In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, NBA player development trainer Phil Beckner joins the podcast. Beckner is currently a Player Development Consultant for numerous NBA players as well as several different college basketball programs. Phil works with players, teams, and organizations to enhance performance and maximize results. He has instructed and led elite level players, and high level teams/organizations in creating a blueprint for development, and strategies to enhance leadership skills.
He spent the previous 2 years at Boise State where he served as an assistant and then associate head coach. While at Boise State, Phil was part of 2 consecutive 20 win seasons, 2 NIT appearances, and was instrumental in the development of 2018 NBA first round Draft pick Chandler Hutchison(#22 Chicago Bulls). Phil has been a collegiate coach for 10 seasons, plus one year as an assistant coach at the professional level. Before arriving at Boise State he spent one season at Nebraska, and one season on staff with the Oklahoma City Blue, the NBA D-League affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Prior to his stint at the professional ranks Phil was on staff at Weber State for seven seasons, where he was part of winning 3 conference championships, and playing both in the NIT and NCAA tournaments. A highly-regarded player developer, he worked closely with NBA All-Star Damian Lillard during his time at Weber State. Phil was a four-year letterwinner at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kan., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 2005. Upon graduation he returned home to Arizona, to teach and coach at High School level, while helping the Apollo boys’ basketball team to the 2006 state title.
“My personal philosophy [on player development] . . it’s not all about improving weaknesses; you have to be great at what you’re good at. “
“The best that I’ve been around, their character and their discipline and the habits they have daily truly propel them.”
“One of the biggest things I’ve done with guys in the past month developmentally . . stopping them in workouts and telling them where they are at in the progression of getting better.”
“If you want to challenge guys, I think you have to set the expectation especially with detail . .”
“I talked to an NBA GM . . and I asked him, ’What’s going to be the difference between that guy just being really good and him making the jump to being an All-Star?’ And he said, ‘It’s precision; how hard he cuts, how sharp he rips the ball, how he dribbles the ball . . “
“As much as I study drills or technique or specific individual movements, I study a lot of communication and leadership stuff.”
“The best development coaches are great communicators . . they are multi-faceted communicators.“
“I think you have to have a great willingness to be curious. Some of the best leaders ask great questions.”
“I’m trying to teach and communicate more precise in workouts . . more clearly in workouts.”
Click below to listen in if you listen on:
0:00 – Introduction
2:00 – Difference between Workouts and Development
2:10 – Detail and Teaching
3:35 – True Development Needs Feedback
4:00 – How do you Decide with the Players you work with What your Going to Develop?
4:04 – Player Development Philosophy
5:00 – Develop the Person and the Player
7:15 – “It’s not Just the guy that works the hardest, the most talented, it also doing things the right way that so Important.”
9:00 – Character – Building Foundation
10:18 – “…Those Habits Create Better Habits”
11:50 – Concept of Noticing Progress
14:35 – Showing Plan and How the Plan Works
16:05 – Adding Challenge
17:04 – Set the Expectation
17:30 – Precision
18:30 – “Encourage Mistakes but only if there trying to do it the Right Way”
24:41 – 1st Absolute: Knowing What You Get Done With Your Players
26:00 – 2nd Absolute: “Rips and Pivids and Jabs”
26:25 – 3rd Absolute: “Change Phase, Change Direction”
26:50 – 4th Absolute: “Finishing”
27:32 – 5th Absolute: “Shooting”
29:00 – Shooting on the Move
29:30 – Specificity of the Workout for a Player
29:35 – 4 Finishes: Regular One Leg with One Hand Off the Dribble
31:00 – 4 Finishes: Inside-Hand Finish
32:20 – 4 Finishes: Reverse Finish
33:00 – 4 Finishes: 2-Foot Power Finish
36:10 – Giving Something that Get Them Excited
37:00 – Teaching Communication and Leadership
43:36 – Start with a Mentor
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