Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @BrookHoops
Rob Brost has been the Head Boys Basketball Coach at Bolingbrook High School (IL) for the past 14 seasons. He is the schools’ all-time winningest coach and has won nearly 80 percent of his games at BHS. His program is generally recognized as one of the best in Illinois having won 22+ games in 8 of the past 9 seasons while advancing to the IHSA Final Four twice. BHS has produced over 60 college basketball players during his tenure. Coach Brost’s teams have led Class 4A (Illinois’ biggest class) in scoring 3 of the past 4 seasons. A regular on the speaking circuit, Coach Brost has presented at USA Basketball Coach Academies, PGC Basketball Clinics and several state association clinics throughout the country.
Rob has served multiple times as a court coach for USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Minicamps.
Brost also was a head and assistant coach at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He spent two seasons at McHenry as an assistant coach and three seasons as the head coach.
Earlier in his career Rob spent seven years (2001 to 2007) as the manager of basketball operations with the Chicago Bulls Training Academy, heading up all youth programming for the Chicago Bulls.
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Make sure you have pen and paper handy as you enjoy this episode of the Hoop Heads Podcast with Coach Rob Brost from Bolingbrook High School in the state of Illinois.
What We Discuss with Rob Brost
- The impact that the NCAA transfer rules and Covid have had on the recruitment of high school players
- Talking with his former players that are currently playing college basketball when they are considering a transfer
- His involvement in the transfer process as a high school coach advising his former players
- Helping players block out the noise from social media, friends, family, and others and focus on finding the right fit when it comes to choosing a school
- The trust that he’s built with college coaches because of the number of players he’s had recruited during his time Bolingbrook
- Telling the truth makes everybody faster in recruiting by eliminating doubts
- “There’s no way that you can get extra ordinary performance from a kid, unless that kid feels extraordinarily valued.”
- Helping his players find out what other players a college may be recruiting
- Factors players should consider when being recruited
- How hard is the school recruiting you?
- Is the head coach involved in your recruitment?
- Style of play?
- The character of the current players?
- Red Flags
- The coaches aren’t honest about who else they are recruiting
- The staff doesn’t know or follow NCAA recruiting rules
- His role when he goes on a recruiting trip to campus with a player is to serve as a resource to the player and his family
- The importance of a good relationship between high school and AAU coaches
- People see the results, they don’t see the hard work that goes into success
- “If your relationship with me is based solely on how you play, or if you play, this is not the place for you to be just like my relationship with you is not based on if you play or how well you play.”
- How earning the trust of his players enables him to get them playing their best
- “If you’re only doing what we ask you to do, you’re never going to be an elite player.”
- How getting shots up in the morning become a tradition at Bolingbrook as a result of one player
- Why learning to delegate helped him become a better coach
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THANKS, ROB BROST
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TRANSCRIPT FOR ROB BROST – BOLINGBROOK (IL) HIGH SCHOOL BOYS’ BASKETBALL HEAD COACH – EPISODE 497
[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 back to the podcast after a long hiatus, Rob Brost head coach at Bolingbrook High School in Bolingbrook, Illinois. Rob, welcome back. It’s been a long time coming.
Rob Brost: [00:00:17] Yeah. I’m excited to be back. I thought maybe you guys forgot about me over here in Bolingbrook, but I’m definitely glad to be back you. Since the last time I’d been on, I think there’s been a myriad of basketball knowledge and, and people that know a lot more than me. So I’m just happy to be a part of it.
Mike Klinzing: [00:00:36] Well, we are very appreciative of those kind words.
Jason Sunkle: [00:00:37] He’s the 23rd return guests. Right? That’s what we just established last time was the last 22nd return guests, right?
Mike Klinzing: [00:00:46] Correct. Correct. So you’re our 23rd, second timer. So that’s an exclusive club.
Rob Brost: [00:00:51] Well, I’ll take it. I mean, that’s Michael Jordan. So I’ll take that.
Mike Klinzing: [00:00:55] There you go. That’s it. No question about that. Well, I recalling our conversation from the [00:01:00] last time we had our LeBron Michael Jordan conversation and glad that glad, happy to report that we’re both on the same side of that. And I think the game five of the Lakers game continues to solidify my feelings.
So I’m not going to say, I’m gonna leave it there. I’m not gonna say anything more than that. So
Rob Brost: [00:01:16] I’ll just leave that to that’s. That’s where the old one, the old one,
Mike Klinzing: [00:01:19] when LeBron gets 50 in the next two games, we’ll probably have to quiet down a little bit, but we’ll have to,
Rob Brost: [00:01:24] we’ll have to worry possible.
Mike Klinzing: [00:01:26] We’ll have to wait and see. All right. Well, Rob wanted to get started tonight by talking a little bit about. The recruiting scene. And you’ve had a number of players over the course of your head coaching career, go on to play college basketball. We all know that these new rules that have granted NCAA players, an extra year of eligibility has kind of thrown a monkey wrench into high school recruiting and figuring out for high school players, what are they going to do?
Where are spots going to be for them? And how’s that going to work? So maybe let’s just start out by talking a little bit about [00:02:00] what you’re seeing as far as impact on high school players. And then we’ll get into some of the things that are important as a high school coach for you to do, to be able to help your players to transition onto the college.
Rob Brost: [00:02:13] Yeah, I think that’s a good point that you make Mike. And I think it’s a rough time with the new rules and the transfers and all of that stuff. It’s a rough time to be a high school basketball player from a recruiting standpoint. And then you, you pack on the Corona season on top of that and everybody gaining the extra year and everybody can transfer to wherever they want.
A lot of schools have just flat out, told me, Hey, we’re, we’re recruiting through the portal now. And that’s the way we’re doing it. We’re not looking for any high school kids and My guys are affected on both sides of that. You know, we had two kids in the portal this year, one ended up at Kansas and one at Ball State.
And so they both left their situations [00:03:00] to, to go somewhere else. And you know, it affects them. So we’re, we’re doing the re recruiting thing with, with our guys that were already placed. And then we’re trying to find places for our current high school kids. And so it’s been rough for the current high school kids and I don’t blame the college coaches at all because and I’m going to use some specific names here.
Would you, would you rather have a kid that has two years of division one experience that led his team in scoring and rebounding and assist, which I had an alum that did that. Or would you have a current high school kid? Well, I, I’m not dumb either. I’d take the kid that led his team in scoring and rebounds at the division one level.
That’s the kid that you want. So it’s, it’s a really unique time and it’s really changed the face of recruiting from a high school standpoint and kids with the same ability level or comparable ability level that I had 2, 3, 4 or five years. Are not going to division one schools. They have to find other paths and other avenues [00:04:00] this past season, we had the player of the year in our area conference player of the year, all Stater, he’s gone to an NAI school.
You know, it’s, it’s a great school and it’s a good fit for him. And it’s a full ride and all of that, but that caliber of player five years ago would have gone to a mid major or a low major school. So it’s, it’s really changed how we have to go about her business.
Mike Klinzing: [00:04:23] Let’s start by talking about players who are already in college when those guys call you up.
And they’re looking for advice from you without maybe again, getting into super specifics, but just in general, what are some of the conversations like that you’re having with those guys when they’re considering. Transferring. Cause I look at it as there’s two, there’s two different ways that, that those transfers happen.
One is a guy who’s unhappy because he’s not playing or not getting the minutes that he wants or not having the role that he wants. Or conversely, you have the player who has really excelled at the level that he is. And now wants to [00:05:00] jump up a level. So maybe just talk a little bit about the conversations that you’ve had with your guys who are already in school when they’re considering whether or not to enter the transfer portal and where they’re going to go once they’re.
Rob Brost: [00:05:11] Yeah. And I’ll add on, I’ll answer that directly, Mike, but I’ll add a third one and that’s a coaching change. And so we’ve had two situations where kids were transferring up, I guess you might say, or wanted maybe to get a higher level than what they were at. And then we had a coaching change, a one that, and this has all happened in the last several years here.
So you know, it. I try to advise my players, like they’re my sons. And so oftentimes I’ll say my son’s name is Trey. So I’ll say if Trey was you, this is what I would tell him. And you know, it’s a unique situation for every individual. So I don’t think you can blanket a transferring up is the thing to do.
Hey, staying where you are is the thing to do. Hey, if there’s a coaching change, you’ve got to get out of there. Every situation is [00:06:00] unique and that’s what people need to understand. I would say the majority of the time, my advice is to stay where they are because they chose that place for a reason. And that coach recruited them there for a reason.
And the reason is they liked that player and they liked his character. They liked everything about him. That’s why he was there. And that’s why he was recruited there in the first place. And that’s why we made that decision. Now, if there’s a coaching change now, that’s, that’s another whole scenario. But you know, we had a kid that just this year was one, arguably one of the main kind of name for himself during the NCAA tournament.
And now he’s at Kansas. So he went from Drake to Kansas. And so obviously that’s a step up in competition. As far as night in and night out, but there’s some real benefits of staying at Drake as well. So you know, we, we always try to look at all sides of that and talk about the positives and negatives of everything.
And at the end of the day, you’re kind of betting on yourself to get it [00:07:00] done. And in a case where you’re leaving a school like Drake and going to Kansas, you’re really betting on yourself because the best players in the country are gonna get recruited to Kansas year in and year out.
Mike Klinzing: [00:07:10] Absolutely. So this may be a dumb question, but how involved as. A players high school coach, like, do you then have conversations with Bill Self at Kansas when you’re thinking about whether or not a guy is going to go to a different college? Is that something that the high school coach gets involved in those direct conversations with the college coaches?
Or is that more you just having a conversation with the player behind the scenes?
Rob Brost: [00:07:35] I don’t know how other schools do it, but I’m pretty involved with markets recruitment. So I talked to Coach Self three or four times. But I knew the staff at Kansas prior to that, they’d recruited some other guys from our place that they didn’t get.
So I, I know those guys in a matter of speaking I don’t go out to dinner with them every night or anything like that, but I know those guys. We’ve had [00:08:00] conversations in the past with them. So you know, I think I’m a little bit more involved than most high school coaches. That’s just a guess.
I don’t know how a lot of other high school coaches do it, but as soon as our young man that hit the transfer portal my phone was ringing, I mean, 30 seconds later. And so you know, and obviously I had talked to our player prior to that, before he made any decisions to get into the portal because we had talked several times about the positives and negatives of making a decision like this.
And so you know, I’m pretty involved with that and I took tons of calls that way for this particular player, right. We had another player at the exact same time hit the portal because his coach was let go. And so his was for a completely different reason and he had, he led the team in scoring, rebounds and assists all three of those.
So he was in high demand as well. So it’s different reasons and different issues. And then of course he had the incoming coach in that particular situation, trying to recruit him to stay there. You know, so, so it’s, it’s [00:09:00] all of these factors coming in and what I try to help our guys with mostly is to block out the noise and all the other things that social media brings that their friends brain and sometimes even their parents bring.
And I try to just be a calming influence, not only on the player, but the coaches that are recruiting them as well, because sometimes that gets a little, little out of hand.
Mike Klinzing: [00:09:25] What are some of those outside distractions, again, without getting into specifics that are not allow us to identify, who’s saying what, but what are some things that player, what are some things that players are hearing from sort of their inner and maybe outer circle, or even people who aren’t in their circle that are influencing potential decisions that they’re going to make?
Rob Brost: [00:09:45] Well, I think human nature as it is right now tells everybody, Hey, the grass is greener on the other side, no matter where you go. So in one particular player’s case, it’s, Hey, you’re better than that school that you’re [00:10:00] at. You can play a lot higher. That noise starts to happen. For the other particular player who led his team in scoring rebounding and assess, like there’s no way they should be putting that much pressure on you.
There’s no way you should lead them in every category. You know? So it’s. Everybody thinks they know, but in actuality, only the people meaning the player and the coaches that are in the situation actually know. And so we talk about this with our guys from the time they begin to get recruited as sophomores and juniors that they got it.
You know, cut the noise out. And because if they start listening to the noise, then that’s eventually where they’re going to be sitting with all the people that are making the noise, instead of the people that are actually doing the performing and playing and the coaching. And so it’s, it’s hard.
Sometimes it’s hard for parents, a lot of times to get through all of that too, but that’s what I’m here for. I’ve been doing this for us for a long time now, and we’ve had a moniker of success here, placing our players [00:11:00] in good situations where they can get on the floor and be successful. If they.
And if they don’t, then they won’t. So you know, those are the types of things that, that really affect a player psyche. And, and a lot of times it’s even some of their own family members that think you’re better than this. If, if you want to get to this level, you have to go to this school things like that.
And we’re all about fit. And you know, I always tell our guys go where you’re wanted and, and then you’ll have a good chance to be successful. So you know, it varies with every player. But the noise seems to get more and more it gets louder and louder. As we move forward here, just because of time and social media and all of those influencers, kids want to see tweets and they read Twitter and they read.
And the other thing I have to tell our guys is once you decide, like in our one particular kid’s case who chose Kansas, soon as you choose Kansas, everybody’s going to say, why did you go there? Why did you go there? Why didn’t you go [00:12:00] to Gonzaga? Why didn’t you go to Texas? Why didn’t you go to Illinois?
All of those schools. And so we’ve been through this a lot, so you just have to be ready for all of that stuff and make the decision that’s best for you. And then stand with it. And then you gotta go to work because the proof is in the pudding and you gotta, you gotta do work when you get there and you gotta continue to work while you’re preparing to go there.
Mike Klinzing: [00:12:25] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think, especially when you’re talking about going to, I mean, anytime you go to a new place, it doesn’t matter whether you’re stepping up a level or you’re going at the same level or you’re just going to because the coaching staff changed, obviously anywhere you go, you have to reprove yourself.
And that goes from that goes from going from middle school to freshmen ball from freshmen ball to the JV, from a every, every time you step out on the floor, you have to be able to, you have to be able to prove yourself and be ready to go. And as we know, it is very, very easy to get distracted [00:13:00] and to allow lots of other things to kind of creep into your world.
And then that can take you off of the things that you need to be focused on in order to be at your best. When you get out on the floor, when you have conversations with, with the college coaches, talking about transfers, are the, are the, are the conversations similar to what you have with. College coaches who are recruiting your high school players.
Rob Brost: [00:13:25] I think it’s a little different Mike because they’ve proven that they can do it at that level. And so usually when you’re talking to a transfer, it’s, it’s somebody that’s already proven at that level that they can be successful. To what degree that that’s up to the kid, but the kid has already proven that it can, that they can be successful one year talking about a high school kid.
There’s a lot of questions. I mean, I can find anything. About any player that I don’t like, I can find one thing that I don’t like about any school player that I [00:14:00] can see. So it’s easy to not recruit a kid or it’s easy to find a hole in a kid’s game, especially a high school kid. And so that’s some of the things that you’re fighting from a high school coaches perspective because when you see any kid he’s going to have a weakness, especially in that’s in high school.
And so anybody can find that and then say, well, what about this? Well, of course, I’m not going to lie to you. He’s he may not be the best shooter, but he’s, he’s lightening quick and can get to the basket. And so then the conversation as well, all he does is get to the basket. Well, what is he supposed to do?
Shoot three pointers when he can get to the basket. So it’s, it’s almost a double-edged sword. We’ve gotten to the point now where some coaches have recruited so many of our guys and not gotten them. So of ’em are playing the well we recruited so-and-so and so-and-so and so-and-so, and we haven’t gotten any of them.
Why should we recruit? Well that’s cause you didn’t do the job in the first. You’re the one that needs to convince [00:15:00] my kid or my player to go to your place. So it’s not me. I work for the student athlete. I worked for my player and I want what’s best for us, for him. And so you know, it’s all different angles and we’ve been doing this a long time, so we’ve been kind of hit with every angle.
So it’s, it’s not our first rodeo. So that, that’s that’s a good thing for our players and, and it’s a good thing for the college coaches. Cause they know they can trust me. If I say a kid can do something there, they pretty much believe me now. Cause we’ve been doing it and we’ve had kids be very successful at, at pretty much every level.
Mike Klinzing: [00:15:37] Yeah. I would guess that once you’ve had the experience that you’ve had with coaching players who have moved on and had success at the college level compared to a high school coach who maybe it’s their first real division, one prospect that the. The level of trust between you and the college coaches compared to that first time coach, it takes a little bit of a time I’m guessing to establish that and make sure [00:16:00] that that what you’re saying is to be, is to be believed to me, that always seems like it’s really, really important because obviously any coach on the high school level or a new coach, I mean your job, as you said, you’re working for the student athletes.
So clearly you want to be able to say things that are supportive of your athlete. And yet at the same time, you have to be able to, I think, have the conversation with, I’m guessing with the athlete and the parent of look, I’m going to advocate for you, but I’m also not going to make stuff up about what you can do or what your level of athleticism athleticism is or whatever that may be, because you have to continue to establish credibility with those college coaches, because then the next time they come around the pike, if you haven’t been truthful with them, you’re going to be doing a disservice to that next kid in line.
So just talk a little bit, a little bit about what those conversations are like. The families and the player about, look, I’m going to do everything I can for you, but I’m not going to say things that aren’t.
Rob Brost: [00:16:54] Yeah, there’s, there’s no doubt that the truth makes everybody faster. It makes everybody [00:17:00] faster and it allows you to do your job better.
So the, the truth to the college coach allows him to evaluate better. It allows him to trust what I say because he knows I’m telling him the truth. It allows my player to work on the things that I see that he needs to get better at. It allows the family to better you know, choose the level and have a more realistic view of where they’re headed.
So the truth is the key to this whole thing. And the truth makes everybody faster. If I can’t trust you, Mike, then I got to check out what you’re saying with three other people before I can do what you said that you asked me to. And so if I trust you and then I don’t have to check with the three people, see if that’s true, then I can move a lot faster.
So once that trust is established with all parties involved, it makes the whole process a little bit smoother. I’m not going to say any recruiting process is totally smooth, but it just makes it smoother because everybody’s telling each, everybody the [00:18:00] truth. And so that that goes for the college.
Telling me the truth that goes for the player, telling me the truth that goes from me talking to the college coach and assistant college coaches have a really tough job because they have to recruit your kid, even if he’s not the number one priority. And so, cause they might not get the number one or the number two priority in your kid might be the third in line.
And so they have to keep you kind of on no on the line without totally biting, if that makes sense.
And so the assistants have a really hard job at the college level to keep all of that jumbled all at the same time in case they don’t get a kid or in case they don’t get their first kid. And so I think the truth and the trust between all parties.
The kid, the family of the young man, and then me and then the college coaches, if everybody’s telling the truth, it makes everybody faster and we can all do a much better job. And that’s something that we talk about with our guys all the time when we have one-on-one meetings, [00:19:00] when they start, when they’re freshmen or sophomores, whenever they get to me.
When we have one-on-one meetings, that’s when we talk about first, we need to tell the truth. And so they’re used to that from me. And we, we do it the right way and we try to make kids feel like they’re, they’re important and they’re special. And there’s no way that you can get extra ordinary performance from a kid, unless that kid feels extraordinarily valued.
And so we try to value our kids, but we have to tell them the truth. And that’s when they really know their value is because you’re truthful with them and you’re truthful with their family. And then they’re going to be truthful with you too. And so the truth really makes you faster and that’s the key to the whole.
Mike Klinzing: [00:19:42] All right. When you think about a college coach and you having a conversation with them, what are some areas that you’re looking for them to be truthful with you and your player about what are some key areas that you want to make sure that, Hey, this guy is not just blowing smoke, that he’s actually telling us what the [00:20:00] situation is.
What are some things that you’re looking for there?
Rob Brost: [00:20:02] I don’t know who else they’re recruiting. You know, once it gets down to it, I mean, obviously at the first part, when there’s offers run around and all of that stuff, everybody’s kind of Willy nilly about that stuff, I think at the beginning, but when it gets right down to it and we’re ready to make a decision between three or four, maybe even five schools that are seriously recruiting our plan.
You know, some of the things either I or the player’s family has to ask is who else are you recruiting? If, so, if player X takes the scholarship, is there still a scholarship for me? If I take the scholarship, are you still going to be recruiting player X? How many players do you have coming back? And all of that stuff is such influx right now because of the whole transfer thing.
You know, these conversations that we’ve had in the last three or four months with college coaches are much different than we had four or five years ago when four or five years ago that, well, I got two guys leave and we need this. And this now the [00:21:00] conversation is, we’re not sure who’s going to hit the portal.
We’re not sure who we’re going to recruit out of the portal. So we’re just kind of in a holding pattern right now with high school. I got that a ton this past season in this past three to six months, I would say. So it it’s really the landscape like we talked about right at the beginning has really changed with that.
And so some of these questions, they honestly don’t know the answer to because they don’t know who’s going to hit the portal. And if they do at the portal, is their coach gonna want another transfer? Are they going to take a high school kid? So it’s, it changes so quickly because of the portal who’s in, who’s out, who’s committed.
Who’s not, it’s almost changes by the day. And so you know, stuff changes fast nowadays, whereas even two or three years ago, it was a little bit more cut and dried and you knew exactly what was, what was going on.
Mike Klinzing: [00:21:55] Yeah, it’s interesting that you talked about off the top, that you’ve talked to several coaches that have [00:22:00] said, look, we’re not even going to look at high school players because we can recruit out of the portal and get guys who have already proven themselves on the college level.
And we had a couple of coaches talk to us about that and say that same exact thing that almost why would I even look at a high school player? Who’s completely unproven. I mean, unless you’re talking about a player, who’s a top, top hundred top, 150 player in the country. The odds of you’re, if you, if you can get an established college player, who’s already done it, then you already know that that kid’s already adjusted to the academics.
They’ve already adjusted socially. You don’t have to deal with any of it. They’ve gotten up to speed. We all know the difference between a high school practice, even a high-level high school practice versus the college practice. There’s a huge step up in intensity and physicality and just the mental strain that it takes and all those kinds of things.
And so I just look at it and you start to say, at what point how does it, how does it affect those high school kids and how [00:23:00] many years is it going to take for this thing to normalize? And I talked to Paul being Cardi, I guess it was probably a week and a half ago, two weeks ago. And Paul said, he thinks it’s going to take three or four years.
Eventually it’ll normalize. But he said, it’s going to take a while because it’s not like, okay, so now this year’s class is affected. Well, even if those kids end up going to, like your player goes to an AI school and yeah, maybe he ends up staying there or maybe he ends up going next year or two years from now, he goes to a division one school.
Well, he’s still then taking away a spot that might’ve previously gone to a high school player. And by Greg, by granting all these guys that extra year of eligibility, which you completely understand, and it’s completely defensible and, and, and a lot of ways it makes a ton of sense. And yet again, if your timing is, if your timing of when you were born is wrong.
I mean, I mean, you could really be in a situation where man, I could have been playing division one college basketball, and now I’m here and it goes back to I think, and this is one of the things that we’ve talked with. A lot of coaches [00:24:00] about both of the high school and the college level is it’s really, really so important for a player to be able to find the right fit.
For them. And that includes the school, the coach, the style of play, the players who were already there in the program, all those things. So when you sit down and let’s shift out of the college transfer portal and think about your high school players, when you’re having a conversation with your high school players in a normal, under normal circumstances, what are those conversations like in terms of helping them to determine what’s going to be the right fit for them all around, including school basketball program, coach socially, what are those conversations like?
And what are the things you’re talking about with a high school kid,
Rob Brost: [00:24:43] One of the main things, and there’s not one thing that is the end all be all. When we’re talking about recruiting with our guys, it’s, it’s a myriad of factors and you don’t choose a school because of one thing or the other, you choose it because of [00:25:00] a combination of factors.
And I think one of the most important factors is. How hard are they recruiting you? Do they really want you there? If you committed today, would they be happy? Would they be thrilled that you are going there? And if you feel like that’s the case, that’s probably one of the good things about that place. And then I think it’s also important for our guys.
Just because of the way we do things is that they can have a relationship with the head coach. And so at some places, and I’m not knocking any coaches or how they do it or how they do things, but having a relationship with the head coach. And if the head coach is recruiting you, I think that’s a huge advantage.
Because the head coach is putting time into you from a recruiting standpoint, I get it at certain levels. Head coaches don’t have time. And in certain schools do it a little bit. But if the [00:26:00] head coach is taking time to recruit you is certainly going to take time to build a relationship with you.
And I’m not in never, never land here. I get that assistant coaches relationship with players at the college level. A lot of the times is, is more critical than the head coach, but the guy that’s making the disorder lady, that’s making the decisions. You have to be able to at least have a relationship with them and be comfortable in going to them.
And so no. Does a place really want you, what is your relationship with the head coach or what can that relationship build into? And then obviously things like, what major do they have style of play? And then another thing we talk about, what are the character of the players that they have currently, and that’s a major, major factor with, with our kids.
And so that, you know a lot of that you don’t know for sure, but you’re able to discern a lot of that from past players that they’ve had. Visits, unofficial and official visits [00:27:00] that you take. So you’re, you’re able to discern some of that as best you can. And so all of those things play a part in it.
Style of play facilities, schedule we have when you’re going far away and it’s, it’s a bigger school, are there games on TV? So your family can watch things like that. So all of those things are taken into account. And so it’s not one thing being more important than the other, but I think does the school really want you, and can you have a relationship with the head coach?
I think those things are of critical importance. And like I said earlier in our recording you know, I try to advise our players, like, they’re my sons. So Trey, my son’s in seventh grade at high would say if you were Trey, this is what I would tell you. And I tell all our players, I’m never going to tell them where to go, but I’ll tell them where not to go.
If something gets a little sideways or a little crooked or something just doesn’t seem right. And so I haven’t had to do that a lot, but I’ve done it a handful of [00:28:00] times. It’s like, Hey, we got to take such and such a school out of the mix because of this, that, or the third. And so I don’t ever tell our guys where to go, but I will tell them where not to go.
So and. Again, the trust factor is, is the most critical thing because it makes everybody faster.
Mike Klinzing: [00:28:18] What’s an example of a red flag that you said, oh, this isn’t the right spot?
Rob Brost: [00:28:21] Well, it could be something as simple. Well as you know, I don’t think they’re being truthful on who else they’re recruiting. Something as simple as that you know, cause you follow Twitter they’ve got offers.
They say they haven’t offered anybody else. And then the day you leave campus, they offer three other guys at your position like that. Or it could be something as serious as they don’t know the rules. You know, they, and I’m not just talking money change at hand, but I’m talking simple things like before a few years ago they couldn’t pay for a sibling to go on an official visit.
And some schools were trying to do that. Like things [00:29:00] like that. You know where the rules and they just are not abiding by them. So they either don’t know them or don’t care about them. And so those are a couple examples and our, our kids are not top 20 kids in the country.
So for in as a general rule, so we’re not talking cars or money or anything like that high school. So you know, we’re talking rules, like the example I gave you you know for example, paying for meals on an unofficial visit or things like that. So you know, that those would be just a few examples.
Mike Klinzing: [00:29:35] How do you keep yourself up to date on what the relevant rules are so that you can be educated and help your players? Is that something that you’re talking to college coaches about that you trust? Is that mainly where you’re getting from?
Rob Brost: [00:29:46] Yes, that’s the main piece. Like if I don’t know a rule or if I think something has changed, I’ll call a couple assistants that I trust.
And I’ll leave their names out of it, but I’ve called two or three guys several times about, Hey, [00:30:00] can we do this? Like, what is this you know, or can this happen? I didn’t think this was right. And then maybe there’s a rule change. Then it’s a good example that I used before three or four years ago, you could not pay for a sibling to go on an official visit.
Now you can. And so those things change a lot. So you know, it, it just, it just depends.
Mike Klinzing: [00:30:23] Gotcha. Makes a lot of sense. I had no idea. You could take a sibling along on an official visit.
Rob Brost: [00:30:28] Oh you can. I know two or three years ago. You could not, it could just be your dad and mom, but now I think it’s yeah.
That could have changed, but I thought it was, you could take to a parent, so you could take a parent on a brother, two parents, whatever it is.
Mike Klinzing: [00:30:45] Got it. So some combination of two other people got it
Rob Brost: [00:30:48] makes sense if they’re your immediate family, so it can’t be removed that type of thing. That’s right. It can’t be your,
Mike Klinzing: [00:30:58] your grandma’s cousin on your [00:31:00] uncle.
Side’s godfather. Exactly. Can’t take him along.
Rob Brost: [00:31:02] Yeah. I mean, you can never take the head high school coach along and that’s for sure. So he can go, but he has to pay his own way. I’ve done that several times.
Mike Klinzing: [00:31:13] So what’s that like when you go, when you go on an official visit, when you take that trip, what, what do you remember about those trips?
What are things that you’re looking to add to the experience?
Rob Brost: [00:31:23] Well, again, I I’m there to just be a resource if need be. Sometimes I’m hardly even needed there. A lot of, sometimes I don’t go. If they ask me to go, I will go. Certainly if a family’s never been through it before they might ask me to go, or they just want me there to ask questions to bounce off ideas, that type of thing.
And so I’m not a part of obviously every part of official visits, but I enjoy going just because it gives you a look at how they treat their players, because you see them interacting with their players and you can, you can tell pretty [00:32:00] quick what is sincere and what’s, what’s a show. And so you know, that’s, that’s very nice and, and I like to be there with my guys too.
No after coach gets done talking to him, then we can debrief and say, what did you like about this? What, what, what do you think about this? Do you think he’s being truthful with this, that, that type of thing. So and then when you compare it to other schools, that’s when you really get a feel for the schools that are recruiting you is when you can compare it to what just happened in the week before two weeks before I had at school, a and now you’re at school B you can compare it to those things.
And a lot of times it’s just how you feel about the people that are there. And that’s the most important thing. So you know, my, my role changes, depending on who the player is, how far the recruitment is along all of that stuff. Sometimes I go, they want me to go. Sometimes they don’t and that’s perfectly okay.
And so it’s, it’s it’s a good problem to have guys wanting you to go, go on visits with them.
Mike Klinzing: [00:32:57] Exactly. What are your conversations like with [00:33:00] the parents of a kid that’s being recruited in terms of what are they asking you? Is it different from what the players asking you? I’m sure there are some families that you’re more involved with having those discussions with parents and others, where the parents are kind of left doing their own thing, and maybe don’t want you necessarily as much involved.
So just what’s the, what are those conversations like with the parents of kids from your school?
Rob Brost: [00:33:23] Yeah, I think it’s harder with the parents because you don’t know them as well as the kid, the kid you’ve had several conversations with your close. And if you weren’t close with them, they wouldn’t ask you to come.
And so the parents you’ve probably talked to a handful of times. And so they bring a totally new perspective and a lot of times they can be part of that noise group too, that we talked about earlier. And so people are talking to the parents and a lot of times, at least for our guys, that’s the first time their son or daughter has been through it.
Now I’ve been doing it long [00:34:00] enough. Now I’m getting some brothers and some sisters and, and you know, that have been through the recruiting process. But if they’ve never been through it before everything looks good. I mean, everything, when you leave a visit and one of our kind of standard rules is you’re not going to commit on a visit because everything looks great on the visit.
The codes, everything is top-notch, everything is pristine, everything looks great. Everything sounds great. On the visit. So when you get done with a, any visit, you don’t like that school, they did something really cool, crazy or wrong on that visit. And that’s kind of what our general rule of thumb. And then when a kid is ready to commit if he’s being recruited by several schools, no, I’ll say no, when you’re ready, whenever that is, you let me know and you let your parents know, and then we’ll take 48 hours.
And we won’t say anything to anybody. And then after 48 hours, if you’re still good with it, then we’ll come in. And [00:35:00] so that’s just how I try to keep everybody on an even keel and, and try to be fair to everyone. That’s involved. Certainly coaches will try to put time pressures on kids and I don’t think that’s necessarily fair, but I get it as well.
If you’re recruiting two kids and one kid’s about I get all of those pieces. But I worked for my kid. And so I just try to advise them as best I can.
Mike Klinzing: [00:35:25] Yeah. I think ultimately what I hear you saying throughout the course of this whole thing is that you try to help the kid be very intentional and deliberate about the decision that they’re making and not be swayed by one conversation or one part of the visit or one aspect it’s trying to get them to take in the whole picture.
And then that allows them to make a decision about where they fit. The best and it may not be perfect because there probably is no perfect fit. But when you balance out all those pieces that you talked about, then you’re going to ultimately end up [00:36:00] hopefully with a good decision. That’s going to enable you to go to a place that’s the right place for you and allow you to have successful on the court and academically, all right.
Let’s shift backwards to high school players. And one of the things that we talked about before we jumped on was the relationship between high school coaches. And a few coaches, which depending on who you talk to, depending on what area of the country you’re in, depending upon your perspective, there are so many different opinions about how those two groups, co-exist how they work together, how they battle against one another, how they’re on the same side of the equation, how they’re on different sides of the equation.
So just wanted to get your opinion on how do you as a high school coach, how do you look at the relationship between yourself and your program and the AAU coaches and programs that your players participate in and [00:37:00] how do you navigate that as a high school coach?
Rob Brost: [00:37:03] First of all, I think that the AAU coaches, the AAU scene and all of it is vital to your high school student athlete.
And so I think it’s an important piece of their development. And so I know a lot of colleagues of mine, especially once locally here tend to fight with AAU coaches for time. Or, and when I say fight, I don’t mean literally, but you know what I’m saying? As far as like, they, they battle with them.
I have the exact opposite approach. I think that the AAU piece is a vital to their development. Not only as players, but as people. And then if you can build a relationship with they, you program that your kids are planning for that’s even better. And so when you do that and you can do that over time, then you can [00:38:00] build relationships with a few coaches, just like you do with the college coaches.
There’s no blanket statement. That one way is the right way. Certainly you can trust certain individuals in the AAU set and you can not trust certain individuals. And they, you said just like they, you coaches can trust certain high school coaches, then you can’t trust others. So I try to work with the AAU teams as much as possible, and I think it’s really critical.
For, from a recruiting standpoint to get what the right club or a new team, if you will to get seen. And then the followup happens. I mean, you’d be shocked. How many calls I get during live periods from AA teams? Like is so-and-so yours? Yep. He’s my, oh my goodness. You know, this is, wow. Events are going on in July.
You know, I’ll get a text or a call like this is yours. This is yours. Yes. This young man is mine. So you know, I think it’s critical to develop your relationships if you can. It, it’s harder and harder to do that because there’s [00:39:00] so many AAU teams now with so many coaches and kids are switching teams so fast.
Even some of my guys are switching teams and that’s a definite red flag that we would not like to do. But on the other hand, if the situation isn’t what you thought it was going to be, and you know, stuff happens then obviously you may have to switch teams. The good, the really good programs with really solid coaches on the AAU set are critical, or the development of our guys from a competitive standpoint, from a recruiting standpoint, and the more you can work with them the better.
And if those coaches are worth their grain of salt, they want to work with us too. And so you know, it’s a give and take for sure, but certainly I can’t put our guys and in the same scenario as peach jam can put them in. So a kid that’s playing in peach jam is, is gonna have some eyeballs on him that aren’t going [00:40:00] to necessarily come to Bolingbrook high school unless they see him at PGM first.
And then they come to Bolingbrook high school to finalize things and do things. So certainly we’ve been doing this a long time now, so. Coaches will just call and say, who do you have next? Who’s your next grade kid? Who’s your next good guard? You know, things like that. But I think the AAU set is, is critical in a lot of ways to our players development.
Mike Klinzing: [00:40:23] So as we’ve found out through the course of the podcast, obviously you have a lot of experience with having players on your team, in your program that have been recruited in that are recruitable, but there’s a lot of high school coaches out there who are listening, who maybe don’t have that same level of experience either because they haven’t had players at that level.
Or maybe they’re just a new coach just getting started in their career. So when you start thinking about building relationships with good AAU coaches and good AAU programs, if you were going to sit down with a high school coach who was early in their career and was still trying to [00:41:00] figure out how to navigate that, what advice would you have them in terms of.
What should they be looking for in a good AAU program and a good AAU coach? What kind of things do you want to see before you’re encouraging your players to go and sign up with that particular group?
Rob Brost: [00:41:20] I mean, first, I think you want to know a little bit of history of the program. Not necessarily if they’ve had big time players or anything like that, but Hey, how they treated their players.
And, and B do they hold their players accountable? And this is something that we talk about with our guys all the time, if you’re going to be good and you’re going to really do this thing, like you should, this is going to be difficult and it’s going to be difficult at Bolingbrook high school. And it’s going to be difficult for your AAU teams.
There’s going to be difficult situations and it’s going to happen over and over and over again. And so we ask you to do difficult things and it’s not for everybody. So play at [00:42:00] Bolingbrook high school, we’re going to lose some games we’re going to play bad sometimes. And so when you’re talking about those AAU values, I think they hopefully are similar to the ones that you have.
Not that you’re telling them what to do or anything like that, but you just hope that they’re in it for the right reasons. And again, a young coach, and I see this a lot with young coaches that want to be a part of my staff, or they say, how can I get my resume to look like this? This all takes time.
You have to just get to work and you have to grind it out a little bit on your own. And it just takes time to develop those relationships and to gain trust with not only they, you coaches, but the college coaches and the colleagues and your players for that matter. And so I think young coaches sometimes.
Get caught up in a similar noise as a players, do they social media and they want to be known and then they want this [00:43:00] and that. And when in actuality, the relationships you have with your players are the most important and saying, and so that doesn’t mean that you you know, blow, smoke up anybody’s rear or anything like that.
Exactly. The opposite is true. If you hold kids accountable, that’s what they want and they want discipline, but they also want to know that you care about them off the floor. And I think when you say, how do you steer your kids? I try not to steer my kids to a few programs because I just don’t want, they, you coach a saying, well, did you T you made that kid go over there, but there certain teams and coaches that I trust more than others, cause I’ve been doing this for a long time.
And so you know, you, you make decisions based on. You know, character, you make decisions based on, are they going to hold kids accountable? And then you tell your player that this is going to be hard and you got to expect it to be hard. Just like when they go to college, like committing to the college, that’s the easy part.
That’s hard now. [00:44:00] That’s when it becomes hard, getting recruited is easy. You get to have fun. You’re on the fall and you’re doing, and the same thing with the AAU thing, you see all the stuff that they get and all of the stuff where they play and all of that, that’s, that’s easy. The hard part is the work that goes into getting that.
And we talk about that all the time with our guys people see our brand Jordan logo on our floor, the shoes that we get, or the places that we get to play. And that’s all fine and good, but we have those things because we a can play basketball. We have that. And then we say, please, and thank you at training tables.
We say, please, and thank you when we’re on the road. We do all of those things. And those things are hard to do because it goes against the grain of a lot of what people think happens. And people don’t want us to see that part of Bolingbrook, basketball, or top AAU programs. They don’t see that all they see is like when we play in a brand Jordan game or [00:45:00] who we play on state will ITV, that’s what they see.
But we don’t have that because of that. We have that because of all the work that we put in and how we carry ourselves off the floor. Cause if we were jerks, we wouldn’t, we wouldn’t, none of this would happen for us. And so it’s hard for kids to understand that it’s hard for parents sometimes to understand that.
And it’s hard for young coaches understand that this all took time. I mean, this is my 14th season at Bolingbrook and it wasn’t all roses. We went through two or three years where it was rough and you know, we, we didn’t win many games and the culture wasn’t very good and all of that stuff. And so The, the thing that really, I think helps our kids is that we tell them right from the beginning, this is going to be hard.
And if it’s not hard, everybody would just do it. If it was easy, everyone would just do it. And so I, I think that’s one of the things that I know I kinda convoluted the answer to a new program, but it all goes back to the same thing, build a relationships with those people [00:46:00] and finding people that you can trust.
And then it makes everybody faster.
Mike Klinzing: [00:46:04] Yeah. And I think it’s a hundred percent. Right. And I love the analogy you gave about how saying please, and thank you and how that’s difficult to do. And I’ve had this conversation with my wife and I’ve had it with friends and other parents. When you see kids who are polite and I’m not talking about basketball players, I’m just talking about kids that as a parent, like, believe me, I know how much time.
And energy and how many reminders and just cajoling and reinforcing how much it takes of all that stuff, to be able to get your kids to be polite and to look someone in the eye and to say, please, and thank you and to shake their hand and do all those things like those things. Now, maybe one out of a thousand kids does that just naturally.
They just [00:47:00] have some gift for it, but the other 999 kids out of a thousand. Only get there because there was some parent who pulled their hair out over and over and over again, trying to get their kid to be polite. And I think that goes to, it’s sort of the same thing when you’re talking about as a teacher, trying to establish the right classroom environment.
And when you’re a coach, you’re talking about trying to establish a culture in your program. Like people usually only see the end result and they don’t see all the hard work that goes into that. I think it’s a great point. I think it’s something, especially for young people to remember whether that’s young coaches or whether it’s just you’re a high school kid.
It just, it doesn’t, it doesn’t happen easily. And that can be manners that can be on the basketball floor. That can be at a million different places, the hard things in life, the things that are ultimately worth it are things that are difficult. Or as you said, everybody would do it. So let’s [00:48:00] take that.
Let’s take that thought and let’s go to. The idea of things that as a high school coach are challenging. And so what are some things when you think about being a high school coach in the year 2021, and you can compare this maybe to early in your career, you can just say it in general, but just what are some things that day in and day out that challenge you, that force you to be at your best in order to create the kind of team environment players, kids that you want to have?
Rob Brost: [00:48:38] I think not convincing kids, but showing them. And we talked about the noise earlier that the people that really know what’s happening and really have your best interests are the ones in the locker room. We know what’s happening, we know what it’s like. We know [00:49:00] what you’re going through because we know you and are.
I tell this to our guys all the time. I don’t care how you play. I really don’t obviously I’d like you to play well. And I’d like to win every game and all of those things, and I’m going to hold you accountable on the floor too, but I care where your heart is, because if your heart’s in the right place, eventually your play is going to follow.
And it’s hard for kids to understand that. And it’s very difficult for parents to understand that everybody wants a microwave and everybody wants the stuff that comes at the end without going through the stuff that made it worth it in the first place. And so a lot of times you worry about are kids gonna stick it out?
Are they going to wait their turn? Like in our case, because it’s hard to play varsity at our place. And so we don’t have a lot of young kids that play varsity right away. And so they could easily go to another school. You know, beyond the varsity, that’s just a common example. Or do you want to wait it, [00:50:00] wait it out and do the work, and then you can be the next grade player.
You know, we’ve had four players of the year of the local area for the last five years. Well, none of them started on the varsity when they were sophomores, not one of them. And so there was other kids from other schools that were sophomores on the varsity, but our kids weren’t. And so, but if they do the right things and they keep at it, they’re going to eventually be exactly where they want to be.
So nobody’s path is the same and nobody’s path is linear. I think it’s hard for players to understand that everybody goes through bumps and bruises and we’re going to go through it as a team. And I think that’s why the character piece and the culture piece is so important because at the end of the day, we win games because of that.
Now, obviously we have very talented players and we put them in the right spots and all of those things are important. But the longevity of it has happened because we have nice isn’t the [00:51:00] right word to put it, but we have really good kids and they trust each other and they trust me and I trust them. And we talk about this all the time.
If your relationship with me is based solely on how you play, or if you play, this is not the place for you to be just like my relationship with you is not based on if you play or how well you play. And so we talk about that a lot and it’s hard to get kids to understand that it’s even harder to get parents to understand that because they, they’re not at practice every day.
They’re not at the team meals. They’re not at the one-on-one meetings, they don’t know. And they, they think they do because they just see what happens on Friday nights and Saturday nights. And so that’s the most difficult part. For me, but it’s also the most enjoyable part because then I get to see kids when they’re vulnerable.
And that’s when you really get to see growth is when kids trust you enough to be vulnerable and say, coach, I really messed this up. What, what can [00:52:00] I do? Like when a kid says that to me, I know that he trusts me because he says, Hey, this is what’s up with me. And so in our one-on-one meetings that we do several times throughout the year we talk about a lot of stuff and hardly any of his basketball what’s your family doing?
What’s, what’s up with your sister. How’s your chemistry grade. What’s up with your girlfriend. How’s your mom. Is your dad being too tough on you? What’s your relationship like with your grandma? You know, all of those things. And so when you do that, and then they trust you, then you, then they play really, really hard.
And somebody asked me the last clinic I did on the zoom here a couple of months ago, I did online clinic. What what’s your team known for? Obviously we’re known for playing fast score and a lot of points, but I think we play really, really hard. And I think we play really, really hard because they know we care about them and it goes back to what I said before.
You know, you, if you want extra ordinary effort, you gotta make the kids feel like they’re extraordinarily valued. And when you do that, they’re going to [00:53:00] play really hard for you. Okay.
Mike Klinzing: [00:53:01] So how do you translate that from the kids trust you, that you built this relationship? How does that translate when the pavement when the, when the, when the feet hit the pavement, how does that translate into getting the kids to play hard?
Whereas if you didn’t have that trust, what would make it more difficult? Did you? I know I’m not phrasing it exactly. Right. But I think you understand what I’m trying to say. How do you try to translate that relationship piece that you’ve built into getting your kids to play as hard as you need them to play, to have the success you want to have?
Rob Brost: [00:53:36] Well, I think first off. You know, you reward and you praise is what you want to see happen the most. And so simple things like running the floor as hard as you can we call it when your race, if you don’t win your race, your coming out. I mean, it’s, that’s, that’s it there’s no excuse. There’s no like, well, that guy got ahead.
There’s none of that. [00:54:00] That’s a non-negotiable for us. And so our kids know this, and so if they want to stay out there, they got to win their race, go on each end, going from offense to defense or defense to offense. And so you know, you have your non-negotiables and, and all of those things, but if they can trust me, and I know I’ve, I’ve talked about this ad nauseum here during this recording, if they can trust me, then they can move faster.
And so I think. The caring beyond the court translates to on the court because they know if either of us makes a mistake. If I make a coaching era and it loses us the game, I can say that to them. Hey, I messed this up. I apologize. I mean, that was my mistake. I should’ve done this or had you do this. And I did it and it cost us the game so we can be vulnerable with each other.
So then the next time they’re going to trust me again. And they know it’s just like [00:55:00] with my assistants. And I use this as an example with our players. Sometimes my assistants come to me with things and then I don’t do them, but they have to trust me because I’m the head coach with what I decide to do.
And sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but if we’re all not pulling in the right direction, it’s never going to work. And so you give yourself a chance if everybody’s on the same page. And again, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. It just means that we’re going to all be together in the end. And whether that’s a win or a loss or whatever it is, we’re all going to be together.
And so it really doesn’t work unless everybody cares about one another. And I think that’s what translates onto the floor.
Mike Klinzing: [00:55:40] That’s a really good answer. And I think that’s one of the things that when I think about conversations that I’ve had with coaches, it’s always, how do I, how do I utilize that trust, that relationship that I’m trying to build in order to get what I need to get out of my team on the floor.
And I think what you’ve just [00:56:00] said is that it’s a two way street. You have to trust your players and they have to trust you. And when you have that and it’s genuine, then that allows you to ask them things that maybe somebody else could. Ask them to do because they say, well, look, this guy has my best interests at heart, not just on the basketball floor, but in my life in general.
And so therefore I know he’s not going to ask me to do something that is going to be detrimental to me or to our team. And it just makes, it just makes a ton. It just makes a ton of sense. Now, one of the things that you’ve said a couple of times is just the fact that, Hey, we’re going to work really, really hard if we’re going to achieve what we want to achieve, and that may not be for everybody.
Right. Address that a little bit deeper in terms of what are some things let’s talk off season basketball and forget about the end season stuff, but let’s just talk about what do you ask of your players during the off season that challenges them pushes [00:57:00] them that allows you to Excel? Because we all know today you go back to maybe the time when I was playing in the eighties and you could get away with the season ends and you just disappear and everybody goes their own way.
And maybe you had a guy like me that was out working on their game all the time, but it certainly wasn’t the same. The high school coach in a lot of cases just kind of disappeared. And you saw them back again in the fall. We all know, obviously that’s not the case today, even, even just at a baseline level, there’s a level of involvement that didn’t exist 20 or 30 years ago.
But just talk a little bit about the commitment that you ask your players to make and that you make in the off season to get your program where you need to.
Rob Brost: [00:57:36] Well, first off I say this all the time. If you’re only doing. What we ask you to do, you’re never going to be an elite player. You’re just not, it’s just not the nature of what happens.
And I’ve referenced Trey a couple of times, he’s my seventh grader. And if you want to be better than all [00:58:00] of the guys that you’re playing against, you need to do things that they’re not willing to do. And so that’s kinda what we asked them to do. And so we set out a plan with them and for some kids that specific this year has been kind of a crap shoot for lack of a better term because of the Corona.
We couldn’t get in jams. And we can’t it was just a disaster. We didn’t know if we were going to have a season. And so this, this past year aside we ask our kids to you know, work really hard, just like they do in, in the regular season. And it looks different for every player. Cause everybody’s situation is a little bit better.
Whether that’s socioeconomic, whether that’s their home situation, whether that’s can they get to the gym, can they, not, some kids can afford a personal trainer, some kids can’t. And so everybody is kind of has their own plan as to how they’re going to get better and they have to execute it in Illinois.
We only get 25 contact days in the off [00:59:00] season, which we use in the summer this, this year because of the Corona, we’re only getting 20. And so it’s, it’s a really unique to to Illinois compared to a lot of states. And so you know, we have to have a plan and they have to kind of enact that on their own and then just, I have to trust that they’re doing it.
And then obviously there’s some followup with it as well. And the AAU team is, is a big part of it as well. But getting individual skill work in is of critical importance. Starting way back when we got apprentice, Nixon was a freshmen or a sophomore. He started on his own coming to the gym by himself at 6:15 AM and doing this shooting thing.
And he started just coach, can I do it? And it has carried over the skill workouts that he started on his own. It has hold all the [01:00:00] way through. And now almost all of our guys do them in some way, shape or form in the morning. Now this year, obviously as a punt year because of the Corona and you know, not being in school and all that stuff, but we’re lucky he kind of started the trend of, Hey, I’m going to get to school at six o’clock and I’m going to get my work in before I even go to class.
And so that kind of started organically through him. And then everybody saw the success here. And then they wonder what he was doing. And while he did it as a sophomore, then he did it as a junior and then he did it as a senior and then the younger guys started to do it. And then the next wave started to do it.
And now we’re going to have to kind of re-establish it because we haven’t had a regular school in a year. But you know, having really good players that work really, really hard helps that whole thing. Yeah,
Mike Klinzing: [01:00:49] absolutely. I think when you can get your guys started on that and in your case, it wasn’t even, you getting started as a player that takes that responsibility [01:01:00] and then it just gets passed down.
And we all know that when you can have players enforcing your culture and enforcing your standards of what you do, that it makes just, it makes such a huge difference. It makes things much, it just takes, it takes out a lot more meaning when it goes player to player than it does top down. And I know one of the things that you and I talked about.
On our last episode that you were on a couple of years ago, you talked a lot about how you feel like you became a better coach. Once you felt like you were able to delegate things more, whether that was to your assistant coaches or to players. But I think that’s a point that it’s worth reiterating for somebody who maybe didn’t listen to that first episode.
So just talk a little bit about how your growth as a coach, you really feel like it took off and your ability to be effective kind of counterintuitively, you became more effective when you delegated more, instead of taking on more things yourself.
Rob Brost: [01:01:58] Yeah, it it’s weird. And I [01:02:00] said this I was talking to a high school coach from Dallas who called me two weeks ago about playing fast and somehow he got my name.
But anyways, I said, if you, if you came to one of our practices, you’d be shocked at how much I don’t do. Like if you came Mike, if you came to one of our practices, you went. Me and you could stand and talk on the side for the majority of my practice. And so I talk about this a lot. My job is to make sure that every player in our program varsity down to freshmen gets coached.
My job is not to coach every single player. And so that’s counterintuitive to a lot of coaches. And they, and, and I’m lucky because I have two assistants that have been head coaches. So they understand the head coach seat and they don’t necessarily want to be in the head coach seat anymore. So that’s been really helpful as well because I can trust them and our staff has stayed the same for the last 10 years or so.
[01:03:00] So we really have a good rapport between all of us. And you know, I really hone in more on a, our, our guys going as hard as possible. And then B can I connect with every single one of our players before practice starts and, or during the practice, like, I’ll pull a kid to the side, like you, man, do you think you’re really going as hard as you can right now?
Is there something up that you need to tell me about? Cause it doesn’t look like you’re going hard. Just little things like that. And then now 90% of the coach, I got you on bad. Yep. Here we go. So it’s just little things that help build trust between our players and it helps our coaches grow and it helps our players trust our assistants as well.
And I’ve seen growth in not only our assistants, but our players trusting the assistants and what, what, we’re, what we’re doing. And so I really, I really think this, this takes me back [01:04:00] to I’ve, I’ve been doing some reading and Lucas Jayden, and Josh Metcalf are two of my favorite authors.
Lucas Jayden said the, the other day, are you leading and equipping them or are you controlling them? And if you’re controlling them, then that’s not what you want. But if you’re leading and equipping them, that’s what you want. So that they, and meaning assistant coaches and players, aren’t in charge of their development.
Now, obviously I’m there to steer it and I’m there. When it gets off track, I need to make sure that it gets on track. And so it, it was a little counterintuitive, like you said, to give up some of that control, but we have really flourished since that happened. And, and I think it goes back to, are you leading in equipping them or are you controlling them?
And it also goes to how we play as well. I tell them all the time, like I can chess piece you all day long. If you want you go here, then you go here. Then you pass here. Then you go here. That’s not how you want it. You want to be [01:05:00] able to make decisions on the floor. You want to be able to play basket. And the better you do at that, the more freedom I can give you, it’s kind of like parenting.
And you know, if you take too much of that and you’re not doing well with it, then I got to reel that back. And then I got a chest piece you a little bit. And so leading and equipping much more important than controlling in my case. And now I’ve been doing it for a long time. So it’s a lot easier for me to let some of that control go.
Mike Klinzing: [01:05:31] Yeah, And I think that’s something that only really comes from experience. I think that’s something that is really, really hard to do when you’re early in your career or even early, early as a parent, you think about how you parent your first child versus how you parent your second or third. And you know, that first, that first kid, you’re just like, you’re staring at them 24 hours a day and try to make sure that they get every single thing that they need.
And then if you’re like me, by the time you get to the third one, you’re [01:06:00] a lot more. Hands-off and a lot more, Hey, you got, you got a decision to make here and I’m going to I’m going to try to guide you to make the right decision, but ultimately you’re going to have a little bit more freedom than your older sister or your older brother had, because again, you just realize that when you, as you said, equipped them to make those decisions, ultimately you’re helping them to grow at a much faster rate than you do when you’re controlling every single thing that happens out on the basketball for everything, single thing that happens in your kid’s life as a parent.
All right, Rob, before we get out of here, is there anything else that we didn’t touch on tonight that you think is relevant to the conversation that we’ve had? Kind of just going through some different things that you face and that you get to enjoy as a high school coach, any final thoughts, comments, ideas that we haven’t touched on before we wrap up,
Rob Brost: [01:06:53] I’m just grateful to learn from people like you, I’m grateful for all the people that [01:07:00] have helped me and I’m available to anybody. You’d be shocked. How many people call and just say, Hey coach, what’s up with this? What do you think about this? I’m a new coach. Like the coach I reference from Dallas who called me last week and he’s a second year coach and you know, it just pick my brain.
So I’m just grateful for people that helped me. And I’m always willing to help you know, others. And so if you ever need anything and that’s for anybody out there relative to basketball or just life in general, don’t hesitate to call. And I’m thankful for you guys, for having me on. And blessing me to be the 23rd beyond here twice.
And so I’m honored, I’m sure there’s, there’s guys much more qualified and more uniquely you know, knowledgeable than I am. So I, I’m just grateful to Mike, you and Jason for having me on I’m grateful to all the coaches that have helped me, especially there during this Corona year, I was able to get on zooms and be able to talk to [01:08:00] people that in a weird way, I would never be able to talk to you had this Corona thing that happened.
So you know, it’s really been valuable in that way. I would never want to go through it again or you know, have to have to replicate it. But I think we did make the most. From a basketball standpoint and from a growth standpoint as from a human being standpoint. And so I’m just grateful to everybody out there for listening and to, for, for you guys, for having me on,
Mike Klinzing: [01:08:27] Well, your humility speaks for itself.
And I think that one of the things that we found, and I think that it comes across really strongly. When you talk about the podcast is we’ve been able to learn from coaches and media members and players. Everybody has heard of across the country. And then we’ve been able to learn equally from coaches that nobody has heard of except for maybe some people in their local area.
And I think that’s [01:09:00] really the key to growing as a human being. As a coach, as a person is the ability to learn from everybody and understanding that it’s not just the big names. It’s not just the people it can be, it can be, anybody can give you something that can help you to improve as a coach, as a person, as a player.
So that being said, share how people can reach out to you who do want to do that, whatever contact information, social media you want to share. Please do that. And then I’ll jump back in and wrap-up
Rob Brost: [01:09:30] wrap Absolutely and feel free to use any of these avenues to get me. And I know people say I’m crazy when I go to clinics and give out my cell phone number, but here’s my cell phone number.
I don’t care. You can call me anytime. I’m going to trust that it’s not going to enough in some restroom, on the I 80 corridor.
Mike Klinzing: [01:09:51]8 6 7 5 3 0 9.
Rob Brost: [01:09:53] Yes, that’s exactly right. That’s exactly right at any rate. My cell phone number is [01:10:00] (630) 965-9813. My email, my personal email at home is Raidershoops@comcast.net. And my Twitter handle is @Brookhoops at Brook Hoops stands for Bolingbrook hoops. So. @BrookHoops is my Twitter handle. And you know, I’m not really into IG and some of those other snap and all those other forms of us. I have a young assistant who keeps, does all that stuff.
So those are the best ways, ways you have a Tik TOK account.
Mike Klinzing: [01:10:41] Rob, come on, you’re making those Tic Tok dances. I know you are.
Rob Brost: [01:10:42] I mean, I wish I was better at making tick tocks cause you know, I have to ask my daughter, who’s a sophomore and my son who’s in seventh grade about Tik TOK and some other platforms as well.
So you know, who knows, hopefully, maybe someday I’ll make some tic-tok
Mike Klinzing: [01:10:59] by [01:11:00] that. And then by that, it’ll be something else that’ll be on there and you’ll be, you’ll still be an old, you’ll still be an old guy. Dad, you’re still on Tik TOK. What are you doing?
Rob Brost: [01:11:06] My, both my kids call me a boomer all the time.
I’m not even sure. But whatever that is, I guess I’m that?
Mike Klinzing: [01:11:13] Yeah. Let’s claim that for posterity. So that’s right, at any rate, I cannot thank you enough for jumping on with us tonight and be a number 23 in our parade of double guests. So thank you for that.
As always, you provide a ton of value to coaches out there, and I would highly recommend that if you’re interested in learning how to play fast, if you’re interested in the profession of coaching, there’s probably no better source than Rob to be able to talk high school basketball. And if you’ve stuck with us through this entire episode, you just see how well versed he is in a variety of topics related to coaching at the high school level and recruiting and all the different things that we touched on tonight.
So, Rob again, thank you. Really appreciate it. And to everyone out there, we will catch you on our next episode. Bye. [01:12:00]