Rudy Bentley, Jr.

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Rudy Bentley, Jr. is a PGC Basketball Director and has taught the game of basketball to thousands of athletes across the country.  He also works on PGC’s basketball development team, where he’s highly involved in the refinement and innovation of all PGC camp curriculums!

Following his playing career at Beloit College, Rudy began his college coaching career as the Men’s Basketball Graduate Assistant Coach at Lakeland University. While at Lakeland he eventually took on a dual role as an Admissions Advisor and Assistant Basketball Coach. After one year at Lakeland, he went to Wisconsin Lutheran College to become the Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach before joining forces with fellow PGC director Sam Allen as a skill development coach at Blue Collar Basketball.

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Grab pen and paper before you listen to this episode with  PGC Basketball Director, Rudy Bentley, Jr.

What We Discuss with Rudy Bentley, Jr.

  • Why he chose basketball over hockey as a kid growing up in Wisconsin
  • “Playing multiple sports is huge.”
  • “Becoming a better human being is why we want them playing the game in the first place.”
  • How to pick the right coach – “Do they really care about your kid? Do they have their best interest in mind? And then the other piece is can they help, ’em get better fast, do they know what they’re doing?”
  • How to pick the right AAU Program – “How much do they practice?” “What is the relationship like with the coaches?”
  • “We want as much of what we teach to be as translatable to the game as possible.”
  • The relationship between high school coaches & AAU coaches
  • “When it comes to youth sports…check the egos at the door and remind yourseld that everybody’s there for the same reason.”
  • “Don’t trust the person that you always agree with.”
  • “There’s a difference between truth and harmony.”
  • “I’d rather frustrate a kid in the moment and help him succeed in the long run.”
  • Keeping all your options open when it comes to choosing a college
  • The roles his college coach and PGC Basketball played in leading him into coaching
  • How watching film as a college senior fueled his desire to coach
  • “You just gotta be ready to go out there and star in your role.”
  • “You can tell the difference between a really, really good coach and even an average coach, in their ability to make adjustments.”
  • “Heavy is the hand that holds the clipboard.”
  • “The more ages and stages that you coach, and the more times you have reps going through that process, the better you’ll be.”
  • “Just drop your ego and go coach, get reps.”
  • “Be patient in the things you can’t control and then be urgent in the things you can control.”
  • “I wish I would have enjoyed it more. I wish I would’ve worried less and just been a part of it.” – A parent speaking about their child’s athletic journey
  • “There’s nothing more powerful that you can say to a kid after the game than I loved watching you play.”
  • “Enjoy it like a grandparent.”
  • “Enjoy that time you have left with your kids, it’s sacred, it’s special. Make some memories.”
  • “Players are able to do so much with the ball, but they don’t know when to do it or why to do it.”
  • Incorporating decision-making into an individual workout
  • Getting the most out of a group workout
  • What it means to coach “off of two feet”
  • “Create fun games with winners and losers and the level of play and focus and energy in the gym will change immediately.”
  • “Nobody is more qualified to create a drill for your team than you.”

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[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here without my co-host Jason Sunkle tonight, but I am pleased to be joined by Rudy Bentley, Jr. Director for PGC basketball, Rudy. Welcome to the Hoop Heads Pod.

[00:00:13] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Hey Mike, appreciate you having me

[00:00:16] Mike Klinzing: Excited to have you on looking forward to diving in with you learning more about your background, learning more about all the things that you’ve been able to do in the game and the impact that you’re having around the world of basketball.

Let’s start by going back in time to when you were a kid. Tell me a little bit about some of your first experiences with the game. What made you fall in love with it?

[00:00:34] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: For sure. Yeah. Well my dad, I was a big basketball fan. And so the ball’s been in my hand since before I can really remember you know, Tells me stories about getting the little Fisher price ding hoops, where you put the ball through it and it hit makes the ding sound at the bottom.

So I’ve had it since, before I was walking. But it’s always just been a fun way to connect with family got a lot of older brothers and you know, cousins and things like that, that basketball is kind of a way for us just to connect and have fun and get to know each other. And so it’s just been a kind of a part of my life for forever.

And you just kind of that, that, that place that’s always been there, that constant kind of force that kind of just came along with the family.

[00:01:15] Mike Klinzing: Growing up, was basketball, your only sport, your main sport when you were younger, just how did you approach the game from that standpoint from a multiple sport aspect?

[00:01:25] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah, for sure. You know, it’s funny I’m from Wisconsin originally. And so hockey is big in the north and my uncle actually, on my mom’s side, he was a big time hockey player in high school. So, I actually played hockey for most of my like intro elementary school years. I didn’t play basketball, like in an organized fashion.

It was just kind of like hooping at the park. And you know, got to the point where it was fourth grade, fifth grade. And, my dad came to me and said, Hey, you could play hockey again if you want. You know, but if you play hockey skates are expensive. You can get one pair of, of hockey skates.

Or if you play basketball this year, I’ll get you three pairs of basketball shoes. And I was like, wait, wait, what? . And that was the decision I made three. Yep. Three was better than one. So basketball was kind of the main one after that. And I played football, played soccer like I said, played hockey.

I was like a big into like the X game stuff. So I did skateboarding and like inline skating at like skate parks for a while. So definitely dabbled in a lot of things growing up, but basketball was always that constant.

[00:02:24] Mike Klinzing: How do you think that helped you being a multi-sport athlete? I know that’s one of the things that when you think about.

The landscape that we have today and the pressure that both parents and young athletes in all sports feel to start to specialize early because they think they’re falling behind, they gotta do this and they gotta do that. And you think about you growing up and just this variety of different activities that you have.

How do you think that impacted you as an athlete later when you got into high school and eventually became a college player?

[00:02:55] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: For sure. Yeah, and  I think parents and players have it right where they can fall behind. But I think they fall behind when they don’t play different sports. And so I think they fall behind as an athlete.

When you just go with one sport especially you’re, you are usually playing one position. A lot of times when you’re younger, you get pigeonholed. If you’re the point guard, you’re always the point guard. If you’re the post, you’re always the post. You’re using similar footwork, similar skill sets in a similar game all the time, and you’re not letting your body kind of play and navigate different spaces.

And so you end up getting behind as an athlete your body doesn’t know how to move. It’s very rigid and it’s you only know how to use it in certain ways. And so I think being a multi-sport athlete, I just got to, to try so many different things and balance and coordination and hand just all the different things that come along with being a well-rounded athlete.

I know for a fact you know, like I remember the difference in football, like football was the difference. I’m five foot 5, 8, 5, 9 on a good day. And you know, me being a more physical guard football really helped me play at a higher level in basketball than I probably would have if I didn’t do that.

So I think playing multiple sports is huge. And it’s often overlooked, unfortunately, as a way to get ahead in any sport by playing other sports as a supplement.

[00:04:14] Mike Klinzing: It’s so hard in today’s world. Just the way that youth sports is so driven by sort of that business side of it, where people as adults have businesses that rely on income from young athletes.

And so therefore I think sometimes they get stuck encouraging kids to play year round. They gotta get ’em in these programs because that’s how people are making a living. And so you can understand kind of where that pressure comes from. And then you have parents who, as I said earlier, are trying to look around and see, Ooh, this person’s doing that.

And that person’s on this team and they’re on the, a team and not the B team or they’re on this travel team or this AAU team and why come, how come my kids not? And so there’s this big, right? There’s this big pressure that I’ve gotta start doing those things at 8, 9, 10 years old because I see what everybody else is doing.

And I think one of the things that when I think about the system that we have today, and we’ve talked about this a little bit with other coaches, but I’m curious to get your perspective. I think one of the biggest challenges that we have of. Getting people to do things for lack of a better way of saying it to do things the correct way or to do it right, is to be able to educate parents about the value of multiple sports or the value in AAU or travel basketball and getting with the right program where they’re working on the right things, where they’re working on the process, where they’re working on making their players better, I suppose, to just always looking at well, who wins games and why do they win games?

And it’s such a challenge because you oftentimes have parents who are going through it for the first time. Many of them maybe didn’t play themselves. And so as they go through the system, they don’t know really what to look out for. So when you think about trying to educate parents, what are some conversations maybe that you’ve had over the course of your coaching career with players that you’ve worked with when it comes to helping them to make better decisions?

Where they play, what coaches they work with and what programs they get involved with. What are those conversations like for you?

[00:06:17] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah, for sure. I mean, it’s a great question. And you know, just a little bit on my background, I think one of the, the fun parts about my job now is I’ve done a lot of different things in basketball.

And so I’ve seen a lot of different perspectives. So I was the first player first person in my, my family to go play college athletics. And so getting recruited was a new thing for all of us. My parents didn’t know what, what the recruiting process was or what things were supposed to look like, or when I should start hearing from coaches, I had no idea.

And so we kind of just felt it out and just hoped for the best essentially. And then I went through the process myself and then I went on and I played four years and I learned a lot. And then at 23 I was an assistant coach in college. And so I got to go and be on the other side of things.

And that opened up my eyes to so many different pieces. I coached D three basketball in Wisconsin. And when you’re coaching and you’re going out there recruiting and I was recruiting coordinator. And so I’m going and watching all these games, I’m talking to my head coach and figuring out what he’s looking for and I couldn’t help it.

The first thing I got to thinking about was why did nobody tell me this? Like, if I would’ve known this, what college coaches were looking for, I mean, man, it would’ve been so much easier, if my freshman year I knew, okay, if I can do a, B and C, if I. Become a knockdown catch and shoot three point shooter.

If I can just make the right reads offensively and defensive, just put myself in the right places and, and make the right decisions. And if I can be a great teammate and be consistently coachable, like I get subbed out, I don’t throw a fit. I’m yes and no. So on the sidelines, I’m cheering on my teammates, like little things like that, that they’re not the flashy thing.

They’re not the thing that show up on a Twitter rant, but like, it’s the stuff that gets you scholarship office. It’s the things that get you recruited. And, and I just didn’t know a lot of those little things that could really help. And so I would say now I help run an AAU program here in Atlanta, Georgia.

And I go around the country in the summer and I teach hundreds of athletes every year you know, about the game. And so I just try to pass a lot of that stuff on, and it is hard because players and, and parents, they. A lot of them are in the same position. I was like, you don’t know what you don’t know.

It’s their first kid, it’s their oldest son or daughter. And they’re just trying to give them the best they can. And so they see, well, so, and so played for this team and they got a scholarship. So if I send my kid there, they’ll get a scholarship too. And it’s like, well, that’s not always true. And, and so trying to give them as much as I can from those experiences I, I really enjoy.

But, but teaching parents and educating parents, I think is, is one of the things that’s missing in, in, in a lot of different sports, not just basketball. I think in youth athletics, in general, educating parents on how to get their kids recruited what’s most important. And then reminding them of the main goal that most of them won’t play college and becoming a better human being is why we want them playing the game in the first place.

[00:09:16] Mike Klinzing: That’s a great perspective that all you have to do is go to an AAU tournament and realize how quickly that perspective is lost. and you sit among parents and you hear the conversations and you look at the way some of the behavior can be, and this is not to paint with a broad brush, all parents. Cause obviously there are far more good parents when it comes to behavior at sporting events.

Unfortunately, the ones that don’t behave well are the ones that oftentimes get the publicity. But if you had to boil it down, if you had one piece of advice that you could give to high school athletes and their parents, when it comes to, let’s just say an opportunity. We’re talking about a player who has aspirations of playing college basketball.

What would be your number one piece of advice? If you could have that conversation with every high school basketball player and their parent, what would it be?

[00:10:06] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: That’s a great question. I think it would all boil down to this and when I’m choosing who to play for, if I had to I don’t have any children on my own, but if I were.

To say, Hey, I want you to play for coach x. I’m going to choose their coach based on this, it would be who cares about you the most and who can help you get better? The fastest, because for most players, the truth of the matter is if they’re on, on track to be a division three player athletically in skill wise, they want to be a D two, D one player.

If they’re a D two caliber player, they want to be a D one player. If they’re a mid-major player, they want to be a high major player. Everybody wants to outpunt their coverage. Everybody wants to be better. And so you have to find someone regardless of the age, like, especially younger, like if you’re talking 15, you and younger, unless you’re Zion, Williamson, nobody’s giving scholarships to 15, 14 year old kids.

Like you gotta be really good . And so at that age, you, you just really gotta be honest. Like, who do you trust? That really cares about your son or daughter? Like, do they care about them? Not, they’re just another number in the machine. They’re they’re going to be on the team to, to pay some bills, but they don’t really care about ’em they’re at the end of the season, they might not even remember their name, whatever.

Like, do they really care about your kid? And, and do they have their best interest? And then the other piece is can they help, ’em get better fast? Like, do they know what they’re doing? Because sometimes the, the conversations that I have is like, well, they play for this program because this program is produced scholarship level players.

I’m like, well, yeah, what? That, that was a six, six point guard. That was going to be a division one player, no matter if they didn’t play AAU basketball at all, like, they’re just that good. That’s not your son or daughter. like, so if you’re going there based on, so and so getting a scholarship that was a high major division one player, and your player might be D three at best.

That might not be the best fit. Because if they don’t care about ’em and you’re just a check or they don’t they don’t know how to make them better, that type of talent or that caliber player, you might be sending them there and expecting one thing and getting some completely different. And so do they really care about your son or daughter?

And can they help them at their stage get better the fastest?

[00:12:23] Mike Klinzing: What does it look like when you think about a coach, a program that helps a kid get better? Because as a parent who maybe isn’t aware of what that might look like if I go into an AAU practice or I’m watching a team play, what are some things that I might want to look for?

Or let’s say I’m a high school coach and I’m a new high school coach, and I’m trying to figure out, Hey, what AAU program do I want to start to build a relationship with what I know I can send my players there and they’re going to get better. And there’s going to be a synergy between the AAU coach and the high school coach where we’re communicating and we understand sort of what.

Each one of our roles in and helping this kid to be better. So what are some things I should look for in a good AAU coach, a good AAU practice setting. That’s going to help my kid to get better. What does that actually look like?

[00:13:17] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah. So I think one just not even barely, but like, do they practice and how frequently?

Cause there, there is a difference between improvement and showcasing. Now, if you’re talking E Y B L or Adidas, Gauntlet, that’s a different beast, right? When you’re talking about like everybody on that team is a power five kid they’re, they’re just there to showcase talent. So if that’s the case and they’re already got it and you’re, you’re just trying to get them in front of college coaches, that’s the top 1% of the 1%, that’s the top a hundred, 200 kids in, in the country.

That’s not most high school kids, most high school kids aren’t playing at that level. And so if you’re not playing at that like high level you know, you’re not going to peach jam. Well then what do you look for? Number one is, do they practice. Like we here, we, we try to do things as, as well as we can, and we’re not perfect.

We have our flaws here with our AAU club that we run here in Atlanta, but we practice two to three times a week. And then we intentionally have off weekends. So we’ll play twice a month intentionally having some weekends off to provide additional training. So we’ll bring in our, our old college guys that have went through the program and played college basketball, they’ll come back and play.

Some of our coaches will hop in and play with the athletes as well. And we’ll have trainings and, and opportunities from the play against high level competition within our own structure and with our own you know, kind of B CB our blue collar basketball family. And so our, our main goal is development.

And so just the fact that we have a lot of practices we had over 30 trainings or practices this spring and the past three months, it just kind of goes to show we’re committed to growing and developing young players, like you can’t really substitute time in the gym.

So that would be the first thing. How frequently do they practice? Second piece would be what is the relationship like with the coaches? So we try to do the best we can to really get to know the high school coaches. You know, that we’re getting a lot of players from get to know what they’re running and we try to run a system that’s as free as possible.

We don’t run a lot of plays. We try to teach ’em how to play, because we want as much of what we teach to be translatable as possible. So we go Harry player development, we give basic guidelines and principles on offense. But we try to make sure that what they’re doing in the games with us those skills, those habits will translate back to their programs when they go back.

And so do, does the AAU program that you are looking at practice a decent amount and are they player development focused? And do they have a relationship with the high school coaches in the area? Are they attempting to make. That there is synergy. And that that’s huge. Cause if there is that disconnect where AAU is doing something completely different than the high school programs, teaching different habits force in different directions, calling different things, it, it can get really muddy and it, it can muddy the learning progress of the athletes that are there.

[00:16:08] Mike Klinzing: I think ultimately what it always comes down to for me, Rudy, from both perspectives because there’s obviously at times you’ll hear about the disconnect between high school coaches and AAU. And depending on who you talk to, you can hear bad things about high school coaches. You can hear bad things about AAU coaches.

And I think when you’re in the best case scenario, when you have an AAU coach and a high school coach that both ultimately have the best interest of their player at heart. And if you have it all boiled down to that where I’m making sure that the things that I’m doing are in the best interest. My player, then I know that I’m in the right place.

And it’s like, that doesn’t mean that you just, Hey, this kid it’s in his best interest to take 25 shots a game when he’s not the player that should be taking 25 shots a game. That’s not what we’re talking about, but we’re talking about putting a kid in a situation where they can improve and get better.

If you’re on a team and you’re player number 10 and you play two minutes a game, well, you’re probably not in the right situation. You’re probably not getting the opportunity to play and improve and get better. And so I think that if you, if it ultimately boils down to the AAU coach cares about the player and wants ’em to get better.

And the high school coach cares about the player and want ’em to get better. And then the two of those individuals have conversations back and forth. Now you’ve really got something. And that’s where I think you’re going to really start to see progress. And I think if you just, as you said with parents, Hey, is the team practicing?

And then. What is that team doing to be able to help that player get better? And if you see those two things, you’re probably at least on the right track.

[00:17:48] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah. I mean, it, it takes a village, right? It takes a village to raise a child. And I, I think that’s what it all boils down to is, is getting everybody aligned and on the same page.

And that’s what we try to do here. You know, with PGC and with the blue collar basketball, the AAU stuff we run here is he helping grown people drop their egos. Because players, they just want to hoop, like to be real, right. They, they just want to play. They want to go succeed. They want to play at a high level.

And so they’re going to go put it, they’re putting in a lot of work. But if they’re being told different messages, if one adult is saying one thing and then another adult is badmouthing one of the others, if everybody’s on different pages the, the egos among adults can really destroy a young person’s experience in the game.

And so I think it’s really important for the adults. To act like adults when it comes to youth sports and, and check the egos at the door and remind themselves that everybody’s there for the same reason. And if you find out or you really feel, you honestly feel like somebody’s not there for that reason, then you should remove yourself from being around that person.

And that’s where maybe it is right to transfer. Maybe you just, you don’t go to that AAU program, but most of the time everybody’s, heart’s in the right place. And if you disagree on maybe a, a, a substitution pattern or a set that’s being ran, those are small peanuts compared to make, to, to knowing that that person really has your child’s best interest at heart.

And so getting everybody aligned in on the same page is so, so important. Players, parents, AAU coaches, and high school coaches, like if everybody’s working together towards the same vision and they trust each other and that’s where great things can happen.

[00:19:29] Mike Klinzing: And part of that too, is having realistic expectations for what is, and isn’t possible for a given player. You mentioned it earlier that if you’re a player that potentially could play division three basketball, and yet your parent comes to the situation with the idea that you’re a division one player, you may end up being disappointed in your AAU situation, because somebody eventually is going to tell your kid the truth.

Hopefully it’s going to be one of their coaches and make it where the expectations are realistic. And I think oftentimes whether it’s high school sports or whether it’s AAU or whether it’s any other sport when parents or players go into it with unrealistic expectations of what they think is going to happen, or what’s possible, that’s where you have that disconnect.

Whereas if you can set the expectations correctly, I think you ultimately end up having a better experience, no matter what setting you’re in.

[00:20:26] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah. Don’t trust the person that you always agree. Right. Like you you’re, if you always agree with your trainer, that’s the wrong trainer. If you always agree with your AAU coach, it’s the wrong, like, if you always agree, because if that’s the case, they’re not telling you the truth.

Most of the time, they’re probably telling you just what you want to hear now. Sometimes those things coexist, right? Like, it’s not like it’s always going to be friction, but right. There’ a difference between truth and harmony, and sometimes they’re the same, but sometimes they can be drastically different and I’ve lost players just full of transparency.

I’ve lost players, the AU because of transparency, because everybody doesn’t want it. And that’s okay. Like I, I get it. But if you really want to maximize your experience as an athlete, you need to be around people that are going to tell you the truth and you gotta be able to trust that. And you know, As a coach, if you really want to build something that you’re going to be proud of and you can stand on, I think it’s important to put that truth above whether or not you think you’ll upset a player in the moment.

Cause I know it’s a business and you gotta retain, but if you’re telling them, if you’re selling fools gold, that stuff eventually catches up with you. When you know, everybody you talk to is a D one player, but you haven’t produced a D one player in five years. Eventually that, that gets out too. And so it just kind of has to match up there at some point.

[00:21:48] Mike Klinzing: Yeah. The truth eventually gets out. It may, you may be able to pull the wool over people’s eyes for a little while, but eventually people are going to start to look at it and go, Hey, this guy keeps telling me such and such and I just don’t see it ever materializing. And so you’re much better off having that honest conversation.

Yeah. You might lose somebody who walks out the door because you’re telling ’em something that maybe nobody else has ever told them. Right. Because of that very re of that very reason. Right? Because they don’t want to lose you. Maybe your high school coach has hard time telling you the truth. They don’t want you to transfer, or maybe your AAU coach wants to keep you in the program.

So they keep your money flowing into the flowing into the bank account. But ultimately, ultimately you’re going to run into in your career. I don’t care who you are and whatever level of player you end up becoming. Eventually you’re going to run into a good coach. Who’s going to tell you the truth and explain to you exactly where you stand.

And those are the coaches that really make a difference in players’ lives. Because once you understand and people stop feeding you a line of, Hey, you’re great. You’re this you’re that. But once people start telling you the truth, now you can really buckle down and figure out, Hey, how do I get better? How do I improve?

And we all know that the best players at whatever level, those coaches, those players, for the most part, they like to be coached. The people who are the best players, they want to get better. They want to be able to improve. And without the truth, it’s almost impossible to be able to do that.

[00:23:11] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah, I mean, it’s a Kickstarter and sometimes it’ll be frustrating in the moment, but I’d rather frustrate a kid in the moment and help him succeed in the long run. Like I remember one of my favorite area coaches he, he gave me something, one of his best friends was a division I coach at the time. And so he had watched me play the tournament and I asked him to, Hey, get some feedback.

Like, what do you think about after watching me play? And I was going into my sophomore year in high school. So I was still young and I was pretty good, but , he came back to me and said, do you really want to know what he said? I said, absolutely. You know, I thought I played well and right. He said he said, you know that kid’s got division one vision, but he has a rec league jump shot.

And I was like, he said that. And like, that was the sentence that he texted me and I was just, oh, And so that hurt obviously, like I’m not going to lie to you. I was young and I heard that a D one coach just said that about me. So I got off the phone and I cried for a little bit. And then the first thing I did was I grabbed the ball and I went to the park and I shot like 500 shots.

Because like, it’s like, okay, like that hurt a little bit, but man, it, it, it sprung me into action. And if he wouldn’t have been willing to, to give me that honesty, because he thought it might hurt my feelings. Like, I don’t think I would’ve played at the level that I played at. And so just even if it’s a short run setback and it might hurt him in the moment just telling players the truth, it’ll set, ’em free.

[00:24:36] Mike Klinzing: There’s no doubt about that. Let’s go back to your playing career. Tell us a little bit about your college decision. You ended up at a couple different places before you ended up at Beloit. Just what did you learn from that experience as a player transitioning from high school to college basketball that you’ve been able to share with the players that you work with now, from your experience that maybe can help them?

[00:25:04] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: for sure. I think looking for number one is you want to have as many options as possible. So I had some division, two looks you know, some partial offers D two is not going to offer full rides anywhere a lot.

I don’t a lot of players, honestly, still don’t know that that most D two scholarships aren’t full rides. But I didn’t know that at the time, cause I knew nothing about recruiting sides, some partials and things like that for some D two S but I ended up playing division three basketball, the school that I committed to it, it was a great fit.

I’m from Madison, Wisconsin, and a lot of my family and my dad’s, I lived in Milwaukee. So the school I went to is closer to Milwaukee is about 15 minutes. It’s a suburb. And so I was going to be closer to some of my family there. They could come watch me play. And that school had just made it to a sweet 16 division three tournament the year before.

And they brought back everybody except for their starting point guard. So I was like, man, I’m going to walk in in one of the best programs in the country and have a chance to start on a team. That’s going to potentially go make a run at the national tournament again. Like that sounds great. And I say, keep your options open.

Like grades are just so important. Because when you’re a fringe guy, like a D two D three, or even a D two D one having academic money that you’re going to get, no matter what you do on the basketball court is so important and it makes you so much more valuable. And so like if you want a full ride scholarship, you either are good enough where they give a full scholarship to you or you get half of your money paid for through academics.

And then they only have to give you a half a scholarship athletically. So they still have a half a scholarship. So if it’s you and somebody else, but they gotta give them a full and give you a half, they get the same player roughly, but for half price, they’re going to take you, you just make yourself so much more marketable and give yourself more options.

And so me having my grades in order you know, graduate of high school at three nine GPA and you know, did well in the ACT. And so it just provided me so many options where I could afford to go play division three basketball. If I didn’t have the grades, the way I had ’em D three, would’ve been too expensive for me.

And I would’ve maybe had to pick a D two that wasn’t as good of a fit for me. But you know, I got to be a four year starter in college and scored some points and set some records for assist. And I, I had a great experience and I played a lot. But if I would’ve played D two and had to go D two, I might have not have had the same experience.

And so keeping your options open and being willing to look at all options, I think is really, really important for anybody that’s going through that decision.

[00:27:41] Mike Klinzing: What’s your favorite memory from playing college basketball. Do you have one thing that stands out?

[00:27:46] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Man. Yeah, it was a few things pop up, but I think honestly, my freshman year I had worked really hard to get there and you know, it was, it was a nervewracking time going in there.

There’s a lot of expectations to go play well right away. And my second game of the season, we were in a tip-off tournament at home. We hosted one. And so it was first two games of the season. I played well in the first game, second game. The other guy I was battling for point guard actually went down within Achilles injury.

So I, I was then pretty much the starting point guard for the rest of the season. But at the end of that game, we’re playing a tough opponent. It’s down to the wire coach actually draws a play up for me at the end and I get filed, have an, and one hit the free throw. We win by one point and the crowd comes and like carries me off the floor.

That’s awesome. You know, and, and my mom is sitting right there in the stands. Like I see her, she was behind the bench and she’s like in tears and you know, my mom and I are fairly close. And so it was really cool getting carried off the court thousand couple thousand people there. And then like, I just see her standing there, just the pride on her face and it was just, it was a really cool moment.

So that, that probably sticks out the most.

[00:28:54] Mike Klinzing: When you were in college, what were you thinking as far as a career was coaching already on your radar when you were still playing or did your career end, and then that’s when you started to think about coaching, where was your mindset when you were in school?

I know you got an economics degree, but what, what was your thought process as far as career wise?

[00:29:16] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah. You know, it molded a lot as many people’s stories go in college. Like I didn’t come in knowing that this is what I wanted to do. And then I left actually doing that thing. Like most people, you going to college with an idea, and then that idea gets scrapped in semester one, and then you gotta figure it out.

for sure. You know, I came in you know, actually thinking about being an actuary and I got to go and shadow an actuary and they were stuck in a back. I think it was just a back experience, but I was like stuck in a back office and they were not the most personable human in the world. And I’m just like, if this is how actuaries are, and they’re just stuck in these like back rooms for hours, I’m like, I don’t want to do that.

So I’m like, okay, that’s out. And then I wanted to do the, just the regular business degree, but then I took economics, took macroeconomics intro and it just clicked. I was like, this is really cool. And I started learning what people that had econ degrees could do and where they could work.

And so the next two and a half years, honestly, that’s what I wanted to do. But the passion for coaching really didn’t start until I started working for, for PGC for point guard college. I. As an athlete to PGC going into my senior year in high school. And I stayed connected with my director, his name’s Chad stayed connected with Chad.

He helped me with my college decision and after my freshman year I played a lot 33, 34 minutes a game. And we lost in a conference championship to go to the tournament, but we had a really good season, 20 something wins. And I like, Hey, how do I avoid that sophomore slump?

And he told me just, I think the best way to learn something is to teach it, why don’t you come teach with us? And he offered me a job to come work at PGC as a basket instructor. And so that was 2013. And you know, here I am I’m a director myself now nine years later, but you know, I went that summer and traveled around the country and got to learn how to teach the game and see it from a different lens and just seeing the transformation of players and those connections.

And sometimes you just try things and you realize you kind of have a knack for it. Being able to connect with players and help them get those aha moments, those light bulb moments where you see their eyes light up when they finally get something. Right. And then just being able to celebrate ’em when they did it.

Right. Like it was, it just kind of was natural. It felt right. And, and so that’s how it started. And you know, when I went back to col playing in college, my coach was really, really helpful. Just allowing me to do a lot of things like our, my senior year, he allowed me to do all of our scouting reports.

So I was the one clipping up synergy film, and creating our scouting reports, all of our matchups, how we were going to handle screens. And he would obviously okay. It just to make sure that he was in line with what we were going to do, but I, I led film sessions and, and he really let me get my feet wet with what it was like to be a coach.

And so it’s one of the reasons why I think I was able to be an assistant right after I graduated was just. You know, I kind of just fell in love with it. And I had a coach that really allowed me to grow and stretch into that space. And so that’s, that’s how it started.

[00:32:22] Mike Klinzing: Were you guys having conversations about you becoming a coach at that point?

Or was it still, Hey, I think you can do this as a quote unquote player and benefit our team or was the conversation, look, I think you can do this and do a really good job of it and help our team. But I also think this is going to be good prep. Cause I see you as a coach. Were you guys having those conversations, you and your college coach?

[00:32:47] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah. Going into my senior year, I, I kind of felt like I had the itch at that point and I’m just like, you know what, I, I think I want to do this. And so we, we started having conversations and at the time I was still considering playing professionally. And so after my senior year I got invited to a couple showcases.

I had a couple teams asked me to come try out. I had a couple offers on the table for. You know, like smaller Europe European leagues, but I mean some of those not making a whole lot of money obviously. And you know, there’s some horror stories about things that if they

[00:33:20] Mike Klinzing: If they pay you at all.

[00:33:22] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah.

[00:33:25] Mike Klinzing: So we’ve got a lot of good stories on the pod from European guys. They’re always good ones.

[00:33:30] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: . And so I had a couple after that, but you know,  I was like, Hey, I’d like to see the game from a different lens. I think it’ll help me as a point guard.

But also when the ball styles bouncing, whether it’s this year after my senior year or a few years down the line, I think coaching is something that I’d be interested in. And, and so, yeah, he just, he really just handed me the reigns. Now, part of it, that’s another benefit of being D three, right.

Is they don’t have the resources. Like if, if they had two GA’s and three full-time assistants, nobody would want to give up their spot. Right. But when you have one head coach that’s full-time and everybody else’s stipend to. You you take the help you can get. And I was around, I was available.

I didn’t have to take many classes. And so I had a pretty light schedule and he was just like, man, I think you’re actually pretty good at it. So why not let you take a crack at it and, and do that this year, your teammates trust you. And you know, they kind of already see you as the leader and the captain.

So why not let you go ahead and just, just lead this stuff. And so I, he, even towards the end of the year, like after our season was over, when we were bringing recruits on campus, like I was the guy taking him around, around campus, on visits and showing him the locker room and taking him out to, to lunch.

And I’m talking to the parents. I mean, he really had me as an unpaid assistant pretty much . I did a lot of the things that any assistant coach would do you know, as, as a current player. And you know, that, that was, that was really beneficial towards my journey as well.

[00:34:59] Mike Klinzing: What was your favorite part of that during your senior year?

Was there one piece of it, one aspect that. You really liked? Was it breaking down the film? Was it sort of being behind the scenes with your college coach? What about it? Was there one piece that stood out more than others that you really enjoyed that really made you think, Hey, this is something that when I get done, this is what I want to keep doing.

[00:35:21] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah. The film piece really stuck out to me because I was still a competitor. I really wanted to win and point guards are just a different breed of human being. Like they’re just different. Right. They, they, their minds work differently. They’re always trying to come up with ways. They stay up at night thinking about ways to destroy their opponents.

Like they’re just different. And so like, I would study these players. What’s their favorite move. What’s their go-to, let’s go look at their point. Okay. They’re scoring a lot of points in the paint. Well, how is it attacking, right. Is it left? Do they have a certain move? They like to go to do like a shoulder?

How many offensive foul do they pick up? Are they taking off, off one foot a lot? Can I take a charge here? I would become obsessed honestly. And then. I’d be calling it out on the sideline. Like anytime they called out a play and I could just yell out, Hey, it’s cross screen down screen action here, watch the flex or whatever the case was.

Hey Cerone is coming off of a double pin, chase him, chase him and how frustrating it was for the opponent. When everything that they tried to call out, I just knew the answers to already . That part really, really it was that a lot of coaches, they wish they could go out there and be that voice on the floor now because they’re not playing anymore.

But that senior year was like that, that perfect mix of, I knew everything the coach knew, but I was also out there on court and I was able to stop it. And so it was a lot of fun being able to break down film and just study my opponents before every game.

[00:36:48] Mike Klinzing: So that experience in your senior year, obviously cemented in your mind that you wanted to get into coaching.

Talk about that first experience that you had. How did you get the job at Lakeland? What does that look like in terms. The interview process. And then was the job when you were an actual assistant coach, how did that feel comparatively to when you were a player coach, for lack of a better way of saying it

[00:37:13] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah, I mean, it’s funny usual thing with college coach. That’s not, you know what a lot of times, but a lot of times it’s who until you get there and then what really matters. But I filled out 50 applications and didn’t get any of those jobs. And then I got a call from somebody I didn’t apply from.

And it was funny that the guy that ended up offering me the job was a coach that I said no to. And the recruiting process four years prior. So he was a great guy, loved the conversation. He was an awesome coach. And, and honestly, had he been at a different school at the time? I probably would’ve played for him.

Just an amazing guy, amazing human. I loved the way he ran his offense and defense and stuff, but Lakeland I’m from Madison and Wisconsin in general is very rural, but Lakeland is, is about as rural as you can. And as an 18 year old kid, I wasn’t going out there. But you know, he remembered me just in the conversations we had and he said I was very cordial and professional, like, coach, I really appreciate you reaching out and getting to know you.

But I just don’t think Lakeland is the right fit for me. And I said it in a way that was very you know, this is the end of it. We don’t need to have any future discussions, but also like, thank you for the opportunity. He said, he remembered that and he followed my career a little bit.

And so my head coach at the time reached out to him and let him know like, Hey, Rudy’s interested in coaching. He’s potentially going to go play, but if he doesn’t, I think he’d be a good pickup for you. And so it was, it was August. It was early to late, early to late August, honestly, when he gave me the call.

So I didn’t know what I was going to do at that point in time, because I really didn’t want to take the, the overseas looks that I had, but I was like, I might have to. And I was on vacation while my, my sister I’m sitting at the pool and I get a call from some random number in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and it was him.

And so we got on the phone and he said, Hey, when you get back, can you come on an interview? And from the moment I got out there, I just felt like it was what I needed. It was, it was going to put me in a place that I, I was, there was really nothing else for me to do, but that job there were no distractions.

There wasn’t a big city. And he was just the type of person that was going to give me what I deserved, but also like he was going to help me learn a lot. And I never forget the interview. I came in and I didn’t, I didn’t know how to tie a tie. So I had, I was dressed. Okay. But I didn’t have a tie on. And the first thing he said was Hey, I know that we know each other and stuff like that, but for an interview, next time, wear a tie.

Like you gotta look the part, you gotta be professional . And I was like, yes, sir. So it was like, he was coaching me up right from the jump. And just, yeah, I love the experience so much. I mean, I did everything from ordering the team meals to washing the teams closed to running player development to helping with scouting reports.

You know, there was another assistant there at the time. So we split the, the Scouts 50-50 you know, covering stats, helping with substitutions, managing ti. Like he let me do everything my first year. It’d be in pieces. He didn’t give me everything at once, but like even in my first year he just let me try so much.

And yeah, it was a really great experience. I really, really enjoyed it there at Lakeland. And you know, the next year after that was where I picked up more substantially. We went to a different school. My head coach took me with and that’s where. My responsibilities kind of leveled up a little bit as his head assistant.

But that first year was, it was, it was a blast, but it was a lot of work. I mean, I, I had a lot of things to learn on the fly and you just gotta be ready to be a servant. You know, like you get home on a Friday and you gotta do laundry at 2:00 AM because guys need stuff for practice. And you got a Saturday game and you just gotta do it.

You know, it’s, somebody’s got to, and you’re there and it doesn’t matter what your role is or what your title says. Sometimes laundry guy is, is the title for the night and you just gotta be ready to go out there and star in your role.

[00:41:06] Mike Klinzing: What did you get better at, from the first day you took that job to your last day as a college coach, what’s some aspect of coaching that you feel like man, from where I was, when I started to where I am now that I’ve really gotten better?

[00:41:20] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Whew. You know, there was so much, but I think things that I still use today just in game adjustments, I got to watch first. And then I, he, he my head coach coach, honestly, he kind of handed the reins off to me a little bit with certain things, but he was so good at playing chess during the course of a basketball game.

And as a young guy, like I was a player, so I knew it from a player’s perspective, but I, I had never seen that side of the game before I wasn’t on the bench. I mean, my senior year I played 39 minutes a game. So it’s like, I, I never really sat on the bench and watched my coach coach or made decisions on what subs needed to go in or paying attention to who was tired.

And so when I watched him and when he would make substitutions and why, when he’d throw in a a full court, 2 21 press, and why what timeout when he would call timeouts what his Atos would be and why, how you get the hot hand of basketball, just what reminders you give, what you say at halftime.

Just the in game adjustments, you can tell the difference like between a a really, really good coach and even an average coach, their ability to make adjustments. When another team throws a wrinkle in or another team has something growing, how quickly can you deliver a message to your guys or your girls on the floor and get them to counter that?

He was really good at that. And that was something that I think I got a lot better at when I would notice things, notice trends, be able to offer advice and suggestions on the sideline. You know, I, I think I got a lot better at that as time went on

[00:42:57] Mike Klinzing: getting those reps as a coach. I think that’s one thing that I look back on my time coaching at the high school level.

And I started out as a varsity assistant coach. And so in that role, I wasn’t making substitutions, I wasn’t calling timeouts. I wasn’t making strategic decisions. I was maybe making suggestions, but I wasn’t yep. Making those decisions and probably about maybe. 10 years into my career. I took on the dual role for one season.

I coached I was the assistant varsity coach, but then I also, our JV coach had left and I also coached the JV team where I was the head coach. And so suddenly I was thrust into this position where, Hey, I’m no longer just sitting there. I’ve actually get up and do some stuff. And it was amazing how uncomfortable that was for me to be able to make those decisions.

I had sat for 10 years and just watched someone else, make all those decisions. And even though I had the knowledge of what I should be doing or when I should be doing it, when you actually have to stand up and be the person that’s doing that it’s so completely different. And I was really, really uncomfortable until I would say at least 10, 12 games into the season where even then I don’t feel like I was anywhere near.

The type of game coach that theoretically I should have been just because I didn’t have those reps. And we’ve talked to a bunch of coaches really that have talked about that. If you’re a young coach and I wish somebody would’ve given me this advice, when I was that age, it’s like, you gotta just get out and coach as many games as you can, whether that’s coaching a fourth grade AAU game or it’s coaching a high school summer league or whatever, it might be.

The more reps you can get as a coach in that game strategy, in that game management, the better off you’re going to be. And I, I, I was a perfect example that when I finally did get that opportunity, I was just completely, almost outta my element because I hadn’t been in it for so long. I had just been exactly used to sitting there and given suggestions, it’s a totally different world when you become a head coach, ,

[00:45:03] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: They say heavy is the head that wears the crown, but heavy is the hand that holds the clipboard.

You know what I mean? Like when you get put in that seat and the clipboards in your hand, it feels different. I think that’s I’ve had some it’s, it’s weird now being. A mentor, I guess to say it feels even weird saying that, but to some younger guys and some ladies that have entered into the college game and the high school game now you know, they’re asking me for advice on things at times and you know, the number one advice I give ’em is just like get reps.

It doesn’t matter where it, it really doesn’t because players are players. Yeah. Some of ’em more talented, some of ’em are older, but at the end of the day, you have to be able to relay a message and get them to go out there and a buy into the message and B go out there and try to execute it at a high level.

And honestly, the more ages and stages that you teach, and the more times you have reps going through that process, the better you’ll be like, I’ve coached a fourth or fifth grade team every year for the past four years now. And every year I come outta that season, a better coach. And sometimes I feel like younger coaches that want to climb the ladder so quick that they skip steps and they don’t understand that.

you know, Bo Ryan. Yeah, he is a great, he’s a legend now. And everybody talks about him in Wisconsin, but he, he was a D three coach for a really long time. And you know what I mean? Like they, they want to go get these big jobs, but they don’t want the little ones and like go coach AAU. I know it’s a shorter clock, but you can get four or five games.

And in a weekend, like I coach two teams this year, I coached over 45 games in the past three months as a head coach, like you just don’t, you can’t substitute reps. And so, yeah, just drop your ego, go coach, whatever it is like being the head coach, regardless of level, you really can’t substitute reps.

You gotta get the clipboard in your hand. You gotta be in that main seat where you’re making decisions, because that’s how you learn.

[00:46:58] Mike Klinzing: There’s no question about that without those reps, you’re just not going to feel. I remember how I felt standing up. Those first couple games as a JV coach and just be like, ah, I gotta keep track of subs.

And you know, at that point as a JV coach, it’s, it’s rare that you have an assistant. I didn’t, so you’re there by yourself. There’s nobody you can turn to and be like, Hey, what should we do? Or who’s tired. Who’s going, like, there’s just a million things coming at you. And you forget that as an assistant coach, because you maybe have one or two responsibilities or things that you’re looking at, and you’re not having to your mental capacity, isn’t taken up by making all those decisions.

You have just a few things you have to think about. So yeah, those reps are critically important. When you think about coaching at the youth level. So you’re coaching a fifth grade team, and obviously you’ve coached at a higher level coaching college players. What’s something that you particularly enjoy about coaching at the youth level, something that brings you a lot of joy when you get an opportunity to, to work with younger players.

[00:48:02] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah, I think the eagerness it just the joy sometimes I feel like in college, even sometimes it’s in high school, which is sad to me, but it’s almost like by the time they get to college for a lot of those kids, the game’s been ruined for ’em already.

It’s been a job for years because they’ve had to put on a show and perform and produce, and their stats are being measured and their coaches are constantly evaluating. ’em like they just, haven’t had fun in the game for so long that everything is just like, it’s a job form now. And, and it brings a level of anxiety and frustration and anger.

If they don’t play up to the standard they want to play at. And then if they do play up to the standard, a lot of times it’s like, okay, like, it’s like a relief, but it’s not an enjoyment. But with young kids. I mean, you’ll see a 32 minute game where the score is 11 to nine at the end of it. So every bucket is a game winner like they just get right.

Exactly. They’re so excited and they finally do it. Right. And they, they get what they wanted. They, they finally actually get a back door cut and somebody passes the ball and they catch the ball without traveling and make a layup. And they’re so exci like sometimes I’ve had times where like they make the shot off of something that we, we drew up or we’ve talked about and they execute it.

I have to call a timeout because they’re literally running over and like hugging the person that made the shot. They’re so excited and we’re going to give up a play. So I see, ’em start to converge. I’m like all time about time out. We we’ll, we’ll let that happen. And then we’ll, we’ll reset. But like the eagerness in that young level, like they’re blank slates and they just, they just want to do well, everything that you say, there’s no reason to question it because I’m nine years old and you’re an adult.

Why would I question you right now? Like, I just believe what you’re going to say. And it’s just, yeah, it, it, it’s refreshing just to see that level of, of enjoyment without as much pressure and the older you get, the higher the pressure gets. So I just really enjoy the, the freedom that those kids can play with.

[00:50:10] Mike Klinzing: Talk a little bit about your career path, because obviously you start out as a guy with aspirations to coaching college and I’m assuming that’s where you kind of thought that you were going to go in that direction. So tell us a little bit about how the decision to leave college coaching and then kind of how you decided, Hey, I’m going to stay in the game in this player development director for PGC working on basketball in a different capacity than maybe what you thought when you first left school.

[00:50:43] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: For sure. Yeah. I, I think it came down to a very similar thing that it was when I was choosing a college and it was just fit, you know like. There’s so many ways to impact the game and impact young people through the game. And, and I think sometimes people miss their calling they, they might be very good in certain aspects and not so good in others, but they chase the job.

That’s not their strong suit because they think they’re supposed to. And so they kind of climb the long, the wrong ladder in a sense, right. They they’re chasing this thing that, that, that actually doesn’t fit their desires. The things that actually get ’em excited. And so like for me, I really enjoyed college coaching.

I did, it was fun. But when I thought about what I really loved to do, I loved being on the court and I loved teaching. Like I just really loved. Being in the gym with players. It didn’t matter the age. Like I when I was coaching in college, I would still run workouts. They were pretty gracious with, let me use the gym space and stuff like that.

So like, I’d run stuff for the soccer coaches kid, and then their friend wanted to come to a workout. And then I had a couple pro players that I trained when I was in Wisconsin. So they would come up to the gym when they were back home and I’d work ’em out. And so it you’d see a fifth grader come work out with me and then there’d be a third year professional in Tokyo warming up on the sideline, waiting for the fifth grader to get done.

So he could jump a workout with me. Like I just love being on court with players. And the thing about college coaching at the division three level is you’re extremely limited in that you, you, you only have the season once the season’s over, you don’t have that anymore. And then you really can’t have any on court experiences with your players outside of that, because it’s against regulations.

And so when I started looking at it, I’m just like, okay, well, what would allow me to just be on court all the time and, and impact a lot of players. And so PGC allowed me last year I did 10 courses and the average number of players was around a hundred, five, 106 players per session. So I got to be on court with over a thousand kids in two and a half months last summer alone.

That’s not even counting the players that I work with here in, in Georgia. You know, or stuff that we did in shooting colleges in the fall. I mean, I probably worked with over 1500 kids last year. You know, I, I spent a lot of time on court and I had a lot of fun and it was really enjoyable for me. And I feel like that’s where I’m the best at.

There are coaches that are savant and exes and OS there are coaches that love that grind of sitting in AAU gyms and, and watching AAU tournaments. There are certain people that are just good at certain things and elements, but for me, being on court player development, being there with players, sweating in the gym, that’s what wakes me up in the morning.

And so my career path has really been centered around how do I do that more and other things less. And then recently it’s been, how do I help train coaches to do what you know, to do what they do at a higher level? So taking what I’ve learned over all these reps in these years, and then helping kind of multiply myself in a sense, can, can I help them?

Do you know, things more efficiently at their own gyms? Can I help them run player development more efficiently? And so that’s been a passion of mine in the past probably year or so, but basically it’s like, what do I like to do in the game of basketball? What wakes me up in the morning? What don’t I love as much, how do I do more of what I want and less of what I don’t want.

And that’s kind of led me on the career path that I’ve been on.

[00:54:14] Mike Klinzing: That makes sense. I mean, being able to shape. Where and how you work. And if you can figure out a way to give yourself the opportunity to do the things that you love, obviously the more passionate you are about something, the harder you’re going to work at it.

The more time you’re going to put in this is going to make you better at it. And ultimately through that, you’re able to have a bigger impact on the players that you’re interacting with on a daily basis. We’ve been fortunate enough to have PGC as one of our sponsors here on the podcast, and we’ve had mono and TJ and Tyler on TJ’s been on a couple times and mono and Tyler Veach been on once, but we I’m a big believer in just all the things that PGC teaches.

So just tell us a little bit about, from your perspective, what’s made your relationship with PGC so special. What, what makes it such a unique experience? Why have they been so successful in your mind?

[00:55:09] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: For sure. I mean, I think from, from a. An athlete standpoint just the hitting on different aspects of, of the game, you know?

And so there are a lot of places you can go and work on skill sets. There are a lot of places you can go and work on dribble moves. There’s a lot of YouTube videos. You can look up and find a good ball handling or shooting workout, but I think we help players become inspired. We help them become educated and we help them create a plan of action.

So when they leave us, they can transform themselves and transform their game. So I think giving them a blueprint of what it looks like to be the type of player that they want to be and, and showing them for two days, three days, five days, however long, the session is like they get to fully immerse themselves in what it takes to be the type of player they say they want to be and kind of close that gap.

So, so really kind of taking ’em through that whole process. And I. The other piece to it is just, we, we make it more about more than basketball. And so many of those kids, they’re just not, they’re not going to be the next Trey young they might not be the next they might be. I mean, we’ve had plenty of division, one players and some NBA guys, and w N B girls that have made it all the way through.

But like the reality is that ball’s going to stop bouncing for a lot of them sooner than later. And I think through the intangible things that we teach, they leave better leaders and better people as well as better basketball players. So I think that’s that that entire experience together is what made PGC for me so special.

And I went through as an athlete. And I think it’s what continues to keep us kind of at the top of our game. It’s so

[00:56:50] Mike Klinzing: important. And I think it’s something that if we go back to our earlier conversation about being able to educate parents, I think sometimes all of us can lose our perspective on the why behind.

Participating in sports. And clearly if you’re competitive, you want to win. And there’s certainly that aspect of it. And, but ultimately it comes down to you want to be able to use sports to improve your life and to become a better person. And if you’re a parent, you want sports basketball to be able to have an impact on your kid in a positive way, more than just that they can make more jump shots in the game or they can win, or they can get a scholarship there’s more to it than that.

And you mentioned that you’ve had pro players come through PGC and, and make it all the way through and become, become NBA players become w B players. And we had Joe Crispin on a week or two ago, and Joe is the head coach at Rowan university, but he played at Penn state and scored almost 2000 points in his career and had a brief cup of coffee in the NBA with the Lakers and the sons, and then had a long overseas career.

And he talked about. just, again, how grateful he was, that he had an opportunity to play professional basketball, but just again, how difficult it was that basketball became much more of a job. And then he finished and he’s like, I take everything that I learned in the game of basketball and it made me a better person, ultimately.

And here’s a guy who played professionally for, he had a career that was longer than a decade. And just like you mentioned a couple times, eventually the ball stops bouncing and you still, when you get done, you still want to be a good person. You still want to have the lessons that you learned, even if you make it to the NBA, LeBron’s going to have made it to the NBA and played 20 years.

And by the time he’s retired, he’s going to be in his early forties and he’s still going to have probably more than half his life left to live. So what kind of a person are you as a result of your participation in basketball? And that’s a guy who. We could obviously dive in and talk about his longevity and the greatness of his career.

And that could be, that could be 50 podcasts, but the point is, is that no matter, no matter when the ball style’s bouncing for you, ultimately you’re going to have a lot of your life left to live. And if the only thing you’ve gotten outta the game is the fact that you’re a better jump shooter or you’re a great defender than you’ve missed out.

And I think that’s one of the things that the best coaches and clearly it’s one of the things that PGC believes in is the ability to impact, not just somebody as a player, but impacting them as a human being. And to me as a coach, that’s ultimately really what you need to do is the best coaches. Yeah.

They improve their players as basketball players, but more importantly, they have an impact on their life and who they become as people. And to me, that’s always been, I think, one of the most important things, especially as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized more and more that it’s that intangible piece that you described.

That’s more important than what

[00:59:48] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: goes on on the floor. Yep. I mean, it’s either you use the game or the game’s going to use you. Yep. You know, like it’ll, it’ll use you and your parents for your money and your re and your time it’ll use you and your talents to help win games. You might win a couple banners.

But if all you have to show at the end of your career are some banners that get dusty at the top of a gym somewhere. But you the game can take that from you and actually leave you a worse person. It can leave you bitter. It can leave you resentful. It can lead you to be non-trusting of other people or it could teach you how to face adversity.

You know, it could teach you how to be a team player. It could teach you how to deal with difficult teammates. It can teach you how to create discipline in your life. And like wake up early and stay late and serve other people and be the star. But also like sometimes you might be the person coming off the bench and somebody else might get the shine.

And how do you deal with that? All those are things that are going to happen in the course of your life. And so if you can use the game to get a practice ground for those life situations and, and you get better at those, then you’ll leave the game better. And you’ll have used the game to become a better player, a better leader and a better person.

And that’s the slogan that we use here in our company is better players, better leaders, better people. That’s what we use at BCB. Cause that’s what I want to help create. It’s the total person, it’s the total package, believe me, like I want to win and some of our teams do really well.

I mean our 15 year team that I just coached this spring went 20 and four and we won some games and all that, but like better players is important, but better leaders and better people in my opinion is more important. And so use the game or the game we use you, man, it’s, it’s your choice, but you gotta actively choose it.

[01:01:34] Mike Klinzing: We should just take that sound bite and just play it on loop at every AAU tournament should just play, play in the lobbies. Let’s play, let’s play it over to loud speaker. Let’s just, let’s just pipe. Let’s just pipe that into every AAU tournament across the country, man. If we could just get people to remember that and understand it and just keep the perspective about why we’re all there.

And as you said, I think one of the things that you come back to is as an athlete, you’re competitive and you obviously want to win, but at the same time, man, it’s so easy and you see it so often that people just they’re going crazy, whether it’s coaches, whether it’s parents that you see and you just wish you could kind of walk up to ’em and put your arm around and be like, Hey, relax.

And what I see. And I don’t know if you see this, but I see more of that parent. I don’t know if craziness is the right way to say it, but I see more of those parent behavior problems. At the younger ages. And as the kids get older, I see less of it. I see so many more enraged parents at the younger ages, at least at the AAU level high school, you still see some, you still see some crazy parents in the high school stands, but I think at the AAU, people have calmed down by the time their kid gets to high school, but you just wish my son right now, he’s a sophomore in high school.

And this is the first year that he’s playing on sort of a higher level AE team. He’s always been forced to play with his dad and play played just, we didn’t travel at all and just kind of played in the local circuit. And he, he really caught the basketball bug like a year and a half, two years ago.

So he is gotten a lot better and improved. And so he’s playing on a better team, but we’re out at these AAU tournaments and I’m watching him. And then I look back at and think about the journey that he and I went on together. And you think about fourth, fifth, sixth grade and where he was and where people that he played against were, and he.

I wish I could just put my arm around parents just be like, look, it’s all going to work itself out eventually. And either your kid is going to start to work at it and it’s going to matter to them. Or they could go the other way. I got a daughter right now. Who’s a senior she’s going to graduate. She played basketball up until she was in ninth grade, came to me after ninth grade season and said, dad, I’m not having any fun.

It’s just not the experience that I want every day school ends. And I’m dreading going to practice. I’m not sure I want to play anymore. Yeah. And she had that conversation and I just said to her, Hey, if that’s, if it’s, if the game is not fun and you’re not enjoying it, then what are we doing here? It’s a game.

Exactly. And so why is it making you miserable? So it works itself out one way or the other. Man don’t get all, don’t get all caught up in whether or not you make it to the gold bracket on Saturday of an AAU term. It’s not, it’s not that important. Trust me.

[01:04:20] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yeah. And just like run your race. Like everybody’s different everybody’s different kids hit puberty at different times.

You know what I mean? Like it just too much pressure is put on 10 year olds. Like I was seeing writeups on Twitter for like class of like 20, 29 or something like that. I’m like, wait a minute, I’m doing a math. Like why? You know, like I just, but it’s I, I understand. And you know, parents at that age, they’re very protective.

Those are their little babies and they don’t want to see their feelings get hurt. So I, I get it, but it’s just also like, let them run their race. I mean, I remember watching growing up, I remember watching there there’s a guy who played this year storm Murphy. I watched him when he was younger and you know, he is from the same area that I’m from.

And. He was like the second or third string point guard all growing up. You know, there were two guys that were ahead of him that played and he was, he was good, but I mean, there was a talented AAU team. And then all of a sudden he got to high school he was okay as a freshman, sophomore, he was like, okay, he’s starting to hit the scene a little bit, but nobody was talking about him.

And then boom, junior year, first team, all conference, boom, senior year, first team, all state full ride D one, like it just outta nowhere. It felt like he just, all of a sudden was the guy. But I remember watching him and like, he was one of those guys at halftime. He’s out there getting a full shooting workout in at the AAU tournament.

Like he’s getting up 15, 20 game, like shots in a full sweat at halftime before the teams come back out. Like he was a gym rat and he just loved it. And eventually he grew and he found a weight room and you know, like all those things happened and he just ran his race and he passed up everybody else, those guys that were way ahead of him that started over him.

Like he went farther in the game of basketball than any of them. You know, just because he ran his race and, and he did his job. He did what he could do. He controlled what he could control and he didn’t focus on oh well comparing himself to so and so, so and so is getting these looks or so, and so starts over me.

He just focused on himself and what he could control and, and eventually that was good enough to get him where he wanted to go. So I just encourage more people to be patient in the things you can’t control and then be urgent in the things you can control. You know, if, if you can control it, your work, your effort, what you put in, go control that at a high level.

But the things you can’t control like be patient with those things, be allow your body time to grow and hit puberty and do all that. Like don’t put pressure, the things you can’t control.

[01:06:46] Mike Klinzing: You really have to as a player. I think that’s tremendous advice to just put in the time, put in the work, understand where you’re at and then.

If we circle back to as a parent, you just have to remember that it’s your it’s, it’s your kid’s journey. And you could be there to support ’em and provide ’em opportunities, but ultimately they have to want it for themselves. And if they don’t, you’re either going to have a miserable relationship with your kid, because you’re going to force ’em to do things that they don’t want to do, or they’re just never going to be very good because they’re not going to put in the extra time and the extra work that you and I both know is required in order for you to be a really good player.

And it’s not easy to do that. As a parent, I can speak to that as a dad and somebody who was competitive myself and somebody who. You kind of know what the pitfalls are in the road and you want to be able to help navigate that and you can give suggestions, but I found pretty early on that me dragging my kids to things that they didn’t want to go to.

Wasn’t, wasn’t very, wasn’t very beneficial. It wasn’t beneficial to them. It wasn’t beneficial to me. And it just left me more frustrated. So I learned over time that what you have to do is just provide opportunity. And if that opportunity is taken great. And if that opportunity is not taken that eventually it works itself out and the kid ends up finding something different other than basketball.

And then you start providing ’em opportunities in whatever area it is that they are interested in. And so as a parent, you, what you, what you think your kid is, or is not going to become, you realize that you have some influence on it, but for the most part, they’re going to figure out what they like to do and how they like to do it.

And. Being a parent is a very interesting, it’s a very interesting life lesson that you learn every single day, dealing with kids and try to try to figure it out. So, so someday you’ll get to experience that Rudy I’m sure.

[01:08:42] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: It’s yeah. There’s not a lot of credit, right?

[01:08:44] Mike Klinzing: There’s nothing better, but there’s nothing harder.

And just for all those parents out there, for people who don’t yet have kids none of us know what we’re doing. We’re all just kind of flying by the seat of our pants, trying to figure it out. So no matter what you know, kids that are out there, if we got any players listening, your moms and dads are trying to do the best they can.

And they, none of us really know for sure. We’re all just kind of experimenting

[01:09:08] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: For sure. And I mean, I think to that point, like I’m not a parent I just get to interact with a lot of parents. So I definitely, I don’t have any advice in terms of like personal anecdotes and stuff. I just have things that I’ve seen and that conversation.

So there was a moment I was at a signing day for a former player of mine this, this spring. So a few weeks. And they were signing to go play college basketball and afterwards they do the signing thing. Mom comes up and gives me a hug and she’s in tears and I’m like, what’s going on?

And she’s just like, I can’t believe it’s over. It happened so fast. I feel like, I feel, I just feel like I didn’t, I wish I got to enjoy it more like it, it just like it hit her that it was over like she’ll get to see him play in college and, but he it’s two hours away. So not every game.

And after the game, he’s not coming home for dinner on Saturday. And it’s just going to be different. It it’ll never be the same again. And it hit her. Like I wish I would have enjoyed it more. I wish I would’ve worried less and just been a part of it. And so I just, when I saw that, it, it hit me.

I haven’t had kids yet. The idea excites me and terrifies me equally but it should just like, yeah. You know, but like just hearing stuff like that, it’s just like, I have these constant reminders. Cause I have every year we have a 17 U team and, and players get done and, and a lot of our guys go play college basketball.

So I have conversation with parents and I go to signing days and it’s just similar themes, like all the time, every year. And it just, it, it, it reminds me and I just hope that when the time comes for me that I, I can keep that level of focus and try to remind myself that as much as I can and just like, just enjoy it.

It goes by so fast, you know? I mean, and I just,  I hope parents can really enjoy the time they have with their kids and just get to watch ’em play. There’s nothing more powerful that you can say to a kid after the game than I loved watching you play just. Just let ’em know that you enjoy being there and be there.

And you know, if they play great, that’s phenomenal if they didn’t play great, that’s okay. Like, go get ’em next time. But I just love watching you play and, and sometimes I feel like grandparents have it, right. Like my grandma was like that and they irritated me when I was a kid, but I get it now like, yep.

I could play awful. And she was like, oh baby, you played so good. I’m like, grandma. I was like, oh, for three. And she’s like, oh baby, you were so good. Here’s some cookies. And she just ham some. And I’m just like like she just, she had been through it once. So now that she was going through it the second time, she’s like, I’m kicking back and I’m enjoying this and I don’t care if you scored two or 20, my baby’s on the court.

So I’m going to go here and enjoy this, like grandparents. Sometimes they’ve just got that age and that wisdom about ’em, where they’ve been through it once. And so hopefully I can enjoy it like a grandparent that’s my goal. That’s great advice.

[01:12:01] Mike Klinzing: I like it. Enjoy it like a grandparent.

That’s a good, that’s a good, that’s a good slogan too. Speaking of what you just were talking about with the mom that said it goes by so fast. I can testify to that without question. I, I feel like I was just holding my daughter in the hospital and she’s going to graduate from high school this weekend.

So yeah, it goes super fast. And I read a stat somewhere once that said that when your child graduates from high school, when they leave and go to college at age 18, at that point you have spent 93% of the time that you’re going to spend with them has already occurred before the age of 18. So from the age of 18 on for the rest of their life, that’s only 7% of the time.

And it makes sense. But man, that hits you really hard as a parent. When you think about all the time that you’ve had up until this point, and then yeah, eventually, I mean, again, that’s your job as a parent is to yeah. Create independent kids who are going to go out and be able to, to do things on your own.

But when you think about. As a parent, it, that hits you, that hits you right in the heart. That man, you don’t have, you don’t have endless time with them. And so no, you better be able to enjoy it and give ’em some cookies after the game and tell ’em, Hey, I love watching you play that’s yeah. Treat it like a grandmother.

[01:13:20] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: There’s no doubt about that, man. That’s a brutal number, 7% man. And I think for players too just quick one for players, for those players that are listening, like , I enjoyed post game with my family more in college than I did when I was in high school. And it was like the perspective you really figure out who’s there for, and who has your back when you leave high school and all those friends that you think are going to be your lifelong friends, that aren’t, you realize it.

And all the fake friends that you thought were your real friends, that weren’t, you realize it. And when all the smoking mirrors is gone and you’re not around those people every day, you realize that the people that were really there for you. Or your family and those people that show up to your games, even when you might not necessarily want ’em to, or you get embarrassed, because your aunt stands up and is taking pictures during like the, the intro stuff.

Like those people love you unconditionally. And like go show them like the, you will make their year. If you go through and you start for the first time and you know, your aunt that loves you or your grandma, that just comes to all the games and she gets so excited. If you go through the line and you shake everybody’s hand and you find them in the stands and you wave at ’em like you just, their they’re they’ll be taught.

They’ll they’ll be crying in the stands. They’ll be so like overcome with joy. They’re going to go back and tell every single person at the office the next day, what happened and how sweet you are and how much they love you. Oh my God. And your birthday’s going to come around. You been all the presents. Not, not don’t do it for that, but like, but honestly like just enjoy that time because it, it just, it, it.

After high school, nothing, nothing is ever really the same college. Basketball is just different. It’s a lot of fun, but enjoy that time you have with your family, because it I was talking to all our guys, they’re getting ready for mother’s day a few weeks ago. And I said like, Hey you 17, you guys, this might be the last one that you spend with your mom for a long time.

Like I left I haven’t spent mother’s day with my mom in almost 10 years I moved out and I moved on to college and I was at school and then I was doing PGC and then I moved to Atlanta. Like I haven’t seen my mom on mother’s day in a decade, you know? And I’m not even 30. So it’s like you, that stuff you’re talking about, that’s 7% being left after 18.

Like you only, this might be the last time you get for a long time, make it count. And yep. That hit, that hit them kind of hard, but it’s so true. So I hope young people that are listening to like enjoy that time you have left, it’s sacred, it’s special. Make some memories.

[01:15:49] Mike Klinzing: It really is. All right. Let’s jump into a couple quick player development.

When you think about what makes a good player development coach what’s one or two things that you think are non-negotiables when it comes to working with players and helping ’em to get better

[01:16:05] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Decisions. Decisions are usually the biggest indicator. When I watch someone if I would recommend them or not do their progressions, do the drills that they run.

Are there decisions involved? You know, it can A B binary decisions either this or that, but too many times. I see I, I think this era of basketball that we’re in right now is the most skilled, proficient re deficient era of basketball that we’ve ever had agreed players Players are able to do so much with the ball, but they don’t know when to do it or why to do it.

And so you just see a lot of tough contested shots that are unnecessary. Or passes that are unnecessary are done at the wrong time. And so I think in every player development, the difference between player development and skill development to me is the decision making process teaching players when to use it and why to use a move, not just to use a move.

And so that’s the first thing I look for. I don’t know if you want to elaborate on that. I have a couple other thoughts, but just wanted to start off with that one.

[01:17:09] Mike Klinzing: Okay. So let me ask you this. When you think about decision making, clearly as a player development coach, especially one, who’s doing it as a business, you have the opportunity sometimes to work with players individually, you have the opportunity to work with players in a group setting, clearly in a group setting, it’s easier to put players in situations where they can make decisions.

If you’re working with a four player group, then you can play small sided games and you can do different things. Or you have players, let’s say. You’re in an individual workout though. How do you incorporate decision making when you’re working one on one with a player, because a lot of times, and it depends on your business, but a lot of times you’ll get players who either, for whatever reason, time, just scheduling that you end up working with a player individually.

So how do you make that decision making a part of an individual workout?

[01:18:05] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: For sure. So I think one be in shape you know, like you, you can go be a guided defender in certain situations right now. So like for example I have a player that’s a pretty good shooter. He’s working on getting stuff off the balance.

And so we’ve been working on some quick catches and then attack attacking open space. So I’ll he’ll start on three point line. I’ll have the ball, I’ll give like an underhand pitch and then on that pitch, I’ll close, but I’ll close to one side or another. And then his job is to read.

You know, do I have open space to my right or left? You know, and then I’m attacking it. You know, and so like just things like that that are real simple or like on a drive, all right. You’re going to get eyes to the rim. You’re going to hard rip, you got two dribbles. I’m either going to step over from help and you’re going to change directions and finish opposite side, or I’m going to stay ahead underneath the rim and you gotta power through and go through a power finish and finish on the same side.

So you’re reading on that drive that drive read, do I keep going and finish or do I change directions and finish? So just having short, close out situations, binary reads and forcing them to make decisions along with the skillset. So yeah, a lot of times just to get it moving I’ll do you’re going to get five reps of each of these shots, and then we’re going to go into, you gotta make five.

But you gotta make the right read and then make the shot. So simple things like that, where they’re getting a lot of reps there. You know, I get a rebound and I’m just kind of coming out on short closeouts and giving binary.

[01:19:27] Mike Klinzing: Then let’s talk a little bit about, let’s say small groups. So when you’re working with a small group and pick whatever number of players you want to do.

Yeah. What are some things that you try to do when you have multiple players in a workout to sort of maximize a, the reps that the kids get, but also as we talked about the decision making

[01:19:42] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: For sure. Yeah. So I think one thing that I really focus on in small groups is one, I really like having consistent groups.

So if we’re going to do a small group, cool, let’s do a one month block of one to two sessions a week and you know, or a two month block, if I have two month straight, that I’m going to be home and be around, let’s do a two month block of one to two sessions a week with the same kids. Because then you can really build in structure and you’re not reteaching things from like when you add players in, it’s like, you gotta restart from the jump, but if you have the same group, it’s almost like a practice.

And so I like having consistent groups. And then I really emphasize with all the players that I work with, how to be a good guided defender, most of the time, the player with the ball or the player, making the read how realistic their read is, is dependent on the guided defenders that are supposed to be giving it.

So teaching the guided defenders, here’s what I want you to do. You’re choosing one of these two things or you’re live, but you’re regarding two people on the backside and you, you, this is what I want you to do. And I hold a high standard during our demonstrations on what the guided defender is doing, because if the guided defender is giving clear, concise reads, and they’re in the right places, then the offensive player is actually seeing the right things.

If that guided defender is lazy, they’re not getting the right reads that are game like, and so it’s a waste of time for everybody. And so the first place I would start if I was a coach and I had multiple players and I wanted to go through those reads. Is don’t even coach the offensive player. First coach, the guided defenders.

First them giving clear reads will create clear reads and decisions for the offensive player.

[01:21:22] Mike Klinzing: That’s a great point. I think it’s something that is easily overlooked, where you have a player that you’re trying to put through and, and work on offense. And you just have this defender who either can’t do it or doesn’t know where to go or what to do or how to make it look realistic.

And then in doing that, you’re short changing the offensive player. So it’s a great point that I think one that a lot of coaches would overlook and not spend some so much time. And then you’re thinking about while we’re doing all this work with the offense and the defense, isn’t really in the place that you want to be.

It’s kind of like, then I know for myself probably what I would do in that situation. This is just me being honest. Then I’d probably be like, ah, just let me do it. And obviously, obviously then you’re not really, you’re not really teaching. It’s kind of like being a teacher at school and. Yeah, kid, you ask, you ask a question and nobody raises their hand and then the teacher just answers it.

And meanwhile, the kids all learned that, Hey, if we just sit here quietly, eventually he’s going to answer it for us. And it’s hard to do that. You have to really train yourself as a, as a coach and as a teacher, to be able to have that patience, to be able to understand the bigger picture and really know that man, if you can get the kids to do it now, you’ve got that defender trained and now you can really dial in on what the offense is doing and help them with decision making.

And there’s just a whole bunch of things that benefit from you not having to be involved in it in that way, especially when you’re in a group setting, you have those multiple bodies that you can put in different places, so the kids can learn.

[01:22:48] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Absolutely. And you know, it’s funny you talk about that with allowing players or you’re kind of demanding that players come up with the solutions or have the answers without giving ’em to ’em and just saying, I’m going to do it myself.

Like we talk a lot about playing off two feet at PGC and with our blue collar basketball stuff, We talk about one of the reasons why we play off two feet is to have more time and to be patient. And so I have that joke with them too. It’s like, Hey, just like I want y’all to play off two feet.

I’m a coach off two feet right now. and essentially that phrase to them is like, I’ll wait I’m patient. And so I ask the question until we get somebody to answer. I’m just going to be patient. I’m going to coach off two feet. We’ll sit here. I’m good. And usually they’ll start to laugh and look around at each other and then somebody will raise a hand at that point, but Hey, I’m going to coach off two feet.

What y’all got.

[01:23:36] Mike Klinzing: Yeah. That’s a great way of looking at it. I mean, it really is. And I think it’s something that just like we talked about earlier with game reps, as a coach, I think that comes with experience the ability to not always want to jump in and solve things. And that goes for, I know that when you talk about being a parent.

That’s a factor too, that you don’t always want to give your kids the answer. You don’t always want to figure it out for ’em you want to let them struggle a little bit so that they learn. And as a coach, you want to do the same thing. Yeah. As a teacher, you want to do the same thing, but yeah, if you’re inexperience, that’s hard to do.

It’s hard to ask a question and then stand there and look at 15 blank stares coming back at you and, and stand there for 10 seconds and just take all those eyes on you without being like, ah I’ll just, I’ll just tell you the answer.

[01:24:26] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: It’s really hard. And sometimes you, yeah. Sometimes you can like you can check for understanding, like, Hey, does anybody need me to reframe the question?

You know, especially when you’re young or less experienced as a coach, like John wouldn’t always have the phrase we haven’t taught until they’ve learned. Sometimes it’s not that they’re just blank stand, because they don’t want to answer. Sometimes. They’re not sure what the question is.

They, they don’t understand in the way we asked. And so sometimes you gotta check for understanding, maybe say it in a slightly different way. But yeah, sometimes it is just sitting in that discomfort for a little while. And then I think advice for anybody that’s kind of just getting started in player development, or if they’re like, Hey, I got a lot of energy.

You know, I know a lot of young coaches that have a lot of energy they’re super passionate, but they might not be as polished as a teacher yet. And they’re like, how do I create a culture where players are locked in and having fun? And they’re engaged. There’s one thing that I would really recommend for all of you to do compete more, just create fun games that there’s winners and losers and the level of play and focus and energy in the gym will change immediately.

And, and so like, example we talk about reads decisions, skill sets, energy. Here’s a simple game. Anybody that wants to work on shooting, everybody’s always asking me for shooting drills. So here’s a simple one. Two on one. So let’s say there’s four players in your, your, your workout, right? You have two teams of two.

There’s a team on offense in the corner, in the wing. There’s a team on defense on the baseline. Now the team on defense only gets one player on defense. That player starts on the block and they have the basketball. So they have the ball defense. The one defender has the ball. There’s one player on offense in the corner in the wing defense could throw to either one of those players, the per, and then they’re closing out and they’re playing two on one.

Now the offense has one pass maximum, one shot maximum and no dribbles. So it’s either a catch and shoot or a one more pass. And that person has to shoot. So now on the catch, they have to be thinking shot. And then if they don’t have the shot, that means the defender are all the way closed out. Then they’re throwing the quick one more pass, but neither of ’em can dribble.

So it’s, and then if you catch it on that, that one more pass. It’s simple. You just gotta shoot the basketball. And so now you’re forcing players to think the game offensively. Okay. Do I shoot it or do I pass it? And then defensively, do I foot fake at this guy and jump the gap? Do I fully close out and force the pass?

Who’s the best shooter here? Who should I close out on? It’s just a bunch of decisions in a very short amount of time, and then you score it. So if you score, you stay if you don’t score, then defense gets to go to offense and you flip back and forth and you play to a certain score. All of a sudden the competition level raises like I I’ve done it with fifth graders.

I’ve done it with 17 U players that are going to go all play college basketball. It doesn’t matter who you play it with. They love it. Why? Because they get to compete and you’re still getting reads. You’re still getting decisions. You’re still working on specific skill sets, but they’re competing out of it.

And so there’s wins and losses and they’re locked in and engaged and energetic. So just compete more.

[01:27:32] Mike Klinzing: The competition piece is huge. And if you can incorporate that, whether you’re doing player development or we’ve talked to so many coaches, Ruby, that talk about that when they’re coaching their teams, whether it’s high school or college, how can we make our practices more competitive?

And it’s always a theme that kind of comes through when you’re talking about practice design and making sure that you’re trying to maximize your time on the practice floor. How do we make it more competitive? And that drill you just described. What I love about that is it’s simple. You could explain that even to players who have never done it before, you could explain that drill to somebody in 30 seconds and beyond ready to go.

And it’s something where there’s not a lot of complexity to it, but at the same time, how many times are you in that situation, in a game, right? Where yep. You’re faced with those same exact decisions. And that’s ultimately what you’re trying to do is the learning. That you’re doing with a player development coach or the learning that you’re doing with your high school coach or your college coach look, practice.

Isn’t valuable. If it doesn’t translate to the game, you can be great at some drill, but what does that matter? You have to be able to take what you’ve learned in practice, and it has to be translatable to a game. And so the more you can make your practice competitive and game, like obviously the better results you’re going to get.

And that drill is a simple one to do. And yet there’s so much baked into it. And then when you add the competition piece, it just really makes all the difference in trying to get the kids ultimately to learn and then be able to transfer the skills from their practice setting into the game, which is clearly what we’re all trying to do.

[01:29:09] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: Yep. I mean, it’s a simple model, right. And I think that’s what I would encourage coaches to do is. What is the thing that you’re trying to get out right now and then create something around it. There there’s so much good basketball stuff out there. And trust me, I’ve stolen. Plenty of like everybody steals.

There’s nothing new under the sun, in my opinion, like there there’s, there’s just different versions of things that have already been done. Absolutely. But I think it’s important. Like don’t, don’t confine yourself or think that, oh, because I’m not coach K or I’m not Geno that I can’t create a good drill.

That’s going to serve my players. You know what your team needs more than anybody else does. You see ’em every single day what issues they have what skills they’re deficient in what reads they’re deficient in. Nobody is more qualified to create a drill for your team than you.

So just go make something and there’s nothing wrong with getting inspiration and going and looking for stuff. But you need to take what you see and, and create something that fits your team specific dynamics. And that’s what I’ve seen. Great coaches do at every level is they, they create what is needed to help their team succeed.

And that’s what they do in practices. So don’t be afraid to do it. And then with that, I think just being honest, like sometimes you’re going to fail and that’s okay too. Every, every drill I do is not a booming success. Some of them flop and I’ll just I’ll see it happening, I’ll run it through and then I’ll blow the whistle and I’ll bring everybody in.

I’m like, Hey, that sucked. Didn’t it. They’re like, yeah, that sucks. I’m like, all cool. We’re going to move on. Like, it’s okay. Like we just, we have that relationship. They know I’m kind of a mad scientist and there’s some time. So we have that relationship. But like they’re going to fall flat on their face, trying some things sometimes I think it’s actually good for them to see you do it too.

So don’t be afraid to try something. If you think it’ll work, go out there and experiment, it’ll make you a better coach.

[01:31:05] Mike Klinzing: I love what you said about there being that you’re the right person at the right time to be able to create a drill, no matter what level. Of coach you are, you don’t have to be a high major division one coach to be able to be creative and to be able to come up with things that fit for your team.

That’s one of the things that we’ve learned on the podcast for sure is talking to coaches at all different levels, the amount of basketball knowledge that’s out there, and the quality of coaches at every level of the game is astounding. And I think that sometimes we forget that the best person for the job is the person who has the job right there.

And so you have to be able to, to do what’s best for your team. You have to be creative, you have to come up with things that can help them. And as you said better than anybody else your team your players their strengths and strengths and weaknesses the things that you want them to get better at.

And so being able to tweak something that you used before, or be able to find something new, or be able to come up with something on the fly, or when you’re sitting down to plan your practices. To me, that’s an invaluable skill that. Just like we talked about earlier, a couple different times that the more you do that, the better you’re going to get at it.

And it’s just, again, getting those reps and getting those reps and getting those reps just like they’re important as players. Those reps are super important as coaches as well. So we are coming past an hour and a half right now, Rudy. So I want to start to, I want to start to wrap up our conversation by giving you a chance to share how people can get in touch with you.

Where can they find out more about what you’re doing? If you want to share social media, email website, whatever you feel, comfortable sharing, whatever you want to use to be able to get in touch with people so they can reach out after they listen. And then once you do that, I’ll jump back in and wrap things up.

[01:32:57] Rudy Bentley, Jr.: For sure. Yeah. So my Twitter and Instagram is @RudyBentleyJr It’s the same for Twitter and Instagram. Cause I can’t remember more than one. And then. My email is I’m a very creative individual when it comes to all my tags and handles. So keep it, it simple, man, keep it simple, you know?

Yeah. Just feel free to hit me up. I have a lot of stuff, obviously PGC is a great platform. I would definitely recommend going and checking that out. You know, at PGC basketball on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook their YouTube stuff. I actually when I first got in with PGC, I was one of the people that helped create a lot of the YouTube videos and edits and stuff like that.

So go check out those, those are great. Yeah, but you know, I have workouts that I’ve run or workouts that I’ve created. So I have like a global basketball workout. It’s a 20 minute basketball workout. That’s by time and athletes can just plug their numbers in and compete with themselves every day.

So I just give that to players. A lot of players ask me for workouts. So I’m like, Hey. You do this for 20 minutes a day, three, four times a week, and you track your numbers and have goals and consequences. Here’s a great way to get started if you really want to start building out your workouts and tracking, and measure and improvement.

So like stuff like that, if you have any questions on drills or anything like that, feel free to hit me up. Yeah, just love to talk hoops. But any way I can serve or PGC can serve, feel free to reach out and I’d love to help anybody out.

[01:34:24] Mike Klinzing: I love it, Rudy. Again, good stuff. A lot of fun in this conversation.

Being able to go and talk player development, kind of talk about what it takes as a player, as a parent to kind of navigate the basketball system and to be able to maximize your time within the basketball system. So I want to thank you for being a part of the Hoop Heads Podcast, taking the time out of your schedule to jump on with us.

And I want to thank everyone out there for listening and we will catch you on our next episode. Thanks.

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