Mike Lee

Website – https://mindshiftlabs.com/

Email – mike@mindshiftlabs.com

Twitter – @whoismikelee @trainthrive3

Mike Lee is the founder of both Mindshift Labs & Thrive 3 bridging his background in basketball leadership and performance — training some of basketball’s 1% — with mindfulness and emotional intelligence, Mike helps high-performing leaders master the psychology needed to lead and perform in a 2020 world.

Through his experience building an international basketball brand from his college apartment, and growing it while beating the heroin-like withdrawal symptoms of pharmaceutical medication, Mike understands the challenges leaders face.

Drawing on the latest research from neuroscience, basketball and personal experience, he’s shared stories and practical exercises — across the United States, Indonesia and Spain — to help people find their own inner power and poise to thrive in business and life.

He is the founder of Thrive3, a basketball training company that “creates game-changing experiences that crossover from the court to life”. At Thrive3 he’s worked at Academies or individual development sessions with players like NBA MVP Stephen Curry, All-Star Joel Embiid and Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon. Mike is also the author of the internationally sold book, UN/TRAIN.

We have Hoop Heads Pod Webinars coming up with NBA Shooting Coach Dave Love and Tyler Whitcomb from West Michigan Aviation Academy and if you missed any of our previous webinars you can buy the replay for 4.99 on the Hoop Heads Pod website.  If you’re focused on improving your coaching and your team, we’ve got you covered! Visit hoopheadspod.com/webinars to get registered.  Make sure you check out our new Hoop Heads Pod Network of shows including Thrive with Trevor Huffman , Beyond the Ball, The CoachMays.com Podcast, Player’s Court and our first three team focused NBA Podcasts:  Cavalier Central, Grizz n Grind, and Knuck if you Buck.  We’re looking for more NBA podcasters interested in hosting their own show centered on a particular team.  Reach out to me at mike@hoopheadspod.com if you’re interested in learning more and bringing your talent to our network.

Get ready to improve your mindset and grow as a leader as you listen to this episode with Mike Lee from Mindshift Labs & Thrive3.

What We Discuss with Mike Lee

  • Growing up inspired by Michael Jordan
  • Writing a paper early on in school about wanting to be a basketball coach
  • His interest in psychology
  • Starting his coaching career at the D3 Level, but realizing he wanted to spend more time with players out on the court year-round
  • How coaching AAU helped him transition to doing more training
  • How he started and grew his basketball camp business
  • Why he hired a DJ for camp
  • Why having high level players helps you build your brand as a trainer
  • Advice for basketball trainers on why they should spend time on their business and not just on training
  • Not realizing he had to pay taxes his first year in the training business
  • Why trainers must be able to demonstrate and execute what they are teaching better than the players they are training
  • How he convinced players he was actually able to help them
  • His advice for trainers looking for consistent gym time
  • How he secured a facility to use as the home for his training business
  • His hiring process for coaches
  • Giving up some of his workouts to enable his new trainers to gain experience
  • Creating a safe environment for his trainers to grow and develop their coaching skills
  • Why it is so important to have consistent methodology across all trainers
  • Having new trainers gradually take on more responsibility in a workout
  • Why individualizing workouts is so important
  • Using film to improve and grow as a trainer
  • His addiction to prescription medication and how he beat it
  • How he came to recognize the power of meditation
  • His book Untrain and how it can applied in both basketball and business
  • His love for speaking to large crowds
  • Why having a mentor is a key to success in any field
  • His 5 step process after booking a speaking gig
  • Impacting people and changing lives through letters of appreciation

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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 with my co-host Jason Sunkle. And tonight we are pleased to welcome from Mindshift labs, Mike Lee, welcome. We are excited to have you on dive into. What’s been a very interesting career for you, both in basketball, and now shifting into the corporate speaking mindfulness and just trying to make the people that you come in contact with be more successful.

So let’s start though with basketball when you were a kid. Tell us a little bit about how you got into the game when you were younger.

Mike Lee: [00:00:34] Couple memories stand out. And at first I was watching the Bulls play the Lakers in the 91 finals. So that’ll give you a clue how old  I am. And I just remember watching Jordan play and just his demeanor on a court and his competitiveness and that just inspired me to, [00:01:00] to want to play the game and to want to put the time in and put the work in. And, and that was really the first thing. And then that led to falling in love with that Bulls and Jalen Rose and then everything else basketball. So, that’s really where it all started, Jordan. I had a very average high school career playing a little bit of division three basketball at mercy in Wisconsin, South small division three school, actually a big division 3 school and a small college in the middle of nowhere.

And that was really my playing career. No overseas journey, anything like that.

[00:02:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:02:00] Did you have any thought as you were playing that at some point you wanted to get into coaching and training, or was that something that once your playing career came to an end that you said, Hey, I still want to stay involved in the game.

How did the idea for becoming a coach, a basketball trainer? Where did that hit you?

Mike Lee: [00:02:23] It’s funny. You should say that because I remember specifically writing a paper. I don’t know how old I was. The only thing was must’ve been in school, because I remember that we had to write a paper on our career choices, basically your research career field, what we wanted to, to take on as an adult and my paper that I wrote, I think is hard to remember, but it has to be an basketball coach. And I had Billy Donovan on the [00:03:00] cover of it on my, on my cover base. So that had to have been, and it was early Billy Donovan. So think if he was making his first year at Florida or something like that, I didn’t even really know.

But, uh, it was, was that was really the first time. And that I remember it even a possibility, the kind of backstory was I, I knew that I wanted to do something at basketball. I that was going to be my life. I knew I wanted to do something there, but I went to school actually being a high school art teacher and a high school basketball coach. So that’s what I initially thought going into college. And that shifted to psychology because I just got bored of work history classes and things like that. But I, [00:04:00] yeah, as early as high school was grilled, whenever I wrote that paper, it was when I thought it was a possibility. And go ahead. No.

Mike Klinzing: [00:04:10] So thinking about the psychology piece of it, was the idea then still to teach and coach, or was the idea to shift to doing something within the field of psychology?

Mike Lee: [00:04:21] The idea was to graduate college. I couldn’t find anything that I really wanted to do. And I knew that my path was not going to be a traditional path. I wasn’t going to be a doctor or an attorney or a graphic designer so I knew if I want to go to college basketball at that time, one of the big, and it’s still kind of is, but one of the paths is to get a GA job.

So I thought, okay, I can go to school. [00:05:00] Psychology is interesting to me at least. I can learn about this. I can go to grad school or get a degree in sports psychology, and then use that as leverage to get a GA job, to move into coaching college basketball next. So that was kind of the thought process behind that.

Mike Klinzing: [00:05:22] And so when you went to go and pursue that, what did that pursuit look like for you? Was that something that ended up being. Harder than you thought. Just describe what the process was for you trying to take that next step.

Mike Lee: [00:05:37] Do you mean initially starting to try and coach in college?

Mike Klinzing: [00:05:40] Yeah. What was it like?

What did you do? Did you start sending you start sending out letters? Did you call people? What was the process like?

Mike Lee: [00:05:47] I never got to that point, I guess I didn’t  take a traditional path. I initially Coached [00:06:00] one year at the school that I went to it’s my last year in school and I was finishing up and our coach asked me to be an assistant coach and basically to do scouting reports and run individual workouts. And that was kind of my first dive into coaching college basketball.

So I did that for a year and I got. Probably towards the end of the first year. And I am blind to this. No, knock on division three basketball. I was a basketball player, but I wanted to work. I didn’t want to start over every year. In reality, division three basketball basically, or high school basketball you can’t work with the guys. From March until October, you basically can’t talk to them. So you’re almost starting over every single year. And I knew that wasn’t for me, I wanted to do something where I could develop deeper relationships and have more impact on the people [00:07:00] that I’m spending time with.

So one of my assistant coaches had, he basically approached me and said, have you ever thought about coaching AAU, because at the time I was coaching and  I was finished in school and I was building the training. We had started with a college teammate, or I had a son who was in seventh grade, actually sixth grade, seventh grade.

And they were looking to put together a team  where I was living. You guys shouldn’t have to drive to Madison to have an opportunity to play, or you had to drive three, four hours just to get to a practice.

Mike Klinzing: [00:07:48] So what year was that?

Mike Lee: [00:07:51] 2005.

Mike Klinzing: [00:07:52] Gotcha. Okay.

Mike Lee: [00:07:53] So that kind of sold. It really wasn’t something that I wanted to do, but what he said [00:08:00] was if you’re going to coach, a you build a new program when these kids were in seventh grade.

Get to the ninth grade, 10th grade. And he started to get recruited. And you’re going to go about all these relationships with these coaches. And that’s going to be a week that are in for you then going and being a GA somewhere. I was like, Oh, that makes a lot of sense. Plus it sounds like it’s a lot more enjoyable than coaching division three and just doing laundry and cleaning floors and all that stuff.

And actually going to get real reps coaching. And they’re not recruiting the kids in seventh grade. Like I was a division one college writing what I was writing handwritten letters. I was sending them apparel in the mail. I was, you know, I had to pay him, but, uh, I had to pretty much everything I possibly could do.

And so I got a ton of great experience doing that, but that was [00:09:00] really the, the end of the college. Basketball coaching journey was I did that the AAU program for about three years. I realize I just said, yeah. And want to fundraise. I just want it to be a core working with players, but that program handed it over to somebody else and they now have like 80 teams or something crazy like that. I transitioned strictly to training.

Mike Klinzing: [00:09:34] Did you think at all about or miss when you thought about being a college coach? Because obviously on the player development side, the part of coaching that doesn’t exist there for you as the team concept, the X’s and O’s, and those kinds of things sort of disappear off the table. So was that something that.

You missed, you missed something that you were like yeah. At that part of the game, doesn’t really fascinate me as much as the ability to [00:10:00] impact players and build those deeper relationships that you talked about earlier?

Mike Lee: [00:10:02] Yeah. Like the journey of the season. And when you’re doing individual workouts, you’re pretty much doing the same thing.

Well, I fill those gaps with we’re we would do coaches clients. So it’s a different dynamic there, which I absolutely love doing. Oh, just literally all to a different, uh, way to share what we were doing. Um, but I definitely miss that then journey of the season and those relationships that you build, and yet versus you, that you go through [00:11:00] the impact it has on somebody.

I don’t mean this. I mean, I literally still talk to the kids and I coach them that seventh grade team today.  It’s awesome to see what they’re doing. And they say one of them’s assistant coach. So it’s been cool to see there, then kind of continue the journey on, um, what we started with that.

Mike Klinzing: [00:11:27] So when you look at building a business and you think about how you developed your basketball training business, Does it go back to that seventh grade team and starting the AAU program? Is that the main way that you were able to grow your clientele and build it into a business that you could do full time or were there other pieces and parts to it?

When you look at it from a business standpoint, rather than just a strictly basketball standpoint?

Mike Lee: [00:11:57] there’s a couple of things to that because I [00:12:00] actually started running camps five years. For four to five years prior to that, a buddy of mine who was actually a senior in high school at this time. And he wanted to, I was as a, my sophomore in college, we just wanted to put on a summer basketball camp in our hometown.

We just thought it’d be fun to do so we organize a camp. We, I remember this vividly. I, I. The zine and flyer and Microsoft were at my mom’s computer. I just draw around around town and send emails out and put it up at banks and in the stores. And we just want it to be fun. We wanted to do things a little differently.

We hired a DJ to come in and DJ camps. So kids could request songs and the energy would always be high at camp. Um, and that was the first time that [00:13:00] I was in 2003 and we had close to a hundred kids that showed up in a town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere in central Wisconsin. And by the third year we had closest three, your kids driving in from all over the place.

Um, And I wasn’t actually even dragging the campus at that time. Yeah. We had a couple of other local high school coaches were mentors to me and to this other partner that I had running the camps. So that was really when it first started. We just decided to do it on. And it was obviously it was a lot of work, but it was something that was, we were providing something that definitely filled a need.

In that space at that time, and then obviously showed a little bit, but as far as the AAU program goes, yeah, no question about it. Having some of these [00:14:00] kids and developing those relations, it’s just help build the business. I mean, I don’t know how it is in the rest of the country, but the state association in Wisconsin, they’re very organized, almost to a fault where they can be very, you know, it’s almost like the NCAA right there. My point is we couldn’t use any stands at any of our promotions stuff. That’s ascended and other issues that. It happened, but definitely had a kid that was theater player, years later, Virginia there’s, you know, other kids that are well, the kid who’s quite for the Raptors right now.

So like having those kids definitely, definitely. I mean, nobody cares if you’re the best basketball trainer in the world. And you’re working out a, kid’s just trying to play JV [00:15:00] basketball from an external standpoint, like nobody cares. So it’s incredibly difficult to build a business in that space. Uh, if you don’t have higher level players that you’ve been able to help them.

Mike Klinzing: [00:15:15] Yeah. I think that that’s something that when we’ve talked to different people who have built basketball training businesses, I think there’s all. There’s different sort of, I don’t know philosophies is even the right word, but I do think that there is something to be said for when you have players who go on to have success that have been a part of your business, whether that’s, you know, going out and playing division one college basketball, or guys that make it to play in the NBA or overseas or whatever.

And then you can put that on your resume. You can put that on your website. You can put that. For people to be able to see that certainly does bring in and attract clientele. And I think it’s interesting, as you said, [00:16:00] that someone could be a fantastic, unbelievable trainer and yet at the same time, because of who their clientele is, it may never get recognized.

And I think what, what I found is that there’s a direct connection between people who are really successful in the training business. And those who aren’t. And I think it’s when you marry your ability to be a great trainer and do all the things that that entails, which we can talk about. But then I also think there’s a piece of it that being able to promote yourself and have connections and understand how to market is a huge piece of who ends up building a fulltime thriving business and who ends up just kind of doing it on the side for.

50 bucks an hour here and there. Do you agree with that?

Mike Lee: [00:16:51]100%? I mean, at the end of the day, you’re running a business. I mean, I, I [00:17:00] definitely, I mean, I’d be willing to bet that I spent 70% of my time running my business and doing all the backend stuff. The YouTube videos, email marketing, the content.

You’re running a business. It’s really what it comes down to.

Mike Klinzing: [00:17:30] Did you like doing that stuff? I mean, was that something that maybe you didn’t think you, like if you went back two, three years before you started your business, you may not have been like, wow, I can’t wait to start making YouTube videos of my basketball training or running email marketing, but once you got into it, And you’re working by yourself, working for yourself as an entrepreneur.

Was that something that you started to enjoy more and feel like, Hey, this is something that I really like to do, or was that a necessary evil to get you back out of the court? How did you [00:18:00] look at it at first?

Mike Lee: [00:18:02] I was resistant to it. I wanted nothing to do with business. I didn’t even want to build The website at first.

I can’t remember why. I just think I had a, I probably had some experiences where I got it in my head that business equals basically business equals making money and making money is not moral in some way, shape or form. I don’t know where that came from, but that’s something that was that in the summer along those lines is definitely planted in a subconscious well, once I got going.

I love it. I mean, obviously like about before I did a degree in psychology, so I knew nothing about what it was like to run an actual business and I had to learn it all. I mean, a ton of them [00:19:00] trying new things and making more mistakes, not knowing that I, I mean, here’s an example. So when I was in high school and college, I basically worked.

I never really, I worked at like a YMCA and GNC. And other than that, I just worked at summer basketball camps. So pretty much any time I ever got paid, my entire life. They had took your taxes are taken out of your paycheck, right?

When you go, when you’re working, there’s somebody else that hits there and it just shows like, I don’t know, it’s 23 point, whatever. Sorry. Cool. Bye. My first year in business, I literally didn’t think that I had to pay taxes because I was, I was self employed. I was like, well, they’re not [00:20:00] taking the taxes out of the checks.

People are getting. I don’t have to pay taxes, do my taxes or whatever. I remember what this, the first time this happened. I don’t remember. I don’t remember the whole, sorry, but the first year that this happened. I was like $10,000. I, it was, I was like, I got to the end of the year. I was like, Holy cow, I’m running my own business.

I got $10,000 in savings at the end of the summer of Virginia. Just big at that time, people weren’t doing much outside of the summer and I’m like, I got it. And that’s dollar here, wherever it is. And they’re like, Oh, you actually to pay taxes. Right. That’s all the money was gone. And that’s important.

Mike Klinzing: [00:20:53] Were you doing your own taxes at that point?

Mike Lee: [00:20:57] Yeah.

Mike Klinzing: [00:20:59] How long was [00:21:00] it before you hired an accountant to figure all that out for you?

Mike Lee: [00:21:03] Well, I didn’t, I mean, I, I realized that I actually had to do my taxes and I started that. Gotcha.

Mike Klinzing: [00:21:16] Yeah. That was one of the biggest things for me. That was one of the things for me.

Like it took me to be a couple of years when I started my camp business and I would run it. And for a while, for the first couple of years I did it. I don’t even think I was, I wasn’t even incorporated. So I was just running it through me. And then I was doing my own taxes on TurboTax. And then once I.

Once I became incorporated, then you start looking at the corporate tax forms and I’m like, yeah, I don’t think that this is gonna make a whole lot of sense for me to do that. And then kind of like you those first couple years, you know, I’ve made my income in the summertime and then the tax bill would come due and, you know, it would, it would be what it was and it was always me owing some money.

And then once I, once I sat down and met with the accountant and started. Really [00:22:00] looking at what I could deduct and what I couldn’t deduct and all those things it suddenly went from, I was owing money every year to, I was getting a refund back every year and I’m like, I don’t, whatever I’m spending on whatever I’m spending on my accountant as well worth it.

Let’s put it that way.

Mike Lee: [00:22:14] Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. You take one, take away from podcasts. Is it starting your own business? Find somebody who helps you with your finances.

Mike Klinzing: [00:22:23] Absolutely. There’s no question about that. That that’s, that’s probably the most valuable takeaway we’ve ever had on the, Hoop Heads Pod right there.

I’m going to get an accountant and get a team of people that’s going to help you to navigate what you’re doing. If you have your own business, there’s no doubt about it. Alright, so you talked a little bit about some of the things that were. A challenge. And then I wanted to ask, so let’s ask the question this way.

What was something that was your biggest challenge when it came to building your training business and then conversely, what’s something that you did that worked really well that helped you build your business?

Mike Lee: [00:22:58] I would say the biggest challenge. Well, at a couple of them, I think at first. Aye. No, I didn’t have a name and no playing career in division one basketball. I didn’t play at Duke or anywhere. I didn’t even have a division three name. Right. So the hardest thing was, and the hardest thing, but what have you, and basically this is a teaching point for somebody is if you don’t have a name, you want a hundred percent has to be able to demonstrate better than the players that you’re working out, you have to. And that was the only way that we were able to get buy in and build credibility with higher level players, because we can actually demonstrate. The skills that we were teaching the, as a talking head, showing you a video or walking you through [00:24:00] something that we can do this at game, see, show you a game, see demonstration, exactly what it’s supposed to look like.

So I think that was one of the challenges, especially when I want to start working out high level guys was how do I get them to believe that I can actually help? So I think that’s, that’s the one thing. I mean. I’m still going through workouts probably for my first six, seven years, probably out of college still may not want to work out like full on work hour, but I definitely still go through drills and get reps in practice, demonstrating drills and practice demonstrated moves.

So then I was able to show up for the players when we were on court together. So that second thing would be second thing would [00:25:00] be not having a consistent facility. When we first start, when you’re new, starting out all over town, driving his driveways to the park and to a buddy’s condo. You’re just driving all over the place without having a consistent facility. And it’s just some location it’s incredibly difficult to build a consistent following a consistent client base. So well, we did that worked incredibly well was we went to a school. That basically it was an old school. It was actually a school that one of our parents want the kids who were working out. We went to grade school there. It was a long time ago, [00:26:00] Catholic school in Milwaukee and the alternative charter school. And they basically have sports in there and they use the gym for gym class and that was basically about it. And they had some sports up and it was like basically intramurals and very, very low level competitive teams. Right. So we went to them and we said, Hey, we’ll put in a brand new floor and we’ll rent it out. We won’t have to make, make money for your, through your charter school.

And. We’ll rent it out. We’ll put a brand new flooring. So that’s how we got into getting our own facility. And it basically costs us about 10% of market value f. It’s warehouse space or something like that. So that was huge for us because we were looking into building our own [00:27:00] facility, which I’m sure a lot of guys have just starting out in the  business wants their own gym, right? It’s just easier. And, but the hard part it is for us, I didn’t want to get into, I didn’t want to be in an athletic facility business. I want to be working guys out. I didn’t want to be renting it out to retirement goals. That 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM because we keep the pay our mortgage payment.

Right. So that was what works for us. And I think, you know, there’s a lot of, you know, there’s a lot of school districts that have schools that are just closed down and they got a gym in there. It’s probably an old chart and floor janitor. It’s a terrible wood floor. It’s on top of concrete. And you might be able to work something out.

I don’t [00:28:00] think there’s any school district in the country that isn’t looking for more income. So you go to one of these schools that’s just shut down. And there was a couple of them just in Milwaukee. They were looking at that work completely shut down. I want to use, and it might be an opportunity.

Mike Klinzing: [00:28:16] So once you’ve got that open, how much training? Were you doing? And then at what point would, did you start to bring in other people to work under your, underneath your umbrella? Once you had the facility?

Mike Lee: [00:28:31] I actually had a guy working with me before we even open it up. And the reason I did that was I just didn’t want to build this by myself.

I wanted to have other people that were on board that believed in what we’re doing. And, and I knew that if I was ever going to know anything, close to what I could visualize, I was never going to do it alone. And [00:29:00] I mean, we had guys before we even started the, before we had our own facility.

Mike Klinzing: [00:29:09] So where did those guys come from?

Where did those guys come from?

Mike Lee: [00:29:10]  Yeah, they were, well, one guy. I got from a camp that just came a work that even with the candidate, who’s the guy who was with me for the 10 years. I came to work at camp, right out of college, did a great job. He ended up moving to Milwaukee to essentially work with me and right out of college.

And he started doing workouts and stay on board a lot. So. I had to run away. I just knew that even though I didn’t really eat, I was basically giving up something on the front end because I knew that I was going to need somebody new there. And then somebody, I trust somebody that was [00:30:00] in do a great job eventually down the road.

And I was willing to give up workouts, give up something financially in the future, or to invest in the future. And so. We had, we had him on and I think at one point the most, most never had on staff full time for about six or seven,

Mike Klinzing: [00:30:25] When you first brought on a new person and you started having to give your clientele to this new person.

How difficult was that transition for you to be able to give those clients to somebody else and have the trust that they were going to do the job that you knew you would personally do? That’s the first piece of it. And then the second piece of it is how did you get your clients who I’m sure initially are attracted to you and what you’re doing?

How did you transition from it being Mike [00:31:00] Lee basketball trainer to Mike Lee, basketball, where. You might be working with Mike Lee basketball, but you might not be working with Mike Lee. How did you go about making that leap? Cause I think that’s an area where you see a lot of individual trainers struggle with the idea of building a business beyond themselves.

They have trouble visualizing how that

Mike Lee: [00:31:19] Yeah. The number one thing is build a brand around a collective versus individual. And if you can. Understand that concept. That’s going to take you a long ways. Uh, you also gotta, you gotta give up control. You have to allow the, you gotta be humble enough to allow new possibilities, new opportunities, people that come in and maybe share a viewpoint that’s different from yours.

That is going to add value, you gotta give them the room to make mistakes. You have to make it safe enough for them [00:32:00] psychologically and that’s a fail and unless they are, unless they feel psychologically safe to try new things to, to. You don’t have to demonstrate it in front of people and not be worried about what you’re going to say to them, or, or if you’re going to make a mistake or if they’re going to make a mistake.

I think from a leadership perspective, that’s something that’s huge. You just have to create a safe space for them so that they can grow into the person that you know, that they are going to be able to grow into. And without that, it’s incredibly difficult to build something beyond yourself.

Mike Klinzing: [00:32:43] Yeah, I would have to think that when you’re bringing somebody on that, giving them the opportunity to be able to stretch themselves and to be able to test out new things and to be able to use their own style.

Because again, not every coach, not every trainer we know has the [00:33:00] same style of interacting with players or just the way that they go about teaching. Everybody does it a little differently. Did you have a. Training method, a training manual that you would sort of go through with anybody that was a new hire, or was it more that you were very familiar with these guys and their work prior to you bringing them on?

What was the process like for vetting them and making sure that they were going to represent your brand the way that you wanted it to be represented?

Mike Lee: [00:33:28] Yeah. So that is one thing that I would not, I would not, I would not flex on methodology. And it’s more of a framework of it, not necessarily what you taught, but how you taught.

And we had, yeah, I mean, we had, when you came on board, we had to take a written test. You had to do tests, you had to come and observe workouts. You had to, [00:34:00] you had to run a work part of the workout. So we give you. The first 10 minutes of a workout do wrong. And then the next time we come in and then we’re running their own sessions, but there was definitely a process to make sure that there was brand integrity, serious integrity with every session that we did with the new hire.

So we brought up a big thing that stood out to us was. What was really helpful, was it a kid had, and they went out and played pallet basketball. That transition from being a college basketball player and working out with us to becoming a trainer with us was really a pretty seamless transition. But we had somebody who came on that.

Did, uh, they [00:35:00] don’t work out with us like college basketball. It was pretty much impossible to train somebody, to run a workout at the level needed to run it at, to maintain brand integrity. So yeah, almost a prerequisite. You had to model. Well, I understand I’ve been coaching is just

or whatever it is. Uh, but just the knowledge of the game is so different, so much more in that.

Mike Klinzing: [00:35:41] So you mentioned your methodology and having that be one thing that you didn’t wave around. So tell us a little bit about what your methodology was, what you built your. Training philosophy on what your workouts look like, what you wanted them to look like, what kind of skills you are teaching.

And obviously we’re not going to [00:36:00] get down to the mic level and start talking what drills you did or didn’t do, but just maybe an overarching philosophy of what you tried to do. When you first brought a player into your training facility, what was it that you were trying to accomplish with them?

Mike Lee: [00:36:14] Well, a few things. Number one, we did not have a cookie cutter

we never wanted it to be. We always wanted our, our sessions to be timing and relevant based on what that player in the mall, based on what they want to achieve based on player that they want in Cal. So we never had any sort of. Cookie cutter program or anything like that? A couple other things. I mean, one thing where we saw a lot of kids being held back and not necessarily one thing that we’ve prided ourselves on were workouts for efficient, like you came in and every rep was [00:37:00] intentional, every rep was efficient.

And so what I mean by that is, is I think it was say though, a lot of. Trainers make is they will teach the basic about teacher can have a split a wall screen before he even has a great crossover. And so if a kid doesn’t have a great crossover, he’s never going to be on the spot. So one of our philosophies was more situations.

We always want to make sure a, had the seals down to be able to perform in this situation. It’s like, uh, no, it’s like a kid that can’t pass off the drill or, or just doesn’t have very great vision, uh, as a, as a point or as a bar, right. And a coach accepting them too. Some make passes and Nate breeds [00:38:00] that he doesn’t even have a skills to make.

And so that was a big thing is the skills before the situations. And then once they had the skills down that every single other thing that we did had to be extrapolated from me. So there was not like this is a cliche example, but like, Uh, doing bull rat, surround your right leg and left like great stuff like that.

Unless, you know, we were 15 years ago running a camp, never doing anything like that. Everything had to be, you had to be able to pull it out of the game and now we’re just, our drills are basically. Every single two seconds, pieces of game, three sides of game of foresight and pieces of game repeated over and over and over again.

So those are some of the things that we try to do.

Mike Klinzing: [00:38:57] D you utilize film, [00:39:00] either film of the actual players that you were working with or studying film of NBA in college guys to. Figure out the foot work and the different things that they were doing in order to be able to execute plays and moves out on the floor.

Just talk a little bit about whether or not that was something that you incorporated into your training.

Mike Lee: [00:39:21] Yes, me personally. And also we did a film study film study, and journals. We got film study at finishing moves, ball screen reads, different actions. So that’s not really something.

And the other thing is, you know, obviously all that came from me watching the game and look watching a game. Other, other coaches, why? I mean, I used to watch I don’t anymore. I used to watch, I mean, I used to watch a lot of NBA basketball. Well, a lie. [00:40:00] I mean whenever, uh, Kenny and Charles,

um, any time anytime the NBA was on, I wanted to watch it. Cause I think now I, right. I firmly like once he’s having that understanding of basketball, there’s nothing like the NBA. Everybody’s going on college basketball. So really watch the basketball IQ, College players as a whole, it’s not that great.

Mike Klinzing: [00:40:39] Yeah. Compared to the NBA compared to the NBA. For sure. There’s no question.

Mike Lee: [00:40:43] Yeah. And when you just, and there’s just a beauty to it, it’s useful and creative. Yeah, it’s just such a creative art. The watching the warriors play when they were just [00:41:00] clicking, right. It just all to watch the ball movement and the space IQ.

It was just incredible. It was like watching a painting, being painted on a basketball court. And so I think we, and we tried to do that. Okay. What does what’s. What’s a concept that Steph Curry’s that gives you the ability to play at the level that he plays, that being a variable, average NDA, Africa, it’s like, how does he understand angles?

How does he change speeds? How does he, uh, how does this all pass off the drill, all these skills that he would use? We would try to. Write them down so that other kids to use them, like one of them is the concept we call where like, you [00:42:00] know, Chris Paul started doing years and years and years ago. But with, uh, uh, saying back off of wall street, well, you can teach kids to do that without the balls.

And once they beat the guy off the dribble,

now. Uh, back then, that was a new thing. What he was already doing that. So like being able to pull those things out and then break them down into simple, easy to learn stuff. So that middle school and high school kids to apply was huge. Um,

Mike Klinzing: [00:42:35] yeah, it makes a ton of sense. I think that when we’ve talked to trainers who have been successful both from a business standpoint and.

With their clients. I think that the film piece of it becomes really, really important because it does allow you to see what the best players in the NBA or the college level, what they’re doing. And then as you said, I loved how you talked about breaking it [00:43:00] down to a level where you can take something that Chris Paul or Steph Curry does.

And yet you could still teach it to a kid who’s in middle school and is 13 years old by simplifying it. And breaking it down into the smallest pieces so that you can actually teach it because it’s one thing to be able to watch. It it’s even one thing for yourself to be able to do it. It’s another thing to be able to teach it.

And I, I think that’s what the best skills trainers, the best quality cool coaches, the best AAU coaches, whatever, whatever level you’re talking about, the best coaches just have an ability to. Teach and make it clear to their players, what it is that they want them to do and how they want him to do it.

And that allows their players to have success both within the workout. And then clearly that’s going to transfer into their performance out on the court, which is ultimately what both sides, the player, their parents, the trainer, their high school coach, a college coach wants to see [00:44:00] is that the skills that are being performed in a workout translate into the game.

Mike Lee: [00:44:04] Right. 100%. And I think the reality of it is, is a lot. It that I I’ve seen in her and watching the workouts, like a lot of it doesn’t actually translate and it kind of blows my mind. But the teaching aspect of it you’re right. Is, is so huge. I mean, I, I was incredibly fortunate to work some basketball camps for some of the best teachers ever been around.

Uh, there’s a guy who maybe would know here’s a, here’s a perfect example. We were talking about earlier about. The business side of this train  And I don’t know if you know the name at all.

Mike Klinzing: [00:44:55] I do not know that name

Mike Lee: [00:44:55] He is [00:45:00] the best teacher, the game I had ever been around in that entire life.

It’s not even close. I mean, I’ve seen new practice. I’ve seen North Carolina practice. I’ve seen UCLA. I I’ve seen, I’ve seen, uh, Pitino run workouts at five seven. Like I have seen as vast as the best and know on sponsors, but nobody knows who we, we, I should say no, but like very few people because he didn’t put that time in, on the business side.

Have you seen it on anything to do with it, but. I was able to learn so much from him as a, as a college player and a little bit out of college about how to break the game down, how to teach today. And I would have never been able to do anything that I get out that experiences him and my college coach was an unbelievable [00:46:00] teacher.

Then they used to go. So what forest used to do is he used to go out and leave out sets Pennsylvania to watch John do workouts. And that’s where he really started to pick stuff up or watch most of your workouts. And go watch Pitino run practice back in the early nineties when he was at Kentucky, uh, like.

Unbelievable anybody ever seen it?

Mike Klinzing: [00:46:40] All right. Let’s start talking a little bit about how, obviously with your psychology background, you’ve already always been interested in the human mind and how it works. When did you start to incorporate the mindfulness, the psychology piece of it into. What you were doing on the basketball floor, and then [00:47:00] that can kind of lead us into our transition into what you’re doing now.

Mike Lee: [00:47:05] Yeah, I mean, basically the short story is I grew up in Wisconsin. I lived in Wisconsin pretty much my entire life up to 32, 33 years old. And I used to get incredibly depressed and the lasers. Yeah, just to the point where I’ve said, I can’t do this anymore. I’m not going to do it. I just decided to move to Los Angeles, purely for the weather I got out here.

I decided sunny hours, January feeling way better than I ever felt in the winter before. And I decided to get off of medication that I’ve been off for four years while getting off of it was like getting off of heroin. It was insane. What I went through. Over the course of a couple of years shy to get off of this medication.

And one of the big things was that I just couldn’t get present. I, my mind is just all over the place. I was [00:48:00] experiencing credibly low depression, way, way, way worse than I’d ever felt in Wisconsin and just crazy anxiety. And the only way that I got off and it was. I decided to commit to a teaching practice and I sat down and I meditated every single day or a couple months to start out.

And after a couple of months on the good days, I realized that, wow, all the skills that I’m teaching from a medical

everything always. I invoke is better, better relationships, more of an aesthetic, but the sooner I can of distractions better now, I was like, I gotta start, are teaching this at our, at our camps. And so I wrote a book about it and I started to teach [00:49:00] meditation at our camps.  super hesitant to do it because I was like, In Morehead, Minnesota, which is right by right by Fargo.

So I’m in small town, I’m going to Minnesota a holler. They’re going to hate this. I know that. I know they, they got to deal with it. This is a sort of changed game for me. And so I took them through a session and, you know, lots of we ramped pretty demanding. And so there wasn’t a whole lot of times over the course of 15 years, or it came off of me after drill and said, Hey, can we do that again later?

That was, that was one thing that was, that was a common response throughout all the times that I had a meditation session at camp was that was so awesome. When can we do that? [00:50:00] And so I knew it was kind of odd to something with that because the kids that we’re working with, the only grown up in a world of technology and world where their parents, every single Oh yeah.

And they don’t have that time to shut off. And so it gave, gave them permission to do that. I think that was something that was, uh, done was. Definitely beneficial for them to have an experience with them. I it’s definitely hopper, but yeah. To level up your performance, if you want to be at 1% of 1% and see jobs of the world and the Toby Bryant and the operate at that level, the science is undeniable.

How it changed performance.

Mike Klinzing: [00:50:56] Tell us about your book and where the idea, [00:51:00] the thought first came to you, that you should put this book together to be able to impact people, not just in sports, but in business and in their life. Just tell us a little bit about how you went through that process and be where the idea first came from.

And then what it was like to write that book.

Mike Lee: [00:51:20] Well, I knew I always wanted to write, but I, I ever since I started reading like the pioneers of the pop psychology stuff. Some of these guys,

they had a lot of excerpts and it makes them success magazine. I started writing or reading a long time ago, but I saw him. I always knew I wanted to write a book without having to share it. I don’t have gone [00:52:00] 33 to 33 years old and to share it, it’s going to listen to me. And I had a, a friend of mine who had written a book and that kind of, he encouraged me to write it.

Anyways, he encouraged me to write it. No, he’s like, you got, you have something to share like this. And so I did, and it was really just my initial goal with it was I wanted to get this out to high school basketball coaches and players to, to teachers. It’s a really, that education is really, I was my Stace.

I had connections in and all this kind of, and. That was really the intention, really [00:53:00] just, I, there wasn’t much in the market, um, meditation on sports or performance from that standpoint. And I just want to get something out there.

Mike Klinzing: [00:53:16] So in the process of writing the book, did the audience. Well, the book was intended for, did that morph and change at all?

As you went through the process of actually sitting down and doing the writing,

Mike Lee: [00:53:33] if I’m understanding your question correctly, that really, I, you know, that that was something, it all honestly was not really part of my process. It was more so. Something that helped me. Here’s a story about it. Here’s how you can apply it to your life so you can apply it to basketball. Here’s how you can apply it to leadership.

And that was really its [00:54:00] process. It was just one of the principles. I want to share overarching themes around using mindfulness to optimize performance and sports  cause it’s in life. And one of the stories, principles, exercises that I can share to support that they’re really. Thinking about audience a whole lot.

You can so many, I mean, I shouldn’t say so many, every single principle that you’re CEO of a fortune 500 company or a high school principal, or you’re a stay at home parent, all the principles apply.

Mike Klinzing: [00:54:37] Alright. So did the writing of the book that, that start to get you to think about wanting to. Transition a little bit away from strictly being the basketball training guy and get more into the depth [00:55:00] of mindfulness and start to transition into what you’re doing today.

Mike Lee: [00:55:06] Yeah, definitely. I think one big thing. One big realization that I had was diving into the book was. That I don’t know why more of my life to be about building people versus building an asset. That was a big realization that I had with it. Um, and I also had a college friend who had been doing corporate speaking pretty much his entire life after college.

And he used his insights as an industry. And starting points and people to talk to questions that ask and, and how to break into that space and have a conversation about what he was doing in the work that he was doing and the process of it. [00:56:00] And the, just what his life was like good from a lifestyle standpoint, uh, was something that was intriguing.

So you would say always. I guess it was one of my absolute favorite things to do when I was in the basketball world. Was this speak at coaches clinics, basketball coaches association, association, wherever it was. I love speaking in front of bigger. And I knew that this was a way for me to do that more, an opportunity to do that more.

Or the transition was something that I love to do in the basketball six, just,

Mike Klinzing: [00:56:53] All right. So you’re going to make this transition and you’re thinking about taking the leap. Would you say that [00:57:00] having the mentor there to talk to, to be able to bounce ideas off of and questions, was that a big key? To you being able to make the transition. I don’t know if the right word is smoothly.

You could probably describe it better detail what the transition was like, but did your mentor and being able to bounce ideas and questions and thoughts off of him, how much of that, the ability to do that impacted your ultimate success in the transition.

Mike Lee: [00:57:29] Yes, it would not be a word out of transition.

Having a mentor is so huge. I mean, I think anything that anybody wants to do in their life, somebody has done it in some way, shape or form Amy, not exactly what you’d want to do, but somebody has done. And when you can follow there as. Jim Rohn said success leaves clues, [00:58:00] and there’s there. You’re going to be able to take so many short because you’re able to learn from the mistakes of the people that came before you.

And once to just get up and be more efficient. With the process of building something new or learning a new skill and whatever that is, it’s crucial to find a, a master teacher, something that Daniel oil taught

and it’s similar of developing. I don’t know, find a master teacher, somebody who’s done it, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times, so that you’re able to. You’re able to open the States and just be more efficient. So ad was, it was crucial to go ask somebody like

Mike Klinzing: [00:58:56] that. So what was your initial, what was your, what was your initial [00:59:00] vision?

Mike Lee: [00:59:02] With what I’m doing now?

Yes, really? Just to be seen and Bob, as many people as I can to be, to be coaching people on an individual basis. And really use seeking as a way to introduce to that space myself and whatever. It’s a table on how I can help and then use the coaching to dive deeper individually. People have more ease in that more impactful relationships through the potion.

Mike Klinzing: [00:59:40] So when you. Get up and you start speaking in front of business, people, CEOs, companies, salespeople. How is that different and how is it the same as what you were doing when you were speaking in front of a coaches clinic?

[01:00:00] Mike Lee: [00:59:59] It’s a good question. Well, one thing that’s different is.

Right. Um, so that’s definitely one thing and you’re gotta be on your game when you’re, when you’re finding those people. Um, but I think as smart it’s very, it’s similar. I mean, basically it’s very similar on that. Other than that, it’s really not a whole lot of difference between the automated system.

I’ve definitely improved significantly since my basketball coaches days. And a big thing is just reaching the audiences often laughing or out of the [01:01:00] mine. I’ll being able to sort of read. Me the audience. See it. I mean, but the other thing it’s like, it goes back to a lot of performance principles are in fully locked in at the moment.

Are you present? Are you prepared? Do you even know your audience? You know, their hope for outcomes and what they want to achieve walking out of the room? On that day. So in some ways it’s different in some ways it’s, it’s the same thing.

Mike Klinzing: [01:01:29] So when you get a speaking gig with a particular corporation, a particular company, what does the process look like once you’ve actively engaged with them. Are you sitting down and meeting with your contact person and going over what the goals are that they’re hoping to get out of you when you arrive and give your speech, then are you researching the corporation? The people just talk a little bit about the process. Once you have the contract to go and speak, signed, [01:02:00] sealed, and delivered, what are the next steps for you to prepare?

Mike Lee: [01:02:04] Yeah, that’s a great question. Uh, I mean, really, we have a five steps process. We have a kickoff call. So prior to the event, we’ll start with a call to learn their hope for outcomes and aspirations for their attendees leading the event, um, that we’ll do a discovery session where we’re just doing a bunch of research and interviews with the key stakeholders within the organization, so that we’re providing.

Timely actionable and relevant insights that resonate with the audience. Then if we need to, we’ll do a review call just to make sure we’re on the same page with the event planner or the person bringing us in. And obviously there’s the delivery of the, of the talk or the workshop. And then afterwards, what we do that is a little bit different as we provide a mini course.

After the, after the event for [01:03:00] continued learning, so that have all the key principles from the event that people can take and use for as long as they want to in order to, to continue to impact that in the strategies and the exercises and the mindsets that were delivered during the talk.

Mike Klinzing: [01:03:19] Got it. Alright.

I want to wrap up by asking you this final two part question. And it goes back to it’s similar to another question that I asked you earlier, but this time we’re going to relate it to what you’re doing with the corporate speaking piece of it. And that is one, what is your favorite part of what you’re doing now and getting a chance to be a speaker?

So what’s the part of it that you enjoy the most. And then to what part of it do you find to be the most challenging could be on the business side of it and just generating business could be through the actual presentation. Just talk to me a little bit about your. Biggest joy. And then your biggest challenge.

Mike Lee: [01:03:57] Great question. Those are both top of [01:04:00] mine per base joy as well, as much as I love being on stage and speaking, it’s hearing the stories afterwards of how it’s changed. Somebody’s life at work at home. Whatever that is. I’ll share. I’ll

Mike Klinzing: [01:04:19] Go for it

Mike Lee: [01:04:20] So in our leadership program, we take people through an exercise where they write letters of appreciation to somebody who impacted their life and help them gauge where they’re at that day.

And we have them write a letter and then we have a pre stamped envelope that they can put it in and get in the mall. It’s a person, or they can all just hand it off to them that they’re at work. And so I was sitting down with an attendee after that and he said, this is, I love this exercise. This is going to be incredibly difficult [01:05:00] for me to give this to my boss.

And I was like, why is that was like, well, he’s just. I’ve been at the company for almost 20 years and it’s just super demanding, so hard on people. It’s threatening to fire people all the time, but at the same time, it’s so much know it’s giving me all the opportunities I’ve had today. I’ve been in this industry for the last 20 years, but it’s, it’s really difficult to show appreciation for somebody that has always been so currently hard on me.

And I never know how wrong ever. So he’s like, but I’m going to do it. Any of this, I’m going to give him a of about a week later, I get an email phone and he says, you’re never gonna, you’re never gonna guess what happened. So you did. It’s like, I gave a letter to my boss and he changed immediately overnight.

Now he’s when it used to be my way or the highway. He’s asking people for employment. [01:06:00] He’s. Giving people res on jobs that they never ever would, if you would have walked into a commercial real estate, he said he would have walked into a construction site and told everybody that 9,000 things that are wrong and what they need to do better and to nature it’s right.

Or they’re going to get fired. And now he’s tell, walk in and talk to people. That job is so good at making progress. And then it’s changed. Just 100% overnight because I went first, I was vulnerable. I showed up in Charlotte with all her ability to express how I felt about him, how he had impacted my life for the last 10 years.

Right. So hearing stories like that, where you’re, you know, it’s obviously like all businesses, people had to improve the bottom line, but at the end of the day, me. If I hear a [01:07:00] story about how it’s impacted the human side of their business, that’s what I deal with for, and so hearing the stories of transformation, literally, like I don’t use that word.

That’s a worthy it’s song, Ally’s transformation. And I don’t like to use it. Cause it sounds like it’s such a huge. Change, but like, this is literally was a transformation overnight and it was onboarding. Uh, so the second part, okay. Question that you asked within the channel, the most challenging part, and that has been, this has been going into this space has been a, a life lesson.

Like this is no question. One thing that I associated doing. From the standpoint of my own personal growth in the area. So as you can imagine, [01:08:00] getting out and seeing in front of a thousand people that gets kicked into high gear for me. And so this is a practice for me to be able to let that go to be in and all that, and to not let my performance on stage for people to feel about myself as a human being.

And not place my identity, external things that I don’t really control. And that has been the hardest thing for me is, is working on that perfectionism aspect of, you know, that.

Mike Klinzing: [01:08:35] Makes total sense. And I love the story. I just want to make one comment that what I liked about it was the fact that yeah, you had an impact on.

The first guy who shared the letter with his boss, then you had an impact on the guy who was the boss, but not only that, because the boss changed the way he went about doing things. You had an impact on untold number of lives [01:09:00] of the people who came into contact with that boss every single day. And so there’s a case where you paid it forward and had that they had the employee not shared that story with you.

You would have never known that it had gotten paid forward. Well, beyond the people that you actually spoke to, I think that’s right where the power lies and that’s whether you’re doing corporate speaking or whether you’re coaching. Right. One of the things that I think we all who are in the people business, and whether you’re in the basketball business or in the speaking business, we’re all, as you said in the people business, then you’re having that kind of impact.

And that’s great stuff. Before we wrap up, Mike, I want to give you a chance to. Share where people can reach out to you. Where can they find you on social media? Just give all your contact information and where people can find out more about you and what you’re doing. And then I’ll jump back in and wrap things up.


Mike Lee: [01:09:50] cool. Yeah. You guys just find me on LinkedIn or Instagram at whoisMikeLee. There was a million other likely variations [01:10:00] taken already. So that was the best one that I could come up with. So you can find me on there. LinkedIn and Instagram, whoisMikeLee would love to connect with you. And a website is mindshiftlabs, um, emails might get, and I’d love to connect with anybody in help out any way possible.

Mike Klinzing: [01:10:22] Mike, we can’t thank you enough for spending some time with us tonight and taking the opportunity to come on the who peds podcast and share all the things that you’ve been able to do. Not only in the game of basketball. But as you shifted into the corporate speaking space, having an impact on people and trying to get them to understand importance of mindfulness.

So we thank you for that. Really appreciate it. And to everyone out there, thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next episode.