Gimmicky Trainers or Game Changers?
by Devin Williams on Dec 02, 2018
Sometimes I go back and forth. I don’t know if we live in the best of times, or the worst of times. While phones have taken away from our social skills, they have also given us access to pretty much anything you can imagine. I love that fact that social media has opened up so many ways to pay for a living. Whether it be blogging, vlogging, selling products, you can even be hired to make memes now a days. But what I’m noticing is, social media has blurred the line of what a professional really is. ESPECIALLY in the basketball world. It seems like there is a different coach, trainer, or scout popping up everyday. I get why most people try to expose these guys, but with me understanding how times have changed, I don’t think it’s fair to shame them.
The other day I saw on twitter that Lebron James tweeted the clown emoji as a response to a trainers……..unconventional training methods. My first thought was, “dang lol, that may ruin his career as a trainer, the best player in the world called you a clown”. I responded to it because I kind of felt bad for the guy. I could tell he was pretty passionate about what he was talking about in the video which turned out to be an in n out dribble. The issue is, he had all this terminology that even I had never heard of. Someone replied back basically saying that, its ok for Lebron to expose this guy. He said it’s no different than when you expose a fake doctor or a “quack”. I actually thought this was a great point he was making but the more I thought about it, his tweet had one big glaring flaw
So when I first got into this whole training game, I was totally green. I searched online for a school that taught you about basketball training….nothing popped up. Then I thought there was a way to get a basketball trainers certification……..couldn’t find anything. I asked around, nobody knew anything. So finally I just started blowing peoples emails up trying to contact NBA trainers. I wanted to know what the requirements are to becoming a professional trainer and how can I learn. It turns out, NOBODY had a basketball degree, certificate or any of that. To take it a step further, there were guys who didn’t even play in the league teaching NBA players and there were guys who weren’t even good that somehow made it to being a trainer on not only the NBA level but college levels too. I mean it was all over the place. (When you get some time, research how many coaches and assistant coaches have no pro or college level playing experience.) Early on before this thing blew up, I discovered that this training game was just the wild wild west where anything goes. Here I am, did everything to learn at a university or something, and there was nothing for me.
On the flip side, you can go to school to become a doctor. So that kind of wipes out what that guy tweeted me. But hey I get it though…
There’s all kinds of training videos floating around out there that I don’t think these guys have put much thought into. I’ve found out through being somewhat of a pioneer in the social media basketball trainer game that most guys aren’t so much looking to become better, they are looking to become famous and want the money they think will come with it. But let’s take a look at a video that everyone has been laughing at recently on social media.
We got some pretty interesting stuff in there right??? When I first saw some of the stuff I was more confused/curious than anything. Can any of this stuff actually help a player??? Well let’s actually take a look.
In the first video you have guys trying to block a shot with a foam roller. To be honest, I didn’t see much wrong with this. I’m 6 foot so I know exactly what it’s like when a 6”8 defender is guarding me. I’m guessing this trainer (like hundreds of other trainers) was trying to replicate the arm length. Which to me there’s not much wrong with this. However, I’ve been in a gym watching a pro session where a current NBA player said to the trainer, “man if you don’t get that sh** (foam roller) out of here, that sh** aint helping nothin’ “. On the flip side, I know players who understand exactly what the purpose is of the foam roller. To each his own.
Next we have the Qube
When I tell you that this video went viral………I mean it went VIRAL VIRAL. A cube shaped basketball, another product that Lebron shamed on twitter.
I can go on and on about the jokes that came out of this video (they were low key hilarious) but I actually get it. I understand it’s to help players get under the basketball and level out the guide hand to get the perfect form….I GET IT. I had more of an issue with guys I know that were laughing at this product and can’t hit 6 out of 10 shots from NBA range. You know, when we’re broke, we would do ANYTHING to not be in that position anymore right? But there are guys who can’t shoot…AT ALL…. and they are out here shaming a guy who is trying to help fix broke jumpers???? You go make sense out of that.
Heres some food for thought….
Ever heard of Detroit Automobile Company? This was Henry Fords company that went bankrupt before Ford revolution the automobile industry.
People laughed at Colonel Sanders when he tried to pitch his first chicken recipe to a restaurant with a 105 dollar social security check.
Thomas Edison messed up over 10000 times before the light bulb was created.
Walt Disney was fired because “ he lacked imagination and had no good ideas”.
But here’s one of my favorites. Jason Otter.
I remember years ago when I first saw this video, and couldn’t stop laughing. It wasn’t what he was doing it was how he was doing it. The excessive breathing, the bobbling head, I wasn’t even trying to laugh, it just caught me off guard. I actually respect his hustle but to the social media world he has become the go to for when people want to show a funny training video. But check this out:
You see that kid in the video? that’s Jordan McCabe. One of the best ball handlers in High School last year. I have no clue how much of his training went into McCabe, but if you can dribble like this in a few years, would you be opposed to working with Otter?
There’s been a video surfacing on the internet with trainer Micah Lancaster and Kyrie Irving.
What cracked me up initially is normally when a video comes out like this, EEEEEVERYONE hits me up like ,” Did you see this?? WTH is this???” Cracking jokes on the video right…but because it had Kyrie in it, everyone had a different tone.
“yo dev do you think this would work”
“is this a good drill to do”
“dang thats how kyrie got his balance right? Im going to do it”
OHHHH so now you guys want to give it a chance instead of jumping to conclusions.
Come to find out the videos were fake. Nike Ads that 100 percent did exactly what they wanted it to do. But before I knew that, I tried it myself.
See as much as my style is different than Lancasters, or Otter….or a lot of guys, I don’t knock anyone for what they do. I’d rather just try it for myself and see if I can add it to the bag. Innovation is welcome IN THE LAB. I see people use the hash tag #inthelab but don’t experiment like a scientist would experiment. And besides I know exactly what that other side feels like.
I had a camp in canada and I was simply asking kids to rip through and get low……This one kid KEPT driving with his back straight….like man that’s not going to help you at all. So I kept telling him to do it again, but it wasn’t working. So finally I’m like you know what….”you gone learn today!”.
I said I’m going to swing, if you don’t get low im going to hit you in the face…..
So after I shook his brain loose a little, what do you know, it worked. He started getting low every time and when we played he was blowing by people. (I come with a little HOOD training lol). I didn’t have to make him drop down and grab a penny off the ground and then run to the basket…….but that’s just what worked for that particular player. People have different ways of processing information. Some are auditory learners, some learn through reading, some kinesthetic, some visual. A sign of a good trainer is one that can figure which type of learner he’s dealing with. That was my way of connecting with him mentally and physically.
But recently that video surfaced again, but this time, there were people who didn’t know who I was trying to publicly shame me.
“ TRAINERS NOW A DAYS” “WTF IS THIS” “SCAM TRAINER”. Problem is, I got a cult following lol. People came to my defense right away.
So the question is, are they scammers or real trainers? I mean how do we know. Every trainer I’ve met thinks they have the best way. They all nit pick everyone else’s training methods whether they are good or not. How can you knock someones training methods when you aren’t consistently with them in the gym. There are trainers who aren’t experienced that work with NBA guys and great trainers who rarely get players that go d1 or pro. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
So here’s the thing, I don’t shame anyone, yes I can spot a scammer, but I know the difference between that and someone who is passionate about teaching just isn’t equipped for the job. But my job is to focus on my business and the people who are interested. What you do on your own time is none of my business. There’s nothing worse than a person who goes around trying to critique everyone else’s business when there critique was never invited. Most of these guys will say “ these trainers are ruining the game” But what I’ve noticed is most guys who say this are just trying to promote their own business.
This is random lol but I just ordered a Qube to the house to test it out. I want to see if it actually works or not. While everyone is calling him crazy, maybe he’s onto something.
I will issue out a warning, remember what I said about Ford, Colonel Sanders, and Walt Disney. Those guys who you are shaming may one day live your dream because you were busy trying to push others down opposed to leaving your impact on the game. Nobody remembers the names of the guys who laughed in the stories, but we always remember the legends that emerge.