Category Archives: Coach Interviews

Rainer Meisterjahn and Courtex Performance return to the Scorers 1st Showcase

Rainer Meisterjahn and Courtex Performance return to Las Vegas this July for the Scorers 1st Showcase and the Scorers 1st Training & Combine after being with us in 2016 already.

“It’s great to have Rainer come back to Las Vegas to join us this upcoming July. The work he does with and for players is amazing and it’s great to see the progress players can make, in some cases, just after some brief talks/sessions. There is so much that goes into preparation for practices, games and so on and watching Rainer communicate with players and helping them even with some simple steps or tasks is amazing. We are excited to have him back and I look forward to his work-shops with the players.” says Scorers 1st CEO Gerrit Kersten-Thiele.

PLAYER REGISTRATION LINK

Here is a quick Q&A with Rainer, Founder of Courtex Performance LLC:

Q: You were in Vegas at the Scorers 1st Showcase last year. What were your biggest takeaways?

A: I thought it was fascinating learning about the different motivations players have for playing overseas. Some guys look at it as an opportunity to get their pro career started and try to climb up the ladder of international basketball, sometimes with the goal of eventually going to the NBA—though realistically hardly anyone will make it there. Others are more focused on the potential financial rewards and look to use basketball as a vehicle to be able to provide for their families. Yet others are excited about the possibilities beyond the court and embrace the new cultural and travel experiences they have an opportunity to make while playing the game they love. Last year, I thought it was fascinating getting to know so many different guys from around the US and the world, all of whom came from different circumstances, yet shared a real passion for the game.

Q: What were the biggest issues you saw/heard from players prior and during the event?

A: Clearly the biggest challenge guys find themselves dealing with is securing their first professional playing opportunity and then translating that into an actual career. It seems as though many college players tend to look at playing professionally overseas as sort of a back-up plan—in case the NBA doesn’t work out. But then they realize very quickly that the competition is fierce and earning a roster spot, even on a 2nd or 3rd league team in a country, is quite challenging. That’s a message many of the guys at last year’s showcase echoed, including those who already had some overseas playing experience. So then the question becomes, “how do you stand out and really make an impression on international GMs, coaches and scouts?”

PLAYER REGISTRATION LINK

Q: Do you have advice for players going into the 2017 Showcase on how they should prepare and what they should expect?

A: My biggest piece of advice would be for guys to prepare on two levels. One, show up in great shape and be sharp in terms of demonstrating your skills and playing your game. Two, mentally prepare for the environment. That means, come prepared with questions for front office personnel, agents, coaches etc. whom you might have a chance to speak with. After all, the Scorers 1st Showcase is a learning opportunity as much as anything else. Also, make sure you get to know other players as soon as you get in. Pay attention and study guys’ tendencies. Know how to play with and against different players so you can demonstrate your abilities as a team player on both ends of the court. And definitely make sure you maximize your controllables on and off the court: Body language, verbal communication, effort, attitude and so on. Essentially, understand that it’s not summer league, but rather a showcase in the truest sense—an opportunity to show off what you’re made of.

Q: You have worked with players from several different levels. Is there a common topic that does come up and if so, how do you tackle it?

A: I’d say that the most common topic that comes up at all levels of the game is managing confidence. The combination of our own humanity and the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of the game of basketball means that everyone tends to fluctuate in their confidence at one point or another. So I talk to my clients about simple techniques to mentally prepare for games, cues to shift your focus to the relevant variables in competition, controllables that allow you to add value to your team even when you’re not scoring well, ways to simulate and address anxiety in practice before having to do so in games, and much more.

PLAYER REGISTRATION LINK

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

A: One final thing I’d like for players and coaches to understand is that the mental game is real—it’s not just some fluffy thing that we talk about just because it sounds good. No, as a matter of fact, at Courtex Performance LLC we’ve started tracking select player behaviors for NBA teams that are indicative of players’ mental performance. And these behaviors are fully controllable and teachable—and they ultimately affect one’s state of mind as well as individual and team performance. So always remember that mental training is about actionable processes that anyone who is serious about their game can learn to master.

Check out Rainer Meisterjahn and Courtex Performance LLC and the amazing work they do around the game of basketball at: Courtex Performance Website

Drew Dunlop of ADVANC3 Training joins Las Vegas Coaching Staff

We are happy to announce the addition of ADVANC3 TRAINING founder Drew Dunlop to our Coaching Staff for the Scorers 1st Combine & Training sessions in advance to our Scorers 1st Showcase in Las Vegas this upcoming July.

“We are looking to provide our participants with more and more value each year. Making sure players get ready for the Showcase plays a huge role and that’s where our Scorers 1st Training & Combine comes in on July 10th and 11th. The players that participate will work with our professional coaching staff during those two days and they will get the opportunity to get better, learn about the pro game from different angles and they will be able to get used to the environment that they will be playing in at the Scorers 1st Showcase on July 12th and 13th when all players look to impress pro coaches, scouts, GMs and agents.

Adding someone like Drew Dunlop with his emphasis on individual player development while also understanding how international basketball works is huge for all players that will be with us in Las Vegas. Knowing that we have Drew and Pete Strobl running the show in Las Vegas when it comes to training is phenomenal.” said Scorers 1st CEO Gerrit Kersten-Thiele about the events prior to the Showcase.

PLAYER REGISTRATION – LINK

Here is a quick Q&A with Drew Dunlop in advance to our Scorers 1st events in Las Vegas this July:

Q: Your focus is on the individual training side of basketball. What made you decide to pursue training from that angle over coaching a team?

A: After 3 full seasons in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) within the team setting, I decided not to return for the 2014/15 season and instead really focus in on the consulting side. I was fortunate to get presented some consulting opportunities from one of the major agencies in China – Altius Culture. The doors were opened and before I knew it, I was spending months at a time working with individual players both internationally abroad and here in the US during the summer months. In between consulting projects, I began to leverage my network of global contacts and organized camps, clinics, and workouts all with the goal of adding more value to the game we all love.

PLAYER REGISTRATION – LINK

Q: What are the most important things that a player needs to focus on to get better and when?

A: First off, players at all levels of the game really need to focus in on smaller improvements day by day. Consistent small improvements add up to much bigger scale changes to their skills and abilities. I have to remind my professional players all the time that when you focus in on the process and immerse yourself in it, the growth is huge.

One big separator is the ability to control what you have direct control of. Everyone is working on their skills, everyone is out there on the grind and putting in the work. But few focus in on the things that they have absolute control over — conditioning, attitude, effort, communicating on the court, and positive body language. These all go a long way towards getting opportunities to play at the next level.

From a skills standpoint, I always stress footwork, finishing, ability to handle the ball against pressure, and shooting. If you posses these abilities and can execute them at a high level, then there is playing time for you. It doesn’t matter what league in the world we are talking about, teams and more importantly coaches, are looking for players who have these skill sets!

Finally, players need to focus in on building up their basketball IQ. You can only workout so many hours a day before it turns counterproductive and the body begins to shut down. Film is just as effective and can dramatically build your ability to process reads on the floor. Challenge yourself to find the patterns in the game whether it’s the passing angles, the defensive rotation, or the closeout angle. The final step is taking all of this information and applying it during drills or simulated game actions and competitions.

PLAYER REGISTRATION – LINK

Q: Where do you see the biggest challenges for players when it comes to figuring how to work on their game during the season?

A: In-season skill work is definitely a tough thing to manage because its all about the carryover effect and maintenance of the skills you developed during the off-season. In-season comes down to balancing enough quality time on your skills to stay game ready but not so much time that it negatively affects your energy going into practice and games. With my clients, I approach in-season skill work the same as I do pre-game workouts — short, intense and quality workouts focused on their offensive spots and shots each player consistently gets during games. Sometimes it’s just as effective to work on a read or shot you struggled with the previous game.

Q: How do you communicate with your players/clients throughout the year when they are with their teams?

A: During the season, my clients will send me game film where I can breakdown some of the things they are doing well and some of the things that they struggled with and create a report to send back to them. From there, we communicate through email or Skype calls to continue to review the material and make a plan on how to correct it game to game. Weekly check-ins really helps manage the overall development to ensure continued progress throughout the entire season.

PLAYER REGISTRATION – LINK

Q: You will be working with players during the Scorers 1st Combine and at the Scorers 1st Showcase in Las Vegas – what can players expect?

A: Players can expect to receive detailed and high-energy workouts, game strategy and tips on how to navigate the professional basketball market. My goal is to leave players with one or two things that they may not have heard or seen before. I am always humbled to be a part of events like the Scorers 1st Showcase and in turn, I want the players to see me as a resource for them and ask whatever advice and questions they may have.

PLAYER REGISTRATION – LINK

More background on Drew Dunlop – the founder of ADVANC3 Training:

Drew Dunlop is a Professional Basketball Coach, Consultant, and Founder of ADVANC3 Training LLC. He currently serves as a consultant for the Nike Rise Academy of greater China. His clients include NBA players, overseas professional players, international professional clubs, college players, high school players and AAU teams.

Drew got his start working at ATTACK Athletics in Chicago, IL. He has coached in China’s top men’s professional league, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), for 3 years and his team won a championship in the 2012-13 season. Currently he travels all over the United States and internationally, working with players, directing camps and clinics, as well as consulting with professional men’s teams. Most recently, Drew spent 2 months in Manila as a player development consultant for teams from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). International projects have taken him to eight countries including Turkey, China, Philippines, South Korea and Jordan.

PLAYER REGISTRATION – LINK

 

Tim Fanning joins Scorers 1st Showcase Coaching Staff in Las Vegas

We are happy to announce Tim Fanning (currently an Assistant Coach with Euroleague team Maccabi Tel Aviv) as the latest addition to the coaching staff for our Scorers 1st Showcase in Las Vegas on July 12th and 13th during the time of the NBA Summer League.

*** REGISTER HERE TO ENTER YOUR NAME FOR ONE OF THE LEADING EXPOSURE EVENTS AROUND ***

Here is a quick Q&A with Tim:

Q: You have visited the Scorers 1st Showcase before. What made you want to be a coach in/at the event?

A: It is a good opportunity to get back on the floor and interact with players in a new setting.  With a very short time frame I enjoy the challenge of getting to know the players then trying to give the team some organization and direction that will help the players showcase their skills in a positive way.

Q: How do you normally go about scouting and recruiting players and how valuable is it to be able to see players live?

A: Really depends on the situation, but the most likely scenario is trying to find a player that has a specific skill set that will complement a roster basketball wise.  Then making sure that the player has the mental/professional skills to fit in the locker room/club.  Can they live in another country and be a professional in terms of their effort and preparation every day? Especially when things get difficult? With the length and challenges that come with a season you really want to try and find players that know how to grind and be a part of a team.

*** REGISTER HERE TO ENTER YOUR NAME FOR ONE OF THE LEADING EXPOSURE EVENTS AROUND ***

Q: Are you focussed on the basketball skills of a player or are there other things you pay a lot of attention to?

A: Definitely focused on the basketball skills but it is much easier to evaluate the skills of a player than their character/competitive make up.  The competitive spirit of an individual is something that I pay close attention to when evaluating a player.  Does he play defense if his minutes are limited? or if he is having an off game offensively? Those are two questions I want to know the answer to.  But obviously if the skill set needs to match in the first place.

Q: What were the biggest differences you noticed with power-house Maccabi Tel Aviv compared to your other coaching stints so far?

A: The level of tactical variety and precision in the Euroleague was something special.  The team’s all have very different styles but are very precise in how they try to attack you on both ends of the floor which means that the level of attention to details required by players (and coaches) was very demanding.  It was similar to the World Championships but the teams have much more preparation time and they evolve over the course of the competition.

To work in a club like Maccabi was a great opportunity.  It is a club that has won titles at an amazing rate during it’s history and has high expectations for players and coaches.  They provided us with all the tools needed to be successful and I really enjoyed working in an environment that is in constant pursuit of titles.

*** REGISTER HERE TO ENTER YOUR NAME FOR ONE OF THE LEADING EXPOSURE EVENTS AROUND ***

Q: Please give us a little more background about your coaching career so far.

A: I “formed” as a coach in Spain and I believe I was the first US born coach to complete the Spanish Basketball Federations highest coaching license “Titulo Superior.”  After 6 years as a head coach in the lower divisions of Spain I spent one season as an assistant coach in the NBA D League with the Delaware 87ers.  From there I went to New Zealand and was with the Tall Blacks (NZ National Team) for the 2014 World Championships and then 2 seasons as a head coach for the Nelson Giants in New Zealand’s top domestic league.

I love coaching individuals and to see them go on to better jobs after our time together is something that really motivates me.  I have enjoyed coaching in different countries and learning new languages and cultures while trying to understand the delicate differences that each country has in how they “live the game of basketball.

*** REGISTER HERE TO ENTER YOUR NAME FOR ONE OF THE LEADING EXPOSURE EVENTS AROUND ***