The Basketball Podcast: EP98 Ganon Baker on Player Development

RELEASE DATE : 27/05/2020

In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, professional basketball and global skill coach Ganon Baker joins the Basketball Podcast to discuss coaching, training and trainers. Ganon Baker is regarded as one of the premier basketball skill coaches in the World. He has been around the game of basketball, the skill training business and the coaching world for over 30 years.

Since June 2001, Ganon Baker has been traveling all over the globe impacting the game of basketball via player training, coaching clinics and coach mentorship. He has delivered knowledge filled with energy, passion, and love for basketball and people in 48 US states, 47 countries, 5 continents – while reaching over 10,000 coaches and players a year.

Ganon has trained players from the Professional level (NBA, WNBA, CBA, Euro League and more), collegiate level (NCAA, NJCAA, U Sport and more), high school and middle school levels. He also been a part of coaching clinics in front of over 20,000 coaches globally and his Ganon Baker Certification process has been earned by over 2,500 coaches worldwide.

Although Ganon still travels the world extensively he now host players and coaches at his headquarters in Melbourne Beach, Florida for private training and mentorship. Most recently he opened a division of Ganon Baker Basketball in China where he has partnered with Stronger Me, a basketball education company based in Beijing, China. Together he has committed to educating coaches, trainers and players in the emerging Chinese basketball market.

Listen Here:

Ganon Baker Quotes:

“The key to sustainability [of success] is to know why you got in in the first place…you want to do things that bring you tremendous joy and one way to do that is to help other people…I knew I wanted to help…players get better at the game of basketball and the game of life.”

“Through 25 years of running my own business and dealing with the pros and the cons of the game…I never lost my love for it . .it’s an agape, an unconditional love for basketball that no matter what I’m going to find a way to get up every morning and try to coach this game and try to impact lives.”

“You grow every year, you adjust to the trends of the game…to the different personalities of the kids.”

“The good teachers explain, the great teachers demonstrate…the highest level of teaching is to model it.”

“You engage them [the players] with some sweat. If you want them to sweat, sometimes you’ve got to sweat with them. I always believed ‘Bones over cones’ …If you can put hands on guys, if you can simulate the contact on offense and defense in a player development workout . .that’s the highest level of learning and it translates.”

“One thing I did back then that I don’t do now was that I gave the players a lot of information . .I would talk for three or four minutes . .I got their attention but I’m not sure they retained [the information].”

“The biggest thing I do now that I didn’t do then is ask questions…if you want the kids to have the right answers, you’ve got to ask them the right questions.”

“I’m going to be the most passionate, hardest working coach in that gym because I want to set the tone . .now they [the players] are going to have to raise to my level…I’ve always worked as hard or harder than my players.”

“A great way, especially for an elite player…to connect with them is to teach them what they don’t know . .get them to a level where there mind and body has never been.”

“When you give feedback during the workout…make sure it’s precise, make sure it’s specific…There’s got to be weight behind your words.”

“You’ve got to know at least three teaching points for every skill.”

“Your two main jobs [as a coach]: teach them how to win at basketball, teach them how to win at life.”

“You praise ‘right’ and you correct ‘wrong.’”

“I coach with purpose, passion and the truth . .I’ve scaled down some of my confrontation techniques . .be a little more patient, be a little more tolerant and just meet kids where they’re at.”

“When you’re a leader . .you have command over your presence . . you have command over your message . .you have command of your tone . .I get their attention, I get them to smile and I get them to agree.”

“Don’t undervalue what you do . .you’re an entrepreneur, you provide a service . .people have got to make a deposit in your life for you to make an even bigger deposit in theirs.”

“I really believe you and I can change a person’s mindset, and even eventually life, in an hour.”

“Bring the best version of yourself every practice…as a player, that’s what you’ve got to work on.”

“Get yourself motivated, have a goal, have a plan…be creative . .how many different drills can you do by yourself?”

Ganon Baker Selected Links from the Podcast:


Kobe Bryant

Austin Lehman

George Lehman

Paul Webb

John Miller 

Sean Miller

Rick Pitino

Hubie Brown

Mike Fratello

5-Star Basketball Camp

Pete Strickland

Oliver Pernell

DeMatha HS

Morgan Wooten

Steve Kerr

Cheryl Reeve

Doc Rivers

Ama’re Stoudemaire

Terry Porter

Dan Majerle

Bill Cartwright

Sue Bird 

Diana Taurasi

Maya Moore

Lindsay Whalen

Boogie Ellis

Jerry Wainwright

Tim Duncan

Manu Ginobili

Gregg Popovich

Tony Parker

Ganon Baker Breakdown:

1:00 – Keys to his Success in Skill Development Profession
4:00 – Role Modeling
7:30 – Change that He Teach Players
10:30 – Building Trust
13:30 – Balance with Learning and Working Out with Repetition
17:00 – Rise of the Celebrity Trainer
21:00 – Coaching and Doing Workouts
24:30 – Doing Better
28:30 – Corrections
32:30 – Transformation and Making Money
38:30 – Shining Objects as Extrinsic Motivation
42:30 – Evaluating Player Working Out
45:30 – Presenting as Support of that Coach
50:30 – The Most Important Skill He Teach in Preschool
53:30 – The Most Important Skill He Teach in College
58:30 – Players Trained on their Own
1:03:00 – Work Ethic

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