RYAN HINTZ – BLUE VALLEY WEST (KS) HIGH SCHOOL BOYS’ BASKETBALL HEAD COACH – EPISODE 548

Ryan Hintz

Website – www.bvwboysbasketball.com

Email –  coachrehintz@gmail.com

Twitter – @coachintz

Ryan Hintz is entering his 5th season as the Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kansas.

Hintz grew up in Kansas City, attending Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, KS. He played four years of college basketball at William Jewell College, in Liberty, MO, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Hintz earned his Master’s in Education in 2013 and began his teaching career. 

He spent 5 years coaching various sub-varsity roles at his alma mater, working for Shawn Hair and three years at Blue Valley North, working for Ryan Phifer.

In 2016, he got his first opportunity as Head Coach at Turner High School in Kansas City, KS. Hintz revamped the program’s culture at Turner helping the Golden Bears to their only winning record since 1996. Now in his 5th year at Blue Valley West, Coach Hintz’ culture is built around Having Fun & Getting Better. The Jaguar Hoops program focuses on Positionless Skill, Basketball IQ, and Tough Defense. 

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You’ll want to have your notebook ready as you listen to this episode with Ryan Hintz, Boys’ Basketball Head Coach at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kansas.

What We Discuss with Ryan Hintz

All Posts

  • Getting exposed to a variety of activities by his parents before concentrating on basketball in high school
  • Practicing on his driveway one on zero
  • Working on his footwork and pretending to be Shaq and Hakeem
  • His memories of mid-season tournaments in McPherson, Kansas as a high school player
  • How the movie He Got Game inspired him to want to play college basketball
  • The connection that helped him land an opportunity to play college basketball at William Jewell College in Missouri
  • Being surprised at how college players held each other accountable
  • “You’re either adding value to our culture or you’re taking away from our culture.”
  • “You’re either helping us win or you’re helping us lose.”
  • “Seniors don’t have a tough time holding sophomores accountable, seniors have a tough time holding seniors accountable.”
  • “Teaching is coaching and coaching is teaching.”
  • Coaching summer league for his high school during his summers in college
  • The off-season contact rules for Kansas High School Basketball
  • The chances of getting a uniform set of rules for high school basketball across the country
  • The need for a high school shot clock
  • Why he loves the “paying it forward” aspect of coaching
  • The respect he has for his high school coach, Shawn Hair
  • “If you show up without enthusiasm or without intensity, or you are ill prepared your team notices that.”
  • “It can’t be about you. It’s gotta be about the kid.”
  • The role of a high school coach in helping their players play college basketball
  • “I’m brutally honest, whether you like it or not. And I think players like that.”
  • Love tough vs. tough love
  • Why learning youth players’ names is so important
  • Using touch points throughout the school day to build relationships with players
  • “Basketball brings the community together.”
  • Why JYDP nation gets a special section behind the bench for varsity games
  • How to build connections between the varsity players and the youth players in your program
  • “Our program mantra is have fun and get better.”
  • “I would much rather overpay good coaches and not have to go find new coaches, then make more money myself.”
  • “It’s not my program, it’s our program.”
  • What he looks for in both youth coaches and coaches for his high school staff
  • “What type of teammate are you being at home and in your household?”
  • “It’s the extra stuff that goes a super long way with building those relationships and getting the buy-in from the kids.”
  • Putting together an offensive and defensive philosophy
  • “Achieving the last 10% of your goal is always the hardest part.”

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THANKS, RYAN HINTZ

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TRANSCRIPT FOR RYAN HINTZ – BLUE VALLEY WEST (KS) HIGH SCHOOL BOYS’ BASKETBALL HEAD COACH – EPISODE 548

[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here with my co-host, Jason Sunkle. And tonight we are pleased to welcome to the podcast from Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kansas, our first guest ever from Kansas Ryan! Ryan Hintz. Welcome to the Hoop Heads Pod.

[00:00:17] Ryan Hintz: Thank you. Thanks for having me. I’m excited about it.

[00:00:21] Mike Klinzing: Thrilled to have you on. Ryan and I met at Snow Valley this summer and got to know each other a little bit there, and I’m definitely looking forward to digging in with you, Ryan and learning more about your journey. Let’s go back in time to when you were a kid.

Tell us a little bit about your first experiences with the game of basketball that you can remember.

[00:00:39] Ryan Hintz: Yeah, I actually didn’t have a super competitive start to basketball. I think my first team I was on was a co-ed third grade YMCA team. So to say that we were good would be a lie, but I think I was around just, I love basketball [00:01:00] right from the beginning.

Loved playing it, loved watching it. I was in the driveway all the time shooting. And so I think fifth grade started to grow a little bit, getting a little interest and it probably wasn’t until eighth or ninth grade when I started trying to take it seriously and, and really improve.

[00:01:18] Mike Klinzing: What about other sports?

[00:01:21] Ryan Hintz: Yeah, I played everything. I think luckily my parents wanted me to be well-rounded so I did begrudgingly, I did ballet and I did play the piano and played baseball, soccer. A little bit of football got hurt every time I played football. So I tried to stay away from that. By the time I got to high school, I honed in on basketball and really started taking it seriously.

[00:01:44] Mike Klinzing: What did it look like when you started taking the game more seriously in terms of you try and improve and get better? What were some of the things that you were doing? Let’s say in a summer, in high school, what did that look like for you trying to improve and get your game [00:02:00] better?

[00:02:01] Ryan Hintz: Well, I mean, I was a driveway kid.

I had a hoop in my driveway and I was out there constantly. I remember a story where we had a neighbor move in and she couldn’t figure out what this noise was. She kept hearing this noise over and over, and it was in the morning and it was at night and it was light and it was dark.

And I ended up being my basketball. After a few days, she figured out I was me out in the driveway all the time. So I really got better. One on zero. Then I played my little brother and one-on-one and a lot of it once I learned how to pivot you know, what we call box drills now, I don’t really know what it was, but that was essentially what I was doing was just working on pivoting and shooting and working on that imagination.

And my driveway I was playing one-on-one against Michael Jordan or whoever that was really growing up. And then I was lucky enough, I lived less than a mile from my high school. And so our coach I was a [00:03:00] pretty well behaved kid for the most part. And so I could walk up to the school and bring my own ball and sneak in there and she all summer, so a lot of it was individually.

Not to say that I didn’t have great coaches, but most of the time I was just me and my imagination playing one on zero, and then working on my game.

[00:03:20] Mike Klinzing: Did you have a plan the way a kid today might have a plan? Not necessarily a kid who’s working with a trainer, although we know a lot of kids today oftentimes are working with the trainer, but we think about just the amount of information that’s out there that kids have access to for putting together workouts and doing different kinds of ball handling routines and shooting drills.

Or were you just kind of out there flying by the seat of your pants? The way I was back when I was a kid trying to figure out how to get better?

[00:03:48] Ryan Hintz: Yeah. I think I should preface by saying I was not a good player. So now honestly, I watched the [00:04:00] NBA and I watched the NBA religiously, Hubie Brown. I love listening to him and Mike and they would explain the game and I had so-called that up. And so I wanted to be Shaquille O’Neal and I knew I wasn’t Shaquille O’Neal. So I tried to be became Olajuwon and those were the two guys and I wasn’t Hakeem either, but I focused on work and I focused on how versatile can I be? How can I impact winning? But it was a lot of footwork toughness. defense that was really, my game was skill so much. It wasn’t until you know, college, when I was allowed to shoot in a lot of dribble and things of that nature.

So I’d pretty much just winged it. And I was just doing it for fun. You know, there wasn’t anything better than shooting hopes,

[00:04:53] Mike Klinzing: As a high school player. What’s your favorite memory when you look back on your time as a high school basketball player? [00:05:00]

[00:05:01] Ryan Hintz: A lot of it are the mid-season tournament. And in Kansas, we really only play in one tournament.

Kansas, his rules are very outdated and I don’t want to talk too much about, cause I’ll get in trouble, but. You would get to play at one tournament in the high school season and our coach would always take us out of town. So you take the varsity team and you stay in the hotel and you, and you do the whole thing and you have the meals.

And so those are probably my favorite. We played at this place called McPherson, Kansas, and they have this round house and man you’re playing Aidan five. The officials are against you when you play McPherson. So that’s a great experience. You know, you always leave upset, but I take my teams down there now to face that adversity because you know, that it makes the kids better.

You know, it’s like us against the world kind of thing. And that’s probably one of my, one of my favorite experiences. And then the other one my senior year I finally started things were clicking and I [00:06:00] started getting better and you know, that was my first all tournament team. So that’s another nice memory, those mid season.

[00:06:08] Mike Klinzing: When did college basketball get on your radar, where you started thinking that, A, you wanted to play in college and B, when did it start to become realistic?

[00:06:19] Ryan Hintz: Well, I knew I wanted to play in college when I saw the movie He Got Game. I thought I saw that I saw those recruiting trips and I thought, oh man realistically, I, I really wasn’t very good. And so my high school coach, I wanted to play in college. And that was honestly, really the only reason I wanted to go to college, looking back you, you’re a kid and you think everything you need to know. But I was lucky enough that my high school coach, his brother was an assistant at William Jewell College.

And so I went up there and they showed me around and said if you could start on the, on the JV team and [00:07:00] if you work your way up I knew I, I did that in high school. I started at the bottom and work my way. So I was a starter and I had that same vision. If I could just care more than everybody else and work harder than everybody else, then it would work out.

So it was really my senior year. I wanted to play I had zero offers. I just kinda got lucky enough that my high school coach hooked me up.

[00:07:26] Mike Klinzing: What was that adjustment like then going from being a high school player to be in a college college player, how quickly were you able to adapt? And obviously you said that it took you some time to build your way into your career, but what do you remember maybe about your first experience stepping onto the floor with the returning players?

[00:07:45] Ryan Hintz: I think the first thing that I learned was like accountability. And you know, in high school kids struggle to hold their teammates accountable. And when you’re a freshman and you walk into an open gym setting in college, when you mess up [00:08:00] the seniors immediately tell you that was your fault.

And you’re just kind of stunned at first, like, whoa, what did I do? You know, that wasn’t my fault. And then they explain to you why it was your fault. And so I think just, that was one of the biggest things, obviously the speed of the game the skill of everyone. But the thing that stood out to me was how the senior leader.

Called you out for everything and, and not in a bad way, but like, Hey, here’s our expectations. Here’s our level. And if you let your guys score or you don’t cover the pick and roll properly, or you don’t block out, like I want to win. So I’m going to tell you about it so that you fix it. And that’s something that I remember immediately from the get go.

[00:08:42] Mike Klinzing: You learned and share that lesson with the players that you’ve then coached.

And if you have, what does that look like? Those conversations or those team meetings when you’re having that type of conversation. Because as you said, kids, especially obviously the younger level, you go, kids have a hard [00:09:00] time holding teammates accountable. That’s a difficult conversation for a kid who’s 15, 16, 17 years old to have with a peer.

So what does that look like when you’re coaching, when you’re trying to help kids to understand how important that is to hold their teammates accountable?

[00:09:16] Ryan Hintz: Yeah, I think two pieces, like we talked about our culture constantly you’re either adding value to our culture or you’re taking away from our culture.

And so with your choices and your actions there’s no staying in the same, just the old Bo Chambless a saying or whatever his name is, but you know, you’re either helping us or hurting us. And so behaviorally, we, we talk about that. If you aren’t communicating on defense, you’re taking away from our culture and then piece number two would be, you’re either helping us win or you’re helping us lose.

And so I think those are the black and whites that I try to paint for the guys to help each other hold each other accountable. Now we were high school kids. [00:10:00] We struggle freshmen can’t they can, they don’t hold each other accountable. You know, they want to be buddies. They don’t want to be different.

They don’t want to stand out. You know, seniors don’t have a tough time holding sophomores accountable, seniors have a tough time holding seniors accountable. And so I, I think we frame it in a way, like every choice you make either add value to our culture or takes away value to our culture.

And every decision you make on the basketball court either adds to us winning or adds to us losing. And so when we frame it in that mind, we have had success with seniors saying like, Hey, that’s gonna make us lose. You know, we wanna win. We need to block out. We need to communicate things like that.

[00:10:47] Mike Klinzing: I think that makes it pretty black and white. You have a clear you’re either on this side of the line or you’re on that side of the line. And a lot of times we start talking about holding kids accountable or decision-making, and those things it’s easy to kind of [00:11:00] get yourself lost in those gray areas.

And I think you’ve done a really good job with that of making it black and white you’re either. While you’re there. And by framing it that way, I’m sure you help kids to have a better understanding of what it is that you expect from them. And ultimately that’s going to help to make your program and your team more successful.

When you think back to your experiences in college, when did coaching get on your radar while you were still playing? Were you thinking about coaching? I know you got a degree in business. I was the same as you got a degree in business and got done with my planker and then I thought, Hmm, basketball is going to go away.

Maybe I better figure out a way to keep basketball in my life. So how did you come to coaching and when did it get on your radar?

[00:11:45] Ryan Hintz: Yeah, I think I always wanted to coach I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a teacher and to get off topic and then we’ll get back on topic. You know, once you start taking some education classes, you realize that teaching is coaching and coaching is teaching, [00:12:00] but before you realize that it seems like two separate worlds.

And I wasn’t when I told my mom I was going to be a teacher, she laughed at me cause I just sometimes. And so that part teaching is coaching and coaching is teaching, but I always wanted to coach and basketball specifically because I think I wanted to be a great teammate.

That was really what I wanted to do. I wanted to help my team get better and win, but I saw the game at a higher level than I think a lot of my peers. And so I think. I was always thinking the game, I’m thinking what could work and how we can manipulate things. And that kinda led to how I coach, because it seemed like the coach is always talking to the point guard and the coach is always talking to the point guard and I was this defensive center.

And I was like, Hey man, I got ideas. Like, I feel like this, that, and the other, like, let’s, let’s get everybody’s opinion on these things. And so I [00:13:00] always knew the game really well. And then in Kansas for a while the high school coach, couldn’t coach the high school team during the summer. And so my high school coach, when I’d be back from college, he would hire us to coach the high school teams during the summer.

So. Even after my freshman year of college, I was back in the summer coaching the C team in the summer or whatever. And then as that went on, we’d go to summer camps at Oklahoma state or Oklahoma or St. Louis or wherever, and I’d go with and, and coach the team. So I think my high school coach got, he could see that w you know, I had a knack for it and wanted to do it, and he just kind of put the breadcrumbs out there for me.

[00:13:47] Mike Klinzing: All right. So two questions, one, what did you initially like about coaching? What was something that, from those first experiences that you really jumped on and were like, man, I love this piece of coaching. [00:14:00] And then after you answer that, I want to jump back to, you mentioned, and it’s interesting because obviously states all across the country have different rules, but you mentioned the fact that in Kansas, back in the past, that coaches weren’t able to coach at all.

And so my other question will be where does Kansas stand? So maybe you want to answer that one first and then we’ll get into what you loved about.

[00:14:22] Ryan Hintz: Pick my words wisely. We’re on a kid with basketball coaches, association, email thread, right now that’s on like the fifth hundred reply all this week.

So right now in the summer we can work with our kids in the month of June, essentially. And you know, we can do everything you want to do weights and an open gym and play summer league games and tournaments and all that. In July we kind of kick it over to the AAU teams. And then the frustrating part of Kansas right now is that in the fall and [00:15:00] spring, outside of the winter months, I am not allowed to work with my players.

And so if I have kids that want to get in the gym, I am not allowed to be in the. I’m not allowed to supervise open gym. And so that seems silly to me. You know, anybody in the high school should be supervising open gym. I would think it would be a basketball coach, but the summer rules have gotten pretty nice.

I don’t have a lot of complaints about the summer rules. It’s the off season rules that I think because then a coach or a player has to seek out a personal trainer. You know, and I think AAU is very necessary. I’m not someone that thinks only you should only listen to my high school coach.

Like we have really good AAU programs around here. And so I think it should be a relationship where the high school program and they program work together for the benefit of the kids. And so roundabout, I don’t know if that answers your question. Our summer rules aren’t bad [00:16:00] anymore. That’s our off season rules that are frustrated.

[00:16:02] Mike Klinzing: What’s the logic when coaches raised the objection of, Hey, we want to be able to supervise open gym in the fall or the spring, or at least have some contact. What’s the pushback from the association? What’s the logic behind that?

[00:16:19] Ryan Hintz: Well, I logic, I don’t know. I want to make a joke. Dr. James Naismith invented this game and Kansas, and we haven’t changed the rules since.

I think we’re behind other states. Not to get on my soapbox too much, but it’s a lot of it is Kansas city is as a populous city. And a lot of the other parts of the state of Kansas are not. And so to have a blanket set of rules for major cities and then also for one, a small towns I think it’s difficult to have the same rules that cover one eight all the way to six.

And, and for the most part, [00:17:00] we have the same rules. And so I think that’s the biggest flaw is that six, a, the largest class doesn’t have its own set of rules. That make sense for them. That’s the best for the kids. And then all the way down one eight has their own set of rules. I think the logic is that we want to share athletes and we want kids playing all the sports.

And I think that comes from of the small towns where, and I could be totally off on this, but in a school, you need all the boys to play football and basketball and baseball. And so we’re just online. We’re going to compartmentalize their calendar so that they have to play football and I have to play basketball and I have to play baseball.

Now that’s just my opinion. I don’t know if that’s totally accurate, but…

[00:17:48] Mike Klinzing: No, that makes sense. I think when you look at it and you say, yeah, you’re in a small school and if there’s a bunch of boys that are only playing basketball and now you can’t feel the football [00:18:00] team, I get that. And to your point at the same you know, by the same token you look at when you’re in a more urban area where you have bigger high schools, where that isn’t an issue.

It seems like it’s just, I think your quote, that shouldn’t the basketball coach be the person. So supervising open gym seems pretty self-explanatory and yeah, it’s so interesting. Just the way that different high school athletic associations handle both the amount of contact that a coach can have in the summertime.

And then what the fall rules look like. And even the state of Ohio has been different for awhile. We were at 10 days of contact during June, where you could actually, where you could coach. Now you could have open gym, but you couldn’t actually be coaching. And then we had 10 days in June where you were allowed to coach.

Then they went to a couple of years ago, they went to where you could do as much as you want it over the summer, but you could only do it in the span of like four man workouts. So you could have, you could be coaching, but you could [00:19:00] only do it in a four player setting. And then last summer they went to.

With COVID they went to basically unlimited context. So you could do whatever you want as much as you wanted.

[00:19:14] Ryan Hintz: That was the one thing that COVID helped with.  

[00:19:17] Mike Klinzing: I mean, again, don’t get me wrong. There’s pluses and minuses to that. I mean, again, I, I would love as a coach to be able to have access to my players every day.

And yet at the same time, I’ve said this when I’ve talked to division one college coaches, that if you’re going to hear somebody’s voice 12 months out of the year, day after day after day after day, that gets tough too. Like you need a break and Ohio does have, the month of August is a dead period where there’s no coaching allowed.

So it does provide for that separation. But I think as a coach, you have to be able to strike a balance. And the fact that if you’re in the fall, especially as you’re preparing for your season, that you can’t even see your [00:20:00] kids till the first day of tryouts, that to me would be really tough, but it’s just interesting how.

Again, the different associations have different rules. I know back when we first started the podcast, we talked to Scott Roussanne who coaches in Kentucky, and he’s at Covington Catholic, which is right across the river. And from Cincinnati and Kentucky at that time had basically unlimited contact. You could do what you wanted when you wanted, whenever you wanted, as much as you wanted.

And then he was competing against schools in Cincinnati, where then Ohio was at that point under that 10 day contact rule. And he would talk about and joke that these coaches from Cincinnati, that he was competing against would be so jealous of the amount of time that he got to spend with his player.

So again, you can go across the entire country and probably every single state has some kind of different version of the rules. It would be nice if we could make the rules uniform. I know thinking of just about the shot clock and all these different things that seemingly [00:21:00] make complete sense to improve the game.

Everybody kind of has their own little way of doing things. And it would just be nice if we could kind of get a uniform set of rules that everybody could operate under and that were designed to maximize the benefit to the game, to the players, to the coaches. And I guess you could still always argue that, but it’s just interesting that there’s so much different, so much difference across the country, right?

[00:21:24] Ryan Hintz: Well, yeah, I mean, we met at Snow Valley. We have, we have the main to do that with USA basketball. I mean, for sure Greg white talks about it all the time. You know, if we just, if we made USA basketball, run basketball, we can have the same rules. And we, we suffer from that too. The Missouri state line is super close to where we are I actually live in Missouri.

And so you know, they have, they start three weeks earlier than. They play five more games than us. They get three hour. I think I could be wrong, but I think [00:22:00] it’s three hours of contact time with their kids in the off season that aren’t doing an in season sport. And so they’re doing, they’re running through shell drill and getting shots up and whatever, but we go and we schedule a couple of years ago, I had a good team and I was like, let’s, let’s play the best teams around.

And so we scheduled a Missouri team that I knew it was going to be good and it was our first game and it was their fifth game. And I didn’t go very well. So I think just the competing across the state lines. And when you see the other state doing it better for the kids you know, it makes you jealous, but really you’re thinking about the kids a college calls me and says, Hey, can I come see your player at open gym?

Yeah. Well, actually, I’m not allowed to organize open gym, facilitate open gym or be at open gym. And so, no, you can’t come see my kid, [00:23:00] you know, like a kid getting recruited. And so that’s where I don’t really care how much contact time I have, but I became a basketball coach to open the gym for the kids that want to come in at 6:00 AM.

You know, the kids that have the dream that want to put the time, man, I want to help those kids and to have a state association tell me that I can’t do that when you hired me. I I’m absolutely a teacher. Absolutely. But you hired me to be the basketball coach. I, when the kids are in the gym, I should be in there.

That just common sense.

[00:23:39] Mike Klinzing: Yeah. I don’t see how you could make an argument against that particular statement in any way, shape or form. How many games do you guys play regular season?

So Ohio was at 20 for a long, long time. And they recently, within the last couple of years, I can’t remember exactly when they expanded it out [00:24:00] to we’re at 22 right now. But I know there are some states that play at 32, at least 35. I see some of the records.

[00:24:09] Ryan Hintz: And then, yeah, we’re, we’re working right now with our 6A coaches, the biggest class to try to try to push for some rule changes.

We’ve collected data for parceled out of the first year, but complete data the last two years with all the six, eight coaches trying to push these rule changes a shot clock. We’re trying to add three more games. The, the big leagues around here are big enough that in 20 games, if you play every team you don’t have any non-conference games.

You have to choose between a mid-season tournament on a preseason tournament. And then the power districts there’s, there’s five blue valleys and five of those and five Shawnee mission’s right here in the area. We can’t play each other because [00:25:00] the other league has so many teams in it that they don’t have any games less than.

So these great matches, like I can’t play Shawnee mission east and my own high school coach, except for in a tournament. That’s the only time I get to play because they don’t have any non-conference games. And so like stuff like that, adding three games, isn’t a big deal. You know, adding a shot clock is a big deal.

But if you ask any basketball coach they’re going to tell you that that time has come where we need a shot clock in high school basketball. It’s silly that we don’t have.

[00:25:36] Mike Klinzing: I couldn’t agree more with that. I think I was just reading a thread on Twitter. I think Brian McCormack, who was a guest here was talking about people, arguing about arguing against the shot clock.

And he’s over in Europe right now. And he said, I’m watching 13 year olds play with a 24 second shot clock. And we’re arguing that high school kids can’t handle a 32nd shot clock or a [00:26:00] 45 second shot clock or whatever it is that different states are considering putting in. And I just think the argument, the argument against the shot clock, I think in a lot of cases, it just comes down to that’s one more person we have to pay.

That’s $2,000 more worth of equipment that we have to purchase. And I think it’s silly, but I think that’s an argument that still is being raised in a lot of places. Keep the shot clock from being instituted in various states. I think we’ll get there eventually. I don’t know how soon, but it seems like there’s a lot of momentum and coaches are getting a little bit more vocal about it.

And so hopefully that will eventually take place. There’ll be a change for the better for our game. I think you’ve made the point several times that you get into coaching to help the kids and to help them to get better, to improve the game. And I think the things that we’ve just been talking about are things that are going to make the game better for everybody that’s involved in the long run and really that’s what it’s all about.

[00:26:59] Ryan Hintz: [00:27:00] I think the money thing is a little bit of a cop out. I understand it, but no COVID hit and all of a sudden NFA Jeff gave us a free camera to stream our games like, oh, well huddle charge me three grand for that camera the year before, but now I get it for free. If I switch over to. You know, all that was was a need.

Well, we have a need for a shot clock. So NSA, Jeff, let’s come up with a shot clock program and let’s get him instituted and let’s make sure like incentivize it as you need to. I don’t know. I like problem solved. Here’s the problem? Well,

[00:27:38] Jason Sunkle: Listen, I’m just going to throw this out there and like, and Ryan, listen, if this was a football problem, I bet you would be taken care of.

And I was, I’m just gonna leave it at that because I think that not saying that there I know they’re totally two totally different sports, but I think if this was a football problem and they needed a shot clock or like say they put a play clock in football for high school football. [00:28:00] Cause they don’t have the play clock.  Right. Am I, am I wrong in that statement, Ryan? I don’t know if you know, but

[00:28:04] Mike Klinzing: We have one. Oh, I think, I think Ohio has one. I could be wrong, but your point is well taken, J, your point is well taken

[00:28:13] Ryan Hintz: My family’s from South Dakota. And South Dakota has a shot clock and you go to the gym and I’m like, okay, I’m in a town that doesn’t even have a stoplight.

And I have a shot clock, zero disrespect to this town in South Dakota. And I look, and it says, this shot clocks brought to you by insert the town bank. You know, it’s like, it’s that easy? Like, it’s not that hard. You take two competing banks and you say, who wants it? And we’ll put a sign up and they’re shocked.

Clark’s paid for it. Like, it’s just to me, it’s just a lack of doing what’s right.

[00:28:50] Mike Klinzing: I agree with you. I think Jason makes a good point about football kind of being the driver. I always look at, at least here in the state of Ohio, I think football drives conference [00:29:00] realignment. You see all these different things that are all based around football and it’s kind of amazing.

I guess football is probably the most well attended high school sport in most places, I would guess that gets more attendance than basketball. You factor in the amount of equipment that you have to spend and get transportation for the number of kids that you have and all these things. I just, in a lot of ways, I don’t understand why football is always the driver, but I think Jason’s right.

That if it was a football problem, it would probably get solved a lot faster. So at any rate, hopefully at some point we are looking at a shot clock across the United States and every state when that is, I don’t know, but I think we’re trending in that direction. So whether it’s two years from now, whether it’s five years from now, whether it’s 10 years from now, I think eventually we’ll get there and hopefully we’ll still be coaching and we’ll still be podcasting at that point.

So we can celebrate. So we can celebrate the fact that we have a shot glass across, across the country. Let’s go back to you, your coaching [00:30:00] career and the start of it. What was something right away when you were coaching those high school teams back at your school for your high school coach, what’s something that you loved about coaching right away that you took to.

And you’re like, man, I love this.

[00:30:14] Ryan Hintz: Two things come to mind. Number one, I just, I had knowledge that they didn’t, I think just passing on that knowledge and you know, saying, Hey, did you ever think about this or that when, when a team does this, we want to do this. And so just like paying it forward almost in passing that knowledge down.

And then I think something that I think it was just because coming from my Alma mater or working at my alma mater, like I knew what my head coach expected. And so I had some ground to stand on with the kids of like, do you guys want to end up playing varsity? Yeah. Okay. Well, here’s what coach was going to need from me.

He’s going to need this, that. And so like, we’re gonna, I don’t care if we’re the C team Mike, we’re going to hold our, so you all want to make [00:31:00] varsity, so we’re, I’m going to treat you like, you need to be a varsity player. And I think. I don’t know if that would have happened if I didn’t start my freshman year the summer of college working at my high school for my high school coach, I think, I think that was a piece of it, but I really loved just sharing the knowledge that I had, that they didn’t know.

And then trying to give back to my high school program and make sure you know, that, that the guys coming up were tough enough and smart enough and good enough to keep our tradition going.

[00:31:35] Mike Klinzing: Would that relationship with your high school coach change when you went from player to former player alumni to coaching within the program, was there a change in the relationship or just, how was it easy, hard to transition into that?

What was that like?

[00:31:53] Ryan Hintz: Yeah. That’s interested in covering the smile on my face. My Sean Hair is, my high school coach. He’s a father [00:32:00] figure to me. And, and to this day, He does a lot for me. So I think when I first became, the freshmen coach on staff, when I got done with college it was kinda weird you’re walking that fine line.

And I’m just out of college from doing just out of college stuff with my life. And so it was still kinda like that coach player relationship, and I think each year it, it got a little more, not, not necessarily peer because he’s your high school coach was always your coach and there’s that respect there.

But by the time I got some head coaching jobs you know, his first name was flipping out of my mouth as the years went on. But there was always a high level of respect and and I think so many of us coach, and it sounds like a cliche, but then when you think of. A lot of the lessons you learn in life. I learned [00:33:00] through basketball and because I learned them through basketball, a lot of the lessons, I lot, I learned in life, I learned through him.

And so I think it’s just like, I have the most respect for him and, and he got me started and he’s gotten me other opportunities. And so again, that’s just kinda, I always want to be there for my kids when they graduate and when they come back and whether it’s a coaching job or a recommendation letter or an interview or whatever I want to just kind of pay it forward.

[00:33:32] Mike Klinzing: What’s something that you took from him that you still reference back to or utilize or use in your coaching today?

[00:33:46] Ryan Hintz: I think one of the things that it sounds weird is like, you have to have a little crazy to you. Like you can’t just. You know, if you show up without enthusiasm or without intensity, [00:34:00] or you are ill prepared your team notices that. And I think he did, he did a great job of every single day being demanding.

And when, when he walked in the gym, you stood up straight. And when he walked in the gym, you made sure you were you were paying attention, you were listening. And so I think just that you gotta have a little bit of crazy. If you’re going to keep high school kids, attention all and get them to, you know get them to push themselves harder than they think they’re able to push themselves.

So I think there’s that piece. I’ve been really lucky all my coaches that I’ve played for and worked with, or for they’ve all been extremely hard workers. And so from the beginning, I don’t think coach hair ever told me no. Like if I wanted to can I come up and shoot? I don’t think he ever told me no.[00:35:00]

So I think that’s just something like, again, my job is if somebody wants to play college basketball at blue valley west, my job is to help them make that dream come true. And I think he, he was the difference in me playing college basketball.

[00:35:19] Mike Klinzing: So let’s take that thread a little bit further.

And obviously there are things that coaches do on the floor to be able to help their players to achieve their dream of playing college basketball. But when you think about some of the things that you can do as a head coach to help your players. Off the floor in terms of communicating with college coaches, in terms of making yourself accessible, making their film accessible, just maybe describe for people who are listening, what are some of the things that you as a head high school basketball coach can do to be able to help your players get an [00:36:00] opportunity at the next level?

[00:36:03] Ryan Hintz: Well, I think first and foremost, it can’t be about you. It’s gotta be about the kid. And then I think the next step is sitting down with the parents as well and having an honest discussion about, you know realistic dreams and you know, what levels you see. And so I think just kind of everybody getting on the same page that we’re all working towards the same goal would be the first step. I do think as a coach you need to be out there and, and attending clinics and being a part of associations and trying to cope with it working camps in the summer and try to cultivate those relationships because I’ve witnessed at snow valley where a kid goes up there with no offers and, and leaves with an offer with one of the D three coaches that’s up there.

And so those relationships, I think the professional relationships that the coaches [00:37:00] cultivate are extremely important. And then my big thing with my guys is just brutally honest. I lost that a little bit when I became a head coach for the first time. You want everybody to like you a little bit.

You don’t want your best players to quit and stuff like that. But I think one of the things that has gotten me back after, after for the first couple of years is I’m brutally honest, whether you like it or not. And I think players like that,

[00:37:31] Mike Klinzing: That’s what I think the hardest things to do as a young coach.

Who’s still trying to establish themselves as a head coach and trying to build a successful program. I know that I’ve been around situations where you had a long time coach who could get away with is the wrong way to say it, but could be brutally honest with players. And then that coach leaves a new coach comes in and [00:38:00] suddenly tries to do the exact same thing that the previous coach easily was able to do.

And suddenly that coach isn’t able to do it in the same way. And I think you made a great point that especially with the way that players at the high school level a you, we see it in the college transfer portal. If things aren’t going the way that a player or a player’s family wants them to go, the number of kids that will just instantaneously pack up and leave and go to another school or go and play for another program, we all know that that’s a big, I don’t know necessarily no problem, but it’s definitely an issue that coaches talk about all the time.

And I think that the most successful coaches are the ones who are able to get past that and are able, as you said, to be able to be brutally honest so that they’re telling their players what they need to hear. So often kids just people tell them what they want to hear. [00:39:00] And instead of what they need to hear.

And again, if you’re a kid that I know you’re a player that wants to get better, you want somebody to tell you what are the holes in my game? How can I improve? What do I need to do better? Because ultimately I want to have the kind of success that’s going to be required from me to put my best out there.

And if I’m not hearing constructive criticism from my coaches, then how am I ever going to be able to put my best out there on the floor, but you make a great point that that’s not easy to do. It’s very difficult. Is there anything else that you can think of that when you first got your head coaching job that you’ve improved a lot upon since you first started?

[00:39:42] Ryan Hintz: Well, before I get to that, you can ask me that on men, I was thinking about you know, John, Gordon’s saying love tough and instead of tough love the love comes first. And I think, I think that was my biggest thing that I took from. You know, when I [00:40:00] be, when I took over this job and I, I didn’t, we didn’t have enough talent to win, but I had some young kids and the young kids had some habits that maybe I didn’t love and I don’t want to lose them and how do I hold them accountable?

And I just ended up being too nice. And really being too nice was actually just being dishonest letting them get away with stuff that isn’t going to help them in the future. And so I think the way that I corrected that was really investing in the relationship with the players and, and there was no quick way to that takes time.

And so the more years I was here and the earlier I met the kids and, and all of that, I think it’s easier. They know that I love them. And so then that. That love is first, and then you can be tough with them. And by tough, I mean, honest. And so I was just thinking about that while, while I was kind of where I wanted to go with that.

[00:40:57] Mike Klinzing: All right. Well, let me follow that up with [00:41:00] when you’re building those kinds of relationships with your players, what does that look like? What are some things that you do to facilitate the type of relationships that you’re talking about that allow you then to have those honest conversations?

[00:41:16] Ryan Hintz: Well, I think relationship one-on-one like no, learn their names learn their names as soon as possible.

I kind of have a little every, you run camps, Mike, everybody has a little camp trick and you know, all know every kid’s name before the end of the day. One know whether there’s 50, 60, 70 kids in the gym. Like, that’s my, that’s what I go learn their names first and then use their names every time you see them.

You know, we have youth camp or youth practice and every I’m holding the door when they walk in and I use their name and give them a high five and tell them hello. And you know, every single time, every single time. And [00:42:00] so we’ve got fifth graders here and so every time they walk in the gym, the head coach knows their name, gives him a high five.

And so I think that that’s an easy one. And then with the high school kids it’s just points of contact throughout the day. And that takes effort you know, printing off the kids’ schedules and, and kind of okay. If I take five minutes during my break here, And I walked the first floor.

I can hit this kid, this kid, this kid, and just just the point of contact, how’s your day going? You know, just kind of keep track. Are they, are they playing football? How’s the football game. Are they working on baseball, how’s your swing going? How’s your workouts. And so you just kinda made a techs effort.

I think I saw, I think it was Forbes at Wake Forest now, but he had like he had like a flow chart where Mondays, he talked to these kids and Tuesdays you talked to these kids. I thought that was an awesome idea to [00:43:00] keep everything straight. And I, I tried to start doing that with my alumni.

I was like, okay, on Mondays, I’m going to talk to the graduating class of 19. And on Tuesdays, I’m going to try to send some texts to the twenties and just. No relationships take work. And so like anything we have a plan for how we’re going to break a press, but you know, have a plan for how you’re going to touch base with all 55 kids in your program.

Or if you’re you can hit 12 varsity kids every day and you’re not perfect, but you make a plan for,

[00:43:37] Mike Klinzing: I think that putting together a plan is totally underrated because I can think about myself, people that I know, and we all have great intentions about staying in touch with person X or person, why, or getting this done or getting that done.

And me personally, I find that when I do put those things into a [00:44:00] spreadsheet, or when I write them down on a, to do list, I’m much more intentional about actually getting to them. If I just leave it floating out there, nebulously. I almost always end up pushing that off to the next day or, and then before it it’s been a week and then it’s been a month and then it’s been a year and now you’ve kind of lost the opportunity to build those kinds of relationships that you’re talking about.

And I think if you could set up a system where you do have a list of, Hey, I’m going to do this on Monday, I’m going to do this in week one of the month. I’m going to do this in week two of the month. Or even if you just did it monthly, you’d be way ahead of the game of where most people and probably most coaches are in terms of reaching out to people who are your alumni.

And obviously if you’re a teacher in the building, it’s a little bit easier to go and have contact with your players every day throughout the school day, we know that across the country, there’s a lot of coaches that don’t coach in the building where they they don’t teach in the building where they code.

And that makes it a little bit tougher and a little bit more of a challenge, but certainly [00:45:00] if you’re a teacher, you can make it a point to, as you said, find the kid’s schedule, get in, see them in the hallway or touch base with them in class, or just ask them questions about how other sports are going or how their classes are going.

That’s huge net from a youth standpoint, I want to dive into youth basketball with you here in a second, but you made the point of talking about getting to know every kid’s name. And that’s one of the things that I would say I’ve prided myself on probably more than anything when it comes to the camps that I run is getting a chance to know every single kid’s name and just like you.

I make a really concentrated effort that at the end of day one, I know every single kid’s name. And obviously that helps you a to build a relationship with the kid. It also helps you to control the situation in a camp where if a kid’s doing something they’re not supposed to, you can call them out. And conversely, if a kid’s doing something that they are supposed to or doing something outstanding and you can call them by name, there’s nothing better than.

And then the other thing that I think is probably underrated, especially when it [00:46:00] comes to being a high school coach is the Goodwill that you engender with a parent when you know their kid’s name. It’s to me, that’s invaluable as a basketball camp business owner. When the kid comes in on the second day and I’ve got 90 kids at my camp and a kid walks in the door and I could say, Hey, Billy, how you doing?

And he’s with his mom. And mom’s like, oh my God, this guy knows my kid. And he’s here with 90 other kids. To me that goes such a long way. And I know it’s not, it’s not easy for everybody to remember names, but people always ask me, what’s your trick. And I always tell them, I don’t really have a trick. I just ask them their name.

I look at their face. And then you made the greatest point of all is you just keep saying their name over and over again, every time you interact with them. And by doing that. If you, if it means something to you, then you end up learning their names. And I think it makes a big, big impact on what you’re trying to do.

Youth [00:47:00] basketball and especially developing a youth feeder program. To me is one of the critical points. If you want to have a successful high school program, obviously you can have a successful team without having a successful youth program. Cause you can just get lucky and get some talent that coalesces in one particular year.

But if you want to have a program, you have to develop your youth program. So tell us a little bit about your philosophy and what you guys do there at blue valley west to build your youth program and get kids excited about eventually being part of your varsity.

[00:47:33] Ryan Hintz: That last part is really what it is. You know, I think basketball sports in general, but for me, it’s basketball.

Basketball brings the community together. And since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a Lancer. And I knew the varsity kids when I was in fifth grade, I knew their names and they were gods to me and in eighth grade even more. And so I, that’s what I wanted to build.[00:48:00]

You know, I want, I want the kids to have a blue valley west basketball that they leave out in the rain and then next year they get another one like I want them if they go to our feeder schools to want to be Jaguars. And so I think one of the best things that I did was explain that to the varsity team when I got.

And you know, taught them what is the legacy and, and, and how does that work? And yet we want to leave something better than we found it, but we also want to, we want to pass something on to the next generation. And I think when, when I, I just honestly pleaded with them and the, the first set of seniors, I was like, guys, if you could do anything for me, get these little kids excited about being Jaguars, because we aren’t going to be very good this year.

And the seniors know it. You know, they hadn’t won very much when I got. But I was like, we were, weren’t going to be good because I’m going to put the work in [00:49:00] now. I need you guys to help me. And I think the seniors they’d, they’d, high-five the kids we’ve got this awesome thing where we call it J Y D P nation.

So the youth program is J Y D P Jaguar youth development program. And we block off the first three rows behind the varsity bench and that’s J Y D P nation and only little kids can sit there. And so when our kids up out of the game in our culture, everyone on the bench stands and high-fives the guy coming out coaches to without exception.

Well the high five, everybody on your team, and then you go get the little kids and you high-five a little kids. And I mean, I, I think, I think getting your high school kids, not necessarily I don’t need them at practice. I don’t need them to do I don’t need them volunteering their time.

I just. To invest in those little kids. We have times where during the season the practices overlap, we’ve got high school practices, just [00:50:00] inning and use those coming in after we’ll bring the youth kids down. You know, quite one-on-one high school kid rebound for the little kid or little kid rebound for the high school kid.

And I think those it’s less me doing it and it’s more like the kid, like I want to be, I want to be senior X when I get older. Well, guess what? You just met senior X and that makes a huge difference.

[00:50:26] Mike Klinzing: It does. I think that aspirational piece is so underrated when it comes to developing a love for the game, because I go back to when I was a kid and times were different, then.

The guys who coached my teams when I was in fourth, fifth, sixth grade, there was no travel basketball. There was no AAU basketball. Back at that time, you just played in your local rec league. And the coaches in my local rec league were the high school players. So I [00:51:00] still remember every coach that I had. I still am in contact with one or two of those coaches that I had back when I was in fourth, fifth, sixth grade.

And then when I got to high school, I had an opportunity to coach some of the younger kids that were coming up behind me. And to me, there’s nothing more valuable than just building that link between the high school varsity and the kids that are coming up behind them. Because I remember sitting in the stands just like you talked about wanting to be a Lancer.

And I remember sitting in the stands and watching the high school players come out and in their layup line, slap in the back board. Man. I thought that was the greatest thing that I had ever, that I had ever seen was man, they get to come out and they get to slap the backward. I was like, I I remember being in fourth, fifth, sixth grade thinking, man, someday, I’m going to get to go out there and smack that back board and in a lot of places, unfortunately, because [00:52:00] the game has shifted away from that, there are still some communities and are still some coaches that we’ve talked to that have their kids involved in the program the way you do or the way I remember.

But in a lot of places, the high school program has been disassociated with the local recreation community. Obviously basketball has shifted to a lot of kids that may have in the past, started out playing rec basketball already in second or third grade, they’re already into the AAU system and that kind of thing.

But I do think that the really good high school programs make a concerted effort to connect the varsity team to the youth program. And when you do that, I think you’re just setting yourself up for a long-term.

[00:52:45] Ryan Hintz: Well, that’s gotta be intentional too. I mean again, a plan a lot of what we do in the program and the high school, we do the exact same thing with the youth kids. And, and, you [00:53:00] know, we don’t play in our youth. We practice each grade level practices, 90 minutes, twice a week. We never played five on five in practice, never.

Our program mantra is have fun and get better. You know, every time you show up and you’re at blue valley west playing basketball, you have two jobs and that’s to have fun and get better. And they’re in that order on purpose because I didn’t sit in the driveway for hours on end to get better.

I did, it was fun I was having, and all the times I used to have to remind myself in college when we’re. You know, having one of those practices and anybody that played in college has had one of those practices. And I used to have like, remember how much fun basketball is, remember how much fun basketball is.

And to me, I always relied on basketball is fun and, and I think whether you’re good at it or bad at it or great at it, it’s still fun. You [00:54:00] know, that’s why in rec basketball, there’s still a hundred kids that get cut. That’s still sign up for basketball. Cause it’s a lot of fun. I don’t see a hundred kids signing up for breakfast ball, you know?

And so I think that having fun piece, we intentionally put that first. And then I think a lot of the programs stuff is the same. And so I can say Hey, well the varsity goal, if you want to be a varsity player, here’s the goal right now. You guys are in fifth grade. So we’re going to start the goal right here.

But if you really want to get better, you’re going to be in your driveway. And you’re going to be seeing if. Get your goal from five to 10 and then seventh grade goal is this. And if you’re already at 10, then you’re going to be ahead of the game. And so it’s just kind of like, again, I just assume every kid that comes to my gym wants to be that varsity starter that he sees on Friday night or Tuesday night.

And, and I think that there’s an intentionality piece that that you [00:55:00] have to have, if you’re going to integrate your youth program with your high school program.

[00:55:05] Mike Klinzing: You’re obviously very hands-on with the youth program, but I know you have coaches that help you out and work with the kids as well. So how do you make sure that you convey your philosophy to them so that they understand what it is that you want the program to look like?

And so that they can coach the kids in the way that you want them to be coached in terms of, Hey, let’s have fun, let’s get better. What does that look like? So how do you work with your coaches to make sure that they are. Adhering to your philosophy that you want to have for the youth program?

[00:55:41] Ryan Hintz: Well, I think I want to start with them.

I’m super lucky with the people that I’ve found. I’ve got a great coaching staff. I don’t allow the high school coaches to be on the youth staff and I don’t allow the youth staff to be on the high school staff because A, the Kansas rules are such, and then [00:56:00] B they’re different entities.

They’re the same thing, but they’re different entities. And so I think with the youth program, we start in October our basketball season starts mid November for high school. And so if we start in October, that gives me six weeks to be at every practice to lay the groundwork, to teach the culture essentially.

And I trust these guys. The nice thing is, is we’ve had the same coaches the whole time. One mistake that coaches make when they, when they have a youth program is they don’t pay their guys enough. You know, I would much rather overpay good coaches and not have to go find new coaches, then make more money myself, you know?

And so I think that that’s something I learned from co-chairs as well. You know, you treat people like family and you’re not gonna short your family $5 an hour. You’re going to pay them [00:57:00] $5 more an hour. And I think with just that mindset of like this is yours too at this program, it’s not my program, it’s our program.

And we as a youth program, investing in kids to make the high school program better. And you know, when the high school program has a great season, that’s because of. You guys invested in these kids when they were fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth graders and, and had fun and got better. So I think I got lucky with the great coaches that I have.

And then and then I think I was purposeful and trying to make sure that they don’t feel like employees, but rather they have some ownership and some stake in this,

[00:57:52] Mike Klinzing: Going along with that, how do you put together your staff at the high school level? What’s your [00:58:00] process for a finding the right people.

And then what specific characteristics are you looking for in somebody who’s going to be a part of your high school staff?

[00:58:12] Ryan Hintz: My be honest, it’s getting harder and harder. I think. I think the amount of time commitment to the pay ratio is very off and I don’t think people quite understand. No, like I don’t want to coach basketball.

And then the time commitment that, that takes away from your family you really sacrifice your time with your family during basketball season or a very insignificant amount of money as a assistant high school coach. And so it takes a special person. But I would rather have someone that played in college than someone that hasn’t I think high school kids immediately, if you can still play or you can beat a kid in a shooting contest they, they listen to you more than if you can’t.

So that’s one thing. I think just like, how do you see the game? [00:59:00] I am, I am not an elite coach. I, I don’t like that word. I think it gets thrown around you see seventh grader with elite on their jerseys. You’re like, you’re not elite at all. So I’m more about development. And so.

You know, you ask questions and interviews to see if is the ego going to come out or, or is it really about the kids? And you know, how would you feel if you know, you had players that weren’t very good how, how would that impact your coaching? And so you just kind of ask pointed questions that get to the bottom of like, why they do it.

And you know, every coach wants to have a good team and every coach wants to have good players, but you know, the freshmen beef team, isn’t always great. You know, the sophomore team doesn’t always go to 20 and oh, so I think it’s important to have people that want to do it for the right reasons. I don’t know if that answers your question.

[00:59:54] Mike Klinzing: It does. I think it’s interesting when you, when you try to figure out how to put [01:00:00] together a staff and you made a great point about the time commitment that it takes to coach at every level. I think it’s crept into the college game. I think it’s definitely crept into the high school game. If you were to go back 20 or 30 years ago and think about the amount of time that the average high school coach was putting in.

And I’ve said this on the podcast numerous times, I think the baseline level of the amount of time that you have to put in as a high school coach has grown exponentially. And that’s even to just be average. And if you’re talking about you want to go above and beyond, you said it really well that during the basketball season and depending upon what state you’re in outside of the basketball season, there’s just a tremendous amount of time and commitment that it takes in order for you to build a successful program.

How have you been able to balance your desire to [01:01:00] be a great basketball coach and put the time in, in your program and yet still maintain. Balance in your life. What, what have you gone about, how have you gone about approaching that?

[01:01:14] Ryan Hintz: Mike, I’m going to go ahead and say that I’m not the person. I did not have great insight on that.

You know, I I’m here till nine 30 at night, most nights. So I, it is something that I think you know, having mentors it I have a coach on my staff, Don Cameron, and he’s in multiple hall of fames and I’m lucky enough to have him as my JV coach. And he, he mentors me and he, he brought up that you do have to have balance and there, you, I’m lucky enough to have somebody at home that is putting up with my schedule and you know, I’m really not the person.

I don’t have great secrets on that. I think I could definitely [01:02:00] improve on my work-life balance because. Again, when I’m in the gym I’m living the dream.

[01:02:09] Mike Klinzing: I think a lot of coaches, Ryan honestly feel that way. And it’s, it’s that passion for the game of basketball that brought us all to the game first as players, most likely, and then as coaches and it’s difficult because we care so much about the game.

We care so much about our players. We’re so invested in that success that I think it’s easy to maybe overlook some of the things that we have at home. And you have to have, if you’re married, you obviously have to have a supportive spouse who understands sort of your sickness and be able to be able to, to, to understand it.

And when you don’t, I think you see it in a large number of coaches that end up unfortunately getting divorced because they do split. Just an [01:03:00] inordinate amount of time with their teams and with the game of basketball. And it’s something that I think coaches are probably struggling with more now than ever, because of, as I said, that amount of time that it takes in order to be successful.

And yet we love the game of basketball and really that’s. I think what it comes down to is trying to figure out how do I balance that love of the game and my desire to be successful and to pour into the kids that I have versus again, whether it’s my family, wife, kids, husband, whatever it might be, it’s a challenge.

And it’s a challenge that coaches are facing. At all levels of the game, it’s, it’s something that’s out there. It just is.

[01:03:40] Ryan Hintz: I try to think of it, like when I am doing a good job or when I catch myself going too far workaholic mode think back to what type of teammate are you being at home and your household as a team.

And I think it’s easier [01:04:00] to be a workaholic and just pour into, and it’s harder and it takes more discipline to have balance in your life. And so when I do a good job of it or I’m working at it, then I’m just kind of challenged myself to be a better teammate or kind of framing it.

Like, Hey, if you, if you stay and work this stuff will be here tomorrow. Like you don’t really have to do this stuff, your, to do list is done. And you’re just, you’re taking the easy way. And you’re being a little selfish and why don’t you go home and do something nice. And so luckily my girlfriend was, Liz is putting up with me, but I said that I have any insight to pass on to other coaches.

She would tell you, I do not.

[01:04:47] Mike Klinzing: I think those are the same thing that you mentioned earlier about staying in contact with your own players, your alumni being intentional about it. And I think if you think about it and you stop, as you said, and kind of take a deep breath and you think, Hey, am I being a [01:05:00] good teammate, both at home and in my, with my staff.

I think that if you sort of build that in that I need to stop every once in a while and take a breath. And obviously during the season, that’s really hard to do, but I think if you do that, you at least have a better chance of understanding where you are and then trying to make it work. And again, we’re, we’re all, we’re all far from perfect, but it’s always interesting to hear people’s different responses and answers to that question because I don’t think anybody has.

I don’t think anybody has the magic wand that just makes it all better. I think that we all go through times where we’re spending way more time with our teams versus way more time at home. And you just have to figure out what balance works for you and your particular.

[01:05:44] Ryan Hintz: That’s the extra stuff that gets me in trouble.

Cause you know, we’ll have a lot of youth practice Monday, Wednesday nights. And last night I went to the, the senior night soccer game because you know, more of our guards as a senior soccer player. And [01:06:00] you know, the Friday night before I went to the senior football game because you know, the quarterback and the wide receiver honor came his shots, but it’s the extra stuff that like goes a super long way with building those relationships and getting the buy-in from the kids.

But you know, at what cost does it take away from any amount of like free time that like I do the game for the football team because you know, I love the front row and I can, I always know how the football team’s going and I liked being a part of it. And one thing about chain gang is you get to watch the other coaches.

And so you get to see how different coaching staffs work together or not. But you know, you, those Friday nights outside of the high school field and are pretty precious to your significant other and you know, when he shows up to work the J gigs up a little bit,

[01:06:55] Mike Klinzing: I completely understand. All right, let’s jump away from that and talk a little bit about [01:07:00] basketball philosophy.

When do you feel like you had a handle on who you were as a coach? And I know that it’s always evolving. It’s always adapting. You’re always growing, trying to get better, but was there a point where you kind of felt like, okay, in an ideal situation, this is sort of. What I believe offensively defensively.

When did you come to that realization? If you have?

[01:07:26] Ryan Hintz: Yeah, I think, I don’t think I’m there to be honest. You know, I, I like trying different offenses because I haven’t found Mike I always think Jim Boone has his pack line and I know he didn’t invent it, but it’s his baby. And he, and I’ve always felt like at some point I’m going to get this offense.

That’s like my baby. And that’s what we’ll do the rest of eternity. And so selfishly and also probably not good for our record. I’ve, [01:08:00] I’ve tried different offices a lot just to learn it and coach it. And, and I know you’re only supposed to coach things that you know, frontwards and backwards.

But I also think with the way the game’s evolving, like I I, I want to be creative and I want. I want to know all the things. And so authentically I’m, I’m definitely still soaking up knowledge and trying different things and for better and for worse sometimes I feel like if we just, or ran the flex for five straight years, we might’ve won more games, but I don’t know if I would be as good of a coach, because I think all that learning and trying new things it it’s like compound interest you’re, you take a little bit of this and you take a little bit of that.

And four years of this and two years of that, and it builds on itself. And now my knowledge base selfishly is wider than it would have been if I would’ve [01:09:00] just ran the offense that my college ran, you know And then defensively, like, I believe that defense is defense. Whether you’re in man or zone 1, 3, 1 amoeba matchup switch every like your defensive principles should should cover all the situations on defense.

And so you know, I’ve had complicated defenses where we change all the time. I’ve had teams where we’ve ran man almost exclusively. But I think defense is defense and a lot of defenses and effort and attitude. And obviously there’s there’s skill to it. But so much of it is just getting five guys to believe that they’re better together than one guy individually.

And so I’m, I feel really good about my defensive philosophy. And then I take great pride in our, our position, less basketball as far as skill sets go. And offensively, [01:10:00] I really liked this conceptual offense that that I’m learning about. And so that’s kind of where I’m trending right now, but I feel like I’ve tried a lot of different things.

And then the fun part is when I think that I found something new, my assistant coach, he’s like, yeah, that’s my new. So and so ran that. And I went to a clinic on that back in the bed. So I don’t know. I’ve just, I think I’m set on my skill development. I’m set on my defense and then off on some stuff. I haven’t found that that magical PackLine off labs.

[01:10:36] Mike Klinzing: And I think the game is always evolving. So you may have a philosophy that, Hey, back in 1985, you may have been Bob Knight running the motion offense, and now nobody’s running the motion offense in the same way that it was run by Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers in the 1980s. So the game is always evolving.

And as a coach, you’re always learning and growing and trying to improve and get better. [01:11:00] I want to wrap up here, Ryan, with one final question, two parter. I’ve asked it to a lot of our coaches at the end of episodes, but the question is, number one, when you look ahead over the next year or two, what’s your biggest challenge.

And then number two, when you wake up every morning and you get out of bed and you think about what you get an opportunity to do at blue valley west, what’s your biggest joy. So your biggest challenge followed by your biggest joy.

[01:11:26] Ryan Hintz: Challenge. I think. Th this is my fifth year here. And so these seniors were eighth graders when I got here.

And, and like I said, I really invested in the youth program and you know, coach show Walter tweeted something out that I, I put a sticky note on my computer and I read it every day and it’s achieving the last 10% of your goal is always the hardest part. And so that’s kind of where my mind is.

Like, I don’t really know what that means yet. But I have it in my mind that we’re really [01:12:00] close and we’ve invested a lot and the kids have built a program that we can all be proud of. And so this last 10% is going to be the hardest part. And I don’t really know what that means, but that’s kind of where when you asked me what my challenge is right now, I think just figuring out that last 10% and keeping everybody rowing the boat in the same direction And then what was the next one?

[01:12:28] Mike Klinzing: The joy, your greatest joy.

[01:12:30] Ryan Hintz: I think there’s plenty of times through all this I, I’m so sick of wearing a mask every day, easy to it. It’s so much easier to choose the negative. And I think, I think my greatest joy right now is that I get to model what it’s like to choose to be positive. And every day in my classes, I get to model what it’s like.

Like I can just choose to [01:13:00] have energy. I can choose to give great effort. I can, I can choose to have a positive attitude on a think at this point in my life. I think my greatest joy is just that I feel like I’m having an impact on the future of our society.

[01:13:16] Mike Klinzing: That’s a great answer. And I think that I’ve said it a few times.

Getting an opportunity to have an impact on the world, on kids, through something that you love, that I love that Jason loves through the game of basketball. To me, there’s nothing more special than that. And I think that what you just said sums that up better than any way that I’ve ever said it. Before we wrap up Ryan, I want to give you a chance to share how people can get in touch with you.

You want to share a social media website, email, whatever you feel comfortable sharing. And then after you do that, I’ll jump back in and wrap things up.

[01:13:53] Ryan Hintz: Yeah. I’m not very good at social media, but I’m on there. My Twitter is @coachintz, but[01:14:00] just one h. Then my email is coachrehintz@Gmail.com And you know love to connect and would happily share youth program ideas.

[01:14:21] Mike Klinzing: Ryan, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time out of your schedule. It was a lot of fun having this conversation, getting to know a little bit more about you, how you built your program and just things that you’ve been able to learn about the game over the course of your career.

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