Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Coach Alan Stein: 3 Keys to Success! The trainer of Kevin Durant writes for Basketball Telegraph!!

The following is a guest article from coach Alan Stein.
Alan Stein is the owner of Stronger Team and the Head Strength and Conditioning coach for the nationally renowned, Nike Elite DeMatha Catholic High School boys basketball program. He spent 7 years serving a similar position with the Montrose Christian basketball program. Alan brings a wealth of valuable experience to his training arsenal after years of extensive work with elite high school, college and NBA players.

"Coach Stein helped me gain nearly 20 pounds my senior year at Montrose and continues to work with me to this day. The added size, strength and explosiveness he has helped me gain has made me a better player on the court. He really helped me make the transition from high school to college and from college to the NBA" - Kevin Durant

You need talent, luck and persistance. Pick any two if you want to be successful.

Wheter you are a basketball coach or a player, you can reach your (realistic) goals and achieve a high level of success with just two of those three.
Don't believe me? Let's take a look..


To some degree, what most people refer to as talent, is nothing more than passion. If you love to do something... you will do it every chance you can. And the more you do it, the better you get. Now obviously there are several uncontrollable factors that determine someone's ultimate talent and success on the basketball court (height, athleticism..) but in many instances, talent comes from non-stop, obsessive practise. I have never met a lethal shooter who didn't practise all of the time... who didn't shoot thousands and thousands of shots every single week. Being a talented shooter is 100% controllable.

There is no debate that Kevin Durant was born with numerous physical gifts. But so are a lot of people. So how come KD is an NBA All-Star and the league's youngest leading scorer of all time and other 6'9" guys don't play past high school or college?
Because KD has an unparalleled passion for basketball and he works on his craft every single day.

Same goes for coaching. Who are some of the most talented coaches in college basketball? Coach K? Tom Izzo? Jay Wright? Do you have any idea how much time and effort those guys have put into their coaching skill sets? They love the game of basketball and work relentlessly at becoming the best they can be.

And talent doesn't have to be all encompassing. You don't have to be good at everything. You just need to have a specialty... a specific talent that makes you stand out. It might be defense (Bruce Bowen), it might be rebounding (David Lee) or it might be shooting (Ray Allen). Working on your weaknesses is important, but so is making your strenghts even stronger!

Talent is the ability to make the most of what you have with where you are.


Honestly, I don't believe in luck. I think unsuccessful people use luck as an excuse. I believe luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I love the quote, "the harder you work, the luckier you get". There is so much truth to that statement. So that means, in order to be lucky, you need to be well prepared when opportunity knocks.

Do you even know how to prepare? Players, what do your daily workouts consist of? Do you just jack up 300 shots or do you take game shots, from game spots, at game speeds? Do you practise ball handling drills looking down at the ball or do you force yourself to look up (even though you may lose the ball initially)? Do you visualize a defender in front of you when making moves to the basket or do you just do the drill? Do you have a solid strength and conditioning foundation or do you just play pick-up? Equally important, are you a great teammate? Are you the type of player other players like to play with and coaches like to coach? Trust me... you'll be a lot luckier if you are!

Coaches, do you just study the X's and O's or do you work on communication and leadership? Do you put all your focus on your out-of-bounds plays or do you spend time learning how to most effectively communicate with every member of your program? Do you reinforce great work habits with your players 365 days a year? Do you read, watch film, and network with other coaches?

I realize many resources cost money... camps, clinics, DVDs, and trainers, which can be a limiting factor for some. However there are numerous resources that don't.

If you want to be lucky, you need "to be in the right place at the right time". Instead of waiting for that to happen, you need to make an effort to create real value in every place you go and every person you come in contact with.

When opportunity knocks, will you be prepared to answer?


This one is pretty obvious. Dont' give up on anything you can't go a day without thinking about it. Never quit. Keep practising. Keep working. Most people think they are persistent but in reality, they give up after a couple of "no's" or a few minor failures. Be too stubborn to quit. Dont' be so pig-headed you won't try new approaches or make adjustments along the way... just don't quit. Ever.

My twin sons, Luke and Jack, are 6 months old. They have an unyielding persistence. They don't stop until they get what they want! They are relentless and they don't take no for answer. While that has certainly caused me a handful of sleepless nights, I hope it is a quality they never out grow. If they apply the same persistence to the game of basketball as they do to wanting to be fed... they will indeed be McDonalds All-Americans in 2028!!

Bottom line is this. If you want to be successful, on the court, or in anything in life:

Make your own talent. Make your own luck. Never quit.

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