Website – https://proskillsbasketball.com/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @lkosmalski
Logan Kosmalski is the co-founder of Pro Skills Basketball headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Logan’s father Len is a former professional basketball player who was drafted by the Kansas City Kings in 1972. Logan graduated from Trinity High School in Euless, TX. As a three-year starter, he was a three-time All-District selection while also being chosen District Player of the Year and All-State in his senior season.
Logan then went on to play at Baylor University where he started as a freshman. After two years at Baylor, Logan decided to transfer to Davidson College. While at Davidson, Logan was a two-year captain as well as a two-time recipient of the “Wildcat Award,” given annually to Davidson’s top rebounder. In his senior year, Logan captained the team to a perfect 16-0 conference record and an eventual quarterfinals loss to Maryland in the postseason NIT. For his play, he earned All-Conference honors as well as being chosen for the All-State University Team for North Carolina. Logan graduated in 2005 with a degree in Psychology.
After Davidson, Logan went on to play professionally across Europe in France, Poland, Germany & Sweden. After 5 1/2 years playing professionally overseas, Logan retired to pursue Pro Skills Basketball full time. Since 2011, Logan has been a director and head coach of Pro Skills Basketball.
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Have your notebook handy as you listen to this episode with Logan Kosmalski from Pro Skills Basketball in Charlotte, North Carolina.
What We Discuss with Logan Kosmalski
- Competing against his Dad (a former NBA and overseas pro player) and his older brother growing up
- Watching his brother’s work ethic and learning he had to match it if he wanted to become a great player
- His brother’s path from playing professionally to coaching
- The reasons why coaching college basketball wasn’t appealing to him once he finished playing
- The lessons his Dad passed on from his experience as a player
- His early success in the game and how he thought he could make it to the NBA
- How he shares the truth with players & parents about getting a basketball scholarship
- Remembering the people and the places from his playing career
- Encouraging players to enjoy the moment and not always focus on what’s next
- The process is the reward
- How the emphasis on winning causes a lack of perspective
- Working to change culture of youth basketball
- Choosing to attend Baylor out of high school
- His decision to transfer to Davidson and leave behind the friends made and the academics at Baylor
- How Coach Bob McKillop has built such a strong culture at Davidson and why that appealed to him
- Why sitting out his transfer season was so good for him and allowed him to reset and relieve some pressure
- The bond he felt with his teammates and the program at Davidson
- Signing his first pro contract in France and how his brother helped him prepare
- Embracing the language and culture of the places he played in Europe
- Why Germany was his favorite country to live and play in
- Getting lost in the Polish woods
- The process in getting Pro Skills started with his partner Brendan Winters
- Why Pro Skills added AAU teams to their original camp model
- Building a culture that endues when he and Brendan aren’t around
- Transitioning to working on the business instead of in the business coaching all the time as he was at first
- Hire for Character, Train for Skill
- Looking for coaches that want to impact the lives of kids
- The challenge of going virtual and continuing to evolve as a business
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- A comprehensive 30-page e-book with tips on shooting form, body control and developing a shooter’s mentality
- A year’s worth of daily assignments
- Access to videos that explain daily assignment drills
- Email reminders helping players stay on track
THANKS, LOGAN KOSMALSKI
If you enjoyed this episode with Logan Kosmalski, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out on Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly NBA episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRANSCRIPT FOR LOGAN KOSMALSKI – CO-FOUNDER OF PRO SKILLS BASKETBALL – EPISODE 352
[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 from Pro Skills Basketball, Logan Kosmalski. Logan, welcome to the podcast.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:00:12] Thanks Mike. Appreciate you having me,
Mike Klinzing: [00:00:14] Absolutely excited to have you on and dig into your basketball background all the way from when you were a kid up until what you’re doing now with Pro Skills.
So I wanted to start by going back in time when you were younger. Just talk to us about your first experiences with the game of basketball.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:00:29] Well, man, I know everybody probably says this, but I was born into it. You know, my dad, played college ball at the University of Tennessee, played in the NBA, kind of in the mid seventies for a couple of years.
He’s a big seven foot or so. and then I have an older brother who I’ve watched him growing up from, from the time that I can remember playing and been going to his games. And it was just kind of something natural that we got into. And in Second, third grade always had a hoop in the driveway.
I always wanted to [00:01:00] beat my older brother and play games with my dad and my brother for as long as I can remember.
Mike Klinzing: [00:01:06] How important was your older brother beating up on you in your ultimate development? Do you think, as a player.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:01:14] I think it was a tremendous advantage for me, you know? I didn’t do anything to deserve it.
But I mean, just wanting to be as good as him just watching the way that he worked. And my brother, who’s a, he’s a college basketball coach now. the D three level, just an unmatched work ethic. And he’s been like that since he was a kid and I watched him work in our driveways, we would go to open gym together and then outdoor courts.
And he was just a worker and I had no choice, but to if I wanted to be here as good as him, I had to work as hard as him, if not harder. And yeah, I took my lumps, I didn’t beat him until I was in high school. but he had a great career [00:02:00] and like I said, just an incredibly hard worker. So it was just a tremendous advantage for me growing up as a basketball player.
Mike Klinzing: [00:02:07] What was it like when you caught up to him, when you guys were sort of on more equal footing than it had been when you were younger, what was his reaction to that?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:02:15] Oh, he wasn’t happy. I mean, I’m a little bit bigger than he is. So, and I think by the time I was in high school, he went off to college and came home and I was a little bit taller than he was, and I’d gotten stronger and.
obviously a proud moment for me, but, I think it’s a moment he still doesn’t give me credit for when I first beat him in one on one. I think he’ll deny it if you ask him. but no, I mean, I I’ve remember it. And it was a good feeling for me and I think, as an older brother, as competitive as we were, he really looked after me and wanted me to become better and he would challenge me, but he would also celebrate my success.
And he’s always for as hard as he works, he’s always had kind of the same perspective on what’s important in [00:03:00] life. And I think when, when I first meet him, he was as a competitor not happy, but as an older brother who cared about my development, I think he was proud of me and I think I earned a little bit of his respect.
Mike Klinzing: [00:03:16] Did you always know that he wanted to be a coach?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:03:20] That’s an interesting question. I just knew him as wanting to be a player, you know? I knew he wanted to play in college. I knew he wanted to play professionally, which he spent four or five years over in Europe playing, and I don’t know, to be honest, I don’t remember when I came to the realization that he wanted to be a coach and I’m not sure if he even knew until maybe he was playing professionally and that had been the goal for so long to see the world by using basketball or to make money through basketball that, I don’t think he looked beyond that. I think he just grew up from a young age wanting to play and wanting to play [00:04:00] professionally. And I think once he got to that age where you start looking at past that, and you realized that your days as a professional are limited, you kind of think what’s coming next.
but now that I look back on it, coaching was the obvious next move for him. very knowledgeable, very strategic, very, very smart. And I think he just perfectly translated from being a player to becoming a coach
Mike Klinzing: [00:04:25] The same or different for you?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:04:28] Very different. I don’t know why.
I think I look at the lifestyle of a coach and I love hoops and I love basketball and I love working with kids. but I want to have a little bit more control over my life. Meaning when I was overseas, I spent a few years playing overseas, which I’m sure we’ll get to, but when I looked at like the life of a coach and these guys make a lot of sacrifices and they pay their dues for a long time.
And that can [00:05:00] mean working for a couple of years without making much money or going to places that they’d never been to, or small towns in States where they’ve never been just to be able to coach basketball and as much as I love basketball, I wanted to have a little bit more control over where I lived and, and what I did. Plus I didn’t have the drive to remain in that competitive world. I’m still competitive, but I think once my days of basketball were coming to an end, I wanted to find a different outlet for my competitive nature and kind of want it to, even though I ended up in basketball, it’s more of kind of in the education business world is the way that I look at it.
So, I was just ready for a change when it came to the end of my playing career and, so we’re very similar to my brother, but in that respect, we’re [00:06:00] very different.
Mike Klinzing: [00:06:01] Yeah, completely understand. And I think that I can relate to what you’re saying in terms of wanting to find and outlet within the game of basketball.
And yet maybe where coaching doesn’t exactly fit or suit your personality. I know that even when I was coaching in high school, there was in a lot of ways, I still thought of myself and probably, I would say, I would guess even today with as long as I’ve been coaching at different levels, that there is still a part of me that, I still think of myself more as a player than I do as a coach. So when I go to bed at night and I have dreams, those dreams are not about coaching. Those dreams are about still being still being a player. So I can completely relate to what you were saying. You were probably too young when your dad was playing.
Do you, have you ever had an opportunity to go back and watch film of your dad when he was playing in the NBA?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:06:52] You know, I haven’t, to be honest, I think we found a few clips of him playing at the University of Tennessee. I mean, this was back [00:07:00] in, the early seventies and I think he was drafted like in 73, 74.
I’ve seen a lot of pictures and posters and everything, but I’ve never seen a clip of him playing. You know, as funny as it is, I think my dad, after his playing days are over. There’s, a lot of his career that he regrets, he wishes he could have done better and he thinks he could have been better.
Even though he had an amazing, amazing basketball career. So, I think he always taught us growing up to, Hey, this is what I didn’t do. So this is what I want you to do. So maybe a little bit of that is involved with us not being able to see, a lot of video footage of him playing, but I also think it was probably just hard to come by back in those days.
Mike Klinzing: [00:07:44] Yeah. I think that the amount of video that’s probably available from the early seventies, late sixties, kind of like you, those guys who are even the guys that we’ve heard of in a lot of ways, they’re ghosts in terms of the amount of highlights that you have of even some of the all time greatest [00:08:00] players, you’ve probably seen the same clips of Oscar Robertson or will Chamberlain and Bill Russell, they run the same seven or eight clips on loop. Those are the ones you see. It would be really interesting to go back and be able to see more archival footage of players from that era. And I’m certainly sure. Being able to see your dad play. If nothing else you’d get a kick out of it.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:08:19] Yeah, absolutely. I think about it.
I don’t know why I’ve never tried a little bit harder to dig into some archives and find some footage. So maybe. Even once this is over, I’ll be doing a little bit of research.
Mike Klinzing: [00:08:31] Here on the podcast, we’re inspiring people to get out and do basketball research, nothing wrong with that.
All right. So you’re growing up and battling against your brother at what point? As you’re watching your brother kind of go through those steps of wanting to play college basketball and thinking about becoming a pro someday. At what point do those dreams, those thoughts start entering your mind. And when does it become realistic that you start thinking, Hey, I’m really going to have an opportunity to play [00:09:00] beyond my high school career.
When does that become obvious to you?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:09:03] That’s a good question. You know, I think like every kid, my dream was growing up was to play in the NBA, you know? and I was always, so, I mean, I’m six, eight now and I was always bigger growing up, I was almost always the biggest kid in my class, and I had a lot of success just to, Not to not to toot my own horn, but I was, from the time I was playing in our little league to middle school and high school, success just kind of came easy for me at those levels. So I kind of always thought that, Hey, maybe the NBA was attainable for me.
And I wanted to go to college somewhere that was going to lead me to the NBA. So I don’t remember a single occurrence and it was like, Hey, I actually have a chance to do this. I actually think I took for granted my step from high school to college, thinking that that was just the next evolution of, of a career that was [00:10:00] gonna lead me to the NBA.
But I, looking back, I wish I would have been more appreciative of earning a college scholarship. Cause now I realize what a blessing it is and how actually rare that it is, but I think that might be the, the naive side or the downside of me growing up just around it.
You know, my dad played in the NBA and my brother earned a college scholarship and success for me came easily when I was younger. Which in, in some respects made it harder for me and when I got to college and got knocked out a few times, but I don’t remember a single time when I said, Hey, that’s what I want to do, it was always just kind of there.
And I remember watching my brother would be successful, but even the players that went to my high school that were older than my brother that went off to big schools to play. I just knew that that is what I wanted to do.
Mike Klinzing: [00:10:53] All right. So I want to take a quick tangent into your current role at Pro Skills.
And then we’ll come back to talk a little bit about your recruitment and, and [00:11:00] how you ended up at Baylor. So when you’re talking to parents of kids that are part of your program, I heard you mentioned that you didn’t really understand how, how difficult it was to get a basketball scholarship, and at that time when you’re a kid and you’re the player, you don’t necessarily see everybody else. You’re only seeing your own situation. And for you, it seemed like it was almost predestined that you were going to be able to do that. But obviously with kids that are in your program, we know that that’s not the case.
So how do you get that message across to parents and players that you have to be really, really, really good to get a division one scholarship, but even if you’re going to play division three basketball, how good you have to be to play at any level in the college game. Just talk about how you present that to parents and players who were part of Pro Skills.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:11:54] You know, it’s a good question. I think the numbers [00:12:00] don’t lie I don’t know the stat right off the top of my head, but I mean, it’s, what is it? One to 2% of high school players get college scholarships. So, I mean, there’s not a lot. And so we really try to focus on, on those numbers, but more than anything, we try to make it about the process as opposed to the end result.
You know, one thing we really believe at, at Pro Skills is we really want to use what we do to try to develop a growth mindset of the outcome is a byproduct of what you’re doing now and what you’re doing now should be focused on, on getting better and learning and growing and one reason I’m very passionate about that.
It’s because I feel like that’s not what I had in some ways I don’t have it now. I’m always looking for what’s next, what am I striving to get? And I think I’ve come to realize in my own life, when you do that, you’re really, [00:13:00] you’re really neglecting where you are at that moment.
And what’s good about the time period you’re in we’ve talked about. My high school career in my going off to college and starting the business and everything. And that that’s all great. But to me, what I remember most from my time of being a young player is not that the success side, but I mean, I played with my best friends and I went to different places to play in tournaments, and I met so many different people and I recognize that’s the common thread, but those are the things that I really remember for my career.
It’s not how many points I scored in this one game? I don’t remember a vast majority of the games that I played or what the scores were, how many points I had. And I feel like as a young kid, I was so focused on that. And so I put so much pressure on myself to achieve this or to get to that level.
and I feel like in that respect, you’re putting undue pressure on a kid, and you’re [00:14:00] also doing them a disservice of what is in front of you right now. And what’s our real objective here with basketball. Cause if you go into, if you start playing basketball with the standpoint of like, I’m going to do this, because I’m going to go play in college, I’m going to make money.
You’re going to miss out on so many things and you’re going to look back, and this is my theory that if you ended up like me, you’re going to look back and be like, wow, I really neglected and didn’t appreciate the process. You know, the processes is the reward. The process is everything. So I really want to help parents and help kids realize like, Hey, it’s great that you have high expectations and big goals and big dreams, but let’s also try to try to reign in our perspective and look at What we’re doing now and what are the good things that are happening right now? And what can you learn from what is going on right now? And let’s say that you don’t play in college. if I told you, you weren’t going to play in college right now does that mean you’re going to quit?
You’re not going to play because if you do [00:15:00] that, you’re going to miss out on a lot of positive experiences, but a lot of like positive growth that you can take from basketball and any sort of any competitive sport and apply it to the rest of your life?
Mike Klinzing: [00:15:13] I think that’s a fantastic point.
It’s one that I’ve had discussions with coaches on here a few times about, and I’ve made the point that I think that in today’s youth basketball culture, a lot of what we have is, players and parents who are always no matter where they are in the moment, their thought process, their focus is always on the next step.
So if I’m a middle school player, I’m thinking about what high school am I going to go to? Well, how am I going to get an opportunity to play at the varsity level in high school? And then once I’m a high school player, am I going to be a starter? Can I be an All-state player? And then once I achieve that, where am I going to go to school when it’s about the scholarship?
And I mean, all these things, and we forget. You know, you mentioned about the growth mindset and about enjoying the process and all that stuff. And [00:16:00] I think that’s so, so important and just, I don’t know about you, but when I look back on my high school career, you mentioned it playing with your best friends, just getting an opportunity to go and travel to different places and play in tournaments.
And I think when I think back to my high school experience, I don’t know that basketball was ever more fun than it was during my time in high school. And so I think so many kids today are missing out on that fun piece of it, because they put so much pressure on themselves to perform. As you said, to keep track of how many points am I getting?
And what’s my average, and who’s calling me and who’s talking to me and parents are compounding that with the pressure that they’re putting on their kids. And then you end up with a bunch of people who are just focused on what’s going to happen a year from now or two years from now, instead of being like, Hey, let’s just enjoy playing in high school, because from the player’s perspective, we all know that ends way too fast. And from a parent perspective your child is two years old now. Well, [00:17:00] It’s going to be a blink of an eye and they’re gonna be 15. And it just goes so fast from a parent perspective that if you don’t enjoy just going to games and watching your kids play, and everything’s about what’s next, I think you get into some real dangerous territory.
And I’m really glad when I get a chance to talk with people who are trying to change that message, to get people to understand that it’s not about that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Instead, it’s about just enjoy what you’re doing now and yeah, try to maximize what you can. But don’t get caught up in if it doesn’t work out that you’ve wasted all that time.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:17:33] Yeah. I mean, and you know, honestly, I think it’s really hard. I think you could attest to that it’s that is not the way that our American society is set up. You know, we want winners, we want losers, there needs to be a winner. There needs to be a loser that needs to be good, bad, immediate results or you’re not going to be satisfied with losing a game. So it’s a, I feel like there’s, it’s kind of [00:18:00] built into the way we are as, as Americans where it’s we want, it’s all about competing and it’s all about striving and ambition and honestly, I think there’s a big component.
What are other people think about if I lose these games and I’m going to be thought of as a loser or so I think all of those things play into what kids and parents think. And I think it’s extremely difficult because I’m not trying to make myself sound like I’m completely over that.
Part of it myself, because believe me, I’m not. but I think it takes practice. And I think the sooner that we can ingrain a mentality and kids, and then parents too like you said before, the chances of getting a college scholarship are so small the chances of even making money, play basketball are so small, playing in the NBA, minuscule.
And I played in college and I made money from basketball, and I want to tell people that [00:19:00] Yes, I’m proud of what I achieved in some ways effects, but also the most important things for me in basketball were what I’ve learned from a young age and the way that basketball challenged me and the way I had to overcome obstacles and also I had to learn to work with my teammates and I made lifelong friends and I got to see the world. I got to travel different places. Yeah. None of that had to do with one particular game, so it’s been, it’s been a we’ve been doing this 10 years now and it’s been just an evolving process of trying to change the culture of youth basketball while trying to really have parents at the very least like, just question, why, why are you signing your kid up to play basketball? You know? And if it’s to win a trophy on a weekend, or if it’s [00:20:00] because in five years you’re going to earn a college scholarship.
I’m not saying that that’s bad, but I’m saying that it needs to be, I believe there needs to be a priority before the long-term. You know, outcomes that you want to see there needs to be a priority. Like right now, I want my kid to be physically active. I want him to be around a good coach and a good mentor.
I want him to make friends through basketball. And I think if we can get parents to approach from that perspective, it’ll lessen the pressure that they put on their kids and we can teach them to handle losing and handle. The disappointment that inevitably is going to come from playing basketball.
You know, I mean, you know that more than for sure, like more kind of like you are going to get your butt kicked sometimes are going to be games weeks, entire seasons when you don’t feel good about how you play it or what you did. and if you don’t have the love for basketball, or if you don’t have the perspective on why you’re doing it, [00:21:00] then.
You’re just not going to last long.
Mike Klinzing: [00:21:03] And I think the more that we can. Get that message in front of parents and players. And obviously that that’s an uphill battle because there are a lot of organizations, groups, teams, however you want to phrase it that are out there that are selling something completely different than the message that you just shared.
And yet I think that there are a lot of good people and a lot of good organizations that are trying to do exactly what you described, which is to get people, to see the value in the game. In terms of the life skills that you can learn, the friendships that you can make, the physical fitness benefits that the game has.
And sure. There’s all these other things that go along with it. There’s college scholarships, there’s recognition, there’s opportunities to continue your career at whatever level it is as you move from one level to the next. But yet, ultimately I think you’ll attest to this and we’ve already talked about it.
That when you look back on your time [00:22:00] playing basketball, what you remember are. The moments with your friends, the things that you learned that helped you to develop the character that allowed you to be successful in what you’re doing today and is going to continue to allow you to be successful throughout your life.
Something that we sometimes get caught up in as parents, we let our perspective be lost and we get so caught up in that moment. I’ve got to win this game, or my kid didn’t get enough shots in this game, or the player comes home and says, I was one for 10. And this one. Scout was in the stands, trying to watch me play at that particular moment.
And we forget that we forget this bigger picture of really what it should be all about.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:22:40] Yeah. And again, I can’t stress this enough. Like I do not mean to say this thing as this as if I’m on a high horse, because I hope anybody listening because this is it’s been a lifelong struggle for me to gain that perspective and to [00:23:00] realize I think, our sports world in particular is you lose a game.
Like you need to feel really bad, if you’re okay with losing then there’s something wrong with you or you’re a loser. And I think we can begin to, if we could just sort of question that mentality, even a little bit that the outcome of a single game or even a tournament is just gain a little bit more perspective on, on what our kids are doing and why they’re doing it.
And what the chances are of any tournament sort of longterm jackpot of college or NBA.\ I think parents need to ask themselves if we guaranteed you, that that is not going to happen, or is your kids still going to, are you still going to invest in your kid playing in the sport?
And if the answer is yes, because of all the, all the positives, then that’s great. And that’s what we want. But again, much easier, [00:24:00] much easier said than done because I’m competitive. I don’t like to lose and I think it’s hard to. It’s going to be a hard, hard culture to change.
Mike Klinzing: [00:24:10] Yeah, it definitely is. And I think people, as you said are competitive and I know it just speaking for myself as I transitioned back a long time ago from playing to coaching, you quickly realize that not every player reacts to losing the same way that you reacted to losing as a player. And so it took me a long time to adjust to those kids who could bounce back 30 seconds after they lost.
And. Didn’t seem like anything. And you would, at the time you questioned, like how can this kid be going on? And just living his life. I was down for 24 hours or 36 hours, or however long it took them, get back out there and redeem myself. So as you said, I can certainly relate to that mentality. And yet, as you look at it, you’re like, I’m not sure that was necessarily all the healthy mentality.
I’m not sure that that’s the healthiest mentality to. [00:25:00] Adopt you certainly, certainly wouldn’t want to push that, to out to anyone else. But generally speaking, I think that what you guys are trying to do, and what we’ve been trying to do with the podcast is just get people to understand that don’t chase the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow instead, enjoy the rainbow itself and really just enjoy the game and try to use it to make yourself a better person and help your kid become a better person.
Stay healthy, stay active, make friends. And if you do that, you’re going to be. In the right place. So let’s leave that behind for a second. Okay, Let’s go back to your playing career and just tell us a little bit about how you ended up at Baylor, what your recruitment was like.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:25:38] my recruitment was I mean, I played varsity from the time I was a sophomore, I grew up with Texas. So our high school, we were on the junior high system. So our junior high was a seventh, eighth and ninth grade. And then high school was sophomores, juniors and seniors.
So I played, I was being recruited from a time [00:26:00] when I was a sophomore by like some pretty mid-level schools. and at the time, Baylor was in the Big 12. And, they’ve listed just come from, the University of New Mexico.
And, it was it was an hour and a half from my hometown in the Dallas Fort worth area. And I just wanted to play at the biggest on the biggest stage that I could again, I thought that was my transition to the NBA was I needed to play the big time, basketball conference.
And I thought Dave bliss was going to come in and turn Baylor around just as he had that at SMU and the university of New Mexico. So, But besides Baylor, it was, it was a lot of mid-major schools. my brother played at Davidson and, Davidson was, was towards the top of the list when I was coming out of high school, along with schools like Santa Clara and SMU.
So a lot of mid-major schools. but [00:27:00] the other day I I really liked the Davidson coming out of high school, but, I was just a little bit. We’ll say blinded. I was just swayed by the plan and the Big 12 playing close to home and taking a chance on a coach that have been successful and building a big time program.
Mike Klinzing: [00:27:18] So when you get there, what’s the adjustment, like both from an academic and on-court and off court experiences. And then what was your adjustment like on the court as a player?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:27:28] Yeah. you know, going off to, again, I want to hand it to my brother. He really helped prepare me for, for what life was going to be like transitioning from a high school to college.
A bit of me, I think like anybody, it took me a while to adjust to being on my own. And I lived in an off campus apartment as a freshman with, with another freshman roommate and we had to cook our own meals or get our own food and, and get ourselves to practice and everything, which is it wasn’t really a, a big problem for me, but it was just, Transitioning to an [00:28:00] environment where I was I was the youngest on campus.
Again, I was a freshman and playing against bigger, stronger, more experienced guys on the court and having to take care of myself off the court. so it was definitely, it was definitely a transition. Yeah. And, I think I adjusted pretty well. I think it, it definitely opened my eyes and there were definitely some adjustments I had to make, but for the most part on the court and off the court, I was, I was OK. When I first got the Baylor,
Mike Klinzing: [00:28:32] What would you say if you were looking back on that time, what were your, what was your favorite moment from your years at Baylor?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:28:42] You know, My freshman year, we beat Kansas when Kansas is like number five in the country and it was at home. it was at home at Baylor and it was on ESPN and the, all the fans rushed to court and it was, it was a big win for us and it was it was very, very [00:29:00] memorable.
but even I mean, again, that was one game our freshman year that I remember, but, even off the court, one thing I will say I, I ended up transferring from Baylor after two years. I, after a while, I began to realize it just wasn’t the place for me. but even in that respect, I made some really great friends and, I really appreciated the academics at, at Baylor.
I was challenged in the classroom as well, which I, I liked and academics were important to me. So one instance would be that Kansas game, but just overall. The friendships and, that I made with not only the few guys in the team, but more even just, people that were a part of the student body.
I really do cherish that time
Mike Klinzing: [00:29:49] When you decided to transfer, why Davidson?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:29:53] you know, I just. One reason I wanted to leave Baylor. [00:30:00] It was my plane time had really gone down. they had recruited a kid named Lawrence Roberts out of Houston who ended up playing in the NBA, had a great career overseas, really talented player.
So he really came in and took a lot of my playing time, which led to a lot of frustration. And then even on the basketball team or our locker room, wasn’t the most cohesive and. You know, I told you growing up, I played high school with like all my best friends and going into a locker room where I was not all of the youngest, but I was also I only had like two, three really good friends on the basketball team and everybody else just kind of went their separate ways and did their own thing.
that I really missed that. And. That’s what really struck me on my first, trip out the Davidson was their group. You know, they competed on the court together. They practice together and they shared those struggles. But off the court that, that was who they went out with on the weekends and that’s who they studied with on the weekend.
So there was, it was a really cohesive unit. I’d obviously known [00:31:00] Coach McKillop at Davidson from the time that he recruited my brother. my brother had a really good experience at Davidson. It was the right level for him. And I thought I could, I could do well at that level. And, I was familiar with the, the town and in the region of North Carolina.
So it was a lot about the coaching staff and a lot about the team.
Mike Klinzing: [00:31:21] All right. Let me ask you this. So you talking about the locker room and the way that the Davidson team was together and unified as a group and maybe Baylor was not the same way. How much of that do you attribute to the coaching staff making that happen?
Versus just the guys who make up that locker room. So I’m just curious in your mind, how much do you think a coach, maybe not even specific to those two situations, but just think about in general, how much do you think a coach can facilitate that? And how much of it do you think is just attributed to the guys who were on the roster?
[00:32:00] Logan Kosmalski: [00:31:59] I think it’smainly Coach McKillop. I think he looks for guys that will. That will have a certain character and will be a part of a cohesive team. And we’ll, we’ll, we’ll gel well with who he’s already gotten in this locker room. He, he does not want anybody coming into his locker room.
That’s gonna cause friction or become a cancer. and I think that’s a really smart coaching strategy on his part. And I think he wants to surround himself with good guys that will work hard. but I also think you mentioned the players, it definitely is the players, but it’s also a culture that he’s built that it, Davidson has been that way since he’s been there.
He worked really hard to instill that into his locker rooms. And it’s something that the older guys passed on to, to guys when you got there, like, Hey, this is your, we are going to compete. We’re going to work hard. And we’re going to neither for each other off the court [00:33:00] and on the court.
Right. That’s just what it means to be, to play basketball at Davidson. And you learn that when you first come in and it’s your response stability to teach that to the young guys when, when they arrive in your
Mike Klinzing: [00:33:10] older. Yeah, I think so much of it has to do with the culture that the coach is able to set up.
And I think you, as you go around and you look at different programs and it doesn’t matter what level you’re talking about, you can be talking about fifth grade AAU. You can be talking about high school. You can talk about college. You could talk about the NBA. And so much of that culture is set by being intentional in the way you go about things.
And that could be the type of players that you bring into your program. It can be the way that you set things up and just how you go about your business day to day. It’s amazing to me, just when you see the right culture, when you see good cultures, it’s just, it feels like it’s almost effortless. And yet that the amount of work that it took for that coach, that coaching staff, to be able to get it, to be like that.
Is [00:34:00] just incredible. And I always think that when you really see great cultures, a lot of people take that for granted. And I think the people who have been in athletics, and again, we’re not just talking about basketball, this is goes across sports, that it just takes so much effort on the part of that coach and their coaching staff to be able to instill those kinds of cultures.
So I wanted to ask you, when you transfer in and you have your year. That you have to sit out how difficult was. That year for you sitting out, going through practice, not knowing that you didn’t have an opportunity to play. Cause I know I came in my freshman year and I didn’t play very much. Maybe I don’t five, six minutes a game.
And there were times where practice got really, really tough when I didn’t feel like that carrot of playing time was dangling out there at the end. And I had an opportunity to play. You obviously had no opportunity to ever get on the court because you’re sitting out. So just talk a little bit about what that year was like for you.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:34:58] Well Mike, I mean, this is [00:35:00] probably not going to positive opinion on my end, but I think it was, it was great for me and I actually really enjoyed it, because of a few things because of my experience at Baylor and because of the way that I my basketball career unfolded, I put so much pressure on myself to.
To be good and, and to win games and score this many points and do this, that when I left Baylor and I was part of a, of a cohesive team at Davidson, it was kind of like, I was able to just take a little bit of pressure off myself. I knew I wasn’t gonna play. I could go to a game and just.
And just enjoy it. You know, I, I sort of lost that at Baylor and, and, and even, even back in high school, there was, I was just so I was nervous before games and it was so as much as I enjoy basketball, I love basketball. I really felt, I got to a point where I put so much pressure on myself that it lost a little bit of an enjoyment and coming to the Davidson.
You know, knowing I wasn’t going to be able to, I wasn’t [00:36:00] gonna be able to play in the night, but still I was going to be there for my team. And I was going to sit on the bench. I actually enjoyed it. And then I got to a point where I was like, okay, I realize what what’s been happening and I’m ready to do this again.
You know? So it kind of allowed me to recharge and just be a normal student for awhile in some respects. And it also kind of showed me like what I was missing. So. Once that year was over and it became harder as the season went along. Okay. I was like, Oh, okay, I’m ready to play on that. I’m tired of watching.
’em I’m tired of cheering. Like. I know I could help doing this and doing that on the court during these games. So I was ready. so I mean, in all of those respects, I think it was, it was a great opportunity for me and I know it can paint the picture of I was maybe I wasn’t as competitive as I needed to be, or, or, or what have you.
But in that respect, I was, I was in a new place around. Around really good people. And I could take some pressure off of myself for a couple of months. I was happy for awhile. but like I said, towards the end, I was, [00:37:00] I was ready to go again. And so in those respects, I think my transfer year was just all positives.
Mike Klinzing: [00:37:06] Yeah. I was like a reset for you. Get your battery recharged, get you ready to go. So when you get into the next season, And now you’re obviously eligible to play. How, how hard was your motor running at that point to be able to get back out on the floor and actually contributing a game and not just. On the practice floor?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:37:24] Well, I was terrible. I, I think, I think I fouled out yeah. Of our first five or six games of the season. I was just, I was just slow hadn’t played at that speed and in a long time and, at that intensity with the crowd, so it took me, it took me about half the season to adjust to the speed and get my get my touch back and get my footwork back. So immune, it took me a while and not respects. That was, that was a very frustrating because I’d had such high hopes coming off of my red shirt year. but I was just rusty and it kind of hurt my confidence a little bit, but you know, [00:38:00] mid season too You know, toward, towards the end of the first semester, I feel like I kinda got back into my group a little bit and it felt good to play again.
And it felt I felt like I had gotten better from all those things I had done and in my red shirt year. but, but it was, it was difficult.
Mike Klinzing: [00:38:18] So, if you think back to those two years, what was maybe a highlight or two? And again, it doesn’t, this doesn’t necessarily have to be this big game that you had, but just when you think of those three years at Davidson, what’s the first thing that you think I can guess, but, I’m just going to let you go ahead and answer it.You can guess what
I’m interested in, what you do. I’m going to guess. I’m going to guess. I’m going to guess your teammates are what you were saying.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:38:40] Oh yeah, for sure. Yeah, for sure. My, my teammates, Brendan Winters, who’s my business partner at Pro Skills. I met him my first day on Davidson campus and it was just a completely different vibe when we, like I said, we did everything together, we would what we had, they would send so small that I was in [00:39:00] some of the same classes as my teammates. And we’d, I mean, and in a Davidson and coach with coach McKillop with like, we, you are, you’re working hard, you know? I mean, there’s a lot of hard work and I think.
the challenge and the struggle to get through those, those difficult whether or not it’s small group workouts and the preseason or going to the track to do some conditioning or even in season practices. Like you are, you are challenged mentally and physically, and I think that’s, that sort of creates a brotherhood amongst Davidson guys who kind of all go through that together.
And we have to lean on each other to get through that times. which is, it just means you’re really, you become really close to your teammates and I’m still very close to a lot of them to this day. So yeah, without a doubt, my teammates at Davidson and. And I will say going back to, I was really challenged in the classroom at Davidson, which I really became a really got to appreciate.
And it was even though I’d been at Baylor in the university system [00:40:00] for two years, when I got to Davidson, it was, it was like, I was a freshman again, it was just a different, educational academic environment that took me a while to adjust to, yeah, looking back. I really appreciate how I was challenged to think critically.
in my time at Davidson in the classroom.
Mike Klinzing: [00:40:18] Two part question related to what you’re talking about there, and that is. What was your, obviously you still are, are thinking that you’re going to have an opportunity to play professional basketball. So we can talk about that and just sort of what your plans were as your career careers winding down.
But then also you’ve mentioned your academics a couple of times. So if you were thinking about your career beyond basketball, what were you thinking about academically in terms of something that you thought, Hey, if. My playing career is over. This is the area that I might want to go in for my next career.
So just maybe talk about those two.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:40:57] Yeah. when I was at Baylor, I had started a, [00:41:00] I was really thinking about premed, but then I’ve really decided on like physical therapy. I thought about working with athletes and helping them recover from injury. So physical therapy was really something I was interested in from my time at, at Baylor.
once I got to Davidson the, the, the challenge of the classroom and balancing the classroom and. basketball would, I mean, I would have had some tips. They’ve taking some really serious classes with some really intensive labs and everything. So, and I as much as I loved it,
I didn’t think that that was probably the best bet for me coming into a new place. So, I settled on psychology, which was a really interesting subject for me and I really, I really came to like it. And at that point I didn’t really have a thought of like what’s my degree in psychology gonna allow me to do once I’m done playing basketball.
I just knew that that was. One subject that I was actually somewhat passionate about and I enjoyed learning about it. And, it allowed me to survive [00:42:00] my time at Davidson. And, and then I figured, Hey, I’m gonna, I knew I was going to go play professionally somewhere. Once my time at Davidson was over what, at what level, what that was, I didn’t know.
but that ended up working out for me. And it gave me some time to think about life, post basketball.
Mike Klinzing: [00:42:16] All right. So let’s go right into that. How does the opportunity to play professionally? How does that come to pass? Do you sign with an agent when the season’s over? Are you talking to people that have context in other countries?
Are you talking to anybody NBA wise? Just give us a feel for what that process was like, as you complete your eligibility and graduate from Davis.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:42:38] This is a surprisingly on sophisticated story. I had a former Davidson guy that was playing in France. his coach was going to move to a different team and was looking for players.
I sent him a tape and they offered me a contract. That was really the, I thought that I can’t speak to it now if it’s changed or not. But at that time, [00:43:00] you know, then you’d just scouting that mid to lower level European teams did was, was very minimal. I mean, it was, I sent one tape of one game and I was offered a contract.
So that’s how I came to get my, my first job. And it was, I I graduated in at the beginning of May and I signed my contract about three days after my graduation. So I had a couple of months before I had to go off to Europe and. I was prepared to wait around all summer and have to go to some tryouts or maybe even go to some camps over in Europe, but it worked out for me really quickly.
So, I was, I was lucky in that respect.
Mike Klinzing: [00:43:37] All right. Two questions. What did you do to prepare yourself between that moment when you sign the contract until you went to Europe and then to, when you get to France, what’s that adjustment like for you living in a foreign country, both from a basketball and an off the court standpoint.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:43:53] Yeah, well, so it starts to prepare for my time again my brother, again, he had played overseas for a [00:44:00] couple of years and he he really helped mentally prepare me for when, what I needed to do. and you know, at Davidson I was really, I was all about playing my role. You know, my role was to defend and rebound the nine and I scored, I scored points, but I wasn’t like a primary score or a primary shooter.
so. You know, given my brother’s experience, he strongly advised me like as, as an American, when you go over to Europe, they’re going to be looking for you to score. So I really spent those couple of months really trying to. You know work off the dribble and, and focus on making shots around the basket that I maybe I’ve struggled with a Davidson.
I just, I knew I needed to become a better scorer and develop a little bit of a stronger scorer’s mentality in order to really do well, over in Europe as an American. So, that was, that was a couple of months I spent before I went over there and it actually, it really did help me once I got over there, But you’re missing, you mentioned the adjustment to life and in a foreign country.
That was, that was [00:45:00] an experience really like any other, I M. You know, I, I landed in a plane in two guys at the airport to meet me that didn’t really speak English. And I just hopped in the car with them and trusted. They were going to take me where I needed to go. And I’m trying to communicate with people who didn’t really speak and trying to get used to their customs and in France, it was kind of, it was kind of eye opening.
Anytime you enter a room in France, you shake everybody’s hand all the time every single day. So it was just little things little customs that it took a while to get used to, but again some advice my brother gave me from being over there was I really relish that.
I was always actually really looking forward to that. So at times it was frustrating. but. You know, for me and I advise going guys going over to Europe. Now, if you embrace that and really respect that as, Hey, this is their country, this is what they do. And the more you sit there and think about how weird it is or how [00:46:00] uncomfortable it is that that’s going to come across to the people that you’re around and it’s going to seem disrespectful to their culture.
So I really tried to be proactive and, and learning the language and learning the customs and really diving into to the way that they lived. And it really did help me. And I was able to adjust pretty quickly now that there were definitely some. You know, times of being locked out of my apartment or the washing machine wasn’t working and I had to grab a dictionary or Bumble my way through a conversation, but for the most part, man, it really, opened my mind to the fact that people live differently throughout the world. And just because it’s not what you’re used to doesn’t mean that it’s weird or it’s wrong. And in a lot of ways, if you can approach it that way, you can learn that any incident and in some other countries, they, they do things better, better than we do here.
And you, it starts to make you question why do we do this and where I [00:47:00] come from? And maybe this is better. So it really did change the way I thought.
Mike Klinzing: [00:47:06] Absolutely. I think the opportunity to go and immerse yourself in a foreign culture and be able to. Integrate into that and have it be your livelihood.
And then just to be able to interact with the people there and learn the culture and learn the customs. And she talked about, she was amazing. And then you had an opportunity to play in multiple countries while you were over there. So you’re adjusting to multiple cultures each time you change and start playing in a different country.
So of all the places that you played, did you have a favorite country, city? just your favorite experience in one of those countries or cities that you had.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:47:43] You know, I spent two years in a city called to France, which is not a lot of Americans know it, but it’s, it’s the fifth largest city in France.
And it’s a big area with I think over a million people. So it’s a big city, which I really liked. but I think at the end of the day, my, my favorite [00:48:00] was Germany. I played in. Dusseldorf Germany for two years. I ended up meeting my wife there at the end of my first year.
And, I just came to love the German culture. And I was obviously a little bit easier, a lot of Germans speak English, or they embrace English speakers because they want to learn English. And it’s it’s it’s it reminded me a lot of home with, with a lot of subtle differences, with a lot of big differences, but a lot was the same.
So, in Germans as, as there’s, there’s kind of a saying over there that a German stranger is, is, is a stranger, but a, but a friend is like a friend for life. And then once you get to know Germans, and once you get to you really connect with them on, on a deeper level, like they are loyal.
You know, lifelong friends and, I just really, I really connected with them with the German people and the German culture. And I, and you know, I, I speak a little German today, obviously because of my wife, but. That is someplace. If, if, if I if we [00:49:00] ended up moving to Germany, I would be completely happy and on board because I really do feel like it’s my second home.
Mike Klinzing: [00:49:07] Very cool. I got a buddy who I went to college with. He wasn’t a basketball player, but he ended up marrying someone who was from England. And they lived here in the United States for a number of years after they got married. And then he ended up going and moving, moving with her to. England and just not, not obviously to the same degree with you don’t have the language barrier and those things, but nonetheless he packed up and moved over there with, with his wife Oh.
Itself in that culture. And you know, he’s raising his two daughters are being raised English. I think the one was born here, but yeah. The other two are just they don’t know any different. And so it’s really just, again, it’s very interesting when you think about those things and I got to ask you, and this is a question that is probably my favorite question to ask on the podcast.
What is your favorite craziest European basketball story? Because everybody has, everybody has a crazy story of some whacked out weird [00:50:00] thing that happened to them while they were there. And you can. You got to keep it PG 13. Let’s say how about that?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:50:06] Yeah. Well, I mean, it was a week. Yeah. I told this story on one of our podcasts too, and I’ll just recycle it here because it was, it is appropriate and it is just, it’s just, just overall strange, you know?
So, I spent a few months in Poland and I was at a training camp, with my Polish team and we went off to a small village kind of out away from our city and, And it’s worth his training campus surrounded by these woods. And there’s not a lot around it. And one day we were supposed to go on a, on a recovery hike and we’re, we’re gonna practice that night.
So the afternoon, like it was just all going to walk as a team and we’re going to walk through the woods sounded innocent enough. And then we’re walking for about 30, 45 minutes out in this woods. And all of a sudden I realized like, I mean, only half of our group is there. And then all of a sudden, it’s just three or four guys and it’s me.
And then I ended up with it’s me and like two, three Polish guys. And, [00:51:00] and I started, I was like, like, we are lost. Like we don’t, our teammates are gone, our coaches are gone and we’re in the middle of these Polish woods. And I don’t, we don’t know where we are and even, and I I was okay, but I mean, we were, we were out there for a couple of hours and, We, we started to luckily we came and I started to get nervous when I realized that my Polish teammates were nervous and you know, in my head I’m like, okay, I’m gonna have to be sleeping out.
And how, how are you going to get out of this course? I’m going to be sleeping out here. And I might am I going to be, is my body going to be found you know, a couple of weeks from now, but, we ended up coming along a fishermen on a river. And he pointed us in the direction of where we need to go.
And we had to walk by an hour back and we got back right before sundown. And you know, like, there’s like, Oh, where, where are you guys? And to them, it was kind of, we’ll be ok, But for me, I was going through all these, all these different scenarios in my head as I was lost out in these Polish woods for about three or four hours.
[00:52:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:52:00] This is classic, the other guys they just disappeared.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:52:04] Yeah. Yeah. I still, to this day, I don’t know how it happened, but we got separated and it was a, it was a little bit intense for her for a couple hours.
Mike Klinzing: [00:52:13] That’s the one Logan where you need a drone footage of where the guys were, or where did these guys drop?
Where did people drop off and how do we end up all by ourselves?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:52:20] I know I should Google map it and see where we were. Actually.
Mike Klinzing: [00:52:23] There you go. That’s funny. I mean, just, I love hearing those stories cause everybody has one and none of them are usually the same. Like they all are just some form of strange.
Something that went on. So I love, I love hearing those, I think one day I’m going to just compile those into like a tales of European basketball podcast because there’s some classics. So let’s move from that. I want to make sure that we get a little bit of time to talk about Pro Skills.
So I’ve talked to Brendan about it, but I want to just hear your perspective active and how you guys got started. I know you came back and you had played together both at Davidson, and then you played a [00:53:00] year together, overseas and Sweden. And so then you guys come back with the idea that, Hey, we just want to start a little basketball camp and it kind of grows from there to just kind of give us the rundown from your perspective.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:53:13] Yeah, it was, I mean, it came, Brendan and I, well we were obviously very close to Davidson and I even at the time of high school, I worked at camp in the Dallas Fort worth area and it was, it was run by a former, former high school coach that I knew. And the camp was owned by this guy who I, I came to realize like, this is what this guy does.
He runs like basketball and football camps throughout the summer. This was full time job. And it just struck me as like, man, that’d be awesome. I love camps and that would a great way to make money. so as I again, I was coming to the end of my professional career kind of questioning what was next and the thought of running a camp just to make some extra money while I was home for between, between European stints.
but also being, I’d always loved working with kids and I love camps. So we tried to put one together and it, it failed the first year [00:54:00] and we kind of regrouped and try when he did the next year. And it went well and kind of struck a chord with the people, In the Davidson community with the camp that we ran.
So, and, and another part of this is there was a former basketball player at Davidson and Billy Armstrong who was up in New York, running a full time basketball club. And I, I spent some of my time overseas in Sweden, kind of thinking about how, how it works and what are these numbers look like, and then what do you offer and what, what, what goes into running this business?
And the deeper I got into it, the more convinced that it was something right I wanted to do. And in and Brendan and I shared in those duties and yeah, there was a lot for us to do. And I think I, in some ways I kind of convinced him to look let’s, let’s give this thing a shot and see if we can make it our full time jobs.
And. that’s, that’s how it got started. I mean, and we’ve, we’ve tried in, especially in the early years we tried everything. We were doing a lot of training, a lot of camps, a lot of clinics, a lot of one-on-one training and [00:55:00] small group training and weekend academies and, and things of that nature.
And, we’d been through a lot of revisions over our 10 years. And we finally found a model that we think is really beneficial for kids and works for us as a business. So, That’s how it got started, man, 10 years ago.
Mike Klinzing: [00:55:18] It’s hard to believe. I’m sure the vision, like at the beginning in terms of, was it more just, Hey, we want to have a basketball business and as you said, just kind of kept throwing stuff at the wall to see what stuck both in terms of what people wanted and in terms of what you guys wanted to do, is that kind of how you were approaching it or did you have a vision that this is what we want to do, but.
It didn’t exactly pan out the way we expected it to just maybe talk about how it’s sort of morphed over time.
Logan Kosmalski: [00:55:50] Well when we first started, we really didn’t want to get into the AAU team side of, of everything. Just for just for a couple of reasons we, we just didn’t [00:56:00] think that was something that we wanted to do.
and then I’ve told this story about a million times over the last 10 years, but there was a seventh grade girl that I was working with. As you know, when we back in the early days, we do a lot of one-on-one training with her. And, one weekend to support her. I went to watch one of her, a few games at a gym just like right around the corner from my house.
And. When I was there, I was just, I couldn’t believe how toxic the environment was. You know, I was 28, 29 years old and vintage any of these games in a long time. And I was at this gym trying to support this 12, 13 year old girl. And I just the coaches were just screaming at the players and the players were yelling at the refs and the parents were yelling at this.
And then it really just hit me. And I was like, this is just not. What this should be about, and this is not the environment that we should be creating for our kids to really use the game of basketball, to learn and to thrive. So I walked out of the gym and I, I [00:57:00] was pretty convinced as like, Hey, we’re going to start some new teams and we’re going to, and we’re going to make them different because this is what’s what’s going on right now, especially in our area.
Like if it’s based on this one game, I see that it’s headed in the wrong direction. And we want to really be agents of change when it came to. You know, how, how parents viewed these, how coaches interacted with their players. And really again, with what we talked about at the beginning, like, what was this all about and why are these kids playing?
So, yeah, I was really, I was really struck by the, the atmosphere at that game and it really convinced me that, Hey, we need to, we need to do something about this. We need to start our own teams. And it’s, it hasn’t been the same since then.
Mike Klinzing: [00:57:39] So when you start to make that transition after a couple years where.
Clearly in the early time, you’re spending a lot of your efforts out on the court and you’re working with kids directly and you’re the one instructing, you’re the one coaching. You’re the one running the camp. But eventually as your [00:58:00] organization grows, you sort of have to shift from a basketball coach trainer camp director mode into.
Becoming more of a business owner. And not that you’re not still involved in the basketball side of it, but clearly there becomes a lot more of the business things that you have to do, whether that’s hiring, whether that’s putting together your organization, whether that’s marketing, whatever it may be.
So when you started to make that transition one, was it a transition that you enjoy? It is maybe the wrong word, but was it a transition that you kind of felt like. Hey, this is something new that I’m adding to my plate. I’m learning something that is going to continue to help me to grow. So that’s the first part of the question.
The second part of the question is, was there one part of the business side of it that you really tended to gravitate towards more than others?
Logan Kosmalski: [00:58:53] I think so. Going back to the first question, it was very hard it had [00:59:00] been four or five years of. You know, we had grown our business too to include teams.
And, I realized that if we were ever going to achieve our vision and Brenda and I both realized this, that we, we could not think that we were the best coaches and we were going to coach those teams and have a direct impact on the kids, ourselves, what we needed to do, we needed to create. And environment and create a culture amongst our coaches, that if we can in any way, recreate ourselves through our coaches and then allow our coaches to go off and have the direct impact on the kids.
We can, we can impact a lot more kids and create a lot more change by doing that. So, and that was the part of the business that really I gravitated towards was the. How are we going to find, what are we looking for in our coaches? How are we gonna find them? How are we going to evaluate them for the, for these characteristics that we’re looking for?
And then how are we going to integrate our [01:00:00] culture into them and tell them what we’re about? And how, how, how do we give them freedom to go off and be their own coach while at the same time? Uphold the standards that we wanted for our business and for our club. and again, I’m still learning and I’m still trying to improve upon that and do it at a different level now.
But for me, that was the way that I was going to have the impact that I really want. I loved. Coaching my teams and I might be, might be different here, but I could coach a fourth or fifth grade basketball team. Girls are a blessing and I just loved coaching I’m kids and and even dealing with the parents and you’ve got to sign lines.
Like that’s what I love. So when I started, started to break that direct contact with the players, cause I mean, I was around all the time. I knew all the players, I knew their families, but I realized that. [01:01:00] I couldn’t continue that and also recreate and train coaches and do the same thing. So like eventually it couldn’t just be about me.
It couldn’t just be about Brendan it had to be about the club. It had to be about our culture and that meant stepping back and, and not having that. The closest bond with, with a lot of the players and a lot of the families. And that was really hard. That was really difficult. And I know it left a bad impression on, on some people who and being around all the time to being around a little bit less and less to now a lot of our players and parents don’t even know who I am.
and that is difficult. And I, and I don’t necessarily like it, but I think it’s what’s necessary if we are going to. To empower our coaches and our managers and our city directors to be the agents of change. I can’t be the, the one person having my ego hanging over everybody. I had to remove myself and my change had to gum through the people that I was hiring and training [01:02:00] and allowing and sending out there to have the direct, direct contact with the players and their families.
Mike Klinzing: [01:02:07] So how do you instill that? Culture. How do you instill what made you personally successful in the things that you did well? How do you instill that into the people and coaches that you’re bringing into your organization? How do you make sure that they’re going to uphold the values and the things that you want to make sure that you’re getting across to the players and families that are part of your program?
What’s the training look like?
Logan Kosmalski: [01:02:36] It’s always a work in progress for us. I think we found our little bit of a strike now. And, I remember I read a book a long time ago called the story of Herb Keller, her the former CEO of Southwest and.
Southwest airlines. And he always had the phrase. He’s like, I hire for character and I trained for skill. and that really resonated with me. as I [01:03:00] started going out and hiring the people, I said, what took us a really long time? And I’m still working on it is like, how do we articulate these characteristics that we’re looking for?
Like, what are we actually looking for? And we need to articulate them. And then we need to learn how to evaluate forum and then we need to learn how to train them. And I And, and I, I really look at it as a learning experience because we hire a. You know, w we look for character in our coaches, but also too, like I realized as a coach, I wasn’t perfect.
And I don’t think any of the coaches that we hire are going to be perfect. our hope is that they come into coaching with, with the same growth mindset that we have. They need to realize they’re not perfect coaches. And it’s been really cool that this organic sort of group. Especially in, in, in some of our larger cities, like Denver, Colorado, and then in Charlotte, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee, like you have a pretty large stable of coaches that they become their own teaching.
You know, they’ve learned from each other and they hold each other [01:04:00] accountable and they, and you know, if a couple of guys mirror the culture, like the other coaches like follow their lead. So it’s been a really cool organic. You know, growth mindset, sort of culture that’s taken over our bigger cities.
And again, we’re not perfect. Not all of our coaches are perfect. Sometimes they lose their temper or they get technicals, or, I don’t, we don’t expect anybody to perfect, we want to hire guys of good character that are reliable and that share our perspective of why they want to coach you since that’s the one of the main, like, why do you want to coach? Because if you want to coach to win games and prove what a great coach you are, that’s not really what we’re looking for. I understand it, but we’re looking for something a little bit deeper. We’re looking for guys that want to impact the lives of kids.
We look for guys that love the game and want to help teach those life lessons through basketball. people that will be positive with the kids, but also [01:05:00] hold them accountable. They have that. You have that knack for finding that balance. And that’s, that’s a difficult thing. So at the end of the day, they are they’re educators, they’re mentors, they’re leaders, and they need to be of high character.
They need to be reliable.
Mike Klinzing: [01:05:16] I think that’s all great stuff. I’m sure it’s challenging. I’m sure. Back when you guys first started that it wasn’t something that was on your mind that you were ever going to have to do or be involved in. I know when I talked to Brendan, he just talked about how much he enjoyed the process of sort of becoming.
An entrepreneur on the fly when that necessarily, wasn’t what you guys started out with the idea that you were going to do, but you had to learn all these different skills kind of along the way to be able to have the type of success that you want to have before we wrap up Logan, I want to give you a, I want to ask a couple more questions.
The first one is. Just about what you guys have done during COVID-19. And I talked to Brendan about it at length, [01:06:00] but I just want to get your perspective on maybe a minute or two, just about what you guys have done too, sort of bridge that gap between being able to offer in-person instruction and games to kids, just sitting at home, doing nothing.
Logan Kosmalski: [01:06:13] Yeah. It’s exactly that. I mean, it’s so unknown. You and Brendan talked about a lot of the virtual things that we’re doing we’ve done a lot of virtual camps, which are, which are, have been really cool to see. You know, not only are our kids able to get in front of a camera and do drills and challenge themselves physically, and also practice some of the skills of basketball, but more than anything like that, those kids need to connect.
and connect with coaches need to connect with mentors and, and even virtually that, that allows them to do it in some respects. And, so we’ve really gone heavy into the virtual things, both because it’s what we need to do to survive. But also we think that it is, it has its own value to it. And it’s important that we do it right now.
but the other part [01:07:00] about it is, is we, I mean, we understand that that people want to play and they want to be in person. They want to play games. They want to go to these tournaments. They want things to be like they were before. but the sad truth of where we’re at is like, that’s just not possible.
You know? So trying to help people come to grips with like hopefully this is all over tomorrow. We can wake up tomorrow morning and. You know, there’s a vaccine and we’re playing games next week, you know? but I don’t think that that’s going to happen. And I think that the sooner parents and players can come to grips with the fact like, Hey, I might not be able to do this for a while, or maybe I’m doing it now.
And I might there are some places that are doing it and, and if there’s one of the places that’s great. but I think it’s important for, for parents and players that like, If, if I’m not able to play in tournaments right now, there is still some things that I can be doing that are of, of importance and are of value.
And then we hope that they do them with us. because we think we have a lot to offer. but I [01:08:00] think PE people need to start coming around. It’s like, things are just different right now and we’re trying to do what’s possible. And there is some value that even though it’s not exactly what you wanted, it’s not the way things have been in the past.
There are still a lot of positives that can come from being a part of anything virtual or, or even taking part of basketball. That’s not in a tournament or game atmosphere.
Mike Klinzing: [01:08:24] That’s a great perspective to be able to share with people. And I think the longer this thing goes on, you hope that more and more people are going to start to adopt that mentality and just say, look, we’re not getting to do the things that we’d all love to be able to be back to doing, but there are other ways that we can continue to interact with the game.
And when. Guys like you are putting things out there for kids to be able to do, and to give them an opportunity to keep working on their skills and to keep staying physically fit and still have those interactions with the people who are your organization. That’s really what it’s all about. I want to ask you this last question [01:09:00] momentarily, wipe away COVID-19 and imagine that we’re back to normal.
And as you look forward, Beyond that time when the pandemic is over and you can get back to sort of business as normal. What do you see as your biggest challenge or opportunity moving forward with Pro Skills?
Logan Kosmalski: [01:09:22] I think it’s doing what we, what we talked about then it’s just our, our training and our, and our culture and instilling that in new people.
And that’s just, that’s an ever evolving animal in its own, right. It’s always changing and it’s always, there’s always new people that are coming into the fold and changing dynamics and, and w we might even come to change our perspective a little bit in the next couple of years, depending on what’s happened.
And we need to be open to that, and we need to like, learn and grow from what we did in the past. So it’s. I think being an entrepreneur or being [01:10:00] a, a coach, there’s always, it’s never stagnant. You know, it’s always what just happened and what do we learn from that? And how do we change it going forward and how do we build onto it going forward?
So it’s just that growth mindset of always trying to learn from past experiences and, enjoy them, but also. Learn from them and grow and become better. So, but I do think the, the, the difficulties of, of managing a growing business with more coaches and more people involved and more moving parts is a challenge in it’s become the fun part about everything, but that, that will be our challenge in the future. Should we be able to get back on the court sometimes as soon as just, Maintaining our culture and what we built while also growing and then having more people, more coaches and more moving parts.
Mike Klinzing: [01:10:51] Well, let’s cross our fingers and hope that it’s sooner rather than later, that all those challenges can present themselves to you. So you can fight through it, just like the rest of us. [01:11:00] And we can get back to what we all want to do, which is to be out on the basketball floor. Before we wrap up, I want to give you a chance to share where people can get in touch with you, where they can find out more about Pro Skills.
Just give us the best ways to get in touch with you.
Logan Kosmalski: [01:11:17] You know, Mike, I’m an old school guy. I’m not really on social media that much, but I will I’ll answer any email that comes to my inbox and I, my email is just Logan@ProSkillsbasketball.com. so yeah, anybody, anybody that wants to reach out to us there, I mean, you can also contact us through our website, just ProSkillsbasketball.com and We have a comment section there I’ve written some blogs. You could comment on those blogs and listen to our podcasts that we have on our website, but really email and our website are the best ways.
Mike Klinzing: [01:11:47] Fantastic. I’ll say this. I said it to Brendan and I’ll say it to you. I think you guys are doing things the right way and anybody who’s listened to the Hoop Heads Pod, and then listen to what you guys have had to say on [01:12:00] here.
Know that the philosophy that I’m trying to bring to youth basketball and basketball in general dovetails. Almost exactly with what you guys are trying to do and the type of culture that you’re trying to instill in youth basketball throughout the country. So you’re a group, that’s doing things the right way.
And I think that shows in the success that you’ve been able to have and the way your program has grown in such a short amount of time, and just keep up the good work you guys are doing great things, and I’m proud to be able to have you guys a part of what we’ve been able to do here with the hoop heads pod, and to have.
Both Brendan on and now to have you on, it’s an honor for us to have you guys be a part of it.
Logan Kosmalski: [01:12:40] Absolutely. I really appreciate that. And congratulations to you and then what you’ve built. And again, with the more people out there fighting the fight to change youth basketball is there’s the more people the better, so appreciate what you’re doing as well.
Mike Klinzing: [01:12:57] Well, I appreciate that. And [01:13:00] I just want to say thanks to you for spending an hour or so with us tonight. And it was a lot of fun getting to know you and looking forward to sharing the episode when that time comes and to everyone out there. Thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next episode, thanks.