Last week, the final module of the Masterclass had ended, and it couldn’t finish better than with the trip to Berlin.
I started this program at the end of November 2018, and since then I stepped into a world which changed a lot in my coaching efficiency.
Everything was led by Erez Bittman, the Denmark Men’s National team coach. This little man, who is, in fact, a huge giant of basketball coaching, guided us into a stunning journey to discover and learn in tiny details all the secrets of high-performance coaching.
The first module took part around the National Team training camp before the game against Belarus. We had the chance to be around the team for three magical days, where we had access to video-sessions, all practices, and clinics with the whole staff. During the players resting periods, Erez had a lot of lectures for us. In the last day, we watched together with the entire crew, the game Sweden-Belarus, and each of us received individual live assignments which we analyzed with Erez after the game. After the first module, I felt that I multiplied with 1000 all I learned before in my coaching career, but that was only the beginning.
The second module was in February 2019, in Horsens, and everything happened around the Women and Men Denmark’s Cup Finals. High-quality clinics with Erez, Juniors National Teams practice analysis, live game analysis, access to the locker-rooms before each final game, and most of all, remarkable conversations with Erez and the other fellow coaches made the second module an extraordinary experience.
And then came the trip to Berlin. We stepped in a professional world at its finest.
We had the chance to find out almost everything about Alba’s youth program. It looks like an industry, where twenty people in the office and 120 coaches, work together for giving the kids all they need to access the professional world of basketball.
They collaborate with 170 schools in the area, and step by step, following the same principles and philosophies, they succeeded to create an extensive selection base for the U16 (JBBL), and U19 (NBBL) teams. We were able to participate in all of those last teams practices, in the mornings and also in the afternoons.
Everything starts early in the morning, with individual skill practices from 07:30 till noon, where each player from U16, U19, and PROB (their second Men team) is coming to improve. The Head and the Assistant coaches are working with all the players rotating every day from player to player, and from age to age. All skills activities are under Carlos coordination, a Spanish coach who came along with a part of the managerial team. Also, there are a physical trainer and a physiotherapist in the gym every minute, for their guidance, and a psychologist joins whenever they need.
In the afternoon, each coach takes his team and have their evening practices. Usually, they have 3-morning skills practices, 4-afternoon practices, and two games every week. If it was not enough, some of them practice sometimes with the upper age team, and even with the Pro Team (BBL).
We also had the luck to watch some practices of the PRO team, and because they were in the 7days Eurocup Semi-final (now they are in the Final) we were invited to their first game. Their coach, Aito Garcia Reneses, who was declared 2018 BBL coach of the year, held a clinic for the German coaches and we also participated.
In Berlin, Jeffrey Fawme led us and made an enjoyable trip while he kept us accountable with coaching debates and analysis.
In conclusion, good quality practices, excellent structure, discipline, hard work on all sites, coaches dedication and passion, all doubled by a top managerial system, a reasonable budget, a lot of publicity creates a great professional environment with remarkable results.
Such an environment offers the players equal chances to reach their full potential, and is the one that all the coaches and the clubs should hustle to create.
I can’t finish before I thank my fellow coaches: Pascal Safir Colman, Jonas Sidelmann Basnov, and Jeffrey Fawme for the professional and pleasant conversations and atmosphere, and I hope we will have a long and prosperous friendship.
I will not forget Erez Bittman who brought so much knowledge and clarity in my mind and also the Danmarks Basketball Forbund DBBF, who made all these possible.
I am grateful that I had the chance to be part of such a magnificent program, and I hope more Danish coaches will have this opportunity.
Thank you all!