Nuggets from the Iowa Player Development Academy

by: Randy Brown, CoachRB.com, Director IPDAskillschallenge_080728

In a few short months IPDA has addressed a need for specific player development in Central Iowa. It is quickly growing and will soon be in locations throughout the state and the Midwest.

The fundamental concept is this:

Long Term Training = Long Term Results
therefore……
Short Term Training = Short Term Results

Is playing 60 games a summer the answer?

Yes…….but only IF a young player has MASTERED the fundamental elements of the game!
Do you know of a player that has?

I haven’t seen one if over 30 years of coaching at all levels.

Of the 12 NBA players I’ve coached, none of them had come even close to mastering these needed skills!

So why are 12-17 year olds skipping skill development for the sake of playing games every weekend?

We are missing the boat by sacrificing skill development for playing games.

In most cases, each game gives young players the opportunity to STRENGTHEN bad habit deficiencies in their game.

If we leave it up to the individual player to improve his game A to Z and bring it to the next 8 game weekend tournament, we will be very disappointed!

We as coaches are responsible to training and developing skills in our players……..

THEN, we are responsible for assembling these individuals and forming a cohesive unit, a team……and then playing games!

If a strict individual skill development program in the off-season is what the great NBA players participate in……shouldn’t it also be mandatory for our 12-17 year olds?

Thanks for supporting IPDA……our success comes from you, the Coaching Community!

Access coaching resources and information on becoming a college basketball coach at CoachRB.

_________________________________________________________________________

IS a SKILL DEVELOPMENT Business for YOU?

For more information how YOU can start your own Skill Development Business, email me at rb@coachrb.com for details.

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Freelance Writers/Reporters Needed

Interested in a basketball related career? If so there is no better way to get a foot on-board than becoming a freelance reporter. Currently I’m heading the California segment of a high school basketball recruiting site called Illinoishsbasketball.com, soon to become national with the start of a new organization. What I’m looking for is young and ambitious individuals who have a sincere passion for basketball. You don’t have to know an extreme amount about the game although it helps if you do, all we ask is that you do your best reporting on the game here oVeniceBeach01n the West Coast. We don’t require any experience and will credit your work on our site by way of your name, your website, and a picture. So if you’re in California and have interest dropping by a few games to watch some of the best players in the country and potentially future NBA players then contact me right away. Remember no experience is necessary just passion for the sport.

Join us on Facebook at: California Prep Basketball Network

Contact Dino if interested at: dino.gomez22@yahoo.com

On Twitter? Follow @DinoGomez

Thanks for inviting me to this Blog–Randy Brown

Thanks Dino for inviting me.

In my post-college coaching career I have dedicated myself to assisting the world wide basketball community with several programs and resources.

My web site, CoachRB.com, provided a wealth of time tested information from my 30+ year career as a high school and college coach.icon

My College Coach Now program assists prospective NCAA college coaches by providing programs to quickly move them ahead to their goal. Over the past 30 years I have helped over 100 coaches become college coaches at all levels.

My new venture, WinningPlays.net, is a service that provides via email a winning set play every day of the year. 365 plays. It will launch on September 1st but ordering will begin in the next week. Go to http://winningplays.net

I write nationally for several publications, speak at many clinics, and do video editing for FIBA through Sideline Sports of Iceland.

Lastly, I am the owner and lead instructor of the Iowa Player Development Academy. We are dedicated to teaching players “HOW” to play the game of baskeball. We are the only program of it’s kind anywhere in Iowa.

My goal is to improve coaching in our country by developing a coach certification program by next summer. I will have coaches attending from around the globe and throughout the US in this one of a kind venture. Stay tuned.

My email is rb@coachrb.com so feel free to email me about any of the above.

Randy Brown

CoachRB.com

Iowa Player Development Academy

Tony Vallario: Founder of SportCue

Tony Vallario is the founder and creator of the newest social networking platform, SportCue. I found SportCue via a recommendation I received over on LinkedIn for a new type of “Facebook” that is directed at those individuals within the sporting industry. What a brilliant idea! A social networking platform that is solely for those within the niche of sports.logo

SportCue is still just breaking into the market having launched only two weeks ago. Upon visiting the platform and signing up I immediately found myself pondering the potential it has for growth and success. I reached out to Tony and contacted him right away. I wanted to be the first to interview him about SportCue as well as ask him what his plans are for the company’s future.

Q.1. Tony, you created a new sports social networking platform that seems to be a mesh between LinkedIn and Facebook but that is for those individuals involved with a sports-related career. Can you tell us about SportCue in general? What made you decide to pursue such a project and what is your goal for SportsCue?

1) “Sportcue.copicm is an on-line social medium designed specifically for those either within, or looking to get involved in, the sport industry. Whether it be through rec, collegiate, semi-pro, pro, entrepreneurial business ventures, etc. revolving around sport, Sportcue.com is a platform with which individuals could connect with one another and share views, information, opinions, stories, pictures, etc. As you mentioned, similar to that of LinkedIn and Facebook, it truly is just a “concentrated and niche” social network.

What ultimately got me started on Sportcue.com is that I came up with an idea when I was in grad school about a business revolving around the recruitment of high school athletes because I personally loved to follow the recruitment of high school football (I used to intern the recruiting dept at Indiana University for the football team throughout the years as a student). I wanted to create a social network that would allow high school athletes to put themselves on the internet and connect with other high school athletes. Then maybe further down the road as this social network grows, collegiate athletic departments would use this platform as a tool to recruit student athletes to their university via searching through the athletes profile, stats, video, etc. Well, as I began creating the business plan for that venture I began to find that there was a tremendous amount of competition that I was unaware of at the time that already had a huge leg up on me (i.e takkle.com, Fox Sports was planning a site, as well as ESPN). So I knew all along that I wanted to do something in relation to sport because that’s my passion, but since that particular field was beginning to crowd pretty quickly, I started to think of other things. That’s when I came up with the idea for Sportcue.com. I knew that the business of sport was growing and was only going to increase its growth in tphotoshop-lighting-bulb-logo-icon33he near future.  That’s how I came up with the idea. I thought, “you know, there are truly a lot of people who are looking to break into the industry, or who are already in the industry and would love to communicate and talk with others in the business”. If I learned one thing from my time at Indiana, it was to always network, and what better way than to do that than through an on-line social network.

Honestly, Sportcue.com is truly still in its beta phase. Yes the site has been around for a few months, but I have big plans for this business. I want to add so many features to the site (i.e. articles, listings of jobs, links to collegiate educational programs that offer sport marketing, management, communication, etc. I want to add forums). There are really so many things that I want to implement into the site, but it will just take time.”

Q.2. SportCue is a very clean platform that is easy to navigate and includes a spot for a personal blog. Did you create this by yourself? In other words, do you have those computer and web design skills yourself or where did you turn to put together such a website?

2) “Yes, the sipicte looks “clean” so to speak, and I hate to say it, but I was certainly not the one who had the skill to create such a design. I laid out what i wanted in terms of features for the site and the platform was created from my ideas not from me (I only wish I could do something like that). The way the site was created was that my cousin, who is a wiz when it comes to computers and such, introduced me to one of his friends who said he could create the site for me for a small fee. I agreed and a few months later, Sportcue.com was up and running. Now I have to say, that I am currently working on trying to get someone new to come in and help take the site to the “level” with which I described above, and hopefully that won’t take me more than just a couple months to iron out.”

Q.3. I see your only 24 years of age, so you’re extremely young. Did you just finish college and get into this project of starting SportCue right away or what was your path to starting SportCue over the last few years? For those entrepreneurs that are just graduating college and whom wish to start their own sports related business, what’s their best first move?

3)” This may spicound funny, and I’m sure some people are going to hate me after they hear or read this, but I feel as if I’m almost old… Yes I’m 24, but I have big plans for this site and I don’t want to waste any time trying to get it to where I think it could and should be. So I’m constantly trying to think of things and implement things to Sportcue.com because I don’t want to have any regrets and I certainly don’t want time to pass me by so to speak. I wish I could have started this venture sooner and maybe it would have been a little further along right now, who knows? Anyway, I graduated undergrad from Indiana University with a BA in Sports Marketing and Management in 2007 and I stayed on to get my masters there in Sport Management (I graduated grad school in the summer of 2008). For any “young people” out there who wish to start there own sport related business, all I have to say is go for it; you honestly have nothing to lose (you will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take). I’m sure there are countless great ideas floating around out there that revolve around sport, you just have to go after it. Design a business plan, do research, and just go for it… that’s truly the best advice I could give.”

Tony makes starting a social networking platform sound relatively easy with his casual descriptions of the process but I’m guessing he is just quite modest about his own work ethic… either way what a brilliant idea he had during this social networking era that we have just entered. With that said, lets recap Tony’s entreprenueral process to starting SportCue.

  1. Brainstorm Business ideas/Company
  2. Do research on that business idea/the company you want to create.
  3. Network. You have to in order to find business partners/help starting a company.
  4. Create a business plan (needs to be very detailed and is more difficult than suggested)
  5. Double check who your potential competitors are. Tony found he was up against ESPN if he stood with his first company idea.
  6. Try again. As the famous quote goes that Tony reminded us of: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Allen Iverson certainly understands that.

Thanks again to Tony Vallario for his time and for checking in. Make sure you’re networking at the right place and visit SportCue. Want more Basketball, social media, and the business? Follow @DinoGomez on Twitter.

Randy Brown: Mentor to over 100 Coaches into the Collegiate Level

This past Friday I spoke on the phone for twenty minutes with coach Randy Brown about his coaching career. I asimagesked him a few questions about the process of becoming a coach. In a moment we’ll take a look at those questions and his responses but before we jump into that interview, lets go over his resume.

Randy is a coach of 30 years, 20 of which were with an NCAA team. He has also done work for F.I.B.A, Winning Hoops, and Coach and Athletic Director Magazine. Randy is nationally published and has mentored over 100 coaches into the collegiate level. He has helped develop 12 NBA players including Steve Kerr, Sean Elliot, and Jaamal Tinsley. Randy even coached a while alongside University of Arizona ‘s Lute Olson. Currently he runs an organization which he created called CoachRB, where he helps to mentor other coaches. If you have any interest at all in coaching, be sure to check out his site.

  1. Randy, you are the owner and founder of Coach RB, a website and program that helps to mentor coaches into the collegiate level. Can you tell us about Coach RB and what it encompasses?

Randy Brown– “Well I’ve been coaching for 30 years now. I spent 20 years coaching at the college level 070605dunkand have been fortunate and lucky to have had experience with a bunch of great programs and coaches. So now I’m returning the favor. I use my resources and contacts to help others. I’m very indebted to those who helped me and now I’m just enjoying returning the favor to those who want to learn. In general my site is free to any coach or visitor that wants to learn more about basketball.  Hopefully I’ve provided info that coaches can use and apply.”

2) You have mentored over 100 coaches into the collegiate level from coaching at a lower level such as high school. When you’re helping a coach transition to the college level, what is your main area of focus? In other words, what is the difference between coaching college and high-school hoops outside of the talent level?

Randy Brown: “I would say a couple things. One, a coach needs to know what they are getting into. I’ll tell you that it’s not ESPN, it’s the most physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding job ever. Those that make it as a coach at the college level I call ten percenters. Because only 1 in 10 coaches that come to me and say they wa29ed869nt to be a college coach actually makes it. The others “want to” become college coaches, but lack the desire, energy, and total commitment it takes to do everything possible to make it happen. This is where over 90% of aspiring coaches fail!…. I would also say that it doesn’t matter what you did at any other level.. It doesn’t matter if you have a record as a high school coach that reads 100 to 1 or 1 to 100. Young coaches like to think that because they are winning 70% of the time that they can handle moving up the ranks to the college level. That’s misguided thinking. Many times I scare away young guys that join my program because I’m real with them and tell them what coaching at the college level is going to be. Getting into college is all about your coaching network and the strength of your coaching tree!

The second thing I would say to a coach or teach to a coach trying to to move up is how to network:  how t57145126o meet coaches, how to find a job, or how to find a future job. You have to know to network. Every coach in this business knows just about every other coach in this business. Once a participant does my program, you become aware of the value of developing relationships. A college coach has to be totally committed to their job in every aspect which includes work off the court. I teach the ins and outs of coaching at the college level that are not expected.”

3) I see you graduated from Arizona and were mentored by Lute Olson himself. My father went to Arizona and still currently resides in Tucson . I’m a huge Arizona Wildcats fan and just have to ask you about your experience working with Lute. What did the experience working with him mean to you and out of the many things you gained from coaching alongside him, what is the number one thing you took away?

Randy Brown: “As a young guy growing up in Arizona , Lute was a huge deal. It crushed the people in Iowa when he 29ed869left the University of Iowa for Arizona . But coaching with Lute Olson was like a dream come true. He is a master of so many things. He has one of the sharpest minds in basketball and one of his greatest abilities is making changes in the midst of the game. He does everything well. He recruited extremely well because he is so personable. He always treated everyone kindly. Lute is the most A to Z person I know. He won over 1000 games at all levels which is just a crazy statistic…

Now this may be a surprising answer but the biggest thing I learned from him was how to be personable. As a young high school coach, I wrote Lute a lot to stay in touch or ask for advise. Amazingly, he always wrote a halute_olson1ndwritten note back. He wrote all hand written letters to his recruits. So I adopted that as a coach. Now I’ve written thousands of hand written letters to all types of people for all reasons. He taught me to use the personal touch to develop relationships to build your program the right way.”

4). For those students who are just graduating college who desire a career coaching hoops, what do you suggest is their best first move? How should they go about working their way to becoming a successful coach? Where is the start to a coaching career?

Randy Brown:  “First of all each state has their own coaching certification process. In our state there are certain      29ed869courses you have to take. Anybody can do that. You don’t have to be an education or PE major to get coaching certification. Number two, you need to get experience. Coach a 3rd grade girls team at the YMCA if you need to. But get experience, there’s no replacement for that. Number three, become a student of the game. Convince yourself that you don’t know anything about the game and really study it. There’s nothing like hands on experience so get out there. Find a mentor. If you’re 20 years old, go to the 60 year old coach at a nearby school and sit down for an hour with him/her. In one hour with that coach he will give you all the wisdom and info that you would learn from reading countless books. I’ve mentored a ton of coaches and have helped many into the coaching position they want. The benefits of having a mentor are countless.”

Alright for those aspiring coaches out there this interview was for you. Lets recap what we learned.

  1. You need a coaching mentor- Randy Brown is offering his services to you so be sure to check out his website.
  2. Networking—this is the #1 key to becoming a college basketball coach and is taught in Randy’s CCN (College Coach Now) program.
  3. Get ready for potentially the most intense job possible..
  4. Be personable. Perhaps write a hand-written letter when possible. (Lute taught us that)
  5. Get some experience wherever possible. 3rd grade girls team works.

Thanks again to Randy Brown for his time and wisdom. Want more hoops news? Follow @DinoGomez.

Peter Robert Casey: Director for Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC)

Recently I was given the opportunity to interview Peter Robert Casey, the director of sponsorships and business development for the Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC) at the legendary Rucker Park in Harlem, New York. Peter is responsible for the future coordination of the EBC’s  first ever out door AAU tournament and for operating the EBC’s online social media efforts. He has an amazing resume and is a huge name in the basketball realm.

Besides his work with the EBC, Peter is also a freelance Basketball columnist at ESPNthemag.com, Bouncemaruckerjayg.com, and Slamonline.com. He most recently wrote an article on his own blog that is a must read titled, “150 Reasons to love the game basketball.” With that said, lets check out his responses to a few questions I threw at him.

Peter:

1) You are the Director of Sponsorships and Business Development for the Entertainer’s Basketball Classic at Rucker Park in Harlem, New York. That sounds awesome but I have no idea what that encompasses? What is it you do for EBC?

Peter Robert Casey: “My role with the Entertainer’s Basketball Classic at Rucker Park (herein EBC) has shifted recently. I am now responsible for building an online community for the EBC using a combination of social media tools. My former role focused on researching, targeting, and approaching prospective corporate sponsors to help underwrite our well-recognized summer league and special events. Sponsorship development is just one aspect of marketing. Now, I’m focused more on leveraging marketing strategies to enhance our brand’s reach and to build community with and between our intended audience.

2)You were also responsible for coordinating the first ever outdoor AAU tournament. How was that turn out? Any amazing hoops moments or player appearances? Did the tourney work well outside?

Peter Robert Casey: “The AAU tournament had to be deferred until next year. Our current economic climate forced us to trim down on the number of special events that we could coordinate and execute this year. Unfortunately, the AAU tournament will have to wait.”

3)So you have this great career going for you which involves a ton of basketball. Plus you have the best slogan for your personal website that I’ve ever seen ( 3 first names, one love, basketball). How did you end up with this all of this going for you? Do you think you could give us a quick step by step play of how you came into working for EBC and how you came into coordinating these big events?

Peter Robert Casey: “Funny you ask the former question. The slogan was born out of frustration for having such a common name (Thanks, mom! JK): Peter Casey. While hard to mispronounce, there are already two famous Peter Caseys – an Australian music composer and an American television producer – roaming this Earth and search engines are well aware of it. Pete Casey was too competitive as a keyword and P.R. Casey is a Senate Minority Counsel in the Ohio Senate. Thus, I decided to brand myself with first, middle, and last name (Peter Robert Casey, and each happen to be acceptable first names.

My involvement with the EBC spawned from a LinkedIn connection and follow-up phone call. As you can probably discern, I’m a huge proponent of using social media to build relationships. I start the process online and grow the relationship offline. The greater majority of my writing, consulting, and marketing work in basketball have either started from, or were a byproduct of, relationships forged on social media. The rest carried over from my former playing and coaching days.”

My interview with Peter ended there as I did not want to take too much of his time away from the game we all love so much. I want to again thank Peter for his valuable insight. What I really have taken to heart from his responses is how he explained that he is a huge proponent of using social media to build relationships. Of course he used relationships from former playing and coaching days as well but you get the sense that not all people use social media as effectively as possible. For example, my interview with Peter was done through email. We have never met in person but have now connected and served to help one another out. Peter gave me an interview and I hope to return the favor by giving him a good name and sending readers from here over to his blog. Social Media really makes sense when you use it properly. Perhaps in the future I will actually get to hang out with Peter. It would be great to make it to one of his future events and even better to play him on the court.

Chris Denker from NetScouts Basketball

NetScouts Basketball is an organization that specializes in connecting players with professional teams. They work to bring players visibility and the opportunity to play professionally. In the same breath, Netscouts helps to lead teams to the best available players or to those players which would compliment their team. They operate the largest database of collegiate scouting reports combined with player footage and have an organization of basketball gurus who have experience coaching, playing, and scouting.

Today I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Chris Denker, the co-founder and managing partner of NetScouts Basketball LLC. I spoke with him over the phone for half an hour in regards to his wealth and knowledge of the game of Basketball. I learned a great deal very quickly.il1n0s00

The following responses from Chris Denker are summarized as close to his actual responses as possible but in no way may be accounted for as completely accurate.

1). Chris, I see you’re the co-founder of NetScouts Basketball LLC. How did you go about creating such an organization and what led you to do so?

Chris Denker: ” Well I’ve coached basketball for over 20 years now. I coached 14 years at the division one level and I have coached internationally in Europe. I’ve coached both men’s and women’s basketball. I’ve been over in London and have spent a good amount of time in England all together. I ran a few clubs there for men and women’s teams. Before long, people started to get to know me and I became an ambassador of sorts overseas. I began introducing the game to younger kids and players. Of course basketball is not big in some places overases. Soccer comes first and then you have rugby, baseball, and football.  Basketball is growing huge right now however.

Then I came back to the States to coach some semi-professional all-star teams and before long was coaching at a few big camps. Ones with extremely talented players who could potentially turn pro… I started helping some of these players to make their way to a professional level internationally. Then I realized that there was a niche to help players find pro teams. Soon after I helped start NetScouts… it’s great… I have friends who play in the NBA,  I scouted the NBA summer league last year. Met some people who were interested in my scouting and draft reports… started offering scouting as a service. Now I’ve scouted over 1200 players and have reports available for teams on players all over the world… there are so many different professional basketball leagues in Asia and all over…”

2). I see you also act as a shooting and drill instructor for your own basketball camp (Denker Basketball Academy of Instruction). Can you tell us a little about that? Did you play basketball in college any?

Chris Denker: “It’s something I’ve done for a while as a coach. I would run individual workouts. Yes I played in college and started coaching actually while I was still in college. When I graduated I began at the high school level and worked with players to improve their game. Once I moved up to the college level, well I could no longer run workouts for players that weren’t yet in college because of recruiting violations. So I stopped instruction for a while when I coached at the college level and now that I’m not associated with any specific collegiate team, I have began instructing again. Also I’ve met players who have asked for my assistance on the court…”

3). Your speaking in Las Vegas this weekend at the SMWW conference/NBA conference and then your off to scout the NBA summer league. Any players your looking out for?

Chris Denker: ” It’s always fun to see the draft picks play… of course you want to see Blake Griffin… for me I like and this goes along with NetScouts but to watch those players who are on the cusp of playing in the NBA. Not all players go straight from college into the NBA, some have played all over and are working there way back up to the league… all NBA teams have their own scouts so its fun to find those players that they overlooked… this past year Dahntay Jones broke into the starting lineup for the Denver Nuggets but previously was not given a chance to play on the court. (side note- Jones’ salary was under 800k this year as a result of not playing much in the past but after starting with the Nuggets, he was just offered $11 mil over the next four years with the Indiana Pacers.) The biggest story of this past year would probably be Anthony Morrow. He was undrafted out of Georgia Tech and really didn’t play much when he was in college. But last year in the summer league this guy never missed a shot during warm ups. Now granted its warm ups but still you wondered if that would carry to the game. So you got this 6’6″ skinny shooter who doesn’t play in any of the first 3 summer league games but who lights it up in the remaining few games of the summer and earns himself a spot in the NBA. He now plays on the Golden State Warriors… its great just looking for that golden nugget that nobody else sees.”

I stopped bombarding Chris with questions there and want to thank him again for his time and for such powerful responses. Just hearing about everything that goes on inside the scouting world really makes you want to fly out to Vegas immediately  in order to watch these players develop. Hopefully someday… until then I recommend you all follow Chris Denker on Twitter and stay current with news from the NBA summer league by checking out his blog.