695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
695: How long have you been training players?
Mike: I’ve been training 15 years total and 11 years now as my full-time job.
695: What is your background?
Mike: I played locally at Towson High and then Washington & Lee University (D3) in Virginia. After about 25 years in sales I got into coaching. I actually started at the college level, as Assistant Coach at then-Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University), for five years 1997-2002, four years with the women and one with the VJC men. Then I was the girls Varsity Head Coach at Notre Dame Prep for four years, then A-Conference in the IAAM, from 2002-2006. I left there and took the Varsity Head Coach position at St. Timothy’s, then C-Conference in the IAAM. This Winter season of 2014-15 will be my 9th season at St. Tim’s. So altogether I have 17 seasons of coaching experience.
Do you currently have a website that explains your services?
Yes: www.projectswish.com … with a crazy schedule year-round I have not had time to add as much content as I’d like, but the calendar on the main page gives people an idea of upcoming dates/times and what I have to offer.
Do you specialize in skill development or agility/conditioning or both?
Both. I do Bootcamp basketball work-outs in the summer and fall off-season; that combines conditioning, skill stations and scrimmaging in a two-hour session. I also do NOAH/DrDish Shooting-only work-outs; in those we focus on improving a player’s shooting (lay-ups, post shots, 2’s, 3’s and FT’s, footwork and creating space. A player can get in 300-500 reps in a two-hour session.
How many clients do you normally have under your tutelage at one time?
I do individual training, small-group training and team sessions, so I could have anywhere from one player to a team of about 12. In Bootcamps and Shooting sessions where we sometimes have more than that, I use an additional helper/trainer or two or three, depending on #’s. We’ve handled up to about 28 players in a Bootcamp at one time and are creative enough to keep everyone moving with minimal standing around.
Do you have any high profile clients, organizations or teams that you train that you would like to mention?
I have been working with Cliff Gillespie and his Towsontown Rec Council program for about 11 years, boys and girls rec and travel players from 3rdgrade to 8th grade. And I’ve worked with Joe McAleer and his then-MD Attitude/now-MD Belles girls AAU team for the past three years. I’ve worked with numerous AAU teams in the Baltimore area and various local middle school, high school and college players in the off-season.
Do you have a structured fee schedule?
Compared to the “going rate” in our area and nation-wide, I feel my rates are very reasonable, especially with my experience and with the top-notch equipment I use. I charge $60 for a one-hour individual NOAH session. My Bootcamp and Shooting session are $30 per player per workout, buy six and get the seventh free, so works out to about $26 per. Team sessions last two hours or longer and I charge $150-250 depending on numbers, helpers needed and time we go; it usually comes out to about $15-25 per player for an average session.
Where are you based? Do you move around or have a central location?
I do all my training out of St. Timothy’s in Stevenson (Exit 22, Greenspring Ave, less than one mile off the Beltway), where I am also the girls coach. I can come to your gym, but I can only bring NOAH and not DrDish.
What should parents look for in a trainer?
Knowledge, experience and enthusiasm. Ask a trainer about his/her background. Find a trainer who does it first for love of the sport and giving back to the sport, and second for the money – almost every trainer I’ve met IS like that, but if you find one who isn’t, look elsewhere. Most people find a trainer via a referral, someone then know. If not, don’t be afraid to ask a potential trainer for a reference, someone he’s trained who is similar in age/skill to your son or daughter. Convenience is important, of course, so find one relatively close to home. Do an intro session to see if your son/daughter will relate well with that trainer. I can motivate players, but my style is more calm and mild-mannered. Some trainers are more vocal and in-your-face (and some players respond more to that style). So find a good fit. And equipment is important, too. I am the only trainer in the Baltimore area who has both NOAH and DrDish. NOAH is hands-down THE best shooting tool on the market (check out their website at www.noahbasketball.com) . And DrDish, competitor of The Gun, is an excellent rebounding/passing machine. And we also have access to Vertimax, another great training tool.
If your stable was full can you name some trainers that you would refer a player to?
Craig Simmons and Nan Hambrose, both of whom I work with during MD Belles practices. And Rob Taylor for strength and conditioning.
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