Ganon Baker

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Twitter – @ganonbaker

Ganon Baker is regarded as one of the premier basketball skill trainers in the world.

Ganon trains players from the NBA, NCAA, high school and middle school levels. His relentless passion, work ethic, and competency for the game has the respect of players and coaches all over the World. Since June 2001, Baker has been traveling all over the Globe impacting the game of basketball. He has been to 45 countries and counting working with players and coaches on their game.

NBA/WNBA players crave his knowledge and energy for getting them better. Ganon has worked with and shared the court with Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Brittney Griner, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Tamika Catchings, Skylar Diggins, and many more.

College coaches constantly connect with him about working out their players during the off season as well as basketball wisdom. They search him and his workout videos out for new and refreshing ideas on player development and team concepts. Nike and Brand Jordan hire Ganon year after year to work with their High School and top European players.

As a premier basketball trainer Ganon has developed over 72 workout and teaching videos. His DVD’s were once year after year best sellers with Championship productions. His schedule is constantly filled with coaching clinic events such as the NCAA Men’s Final Four, Coaching U Live, NIke USA clinics, FIBA clinics, AAU clinics, and High School association clinics.

Most recently Ganon has opened a Ganon Baker Basketball Asia office where he has partnered with Stronger Me a basketball education company based in Beijing, China. Together they have committed to educating coaches, trainers and players in the emerging Chinese basketball market based on their Systematic Curriculum created to satisfy the needs of players, coaches and parents for every level of play starting at ground zero and guiding then along to the (hopeful) professional ranks.

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Make sure you take some notes as you listen to this episode with one of the premier basketball skills trainers in the world, Ganon Baker.

What We Discuss with Ganon Baker

  • The characteristics of a great coach
  • Teaching players how to win on and off the court
  • There is great coaching at all levels from the youth game to the pros
  • Coaches need passion, energy, and charisma
  • Why the emotional and mental side of coaching are just as important as the x’s & o’s
  • How Ganon improved at building relationships with players
  • Ganon’s methods for improving himself as a coach
  • Why Ganon always carries a notebook
  • The importance of reciprocity in networking and relationships
  • How to set up your skill development program as a high school coach

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[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 this morning, but I am with world renowned basketball trainer and coach Ganon Baker. Ganon, welcome to the podcast.

Ganon Baker Hey Mike, it’s good to be here, man. Yeah, absolutely.

Mike Klinzing: Glad to have you back on for your second run with us here on the Hoop Heads pod.  Today, we thought we’d dive right into some interesting topics that we hope our audience is going to find value in the first one being. What is your idea in terms of the characteristics of a great coach? What do you think a great coach does that separates them from the average coach?

Ganon Baker: [00:00:39] Well,  I’ve always said that the two main jobs of a coach is to teach the kids how to win in basketball.

And,  that doesn’t mean that winning is important. That’s the only thing. But you gotta teach them how to act like a winner, you know, on the court. So it means being the best you can be on both ends as a teammate. [00:01:00] Respecting the coach and working hard and, and then, you know, we teach them how to win in life.

I don’t care if you’re a middle school coach. I coached, you know, coaching middle school kids. I don’t care if you’re high school coach, I’ve coached high school, college, I’ve coached college pro, you know, coach prof, coach, all levels and, and, and the great ones. Cause there’s great ones. Maybe not as popular, but there’s great ones in middle school, great ones in high school.

And so forth. And it is a lot of great coaches regardless of popularity record, um, or what level they are. Just cause you know, you don’t have a big basketball title didn’t make you a big coach. Now you, there can be a great coach that every level and do a great job of implementing life values. Teaching kids how to be a winner in life, bringing up real situations in real time, meeting these kids and their generation and getting, getting to understand their generation and their culture.

You know, what they follow what they like, what they deal with, with their issues. And [00:02:00] so you lay the foundation like a lack of father, you know, and, and, and, and if it’s a female coach, like a mother, right? But obviously success is gender free and colorblind. So. You know, those are the two things that that make up a great coach.

And, and subheadings of that is basically, you know, it’s all to be Brown man. Coaching is motivation, relationships, execution. And so motivation is. Everything about inspiring the kids and connecting, right? Getting the kids to trust you, and there’s a buy in, right? But you’ve got to motivate them first. You got to hit them with passion and energy and charisma and Schumer, you know, and tough love and accountability.

Um. Kids want to learn. Like they’ll, those they value learn. They’ll give you their time and resources to learn. I’ve made a living monetarily off that for 20 plus years. And a lot of your listeners have made a life [00:03:00] out of that in high school. You know, for more than that because kids do want to learn, but they have to be inspired by a great leader.

And there’s so many coaches that are, the unsuccessful coaches are the coaches that are stuck, that are bitter, that are angry, that are inflexible, that are, that don’t want to grow, you know, and it’ll boring that or. Co communistic so to speak, dictate, you know, tutorial. Um, and so that comes with motivation, man.

Coaches go to these clinics and they learn X and no, and, and, and player development, which is great, but you got to also look at the emotional and the mental side of coaching and that co, you know why? Because you got gotta, you know, you’re an actor, man. You’re in front of you. You got to entertain as well as educate.

You got to get their attention. You’ve got to engage. You know, there’s all kinds of rules of engagement within coach with coaching. Um, and then, you know, relationships. Men, you got to get . Up with technology. You gotta text the kids. You got to sit kids [00:04:00] down sometimes one-on-one and say, Hey man, how’s your life?

On a scale of one to 10 how’s your relationship with God on a scale of one to 10 how’s your relationship with your parents? Do you have parents? How is what’s going on in your life right now? Like. Hey, you need to do that. And you can’t be socially awkward as a coach. Not to put any coaches on the bus that I played for, but I, I, you know, looking back now, no one want to, no one.

I had a few socially awkward coaches and, and,  but I had some great coaches, so I got to compare, right. I played for three different college coaches. In college, I worked for three and five years coaching in college, so I got to see a lot. I got to experience the dimmer, not nugget staff when I tried out for them in 2002 and I just, you know, self-aware now of all the different styles of coaching.

But relationships is huge. A spiff, you know, I think I’ve told you four days a month, nobody. We talk mostly about the relationship. Pop had with his coaches and then with his players. And then the last one [00:05:00] is a execution, right? You competent? Do you know how to build up a program from one on Oh, to the five on?

No. You know, are you,  UpToDate with, you know, an analytics,  you know, they say, now most games are won in the first and third quarter, and then,  how you respond to ATO. So. After timeouts, and you know, all that is, is coaching men in a nutshell. I know. Long winded on that answer, but I dropped a lot of good nuggets that we want and write down.

But that’s, that’s it right there, man. That’s your foundation.

Mike Klinzing: [00:05:33] Yeah, I agree with you. Let’s think back to when you were first getting into coaching. How many of those things did you realize right out of the gate and how many did you sort of build into your repertoire as you progress throughout a career?

So compare the young Ganon Baker to the Ganon Baker that’s listening, that’s speaking to us today.

Ganon Baker: [00:05:55] Yeah. Well, number one, I knew motivate because I [00:06:00] was self-motivated. So internally,  I thought, okay, well, you know, I was always motivated by coaches and coaches motivated me and that work.  I, I once was lazy and then I hit a light bulb, kind of Rocky I the tiger moment.

I never, I never left from that guy. You know, that guy is still in me.  so I, I was always, um, when I started coaching, my mind was always in tune with, all right, how can I inspire this guy to take his mind and his body to a place where he’s never been? I want this kid to fall in love with basketball. If he, if he just likes it, or I want this kid to have an a gap.

They love a, an even higher love for basketball for his teammates. And for his goals than he’s ever had before. So, um, I’ve always been into motivation.  relationships was the thing I had to work on, you know, [00:07:00] because,  I wasn’t patient and tolerant of, of their, their softness and their silence and their stupidity, you know, those are the three S’s now.

And again, I would, I would call kids stupid and, and, and, and, you know, obviously I cared about them cause I worked so hard for him. And,  every, I mean, I showed up, I still do. I show you come work out with me. I’m sh, I’m showing up, man. I’m in, I’m, I’m there. Let’s go. Like I’m all in. And that’s the biggest compliment a, a player can give from a coach as if man, they’re doing their best.

You know, whatever you do do with all your heart as you’re working for, for the Lord. I mean, that’s, that’s spiritual. But I,  I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t do a good job of showing it. I didn’t get into their, um, life and,  didn’t ask, you know, as a person, it was all basketball. It was a transaction. I’ll work you out, man.

This is what you need. Has your game. [00:08:00] Boom. Good. It wasn’t no life involved, no life, never, never followed up with them unless they followed up with me. Never went to go see their games again. I didn’t have a lot of time. Um, but I didn’t have that, that sensitive chip,  really build in their life,   as a person, if they asked or if there was a.

Something glaring. We, yeah, we, we talk about life motivating them to be the best basketball player that they could be. Um, a little bit of life. And that was it. I miss that relationship part. Early on.

Mike Klinzing: [00:08:37] So what’s the difference between when you were coaching at the high school or the college level, what do you actually have a team of 12 to 15 players that you’re responsible for versus when you’re in a training situation, whether you’re.

Either you’re working with a player one-on-one or you’re working in sort of a clinic camp model. What’s the difference in how you go about building the [00:09:00] relationship? Because obviously it’s a different dynamic when you’re coaching a team versus in the training piece of it. So talk a little bit about that for us.

Ganon Baker: [00:09:07] Yeah. In high school and college, cause I, I coached in college for five years. Um, I mean it’s the same problem is time cause in college, you know, after you work the players out and do your class checks and all that. Now you got to go recruit or you got other things in your life. So it’s, it’s really been intentional of, of your time and making moments in that day to just get one on one with the kids.

I mean, there’s, so,  you know, I was okay at that and after my fifth year of college coach and not really got better at that. And then when I went into skill training that, you know, I let time get the best of me, and I didn’t feel in that relationship void,  even to an higher level. So. Skill training, you’re with one culture and then you travel and you’re here and [00:10:00] another culture.

So you’re constantly building cultures and speaking life into kids, but you don’t get that, that followup, that daily connection. And so, you know, high school coach is same thing, man. It’s like, man, you know, you’ve got kids class, that’s your real job. But I to coaches, if you ask them, you ask them, Hey, what do you do for like, my high school coach is so true.

You get paid $3,000 man, you real job. No, I mean, you know, so I mean, like they got here their other job, right? And they can’t move their real job. So it’s being intentional, man. It’s, um, being, being,  technology savvy, like texting guys and learning how to face time, learn how to Facebook messenger. Sending a, an article,  of depression when, you know, one of your kids is depressed.

It’s taking him to a park, just you and him giving him time, showing him that man, you’re important. And, and doing that with all 13, 14 guys, even the guys that don’t [00:11:00] play a lot, you got to give them their, their time. And everybody has different love languages. So. You know, love languages, how you receive importance and value from people.

Some, some of it’s words of affirmation, some it’s gifts, some this time, some it’s acts of service. So,  there was a great book, I think his name is Gary Chapman.

Mike Klinzing: [00:11:18] That’s, that’s a great book.

Anybody out there who has a read it. It’s a fantastic book about relationships for sure.

Ganon Baker: [00:11:24] So you find fun with Wester whistle and then you gotta be intentional about, because the kid.

The better. They’re gonna,  be,  they’ll have a better aptitude on the court look, which means the ability to learn and get that information from you on the court and do what you say want to do it. Um, and that, that’s all it is, man. You, I mean, you know, when it comes down to Thailand, right? And then it’s motivation, execution, relationships, King, will they buy in?

Will, do they trust you? Do they do. Work as hard as they can, every single possession,  and the [00:12:00] games. So I, you know, it’s, it’s intentional with your time and it’s really being, um, in June with, Hey man, I haven’t talked to Johnny and in awhile, let me, let me get, let me get in touch with him. And I might be sitting down eating lunch with them.

It might me visiting him in PE or, you know, whatever you can to connect and, and have a conference conversation. And,  it’s hard to do that cause time is an enemy sometimes.

Mike Klinzing: [00:12:27] Yeah. I think being intentional is key. That’s been a theme that as we’ve talked to coaches all over the place, that every different level they want to practice or day one, when you get your job thinking that that’s what I’m going to do.

And that’s what’s important to me. And then, as you said. The daily grind kind of gets to you and it chews up that time. And then the things that you had planned to do. If you’re not intentional about them, sometimes those go by the wayside. So I think that’s really a good piece of advice. And as long as we’re in the mindset here of getting better and improving and growing, wanted to ask you, cause I think this is something that [00:13:00] coaches out there can learn from you as a coach.

What are some of the things that you do to improve yourself. As a coach, what are some of your go to sources? Maybe go to people, just your process for how do you get better day in and day out so that you know you’re giving the maximum value to the people who are coming to you as a coach?

Ganon Baker: [00:13:21] Now, that’s a great question.

And a, again, I’m not religious at all,  but I am a spiritual and a Christian and I mean my life source. So I, I believe.  that God gave me life and he gave me my parents and he put me on this earth for a reason. So,  if he, if he is,  if I’m a phone, then he’s my electrical outlet and I’m going to work for a while, but then I’m going to get worn down.

And if I don’t plug into him. You know, my emotions, my mentality, my feelings aren’t going to be where they need to be as a man, as a father, as a mentor, as a coach, [00:14:00] as a husband, as a friend. And so,  I mean, I, I can say daily,  I have solitude time. And if we’ll coach, I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in God.

That’s cool. I love you. That’s fine. But do you believe that there’s a higher being? Do you believe that the universe, do you believe that life is, is a all related then, you know? Okay. I know. Okay, well, the best coaches out there had quiet time. I don’t know. Pat Riley’s spiritual. Uh. Foundation, but he calls it quiet time and he would, and he was very successful in basketball.

He would sit down as often as turn off the lights quiet, maybe put on a little soft music, have an open notebook and pad in front of him and just write thoughts down. And that solitude time,  do research on meditation, right? It will leave. It’s proven 100% proven. If you meditate every day,  again, every day might [00:15:00] be 10 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, but you get some quiet time and you release stress, release, anxiety, release confusion, ambiguity.

And then you receive this, you know, wisdom, you’ve received knowledge, you’ve received clarity, you receive thoughts, you receive ideas. You feel me? I feel you. So, and so. For me, it’s, it’s doing that with a Bible,  with the sermon. With a good book. Um, and, and just talking to God, like, like I’m talking to you, but, but I, I’ll use some scripture because if you speak the word, the word word comes to life in your life.

And,  and, and that’s number one. Number two, I mean, you go to the best of the best success.  has left footprints. So follow them and seek wisdom of those that come before you. So for me, it’s, it’s Kevin Eastman.  I played for him.  I work for him. He’s a friend.  I’m not like him. He and I totally different, and [00:16:00] I’ll tell him that I read, I read two hours a day.

 I think he reads more than that four hours a day, but he,  I, I’ll read an hour maybe sometimes too,  on some days. Yeah. I might read five or six when I’m on the road, but yeah. No. But when I do read, I write stuff down and I go, but I, I’m a little add and, you know, I’m a little add a little reading and comprehension problem in, in high school and elementary school.

And, and it takes me a while to, I’m a slow reader. Um. One of my good friends, Scott savour, great guy, secrets, secrets in sports out of Wiscon. He’s a speed reader, and then he can just read a book in like 10 minutes. I, I, that’s not me. You know what I mean? I gotta sit down and recite, review. So it’s okay to go to people that are a lot smarter than you, a lot better than you that know more than you.

You don’t have to be them, but you can take information from them. And it’s hard. [00:17:00] Now what are you going to do with that in there? Here’s the problem. I see lot of people who go to clinics, a lot of people got, knows a lot of people put stuff out there. But what are you actually applying? And that’s why I love with coachee cause he can give me all this stuff.

He knows how to apply it all. I don’t know how to apply it all, but, Oh, that’s a nugget right there. That one book, that one concept that. Those couple basketball,  drills,  terminologies, strategies, and they helped me for the rest of my life. Absolutely. You know what I mean? Cause it’s not how much, you know, it’s what you implement and what do people get out of it?

How much do they get out of it and do they buy into you? So you gotta have a balance of information and you’ve got to have a. You know, you gotta have people that you go to that you’re actually going to use what they’re giving you. You know, every, I love to learn, we all love the Lord. That’s why we’re on this podcast.

[00:18:00] But what are you going to do when? And so how are you gonna apply that one word? Or what are you going to practice? You know what I mean? You can’t practice everything. Cause then you stand for nothing. So it’s not what you do. It’s what you emphasize. And so when I’m talking with coachee, you know. If something comes out at me, I’m writing it down and I’m emphasizing that because I know it’s true.

And I know it’s right because coaches one of the best in the world,  from a D, you know, John Lucas,  life, you know, he’s got a lot of life, a lot of, and I’ll call him just about balance in life and basketball and dealing with all the issues that, that men and and, and athletes in our industry and coaches in our industry deal with.

I mean. I’m on a talk this afternoon and doing a little research on life and fam basketball and family, man, Mike, 60 to 70% of coaches,  are divorced in our industry. How college, NBA high school, all combined. Now I, I [00:19:00] would say most of that, and that was just a, a fact I found the internet Wikipedia. You know, I didn’t, didn’t do thorough research, but anyway, you know, it wakes me up a little bit.

Everybody that I,  contacted when I was offered some NBA player development coaches, I contact about five guys in the league that I really trust. Four of them,  were single or divorced. Only one was married. So. You know, it’s like, man, coach Lucas, how do I balance success and family? Because to me, both are important.

It’s both integrated. My job changes lives, and so you go to him with that information. And then the third kind of person I go to is . It might be you, it might be some of your listeners. I go to people that say, do stuff that open up a treasure box within me. It’s like, Whoa. I want to do that. I like that the older I’ve gotten, the more I become a better listener, and I’ve recognized [00:20:00] a good things physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, socially, in the sense of teaching.

Well, when I’m, when I’m engaged, so I’ve become a better note taker, a better listener, I’ve recognized, and that’s hold up. That’s pretty good. So, you know, the third type of person that I use or go to is anybody that speaks life and truth. And passion, then I can use, you know, in my life of basketball. And so that might be Shubie Brown.

It might be Rick Pitino. That might be Phil Jackson’s book, 11 rings and might be , you know, something I see on Twitter,  Phil Beckner recently, and I’ve gotten a little relationship. Good. Good coach out of,  Phil’s a great dude. He was on, he was on with us. Yeah. He’s fantastic, man. I love him. Yep. Yep. So he know having a distant relationship for about,  I guess a decade when he was coaching in college.

And. We’ll hit each other up spontaneously, but you know, he, he stuff on his sweater, like, Oh, I’ll kind of write that down. I like that one. So it’s like, [00:21:00] you know, and that’s, and that’s, that’s it, man. But the two guys that,  you know, really,   Mike Dunlap had an hour conversation with him the other day.

So, you know, I’m blessed to be able to, to have some influence from some people. I don’t have a lot. But, um, it’s a great question cause everybody needs a coach and everybody needs somebody that has more information and experience. You know, John Lucas calls life. You need people that walk with a limp that’s been through some battles, right?

They’ve got some scars they can talk about and discuss some life in them. And so, you know, the best compliment he ever gave me was, man, Danny, you got some basketball in life and you brother. Like, thank you. Cause it, you know, you, you want people that have wisdom but also pain. You know, you want people that are not pristine and it’s never been through a vowel.

Wow man, [00:22:00] I want you warriors. I want, you know, I don’t want Superman because Superman never got scarred. You know, I want Russell Crowe in the gladiator. I want, I want that dude in three hunch. And I mean, I want guys that. Can bleed. Cause that’s me. I’m not a person. That’s again, you can get there. And that’s what I.

Mike Klinzing: [00:22:24] Yeah, no doubt. Let me ask you two follow up questions. One. So you talked a lot there about taking wisdom from some of the people that you interact with. So do you have a formal system for taking notes that you have a notebook? Do you have a system that you go with? And then too, if I’m a coach out there and I want to reach out to someone who I have respect for one of basketball community, any suggestions for coaches out there?

If I want to reach out to. Coach X, Y, or Z, maybe it’s somebody who has more, is more accomplished than me and my career. What do you recommend to somebody reach it out to somebody, maybe to, to be their mentor, to just be able to pick their [00:23:00] brain? So two things. One, your system for note taking. And then two, how do you reach out to somebody to ask them to pour into you?

Ganon Baker: [00:23:08] Well, to me in my life, note-taking has been something that I’ve had to work on. But,  you know, you know, w when you’re engaged. And the conversation, whether it be podcasts or live or whatever, and you, you got to listen. And if they say something powerful, then you’ve got to remember it because we forget 9% of what we hear.

That’s why Bob was my mind, man. But people go to, you’ve got a great person in front of you at these events, clinics, church,  speeches, school assemblies. And 90% of people ain’t right and stuff. Don’t bring a notebook. Like why, why would you go to a seminar church? And you don’t write it down. Like, I mean, you know, that’s a fact.

90% of people, so you’ve got to write it down. I just, um, you know, pick out [00:24:00] words and phrases and stuff that relates to my life and just, you know, write it down so I’m, you know, I don’t know how to teach that other than, you know, just dig in and really listen. Um, I always bring a note, but I mean, I’ve got a notebook in my car.

I write stuff down because it helps me learn better. Um, even if I don’t have a notebook, I have a section on my phone called notes, and I got 50 folders, you know, I got my, yeah, so you just write it down and don’t be, be comfortable with being awkward. Cause you’ll be in a conversation, I’ll be in a conversation with coach and say, coach, eat right.

 we were in Vegas coaching you live. And,  he came up, talked to my wife, talking to me, and then he said some pretty powerful. And I pulled out my phone, started writing that down as he was talking. [00:25:00] And he, you know. You know, and if I don’t know the person as well cause he knew I didn’t see me, I will say to them, Hey man, I’m still in the conversation.

I’m just writing what you said down. I was powerful. Like that’s an awkward moment. But if you think about it, it makes, it empowers them and makes them feel important and wise. And so I’ll, I’ll, if I don’t have my phone, I’ll pull out my pants. Let me write that down. And then later on that week. I’ll go read what I wrote down and I’ll highlight stuff that I can use.

And then,  whenever I have time to read, I’ll pull out that notebook and I’ll read just the highlighted stuff. See what I’m saying? So I’ll get the stuff right. It’s like cut in a Turkey, right? Turkey in the oven and you bake it. Then you get it out and you start carving it up. You don’t need to hold Turkey, which you use some stuff and then what you don’t use, you put it in the refrigerator and you use later.

So if I’m writing an article or I’m doing a speech, or [00:26:00] I’m doing a podcast like this, I pulled out one of my notebooks. There’s no book. It’s called basketball and life coach 2018. So I started in 2018 and I looked at a couple,  you know, highlighted things, and I thought, all right, how can I, how can I use this information today when we’re talking about coaching and mentoring and building a skill development program?

And so, uh. The MRI. I just reviewed it last night. I reviewed it this morning. And now, you know, organically I’m trying to, you know,  regurgitate, recite,  things that, that are real and, and you know, answers to your questions. So the truth, fear is no question, Mike. If you study the truth, live the truth, and you’ve tried to get your heart and spirit to be the best you can be in basketball, teach the right thing, say the right thing and not, and not, uh.

You know, guests, then it’s just gonna flow and, and you’re going to speak wisdom and help people. [00:27:00] So those are some,  and then when I’m doing a podcast,  if I hear something, you know, powerful, I’ll pause it, right? I mean, Mike, I’ve even gone so far as driving down the interstate, pull over. Really wanted the podcast wrote that down.

Like that’s, that’s how intentional you gotta be. And then again,  knows, it’s like a freaking Ivy league professor, man. It’s, it’s, it’s beautiful. It’s like a piece of art mine. I mean, I got stuff on napkins. I, you know, I’m going, I’ll go to a speech with a little ripped out notebook with stuff he’s got highlighted, laminated stuff.

Well, you know what, it works for him and it works for me. So it’s, it’s, it’s about owning your style and own your system of taking notes. Now, you know,  your second question, um, as far as,  who, who out there, you know, I can’t, I don’t [00:28:00] want to guess and speak for you, but I would say if you’re a middle school coach, really try to do research on the best, the best.

High school coach or JV coach in your area, and how have the humbleness, even if he’s a competitive man, have the humbleness to say, look, I’d like to learn this. I’m struggling with this. Or, Hey, Matt, can I just pick you? And if they say no, go to the second best. And if they say no, then go to a college coach because it’s all relatable, right?

It’s all relative. There’s stuff that Popovich does. Cheryl Reeves that from Minnesota. Lynx does, right? Dawn Staley for South Carolina does that. We can use this high school codes. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, you’re dealing with people, right? John Calipari has kids that Kentucky make the same bonehead mistakes on and off the court that your kids make.

Mike so made up. You know, it now, the style of play might be different than the level of [00:29:00] talent might be different. But you know, we’re human beings and we all bleed red. So, um, that’s, that’s my suggestion. And then, you know, it’s amazing what you can find on the internet and Google mentors. I’m a mentor, you know what I mean?

I, I’ve, I’ve re re re recreated, revamp my business in the last three years to where instead of training players all the time, I’d like to. You know, train coaches half the time, or all the time now, you know, so I actually do it for a living. Um, and there’s, there’s other coaches out there to do her for a living, but to me, that’s an easy problem to solve.

You just gotta go find out, Hey, what are you looking for? And who’s, who’s, who’s in your backyard now, obviously during this time, you don’t want to go find them, find them on, better, find them online, not in person. Yeah. I mean, virtual clinic with Leysin Perkins and, um, Lee Klein just had over 200 [00:30:00] coaches around the country.

Do clinics and things.

Mike Klinzing: [00:30:04] That thing’s been phenomenal. It’s, it’s absolutely amazing. There’s, there’s so much content there. Yeah. It was a blast. I had a blast doing mine. Yours was great. And I’ve been slowly trying to work my way through as many of them as possible.  but man, there’s, there’s so much content there.

It’s, it’s incredible what those guys were able to put together.

Ganon Baker: [00:30:22] reach out to those guys. You don’t even have to say we’d be my men or just hit them with questions. For example, I didn’t know this guy knew me, but a guy named Phil handy is the player development coach for the Lakers.

Mike Klinzing: [00:30:38] He was here in Cleveland.

Ganon Baker: [00:30:40] Yeah, he was in Cleveland. Unreal. I’d never met. I don’t think I’ve ever met a man. Unreal dude. But he, he’ll hit me up like he knows me. He’ll hit me up. And just compliment you, let me up and give some gratitude. And I’m like, and then so I start following him. I’m like, this guy’s good. And so we’ve, and you know, is he mentoring me and my [00:31:00] mentoring?

I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is, you know what? There was a connection and now I sent him the other day. Five questions on how he deals with these issues with his, with his players. And it was, how do you, how do you deal with a player’s laziness? How do you deal with a player’s fear? How do you want a players confidence?

How do you respond to mistakes? You know, what do you, what are your teaching points for us? I’d pick a role. And, and so he was like, yo, I’m a, I’m a call you. I ain’t, I ain’t texting you on that. Let’s, let’s talk about that live. So we’re trying to, and that’s, that’s, that’s all it takes, you know, just, just be persistent.

And, and have some resolve about. You will find somebody, this will give you the right answers. You’ve got to keep asking the right people and keep asking the right questions

Mike Klinzing: [00:31:48] . Yeah, and that goes back to what we talked about, running it off the top of the podcast, which is building relationships. And not only were you building relationships with players, but in this case, you’re building relationships with colleagues in the coaching [00:32:00] profession.

And I think that’s really important. And the other thing that I hear you saying that I think is important, not just as. In the basketball world, but I think it’s just important in life is that you can’t be afraid to, to ask or to reach out to somebody. And too often we kind of get trapped in our own mind and we don’t get outside of that and look around and say, okay, here’s a situation.

And we all know that in most cases. The things that we’re dealing with in our life or in our profession. There’s somebody out there who’s dealt with those same things before. We usually, we don’t invent new problems. We have problems and issues that other people have faced, so why not reach out to people who have those answers, who have been through.

Ben through the battles who are warriors like you described earlier, and ask them for their wisdom so that we can learn from what they went through and then apply that in our own life. And I think you have to be, it goes back to another word we’ve talked about. You have to be intentional. You’ve got to go out and you’ve got to find.

Those people and say, Hey, I’m [00:33:00] looking for this. I need this, I want this, but I have to be intentional about it and I have to be persistent. Where if the first person says no, the second person says no. The third person says, no, I can’t give up. I got to keep going until I find somebody who’s willing to give me their time to pour into me, to help to make me a better person.

And then conversely, just like you said, with Phil handy, not only are. Maybe they pour it into you, but then you’re giving something back to them as well in that relationship. I think that’s really what it’s all about.

Ganon Baker: [00:33:28] Yeah. Iron sharpens iron and,  there is no great relationship without reciprocity. And reciprocity is if I give you

go above and beyond. If I give you passion, you give me more passion. You know what I mean? So there has to be a circular. Reaping and sowing in that relationship given and taking.

Mike Klinzing: [00:33:54] I couldn’t agree more. All right. Let’s go to our third topic of the day again, and let’s talk a little bit about developing [00:34:00] a skill development program.

If. I’m a high school coach. Give me some ideas, some thoughts that high school coaches out there listening can put into practice when they start thinking about the skill development part of their program.

Ganon Baker: [00:34:14] Well, hopefully this legal man, I don’t, you know, I’m so irritated with some of these high school rules is that every state’s different and you never know what you’re getting into.

Yeah, man, I wish they would have a freedom on working kids out cause it keeps you safe off the streets and enacted. You know, choice driven, shot clock. But anyway, if you’re allowed to build a workout program during the off season, during the season, and there’s not a lot of time restrictions,  start from scratch, you know, identify your trends and traits of, of how you want to officially play, you know, you, you gotta make sure that,  you know, you’re clear on your offensive philosophy and then.

[00:35:00]  cause that relates to all your one on Oh drills all your two on Oh three Oh four. And that’s how you build it.  meet with each player individually and work them out. You know, whether 14 players do that for two, three weeks, really build a relationship with them. Give them time and show them your, you know, show them your assets as a coach.

Show them how excited you are.  one on one instruction. You have their attention, they learn quicker, they learn better.  and the one on, Oh, drills were very simple. Show them a move and accounter off the dribble, off the finish, one foot, two foot off the cut, you know, no screen off off the screen, um, off the catch.

Right. And the triple threat. So you’re, you’re, you’re teaching them, you know, one-on-one moves. You teach them separation techniques. I don’t care what you’re playing is the zone or a man, you know, kids gotta be able to separate for a [00:36:00] pass or a better shot. And so yeah, these guys love working on movies and now you’re like, man, this coach is cool, man.

He’s teaching me, I move off the dribble, he’s teaching me a move off the finish. He’s teaching me move off. The cut is teaching me to move. I’ll triple threat. And then when you, when you’re teaching them these moves, use current NBA, WWE, NBA players. Hey, this is the, uh. You know, Maya Maura move, or this is the, um, Damian Lillard move, even if it’s not that they don’t care, it’s this, like men are getting, you know, high level stuff.

So,  and then after you do the one on those stuff, then you know, do you two on Oh stuff, you know, teach kids ball ball movement. So you do your two on old ball movement drills with that. You’re teaching them spacing, right? Driving kick. Good offense is driving kick.  you got your screening and then maybe after two on, Oh, you do your three on O stuff, you got your screening, right.

So, and after, after [00:37:00] that, then you got your, you know, you got to, in these workouts, when you do your one on, Oh, let’s say 30 minutes, you got to Flay one-on-one. So when you play him or you have another kid. But you got to go one on Oh, one-on-one. Do you want to know? Two, one, two, three. Oh, three on, three on, three cutthroat.

Then five on five is your team. So by the time you get your teamwork out there in the season, man, these kids have the small parts and the whole hall works better. The relationship is build.  you know, you’re building versatility,  in your, in your program. Cause, so that’s how it built it. And don’t forget film, you know, if you can film the workouts.

 it could be their mechanics you want to harp on, or it could be, Hey, am I’m going to film this three on three, on three cutthroat and show them so, you know, 10 minutes. Why? Because kids can, you know, it’s like a movie. They see it. You can rewind it and they can, you just get more mental [00:38:00] reps. and if you want your body to be right, your, your mind has to get there first.

So. They see it in the mind and they do it with their body. You can send them the link, they can watch it again. You can have them, Hey man, write down five things you’re doing good. Five things you do on it. It could be cerebral, like there’s not enough basketball IQ teaching. I think in high school, the average pro, the good ones do right.

The Massa, just for an example, I know they do a lot of taking note books, right? And down IQ work. But um, you know, in a nutshell, that’s how you build it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:38:34] What in your mind is the right, I don’t know if balance is the right word, but what’s the balance between, I’m showing the kids something new, so we’re working on a brand new one on one move.

How much time do I spend working with a kid without a defender on there? Getting the technique down, be throat for I throw them out there. In again against the defenders. So let’s say I’m going to teach a kid a brand new movie. This is a high school player, so I’m [00:39:00] teaching them something, brand new footwork, whatever that is, a one-on-one move.

How much, how well do they have to have that move perfected before you throw a defense in front of them? Do you want them to be 50% of the way there? Do you want to throw them out there after you showed it to them for a half hour? Or do you want just explain a little bit about what that progression might look look like?

Ganon Baker: [00:39:20] How long is the workout.

Mike Klinzing: [00:39:22] Let’s just say, let’s just say you have a typical workout. So let’s say it’s a 60 minute workout.

Ganon Baker: [00:39:27] Yeah. It’s always a, always do about 40 minutes of  reps, reps, reps, you know, you get repetition drills. Where are you showing the mechanics? You know, you show him the reads. If you’re not open, these teammates can be open.

That’s the one thing that coaches forget about, is they’ll do a one on, Oh, move. And they, they, they do not one time emphasize during the workout, Hey, when you drive, your teammate will, one teammate will be here, other team mate will be here. You know, you got to [00:40:00] tell them where the other four teammates are going to be and where their defenders might be, so they can kind of have a visualization so that in the game their realization is better.

And so that, that takes time. As you 40 minutes you’re working on mechanics. You’re working on reeds, you know? Right. But there’s a called repetition of drills. You just do the same, move, the same drill over and over and over and over and over and over again. And then the last 1510 20 minutes, now you give them reads.

You know, whether they’re great at that move or not, you’ve got to give him some dessert. You’ve got throw him a bone. You got to give him a carrot. You gotta throw some candy in there, man, because they just, they just ate broccoli for 40 minutes, so you’re not going to give them some, some ice cream, you know, so you gotta you gotta, you know, you gotta let them play.

And so whether you guard them or, um, I mean, hell, you should be able to go, and I’m almost 50 and I can, I can outlast some of my 20 year olds. So any coaches [00:41:00] out there that. Is 50 or were below, you better be gardening then you can get out there. If you, if you can’t, you get hurt and go work out, go exercise, go workout.

You don’t have to do it to be a great coach, but ankle hurts you and it’s, it’s, it’s one of the best ways to get kids to work harder, to get kids to come back and get kids to engage is because they don’t see it a lot and they get inspired. When there are old ass coaches out there kicking, plus they want to beat you, right?

Plus they want to beat you. This coach has been yelling at him, so to speak, and getting on them and riding them. Okay, you’re gonna go. I’ll show you coach. And so that, that’s what I think about when I work out. And I’m like, yeah, I can’t wait till the next day. Who tries to, you know, tell me I’m old, like some guy the other day in China, not another day, but last year in China.

So coach you. Oh, and he said in Chinese slang, and I was like, all right man, you after the practice one-on-one, and everybody’s like, Ooh, I’m being 16 to one like, [00:42:00] and now he couldn’t, you know? I mean, he wasn’t like, the college is up, you know, when you wasn’t that good but it, my point is, you don’t think that kid is going to come back and play hard.

That kid have had a smile on his face. I got a workout. And so,  you play him one on one man, and, and as you’re doing it, you play pause, pause. Hey, you should’ve done, stop do this again. You went here, you should have done this. Your head was down, your, your hips worn dropped. That’s why you’re off balance.

Um, well, my hand is here. You do this. So as you’re planning on one-on-one, you’re, you’re giving them feedback and correction. And, uh. And then, you know, if you have a, a, another player, well that’s, it’s easy. You just sit there and stop and play, and you give feedback and you coach on the fly. But it’s very, very important that, you know, when you’re, you’re doing a drill now you gotta, you know, add, add the flesh, add the bones, bones over cones, right?

Flesh to keep [00:43:00] it fresh. You gotta you know, skill development is not just, you know, repetition, all drills. It’s, it’s situational drills too.

Mike Klinzing: [00:43:10] What does it look like in season? If I’m a high school coach, so what is my skill development? Cause I know a lot of times you’ll hear coaches, there’s that debate of how much time do I focus on my quote team stuff.

Whether that’s putting in your authentic system or your defensive system or working on walking through your opponent versus just continuing to help my players develop their skills.

Ganon Baker: [00:43:35] My frame of reference is. You know, doing this for over 20 years as a college coach and a player development, 48 countries, 48 States, I’ve seen it all and I’m still seeing it.

So my frame of reference is pretty good. And I would say the good programs that I’ve seen do skill development during the season, and they, they do 50% or more. So if you’re doing 100% right, skill [00:44:00] development time, you know, so I say you’re doing 10 hours of skill of element a week,  with your players.

So when now when the season comes, do you do 10 I don’t know. But I know you definitely gotta do at least five so you cut your skill development calmed down to at least 50% you’re still getting 50% you know. Well, a lot of teams are lifting Monday, Wednesday, Friday during the off season, and then during the season they only lift once.

Well, now they gotta lift twice. You know, or three, but you keep it going. You know, here’s the thing. And the NBA, that’d be NBA, they’re the best of the best, you know, winning college programs. Any level division three in the eye, they still find a way to get it in during the season or what do you mean? Well, maybe you have 6:00 AM open gym, may, maybe you, uh.

You know, have three hour practices and the first hour is skill development. I don’t, I don’t know, and I don’t believe in long, long fractures during [00:45:00] the season, but I just know you’ve got to find a way to get it in. Um,  and to me, again, this was back in the late eighties, early nineties. I found a way to get it in and I was an honor roll student in high school, and the only way I could fit it in is I had to say no to a lot of it.

You know, entertainment time. I couldn’t party. I couldn’t socialize as much, you know, I couldn’t hang out in front of the TV as much. I still, you know, got in my entertainment a little bit, but not as much. So that’s what, that’s what coaches have to do. They have to carve out time and emphasize it. If it’s not right.

Mike Klinzing: [00:45:39] Yeah. I think it’s, I think it’s huge that you have to make sure that whatever work you put in in the summer in terms of skill development, that you continue to give your players and opportunity within your, within your formal practice structure, number one. And then, I think you said it well there in that you have to go back to what we talked about earlier.

You have to inspire. [00:46:00] Your players were hopefully, and you may not be able to get every single guy on your, on your roster to go out and do this, but if you can get the majority of your roster working and putting it a little bit of extra time, whether that’s just coming in to practice 10 minutes earlier, stay in 10 minutes late or getting up earlier, you know, maybe you have Sundays off during the season and those guys are going to the gym anyway on Sunday and getting some shots up or working on whatever, doing something that.

They’ve been struggling with during the season. I think those are all situations where you can sort of, you can build it in, you can build in that skill development. And I know coaches a lot of times feel like, Hey, we’ve got to, we got to work on this team stuff. You know, I got to figure out my press break and I’ve got to get this set play in.

And sometimes they get caught up in that. And the skill development piece is the one that falls away. And to be honest, I think that we all know, and you said it earlier. That the skill level and the talent of players ultimately is what wins games. And yeah, coaching is important and strategy and all those kinds of things.

And if [00:47:00] it wasn’t, we wouldn’t all be in the coaching profession. But I do think that the more skilled your team is, the org games you’re going to win. And so if you can develop skill players as part of your program, you’re probably going to have a lot more longterm success than if you’re teaching them your seven different out-of-bounds play.

Ganon Baker: [00:47:17] Yeah, it might let me say something, you know, I want to stay, I want to stay championship. In high school. We got lucky. We’d be grant Hill’s team in 89. We went back again in 92, the final game and lost by three. So we were, we were very successful high school team in college. My senior year, we won the CAA, we tied old Jimmy and for the conference championship.

 my experience with Manu, you know, he told me, you know,  Tim Dunkin. And self and Tony Parker, right? Where the leaders of the team, so as a coach, whether you empower them to do it or it just organically evolves, you got to have other sounds from the [00:48:00] players to voice the same message. And to implement the same culture on and off the court that you, that you’re, that you want to happen because you just can’t do it on your own.

You can’t be a, a, a communist coach dictating, do this, do that, do that. And the, and the players have no sound. You know, a great band is awesome and successful because they have many sounds, but they’re on the same band. They all have the same passion and vision. And that’s to go out and be rock stars and inspire people that night.

And so that’s what, that’s what a team has to have, man. And that’s what a coach has to, has to get to two, three, four players and say, keep sending the message, keeps sending the message, keeps setting, setting culture. And it’s, you know, for, for my junior year it was a little bit of me, but mostly Kevin Swan, Rick miner.

Right. Paul Blackman and then my senior year, me, Aaron Monday, Jermaine Golson, [00:49:00] Pete Baco, Mark Williams, like I still remember the guys that that were were talking. And when we needed a pickup and timeouts and halftime and locker room and lunch room and before practice, during practice, it’s like, man, it was a lot of great scent.

Nothing happens without great sounds, you know, and words can bring life and death and words start to. You know, develop thoughts, and you have 30 seconds after a thought before it comes a feeling. And then that feeling becomes an action. And it all comes from the players, you know, leading with their voice.

Mike Klinzing: [00:49:33] Player led teams are often the most successful line compared to coach led teams. And then we actually had, we were talking to motto Watson last night from PGC and mano a great guy, and he shared a thought that I thought was, you know, really key when it comes to talking about the culture. What you’re talking about here was he said that.

You have to put things in place so that the culture exists [00:50:00] even when you’re not there. So if I’m the head coach of a program and two or three of my kids are getting together to have a workout, or we’re there in the locker room and I’m not, there is the culture that I’ve tried to instill. In my team. Is it still present even when I’m not there and physically present?

And I think that’s something that if your coaching, if you’re leading a program at whatever level it could be, you’re leading a youth program, you’re leading a middle school program, you’re leading the high school program and on up all the way through the best organizations. The best teams have a culture that’s present.

It’s not just dependent upon that one. Leader that one person being there, even when that person is at home, sitting at their kitchen table, eating dinner, that culture still exists anywhere that organization is, and I think that’s the goal that any coach should have out there is to put that type of culture together, which is what you were describing with your high school team, that you had guys that had bought into that culture and that they enforced it [00:51:00] even when.

Your ho, your high school coach wasn’t physically present. The culture was still present. I think that’s a key for any coach who’s trying to build a program.

Ganon Baker: [00:51:09] You’ve got to have the locker room coaches, you’ve got to have lunch room coaches, and then those coaches or players, you know, so no question. No question.

Mike Klinzing: [00:51:18] All right. Again, let’s wrap up there. I want to give you a chance before we get out to just share with people how they can reach out to you. It was your social media handles. Give us your website, just do some,  do some self promotion here. And then if there’s any final,  final point you wanna make before we finish up, you can, and then I’ll jump back in and wrap up the episode.

Ganon Baker: [00:51:38] Yeah, man. Well, I appreciate it, man. You know, I’m on social media again and underscore Baker on the stores. My Instagram.  website, Gannon Baker, Um, I train, you know, C players, camps, workouts, teams. Um, but right now I’m doing a lot of mentoring, you know, player mentoring, reviewing their tapes, giving them [00:52:00] feedback,  reviewing their workouts.

And the same thing for coaches, you know,  critiquing how they,  handle it. Or workouts or problems. I’m doing a lot of one on one mentoring. We have a free zoom call a couple times a month that you can get on. Just go to my website, click on free mentorship. And I have a unbelievable curriculum from beginner to pro that kind of lays out the whole pretty much decade of your skill development program, if, if you, if you want, um, for you.

And, and it lays out into,  you know, really good,  video, PDF and it flows. And,  so we have that available. If that’s some interest to you.

Mike Klinzing: [00:52:42] Again, and I can’t thank you enough for jumping back on with us a second time. It’s been a pleasure. I want you to stay safe and healthy and your family during this crazy time that we’re all living in right now.

And,  again, we thank you for spending some time with us this morning and to everyone out there. Thanks for listening and we will catch you on [00:53:00] our next episode. Thanks.


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