I had a great opportunity to chat with some of the best in the youth basketball industry, Adam Bradley and Alan Stein of the Hardwood Hustle Basketball Podcast, about my basketball career and the history of Pro Skills Basketball. There is a lot of good information here, and you can listen to the actual Hardwood Hustle episode or read the transcription below.
Looking back, Logan and I are really proud of what Pro Skills Basketball has been able to bring to our basketball communities, which now includes several cities, such as Charlotte, Greensboro, Sacramento, Denver, Philadelphia, and Boston! We are also extremely thankful for our great staff, parents, coaches and players who we have built tremendous relationships with over the years, and without, wouldn’t be where we are today. Lastly, special thanks to Alan and Adam for having me on the Hardwood Hustle. It was an awesome opportunity and experience. They are two of the best in the business, and do an amazing job promoting youth basketball! So without further ado, enjoy….
Interviewers: Thank you for tuning in, you’re listening to the Hardwood Hustle broadcast from Columbia South Carolina here at the Bojangles Bash, I am your host Adam Bradley alongside my guy Mr. Alan Stein.
Interviewers: Everyday I’m hustling.
Interviewers: So, special thanks to everybody here at the Bojangles Bash the hustle howdy has been incredible since we have been here, we have been grubbing on some chicken, enjoying some great high school hoops down here in South Carolina and we love coming down here and doing it.
Interviewers: Absolutely, this is great yeah…this is turning into a nationally recognized event, we have seen a couple of good games so far and now we are excited to spit some fire with a couple of good Hardwood Hustle interviews on site. Super excited for our guests today, two gentlemen I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago and you know we talked a lot about just the youth basketball landscape and this gentleman gets it. He is doing everything the right way in the AAU youth development space, he was quite an accomplished player back in his days and we are going to talk about that as well, but very excited to have my good friend or our good friend Brendan Winters from Pro Skills basketball joining us.
Brendan Winters: Yes
Interviewers: How are you sir?
Brendan Winters: Good good thank you guys for having me!
Interviewers: Absolutely, as you know because you have told us that you have listened to several episodes, because you know we don’t do the caned bio, we want to really dig into your journey. Let’s start with you as a player, talk to us about your playing history.
Brendan Winters: Yeah well I played at Davidson from 02′ – 06′.
Interviewers: The Davidson
Brendan Winters: The Davidson
Interviewers: The Steph Curry
Brendan Winters: Pre-Stephan Curry yes.
Brendan Winters: I graduated in 2006, he came in 2007 and pretty much erased any records I had at the time.
Interviewers: What records did you have?
Brendan Winters: I had a couple, like three-point field goals, I had some scoring records and things like that, he came in instantly and just started demolishing them.
Interviewers: So you made Davidson famous before he made Davidson famous, you laid the ground work for Steph Curry to come in?
Brendan Winters: Yeah I guess if you say so.
Interviewers: Listen Steph, you have an opportunity to come in Brendan Winters’s footsteps. Absolutely I got to go. What was the record?
Brendan Winters: I cannot remember how many threes I made but he….
Interviewers: Oh yeah, right there is a tattoo on your right bicep, I saw it earlier don’t even try to front. You know exactly how many it is!
Brendan Winters: I am second all time and that took me 4 years and Stephen has over
100 more. I’m going to guess this but I think he got about 150 more than me and he got that in 3 years.
Interviewers: Oh ok that’s fair. Hey, but what great company to have. And then your basketball journey continued after Davidson right?
Brendan Winters: That’s right! I had a couple tryouts for NBA teams, so I played in a summer league with the Warriors actually, but wasn’t quite good enough, I didn’t handle the ball well enough to really be a point guard, so I went over to Europe and played 5 seasons over there.
Interviewers: Awesome, where did you play?
Brendan Winters: My first year I played in France the next 3 I played in Germany and my last season I split between Hungary and Greece.
Interviewers: Awesome, did you still love the game of basketball when you were playing it in Europe or at that point where you like listen, I need to make some money, this is my job. Was the passion for the game still there?
Brendan Winters: Yeah you know what, it dwindled to be honest with you. I think once money became involved, it became more like a job. I always enjoyed it but the love I had for it when I was growing up and at Davidson when it was a little bit more pure. Yeah it just kind of dwindled a little bit and that was one of the reasons I ended up retiring after 5 years. I just felt ready to move on and didn’t have that fire as much anymore, so I just felt that it was time to move on.
Interviewers: Got you, so talk a little bit about your college experience, obviously everyone knows about Davidson you know, but why did you go to Davidson, just some of your ups and downs and some of your favorite highlights when you were in college.
Brendan Winters: Actually the way I got to Davidson was kind of a long journey, my father was an NBA coach so we moved around quite a bit, I was a….
Interviewers: What was your dad’s name?
Brendan Winters: Brian Winters
Brendan Winters: He played at the University of South Carolina and then played for the Lakers and the Bucks. I was born in Milwaukee and then after I was born, he retired and became a coach. He was with Lenny Wilkens for all those years with The Cavs, when MJ hit that shot on ehlo, he was in the system with them.
Moved with Lenny to Atlanta, this is still when I was young, 3rd and 4th grade and then he became the first head coach of the Vancouver Grizzlies, moved to Canada for a couple of years and then from there it was just 2 years 2 years 2 years all over, so ended up in Denver Colorado for my high school career, it was a good experience but I was young, I was skinny, I was physically immature so I…
Interviewers: A lot like Adam.
Brendan Winters: Yeah, so I needed an extra year so I went to prep school in Massachusetts at Worcester Academy played for a great coach and a great assistant coach, played with Jarrett Jack who is now a Brooklyn Nets point guard. So my dad is in New York he knew Bob Mckillop from when they grew up together and kind of reached out to him, hey I have a son who is pretty good, so Coach Mckillop came and took a look at me and at the time I was in Denver, he said you know he could come here and he can redshirt and then he could get a scholarship the next 4 years or he could go to prep and he will get a scholarship after that and I said I will go to prep so I am not locked in and did that and they were the first real school to recruit me. Some others came on at prep school but I ended up feeling a sense of loyalty. He was the first one because I had dreamed about playing division one for so long, he was ….
Interviewers: Plus there was a relationship with your dad involved there.
Brendan Winters: Yeah, there was and Davidson was already a great program, the year I was at the prep they ended up going to the NCAA tournament that year so they were a NCAA tournament team and that’s somewhere I wanted to go to. I loved the area, I loved coach, he believed in me and I loved the guys that were there and so I decided to go to Davidson.
Interviewers: So you had to love that when Steph came in and actually brought it to more of a spotlight. Someone that had gone there, you had to love that process?
Brendan Winters: Yeah
Interviewers: Seeing it kind of continue to grow and expand.
Brendan Winters: You know what to be honest with you at first I did not like it, I had had a good career at Davidson, and I was pretty proud of what I did and I was over in France and this guy Steph came in and I was like man who is this guy getting 31 points in his first game and I was like but…he had 13 turnovers. So there was a little bit of jealousy at first.
Interviewers: So one of the early Steph haters, interesting.
Brendan Winters: Yeah to be completely honest with you but then when I come back in the summers and I played against him, I think I started playing against him when he was recruit, maybe a junior at Charlotte Christian, he would come and I would just kill him because he was just small and I was bigger.
Every single year he started to get better and soon after his freshman year he came back and played in the summertime and I really started to see his development and his growth and I was not able to do what I used to do against him anymore then by the time the next summer rolled around before his junior year he was unguardable and at that point I was like man this guy is pretty legit I was no longer mad.
Interviewers: And as you talked and got to know him, he is such a likable guy, it’s hard to hate somebody who is that good of a guy. And I have a question for you, this sounds like a crazy question but I am dead serious since your dad was a baller, at what age were you able to beat your dad one-on-one and when you were growing up with a father who is a NBA coach, did he let you win at stuff or did he….
Interviewers: This goes back to one of our old debates, absolutely but I feel like this is the perfect guy to answer the question.
Brendan Winters: Yeah, no he didn’t take it easy on me, we didn’t play one on one a ton because he had a bad back, he had bad knees that’s why he retired, we did play but eventually I was able to beat him one on one I think around 8th grade and so really because he just couldn’t move as well but in a game of horse when it’s shooting I mean I don’t even remember the first time because it had to be in high school sometime time but even then it was few and far between.
Interviewers: So he didn’t let you win then just to make you feel better?
Brendan Winters: No
Interviewers: So once you did beat him you know that you earned it?
Brendan Winters: Yeah
Interviewers: You actually beat him legitimately.
Brendan Winters: Yeah I definitely had to earn it.
Interviewers: This all started because when Alan’s kids wanted to get to the door at the mall quicker and said let’s race dad, he won’t let them win, I won’t let my kids win with anything, not anything based on skills or speed or strength, I am not going to let a 5-year-old beat me, I just don’t do it.
Brendan Winters: And to be completely honest and serious I think that’s a good philosophy, you have got to make them earn it so that when they do, they will feel a lot better.
Interviewers: Absolutely! So, one of the things we were talking to Matt Doherty about on his episode, we were talking about coach Mckillop and we think he is arguably the most underrated coach in the country, I mean that guy is brilliant. Talk to us about playing for him or maybe some behind-the-scenes stories that you had that most people don’t know because he just doesn’t get the shine of a Coach K or a Coach Calipari.
Brendan Winters: No he doesn’t, but yeah I would agree with you he is right up there with those guys, he is I mean…he would always always always be studying his notes, taking notes, reading I mean we would catch him.
My roommate was Matt Mckillop who is his son. I played with him at Davidson and Matt is now the head assistant coach at Davidson too so we would go over to coach’s house to have dinner and things like that, then after dinner he is in there studying his notes, reading and doing things like that so he is extremely underrated I think the biggest lesson I learned from him is how detailed you need to be as a player and as a coach and now even in business it applies. He is the most meticulous detailed coach I have ever seen.
Interviewers: You guys still keep in touch?
Brendan Winters: We do you know we started up a basketball camp in the Davidson area when were pros overseas and so now it is growing into something a little bit bigger but I still live in the area now and Matt Mckillop was at my wedding, coach was at my wedding and so I go over there maybe once or twice a week to go to practice or go to games or watch workouts or whatever it is.
Interviewers: Awesome but before we take a half time break do you have a story can you think of, an experience that you had that’s just, I don’t know anything maybe a half time talk that he gave, maybe anything that most people wouldn’t be privy to?
Brendan Winters: Yeah you know I think one that shows the detail that he stressed and how important they are, one time we were in film and I can’t remember who we had played the night before but he had this play up on the big screen and it was a play where the ball was supposed to be skipped from basically the free throw line extended at the 3 to the other free throw line extended at the other 3 and apparently I was supposed to receive the ball and shoot it and be open and make the shot but I didn’t get the shot off and in his mind it was because I was 6 inches off the free throw line extended.
Interviewers: Oh wow!
Brendan Winters: And I don’t want to admit it I was pretty stubborn so he is like do you see, do you see you are not free throw line extended? And I said I am free throw line extended. And for probably 5 minutes, I was a junior or senior so I had a little bit of leeway but I refused to acknowledge it but I probably was you know six inches to a foot off the free throw line extended but he thinks and believes, probably rightly so that makes the difference between being open and not being open and making a shot, missing a shot so.
Interviewers: Now he seems so calm and mild mannered as novice fans watching him, was he pretty fiery, like you made that exchange sound pretty even keeled, was it laced with some interesting language?
Brendan Winters: Yeah yeah yeah coach can get fired up, he is a New York guy, he is an Irish guy, he gets fired up, but I think he does it at the right times you know he is not going to go crazy if there are kids and families and parents around but in the privacy of our practice locker room, things like that if we’re messing up he will let us know about it and I think that’s all just part of being a college coach especially the mid major level. I think to get your players to play at a higher level and compete against the high majors like he does with Davidson, I think he has to get on the guys and then make sure we are on our game all the time.
Interviewers: I see you spent 5 years in Europe, point to one or two things that you just identified as major differences from the game of basketball when you were over there compared to all the years over here in the States, that’s just kind of obvious to you.
Brendan Winters: Yeah one major thing is the traveling call, you know when you go over there your first preseason games, your first you know even an entire season, Americans go over there and they get called for 5 travels a game it’s unbelievable you have to put the ball down right away as soon as you catch it, if someone pitches it before you on the fast break you have to almost slap it down and then keep going, you can’t catch and take that big step and big dribble. I mean it was so frustrating.
Interviewers: That’s got to kill the Americans.
Brendan Winters: But it’s funny after a while you go watch these rookies that come over and you’re like ha-ha let’s see how many times he is going to travel this game and it ends up being like four or five times, it’s pretty funny.
Interviewers: Which rule do you like better, which traveling rule do you think it’s better for a basketball purist?
Brendan Winters: Probably the European rule because I mean I think that if they call it correctly in the NBA it would be okay but you seen all these videos go around all the time where guys takes like 5, 6 steps and there is no calls so I mean I guess if I had to say I would say the college travel is more like I prefer but if you are talking about the NBA, I would much rather have it.
Interviewers: So was there something else in addition to the travel call that really stood out?
Brendan Winters: The foul calls I mean the same thing when you go over there I mean like I think my Pro Skills basketball partner Logan fouled out almost every game in preseason his first year.
Interviewers: He fouled me twice during dinner tonight; reaching for the rolls, this guy is aggressive.
Brendan Winters: It is just a totally different game but actually coming from Davidson, it really helps because you know Davidson preaches a team style basketball, a lot of passing a lot of movement, which is big over in Europe for some guys they aren’t used to that as well.
Interviewers: Alright so let’s talk about now, so we talked about your time playing overseas, here for Davidson, but obviously now you are a part of Pro Skills Basketball, you are one of the founders of Pro Skills Basketball. Talk a little bit about kind of the overarching what you all do and we will kind of dig in to some of the details in a minute.
Brendan Winters: You know like I said Logan Kosmalski and myself we were teammates at Davidson, roommates as well and we got lucky enough to play overseas a couple of years together. We were in France together and in Germany a little bit together….
Interviewers: That just so happened or you two kind of orchestrated it?
Brendan Winters: Yeah we kind of orchestrated it we had the same agent and so I guess in France it ended up so Logan was a year older than me and so I was a junior, he was a senior at Davidson we both had a really good game against Duke actually and it was a close game I think Logan had 25 points I had 24.
Interviewers: Wow respect.
Brendan Winters: So when Logan, he used that as a highlight tape….
Interviewers: At Duke?
Brendan Winters: No it’s actually Charlotte Coliseum so it was quote unquote a home game for us but not really. So used that as a highlight tape and the coach in France said okay I definitely like Logan and I also like this guy and so the next year they wanted to bring me in and because Logan was there I decided to go there as well so.
Interviewers: So while you were playing together, this idea of, were you kind of forecasting your life after basketball?
Brendan Winters: Yeah you know we had grown up working camps, I worked when I lived in California we worked the De La Salle camp or Excel in Basketball camp that was an awesome experience for me. I worked high school camps, college camps. Logan did the same thing so we always were around camps and that sort of stuff but I never realized that we could possibly make a living from it so you know when you play overseas and get 3 to 4 months off in the summer and when we were in Germany we said let’s start a basketball camp in the Davidson area. We are pros at the time so we called it “Pro Skills Basketball”, our idea was let’s get a bunch of college and pro guys to work it so you have high level coaches and counselors and so we started and it wasn’t easy.
Interviewers: What that first year look like?
Brendan Winters: I think it was more like a clinic, like 12 kids probably and actually I went back to Denver and I was planning on coming to North Carolina to work it but we didn’t get enough kids, you know so Logan did it by himself actually it was like 10 to 12 kids but we kind of learn some lessons, the next year we delved into it a little bit more.
Interviewers: The biggest lesson learned after that first year?
Brendan Winters: Just that you got…it takes work you know it takes time you can’t just expect to get kids and parent to believe in what you do just off your name and do a little bit of marketing here and there, I mean you got to work.
Interviewers: You can’t just get a t-shirt that says, the second most threes in Davidson’s history and walk around the streets thinking that’s going to pull them in. It doesn’t cut it, that’s not going to get it done.
Brendan Winters: That’s probably where like 5 of the 12 came from originally but you know you can’t get 30 or 40 kids at the camp so we did a lot more that next year and we did a two week, we did a boys and girls week and I think we had 25 to 30 kids in each and it was really fun I think that’s the biggest thing and it was different. It was our thing, we were doing it how we wanted to and so we figured out that we really enjoyed it. So we did it again the next year.
Interviewers: But it was still only summer because you were still playing, and it was just camps?
Brendan Winters: It was just camps and we doubled it, we did 2 weeks of boys 2 weeks of girls, same thing about 30 kids or so.
Interviewer: That’s great and it was fun it was fun and we got a ton of good feedback from parents and the kids they really seem to enjoy it. We loved it so I think about when we started saying hey, maybe when we are done playing we can do this, turn this into something bigger and try to do it for a living and we were kind of winding down at that point, Logan had I think one or two knee surgeries by then but still was playing and my knees were kind of hurting a little bit so we were thinking about it. We played I think one or two more seasons and we just kept building it up and eventually we said let’s…. you know we saved up enough money let’s give this thing a shot and try to do it full time.
Interviewers: How many years ago was that?
Brendan Winters: That was 4 years ago now I believe.
Interviewers: So you have been doing it full time for 4 years?
Brendan Winters: And part time for 3 or 4.
Interviewers: Awesome and the growth has been unbelievable not only have you guys expanded beyond camps to doing training and actually running teams and you have expanded to we were just talking before I mean your adding locations, since I talked to you 2 weeks ago that’s absolutely outstanding. What was the thought process to adding the training element but even more with team’s element?
Brendan Winters: Yeah well it’s kind of funny you know so we had this big stable, not big you know a decent stable of kids from our summer camps and an email list kind of built up I don’t know maybe 300 kids or so from our past 3-4 summer camps we thought hey we got an email list with three or four hundred kids here we should at least be able to get 20 of them a week to come to trainings and stuff like that’s and that’s all there was supposed to be.
It was supposed to be training and clinics and camps, just skill development year round but we found out pretty quick those first few months of the summer camps, kids these days isn’t the same kids that you know wants to do training during a Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
Interviewers: What’s the biggest difference?
Brendan Winters: You know I think a lot of the kids that comes to summer camp especially now a days a lot of times it’s almost like a daycare sometimes for them. But then you know a lot of rec. players that come, rec. level players that comes to camps which is great, it’s fun working with the kids they don’t necessarily want to do private training or group training on Wednesday night, it’s the summer camp….
Interviewers: So the private training was taking it up a level as far as seriousness of the commitment of a player?
Brendan Winters: Yeah summer camps…a bit more fun, things like that, we try to make summer camps intense and things like that but at the end of the day they are still fun and you get a bunch of different skill level kids, but yeah the private training, the group training that’s a bit more serious that’s for kids who you know want to play at the next level whether is at the middle school, high school, whatever, it is so we found out pretty fast that that was the case and…. but anyway we ended up with a group of I don’t know I think twenty 6 graders of boys, training twice a week with them and it was awesome and they were having a great time, they were loving it.
Interviewers: Great age…
Brendan Winters: And after the fall season the parents kind of approached us and said hey you know we want to start some AAU teams with you guys you know would you guys start something with this kind of core group? And we are kind of like ok sure let’s give it a shot but if we do it we are going to stay true to our philosophy on the skills development, we are going to practice, we are going to get non-father coaches, we are going to hit home on the fundamentals, we are going to be positive, we are going to do things the right way and and kind of stick to our values.
Interviewers: And were you aware of the reputation at that time of AAU, which obviously in many people’s eyes there is issues like I guess with the name of AAU and some of the things that goes on?
Brendan Winters: Yeah we are very aware which is why when we decided to do this, we said hey we are just going to do this skill development piece because the kids need that, they really need that. Again we found out you have probably got to do a little bit more so we started the team but we said we are going to do the teams but insert that skills development piece into the teams with the practices twice a week, the non-father coaches, so there is no issue there you know we are going to play man to man defense we are going to you know teach shooting. In practices we have a bunch of different things we do to make a little difference and that kind of caught on and over the last few years I guess we have gone from I think the first Spring we had about 5 teams and we had 33 this past….
Interviewers: 33 teams?
Brendan Winters: 33 teams in Charlotte this past Spring and Summer, probably be upwards of about 40 this upcoming spring.
Interviewers: And that’s only in Charlotte?
Brendan Winters: Yeah, just in Charlotte!
Interviewers: And now you are in multiple locations?
Brendan Winters: Yeah just so one of my best friends growing up in Denver a guy name Ross Schraeder played at UC Irvine, played in Spain for 6 years after 2 years 1 year of us doing this full time, he was still in Spain playing and he was about done. So I said hey we need help over here in Charlotte, its grown come on over and come help us out so he moved in with me and joined Pro Skills in Charlotte and did that for about a year and he was awesome.
The Parents loved him the kids loved him and he was always a Denver guy he grew up there his whole life his family was there so he said hey I am going to go back to Denver, I want to do Pro Skills Basket ball in Denver and I said okay no problem, go do Pro Skills in Denver. So he went back to Denver and the same thing happened he started slow but slowly built it up and is doing it full time now and has a big crew over there and is doing a great job there and his brother played at St. Mary’s and played overseas, wanted to do it in Sacramento and we said okay let’s do it in Sacramento it went well there and so it ended up being guys we knew that are great guys, great players or former players who wanted to get into youth basketball. We knew they were going to do it the right way. So I think we just had….
Interviewers: You have grown the right way you really have, you’ve grown the right way by doing it the right way which is so impressive you know and again in a messy industry where the landscape is usually just playing games and not doing anything else, these guys have stayed tried and true to skill development and it’s great. But I also get the feeling that they did it at a great pace. Yeah okay they didn’t try to force the issue you know you kind of let things organically grow you know you kind of mentioned, you had a good group and then the parents approached you, rather than you all kind of like force feeding something that isn’t really there yet.
Brendan Winters: Yeah and I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong whether it’s on the AAU side or whatever it is, it can be a slippery slope I mean we have had temptations to do this or that but it just doesn’t fit with what we were trying to do…our philosophy, our beliefs, our values and the way we wanted to do things so we decided not to do it and it’s been for the best.
Interviewers: And deciding not to do it is not an easy thing.
Brendan Winters: No
Interviewers: Because there are dollar signs or growth potential I mean that’s a lot of exciting things and when you are an entrepreneur that’s growing a business that’s where your adrenaline comes from, let’s try this new thing see how it works, so being able to kind of putting that governor on yourself is very admirable in my opinion.
Brendan Winters: Yeah thank you and in all honesty I am the type of guy who gets approached with a new idea and I am like yeah let’s go I am all about it and then I bounce it off Logan and thank God.
Interviewers: He fouls you? Oh so Logan got the governor…got you.
Brendan Winters: He says calm down, he is a stable force for me and it’s great to have him.
Interviewers: And maybe that’s why you are a great team.
Brendan Winters: Yeah it’s worked out very well, we are very good friends.
Interviewers: And you guys have a great partnership.
Brendan Winters: But it’s good to bounce ideas off each other and different opportunities and just kind of decide together.
Interviewers: And I have actually been down there, they hold at the beginning of each season this would be AAU season, they hold a pretty extensive parent meeting where parents of kids are required to come in and they talk to them about basically parenting the right way. I am yet to meet a group that does that as well as these guys do it. What is parenting the right way mean? What does it look like, what is formed out of that meeting? Not parenting their kids the right way. Parenting as a basketball player, that’s part of Pro Skills. Pro-parenting, I like that yeah. Slow down don’t get too excited.
Brendan Winters: So we bring them all in and we have these codes of conduct that we expect, we have a player code of conduct, parent code of conduct, coach code of conduct, five in each and it’s just…it’s honestly pretty self explanatory and any sane person would look at it and be like that’s okay.
Interviewers: But many youth basketball parents are not sane, hence the reason for the meeting.
Brendan Winters: And that’s the issue that’s why we knew we had to do it, it basically comes down to parents parent, players play, coaches coach, refs ref you know and let’s all be positive and do this thing together.
Interviewers: And listen it sounds great in a perfect world, does it always play out that way?
Brendan Winters: Of course not.
Interviewers: You actually have to enforce this conduct.
Brendan Winters: Yeah of course. We have a big document I mean it’s 20 or 30 pages long that has all our rules and regulations, policies and they sign it and we go over it in those parents’ meetings and we brought Alan in so he works the players out in a big group, I believe at the time that was the largest group he had ever done which was awesome, the kids loved him.
Interviewers: They had a great turnout.
Brendan Winters: Yeah and then I will take and Logan will take the parents up in a room and we will go through the whole thing, make sure they understand, it if they have any questions and of course you will get some eyes rolling and things like that and we will say okay we will keep our eyes on you throughout the season you know and yeah we have to fire coaches, we have had to have sit downs with parents and players, we have had to part ways with players.
Interviewers: If you don’t mind, there maybe a coach in the country right now saying, “I’ve got some tough parents; I am not experienced enough in having that sit down conversation.” Shed a little light into your sit down conversation with a parent, about how you approached it, your tactics, strategy, how you address the topic.
Brendan Winters: Yeah and again I am pretty fiery, I am quick to temper I guess and Logan is much better and…
Interviewers: Logan really seems like the nucleus!
Brendan Winters: So he keeps me level headed but when we have an issue we have exact rules that needs to happen, the first thing is, if you have an issue you talk to your coach about it but we have a 24-hour rule, you can’t talk to a coach within 24 hours of a game so that emotions are not still flowing by then, everyone has a night to sleep on it and calm down a little bit.
If that doesn’t work between the player, parent, coach now I will get involved and we will go through the same thing and we will talk about it from each side and sometimes it’s on the coach, sometimes it’s on the player, sometimes it’s on the parents you just never know. No one is perfect but we got a great group of parents I mean we have 99% awesome awesome parents. One percent can cause some issues but they don’t last very long in our program so we have some great great people.
Interviewers: Now what is your role right now, how much training and coaching are you doing, is it that you are doing more on the business development growth side what’s your role at the moment?
Brendan Winters: Logan and I both do a lot of business development stuff we have a lot of different roles within the organization but just strictly basketball. I am the AAU guy our AAU team side it’s called Pro Skills Basketball Select or PSB Select. I am in charge of that I am the selector.
Interviewers: Are you still coaching?
Brendan Winters: I did the last three seasons; I was coach for our seventeen-year-old lead team. I am stepping back this upcoming season, so I can fully fully be the director, with just so many teams it’s just impossible if I was down in Atlanta with my team and we had 10 teams playing up in Charlotte there is nothing I could do about certain things. So I am stepping back but Logan is the director of skills development which is the training, the clinics, and the camps. And I will still do, I will still train, I will still coach in the clinics and camps but Logan’s directing them and is in charge.
Interviewers: And as a guy that is so involved in the trenches of AAU, talk a little bit about your dynamic and your relationship with high school coaches in the area, and how well you work together, how often you communicate, what’s that look like.
Brendan Winters: Yeah well when we first moved back it was really interesting trying to get in touch with these high school coaches you know, I guess for a good reason they probably have guys hitting them up all the time saying hey I want your players to come work with me and so we kind of got the cold shoulders at first, I mean we got in a few places I think just off of our Davidson name, but after a year we started to get to know coaches a lot better and they were like oh these aren’t bad guys they are trying to do what’s best for kids, they know what they are doing, they are well intentioned and over the last 4 years we have developed great relationships with the coaches here in the Charlotte area and I think it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
Interviewers: How much communication is there?
Brendan Winters: There is quite a bit on our end and in terms of AAU especially with the older kids because we want to return them in better shape than when they came to us and visa versa. You know we want them to come to us in the winter season better than they were before. So I think if you are communicating with the coaches you know and being very honest with them, not blowing any smoke, you know what I think they learn to respect that even if it’s something they don’t want to hear.
Interviewers: You still play at all anymore?
Brendan Winters: I do every once in a while.
Interviewers: How is the game looking these days, alright?
Brendan Winters: It’s okay I have gotten pretty good at having an old man’s game set shot, I am probably making 70% of spot ups now that’s all I do I don’t drive it.
Interviewers: Awesome so it’s twitter, just so people can follow and we will certainly tweet this out obviously in conjunction with the show but at @brendanwinters and you are a big twitter guy.
Brendan Winters: Yeah
Interviewers: You post great stuff, you and Logan both do.
Brendan Winters: Thank you yeah I enjoy Twitter I think it’s a really great tool especially for coaches and just communicating and networking and I really enjoy Twitter so anyone interested, give me a follow.
Interviewers: And what’s the best way for someone to contact you if anybody is listening wants to get involved with Pro Skills Basketball maybe help you open up a new location, just add to the movement since you are doing it the right way.
Brendan Winters: Yeah that will be great, we are always looking for great coaches and people whether it is in Charlotte and other cities we are open to all applicants you can just go to www.proskillsbasketball.com go to our contact page and just shoot us a note and we will get back to you.
Interviewers: How we stand in awe of great names for companies, the fact that you got Pro Skills Basketball is like HELLO. It’s an awesome name.
Brendan Winters: Thank you!
Interviewers: It’s perfect, pretty awesome name. Well we appreciate your time my friend. So for Brendan and Adam this is Alan, we appreciate you guys listening, keep on hustling.
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