player or as a coach and just being open to that.
And I’ve learned so much, sometimes I’ll sit and watch them just do what they do so I can learn and as far as the finances, as far as the marketing, what I’ve done is I’ve surrounded myself with people who are really good at that who educate me and I ask questions and I allow them to be great at that.
And then I stay really, really focused on the vision side of the business for spartz sportz, the Academy that we have with the camps, clinics and the travel teams and the [00:46:00] individual workouts and all that stuff. So I stay vision focused and then I find time to get my hands dirty and stay close and keep my hand on the pulse of what’s going on and with the families and the kids.
Because I think if you don’t do that, you become removed and I think you lose sight of what’s most important, which is really like serving the kids and their growth as young people by way of this cool vehicle, basketball. So surrounding myself with smarter people than me in their respective fields and then really staying focused on the vision and like bringing everybody back in to be really focused on one common goal.
Right. And so that’s been, that’s been a lot of fun for me. So it’s kind of like now I’m like a head coach, but in a different space than [00:47:00] I would have been in college or professional coaching.
Mike Klinzing: [00:47:04] How difficult was it for you to take that first step of delegating and not being the person who had their hand in everything?
Obviously once you do it, you start to see that there’s tremendous benefit to being able to delegate and put things in the hands of people who are. Better smarter at those particular aspects of whatever it is, whether it’s again, hiring a basketball trainer or whether it’s hiring, hiring an accountant or a marketer to do the jobs that they do.
But I think that first step of releasing those jobs that maybe you did at the beginning as an entrepreneur. I think those can be scary. So how did you handle that particular step?
Christopher Spartz: [00:47:46] Well, you make mistakes. I made mistakes early on. I believed in certain people and you start understanding certain people that can do it and certain people that [00:48:00] can’t do it. And I’m the glass half full guy. And I believe that if you get deep enough in their soul, you’ll connect and they’ll never let you down. And sometimes they let you down and sometimes they’re just not a good fit for your organization. Not because they’re bad people or not because they’re not capable of the job, but because they’re just not a good fit.
And so that’s hard because I wanted desperately to give up responsibility, but sometimes it wasn’t reciprocated and by way of people actually delivering. And so it stuns you a little bit and you go, well then I’m going to hold on a little bit longer to these reins and it’s really hard, but yeah.
When you do it and you find the right people, man, Oh, [00:49:00] man. You know, going to sleep at night is just different. It’s just different. My mind can be in a totally different place as opposed to problem solving the things that I don’t even know how to do. And I’m just trying to figure it out versus staying vision focused on problem solving things and driving our business to a bigger and better place and creating more opportunities for these kids. And so it’s hard. It still is hard giving up that responsibility, but understanding that my priorities are the people that work for our organization, right? They’re our priority, the kids and the players that we serve and their families, and most [00:50:00] importantly, it’s my family and being able to make sure that I’m able to delegate so I can spend the ample amount of time with my family is just so important to me. I want to be a really present, great father and build these great memories and have wonderful experiences with my family and be a great husband. And those are the things that really forced me to say, somebody else has got to do it because I’ve got dinner with my wife and we’re going to sit down and we’re going to have a conversation for two hours and I may listen for all two hours, but it’s important and I have to do it.
Mike Klinzing: [00:50:39] What’s the number one piece of advice that you would have for somebody who is a basketball trainer out there or a solo entrepreneur and they want to build their training business.
If you could just give them one piece of advice, what would that piece of advice be?
Christopher Spartz: [00:50:54] Can I say more than one thing? Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. [00:51:00] A lot of trainers, what I’ve found, they make it about them and like what they’ve done for the kids that they’ve worked with and I get it. You were a part of it, but if that is the mindset it’s really hard to get out of.
If you can make it about them and how great they are, how far they came from that point to that point, your success speaks to that. So you don’t have to speak on you, you can speak on them and how wonderful and how hard they’ve worked and how great they’ve gotten. So that’s one, it has to be about them to the core, and if you don’t believe that, I don’t know about the sustainability. I think it becomes a revolving door because I think people eventually see through that. And then [00:52:00] if you want to make it a business, then you have to get around other people that have made it a business and ask them their biggest mistakes.
And ask them what they did after the mistake. Like what was your biggest financial mistake you ever made? You know, what was the biggest marketing mistake or flaw that you ever made, right. That’s going to save you a ton of money. And that’s gonna save you a ton of time and a ton of thought and embarrassment and whatever it is that it’s going to save you.
But, and then ask him, what is it that got you to the next level after you did that? And the answer is tried and true right there. It’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable. And it’s okay to have competition. That’s the third thing. It’s okay to have competition. Let it drive you and you [00:53:00] don’t have to like them, but don’t make them a part of conversation, right?
Like if somebody who’s your competition, you don’t have to talk about them like they’re bad people or they don’t do it the right way. It’s their way. And you have your own unique way and there’s enough of the pie to go around. Right. And ultimately, if you keep doing right by the people that you serve, you’re going to have enough pie for you and you don’t have to steal or be unkind to build a business that’s sustainable.
Mike Klinzing: [00:53:39] Yeah, I think that’s a great piece of advice. I think I see that you can, you can see it in all walks of life, but you definitely see it in the basketball space. Whether it be a new programs, you’d be a see basketball trainers where it’s just, everybody’s kind of trying to carve out their own little piece and they don’t always necessarily have.
Good things to say about the other people that around there were [00:54:00] ultimately you would hope that anybody who’s in the business of training kids or having a basketball Academy or building an AAU program, that the reason why they’re doing it is sure it’s a business and I get that, but it’s also.
I always like to say that it’s, it should be about, it should be about the kids that you’re serving. And ultimately, I think if you’re doing that, then as you said, there’s, there’s enough room for lots of different people who potentially can do it in different ways. But as long as the bottom line is, you’re trying to do it to serve the kids that are part of whatever it is that you do.
Then I think you’re, then I think you’re in the right space. So let’s transition from the Academy. Let’s get into SWSH. Talk to me a little bit about. How you came up with the idea for the product and just explain for our audience exactly what the product is, what it does and who it’s for.
Christopher Spartz: [00:54:49] Yeah. So SWSH was developed one day and no, what happened was, it was like, I had an aha moment.
I was working with a 14 year old girl and [00:55:00] said, Hey, you got a problem with your shot let’s, fix it. And there I was, her elbows are popping out and there’s no way to fix it. I’m real keen on the space that I’m giving you the young people we work with. Okay.
Because that’s important in our space as it is any space. Right. And so I’m not going to touch her on her arm every time she shoots it, but man, she needs it. So how am I going to do that? How am I going to give her the feedback that she needs every time. So I put a caution tape around her that was in the closet.
Then I put a rope around her. I go, none of these are going to do the trick. She’s got like rope burns on this. Isn’t it. And so she laughed and she came back and then. You know, it was like a week later. I said, have you been working on your shot? I’ve been working on what I was telling you. She’s like, yeah.
But I just, I still can’t feel what you’re talking about. And I was like, wow, that was it. I can’t be there when she’s away, how can I be there when I’m with her? [00:56:00] And it was it. I said, let me dive deeper. Let me see if I can make something to solve her problem. And then it like ballooned into getting into with engineers in sports science, individuals, and patent attorneys and marketing team and sourcing individual.
It’s been two years now and we did it, we did it. It’s been so fun diving into the makeup of, of a shot. I was never a product guy, didn’t really use cones. I didn’t really use much my high school coach managed shoes, heavy balls, and it was a nightmare but other than that, I was really never a product guy.
And I was like, How can I make it so that doesn’t feel so product, even though like, it’s absolutely a product. So it had to be swaggy. It had to be cool. It had to be trendy and that’s important. [00:57:00] Right. When you’re selling. And so we got to a point where we now have developed a product that, that is all those things.
It’s swaggy, it’s comfortable. It allows an athlete to be just that athletic, but it controls 41% of the shot. And imagine a 41% of the shot is controlled. It’s a lot easier for the rest of your shot to get controlled. Right. And if 41% is controlled. Like, what else are you teaching? Maybe one part of the shot.
Right? So what we did was a lot of people talk about the shot being muscle memory, right? And you say, man, if you just get your muscle memory down, it’s going to take thousands and thousands of shots. But if you can get that muscle memory, how about this? Let’s go back. Let’s go to science. Let’s go to you ever heard of the phrase?
It’s like riding a bike. Yeah, me too. What does that [00:58:00] mean? It means. It’s like, you never forget it once you start it. Right. And so, on average, what we’ve learned is that it takes you 45 minutes to learn how to ride a bike. Once you put your feet on those pedals, they start to push and turn themselves in your legs.
Learn to turn in that motion and subsequently your arms and the rest of your body learn how to balance. Okay. And so. In the same light, this shooting sleeve, right? This shooting apparatus, SWSH, it controls 41% of your shots. So it teaches you how to shoot it the right way. And the rest of your body’s just has to learn how to get on balance.
And so what we’re using is procedural memory. Which is the same science that people use when they talk about riding a bike it’s procedural memory, and it can expedite the process in getting better [00:59:00] in learning. Not only what’s right versus wrong. Like you’re not going to go up to a bike and like peddle it wrong ever again.
You’re going to know exactly, your body knows how to do it. And it’s no different with shooting a shot. What I’ve found is most players don’t know what a good shot feels like or what it looks like. And so what if we could teach them by way of controlling it for them and every shot you can guarantee a quality rep.
We did that. And so you know, I think one of the greatest things about this product is we we’ve developed a three-step shooting process with it. So with just the shooting sleeve, this you’re gonna make shots and you’re going to be great. Okay. We’re going to get you better quicker, but with this three-step shooting process tied to it.
It makes it so dynamic, Mike, it’s [01:00:00] unbelievable. And the hardest thing about shooting basketball shots is it’s so complicated. You could be doing so many things wrong, so we’ve simplified it by way of controlling more of it. And then we’ve simplified it again to the next degree, by giving you three steps.
That’s it. No more, no less three steps shooting process. And we just had a pro in the gym the other day and he’s like, man, I’m going to use this to warm up every day. This is like my comfort blanket. This reaffirms how like the, all the good things that I do in my shot. This means the first 10 minutes of me shooting is quality shots.
It’s good shots. And I can focus on the one part of my shot that I always struggle with, which is my hands or my follow through or whatever it is. I said, I love it. I said, but what about the ten-year-old? You are the ten-year-old you. He goes, man, I would have had this in a heartbeat. I wish I would’ve had this, so we didn’t have to shoot those [01:01:00] thousands and thousands of shots, trying to figure this thing out.
And so that’s, what’s so exciting and it kind of appeals to all of the above. If you’re a pro, if you’re a beginner, you can learn how to shoot or you can reaffirm that, Hey man, I’m doing it right every time. So, and everything in between. Right. So it’s been really, really cool to be able to bring this to 2021 with all the new, exciting things that are happening in all of our lives in 2021.
This is one of those that that’s going to have some standing power for a number of different reasons, but we’re really excited.
Mike Klinzing: [01:01:39] So tell me a little bit about the three-step shooting process. What does that. If I have one of these products and I’m wearing it and I’m trying to work on my shot, what does that Three steps shooting process mean for me as I’m working on my game?
Christopher Spartz: [01:01:52] It means a couple of different things. That’s a great question. So the first thing that it means is if you’re struggling or if you’re trying [01:02:00] to figure out what a good shot looks like, you start from square one. So instead of square one, we say step one and step one looks as it looks like this.
So imagine yourself with your hands on the ball. We’ve got to get our hands, right. We’ve got our hands, right. And we’re standing straight up and down. Your arms are in front of your body. Okay. Laid down in front of your body. That’s step one. There’s nothing else to it. Standing straight up and down now too is where you load up.
Now, your knees go over your toes, your shoulders over your knees, and that ball is being brought up in unison up to your chest below your chin. Now some of the taller players, more advanced players are going to bring it up a little bit higher. Okay. I understand that. I get it, but we really like to keep it in the core of the strongest part of your body. If you look at any sport, you look at [01:03:00] the most athletic position. Okay. You’ve seen a shortstop over their toes, right? Hands out in front, their cores are engaged, right? If you’re standing over the plate at home plate, you’re over your toes, right?
Those hands are nice and comfortable. Your chins over your toes. If you finish a pitch where you standing, right. You’re over your toes, you’re really in an athletic position. You’re in a defensive stance, right? You’re kicking a soccer ball. Everything’s over your toes in a very athletic position.
Well, why wouldn’t we do that in basketball? Well, we’re going to do that in basketball. So that’s where we’re going to be at step two. Okay. Step three, the ball leaves North. Okay. And everything else is engaged. Going up with it and following behind and you release up and over the rim. And what happens is with this shooting sleeve, you have one on your, your right arm, which is [01:04:00] free and your left arm that actually has on the inside of it, just above the elbow and below the tricep, you’re going to have a bridge and it goes all the way around that bicep.
And it’s going to go all the way across your chest, and you’re going to loop your right hand in and you’re going to put it all the way up above your elbow and below your tricep. And so now what you have is something that keeps your elbows in from start to finish. So they’re always where they’re supposed to be.
And what I’ve found is most times when you’re super young, the first thing that you do to generate more power is you put your elbows back and when your elbows go back, guess what they do. They go out and now you’re fighting like, heck to get those things back in and then up. And so you’re already behind in the count here.
So if we could eliminate that negative [01:05:00] movement in the shot by placing that bridge right in front of your body and not allowing that negative movement going backwards and in turn also keeping your elbows in frame, we talk about being in framing. I was talking about this with a pro the other day.
He said, explain in frame to me. So it’s really inside your frame of your body. That’s where your elbows should remain. And that’s what that adjustable bridge that goes from one elbow to the other does, and then you’re connected all the way through your shot. So it’s really, really fun.
Mike Klinzing: [01:05:36] Yeah, it sounds really cool.
Obviously I’ve been on and watched the video and looked at what it is that you guys do, but just for somebody who’s listening, explain because you have the bridge, as you describe it, connecting from one arm to the other. How do you envision a player utilizing it? So if I’m going to go and let’s just, let’s just pick out an name.
Let’s say I’m a let’s say I’m an eighth grade basketball [01:06:00] player and I want to improve my shot. What does it look like when I’m going to go out and use this product and try to improve my shot? What kinds of things could I be doing with this on that’s going to help me to get better.
Christopher Spartz: [01:06:13] Well, first off, you’re going to want to work your way out.
So when we talk about working your way out, you want to utilize a three-step process and you want to find success early and close. So you want to be close to the rim. And you want to find success. And for us success, we don’t settle for anything less than SWSHes. And we know that SWSHes mean perfection.
You did everything right in that shot. And we want to celebrate that, which is why we named the company SWSH and the product SWSH. So what we’ve done is when you start close to that rim, we want to go through our one, two, three steps shooting process. We want you to SWSH it, go ahead and take a step back.
You learned it [01:07:00] and you work your way all the way back to your range, whatever your range is and sometimes inside your range. And now here’s a great opportunity. You get you’ve put one bounce down from where you started. Two feet, three feet, four feet for the rim, wherever you started, you put one dribble down with your right and you’re going through your clean pickup.
Two, three. Get your SWSH, you work your way back. Maybe you get two swishes, three swishes at a spot before you move, really generate the level of confidence that you need to, to move back and to get farther away. And then before you know it, you’re doing your left hand. You thrown it out in front of you.
You’ve got your one, two step. Well, you got a jab step shot. There’s a hundred different things that you can do with it. If you’ve got a Dr. Dish or a shoot away or whatever it is that you use to retrieve the ball or whatever it is now, you can do more stuff on the move. You can do stuff with a partner, but if you’re a [01:08:00] one kid and you want to get better, you stay within 18 feet.
And you shoot your one, two, three step process until you find your rhythm until you find your groove. And then what I would suggest is you take that left sleeve off. You keep that right sleeve on because right on the wrist of that, right? Where the watches, when any anybody ever asks you. Can you say, what time is it?
And you’re in the game. You say it’s time to swish it and you point to your wrist and you mean it, but you’re going to keep that sleeve on. And then you’re going to take the left one off that has the bridge attached to it. And you’re going to feel in those first five reps and you’re going to go, Whoa, my arms feel free.
I feel a little bit loosey goosey here. Why is that? Well, you’ve been restricted and your body’s been told what to do for the last. 10 15, 20, 30 minutes. Okay. So what is it telling [01:09:00] you and what did it feel like when you were shooting for those 15 minutes, that’s where you need to, that’s where you need to be.
So now you’ve got the instant feedback that you need that I could never give someone when they were away from me. I could never give that to them, but this product will give you that. And it’ll tell you exactly where you need to be with it on you, because you’ve done so many reps with it. And now they’re shooting swishes from the same spots that they just did.
And you go through the same routine. And build up the confidence in the real reps without the product. And this is truly now the first product that you can take from training to tip off because of how now you’ve got that other piece of it on you. And it’s like that blanket it’s that level of confidence that I’ve made these shots before.
And I know every time I catch it, what my shot’s supposed to [01:10:00] feel like. Okay. I’ve seen it go through the hoop. I know how it feels like, and I know how to get it back to that. And that’s one of the hardest things in game to go. I can’t tell you how many times players come up to you and go, Hey coach, I can’t find it.
It’s not there today. Hold up a second. Just get it to two. Number two. Feels like let’s get it there and all of a sudden that’s it. Now we’re talking scalability. And maybe that’s the next point that we’re talking about is like, Hey how does this thing translate on a global scale and from one age to the next and from one coach to another coach, to one coach, to a player.
But yeah, and that’s really how I would suggest working with it if you were an eight year old or an 11 year old or 15 year old in the driveway,
Mike Klinzing: [01:10:47] All right. Talk about that scale and how you envision this product getting out into the marketplace and having an impact on players at all levels of the game.
Christopher Spartz: [01:10:57] Well, one of the things I would do [01:11:00] is when I was building this out, I would really like start polling people from different spaces in basketball, right? Like a college coach, high school coach, middle school, grade school. And then like people are doing camps and clinics and showcases. And what I found was camps and clinic and showcases, there’s a million of them around and there’s going to be a million more in year, 2021.
Okay. So what they’re always looking for is what’s my value add. What’s my differentiator. Ooh, I got one. I can guarantee that you can teach them to shoot quicker, find success quicker with a three-step shooting process that I can scale a three-step shooting process. So scalability is based on simplicity, right?
Like if I can’t, if I’m not there doing it, this thing will still be dynamic without me there? [01:12:00] Right. I believe this three-step process is absolutely dynamic, especially paired with the SWSH sleeve. So that becomes at every camp and clinic, it becomes a station and every player comes to a camp in clinic and they receive it with their t-shirt.
It’s a upcharge and all of a sudden these clinics go look. No other camp or clinic is doing this well for now. Right? But no other camp or clinic is doing this and we can get them better quicker. And when they leave, these players are going, Hey man, I’m using this on my own. Where did I get this? I got this at this camp, a clinic.
Do you think they’re going to go back to that camp and clinic next year? Absolutely. Absolutely. And you know what, they’re going to go back as a better player and you know, who goes to camps and clinics that has good players. Other good players value add times 10. It’s no different with showcases. [01:13:00] Now, as far as the scalability I was talking to a guy that does camps and clinics all around the world.
He’s one of the premier skill development coaches sponsored by major shoe brand. And he said, Hey man, like I’m in front of a hundred players in one gym in China and I’ve got. A hundred coaches standing, waiting in the wings, taking notes, and I’ve got to communicate how to shoot properly.
Like it’s all dependent on the translator standing next to me. And I don’t know that that’s really quality. How can I differentiate myself from any trainer skill development coach around the world? Bingo. Nailed it. I can say one, two, three in Chinese, in Spanish, in French. Oh, now we’re talking now, hold up a second.
What if [01:14:00] we put a SWSH sleeve on everybody. And they’re all looking at me at the same time. While I say one, two, three in their native language, you think they could pick up on it? Absolutely. Do you know that? Do you think they know what it feels like? I bet they can. And then here’s a deal. Now I’m going to send them off to the hoops.
Do I have to be there at every single rep? Coaching them up? No, they got their own specific coach coaching them up. It’s a SWSH early man. And now I’m coaching up one or two thing. One thing in their shot. That’s really poor. That’s prohibiting them from being great. And I don’t have to coach up the entire shot.
That’s all quirky and odd and awkward and uncomfortable. Right. So. That’s what excites me about the scalability of this. And it allows us, and we talked about this earlier. It allows us as coaches to reach more kids. It’s the whole reason I left college coaching. How can I impact more [01:15:00] kids in a positive way and get them better quicker?
And I think we did it.
Mike Klinzing: [01:15:06] All right. So how do people find it? What does it cost? Where do they go to learn more about it? Beyond what we’ve talked about here tonight, give us the website, give us the social media, let people know where they can get it and what it costs so that people who are interested can go out and experience it for themselves.
Christopher Spartz: [01:15:30] Absolutely. So. First off, along the same lines of trying to get it in as many people as possible around the world, we wanted to make it affordable. We know it’s high-end product, but we wanted to make it affordable. So we did that. It’s 39 99. You can go to SWSH official.com to get yours. We have a white version, we have a black version and we love it.
SWSH official. [01:16:00] SWSHofficial.com. You can also go to Instagram and really follow our journey at SWSH_official. And we love it. you can contact me, you can connect with me and share your story about using it for the first time, experiencing your first SWSH with the SWSH sleeve @CoachCSpartz to connect with me.
And so, yeah, we’re really, really excited.
Mike Klinzing: [01:16:31] Awesome. Christopher, we cannot thank you enough for coming on tonight and not only sharing about your product, but also sharing about. Your basketball journey, which again, I think that one of the things that I love about the podcast is just being able to hear the different stories of how people got to where they are in their basketball life and their basketball career, and hearing the stories of that journey and learning about what drove them to get to the point where they are, [01:17:00] whether that’s through coaching, whether that’s through entrepreneurship, whether that’s through some other Avenue where they’re having an impact using the game of basketball to do that.
And so. I just want to personally say thanks to you for coming out and sharing that I cannot thank you enough for spending this hour and 20 minutes or so with us to talk about your product, to talk about your basketball journey, the one out there. Thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next episode.