You have been around the programme for a number of years, how does it feel to finally be in a full time position at Myerscough?
It feels good to finally be involved in a full-time position, its been a long time coming. When I had found out that I had got the job it was such a great moment, I get to coach basketball full time!
How have you settled in?
Settling in has been easy and straight forward, having worked with all the staff for a long time the transition has been smooth. It’s like I have always been here. I just need up my lunch game.
You have a focus on the schools-based programme, can you tell us about how this looks?
The Schools Programme – our ‘Rising Hoopers’ Programme has started this term. We offer Secondary schools and Primary Schools the delivery of Basketball during curriculum time and as an Extra curricular club. The programme is delivered in a 4-6 week block which is delivered by our academy students. We also host basketball competitions and festivals. We work across all schools Mainstream and PRU.
Find out more about the ‘Rising Hoopers’ programme HERE.
What are the aims for the school based programme?
Our vision is to grow, promote and increase participation of basketball in the Preston area. We want to help develop a basketball culture in Preston. Amongst this we aim to provide opportunities for our academy students develop their coaching skills and deliver sessions that are fun and motivating for children. My aim to improve the level of basketball that is performed. We want have a clear pathway for basketball.
You are currently coaching our U18 conference team, whilst doing skills development across the programme. How are the U18s doing and what are the hopes for the season for the U18s?
Despite an early exit in the cup, the U18s boys didn’t let that impact them. They are currently sitting at 6-2 in the league and are in still in their early stages of development. There are lots to improve on as the season goes on, but we are on the right track. We need to continue to develop team cohesion and become the most competitive team in the league.
As for the season we are aiming to fight for a top spot and push for promotion, but developing the players comes first as most of the squad are first years, I want to be able to improve them as players so that in their second year they can push on to even better things.
What are your views on individual skills development?
Skill development is key to having any success. If you only play and don’t work on skills, you’re not going to have the tools needed to succeed so you have to find a balance to working on skills as well as playing. Skill development highlights your strengths and weaknesses and as a coach I need to know where players are, what are the causes for concern etc. One saying I have learned on my coaching journey is that ‘We as coaches can provide you with the tools (skills) but is up to you to use them’. I also believe individual skill development can push a player on, but a key thing to always have on your mind as a coach is to ensure that what you do translates to a game. No using tables on the court!
You have worked in the school setting before, what would you say are the main differences in working at Myerscough, and within the academy?
I think the main differences are the structures to the day, a school day would be full on every day at Myerscough I have busy days and quiet days. There are some very different roles such as at school I would open the gates in the morning greet all the children and welcome them into school every day as well at the end of the day I would open the gates for them to leave. So that time now is used for lesson planning and preparation time.
What are you aims and goals for your first year?
I want to establish a solid schools programme; Help build the junior programme. Introduce girls’ sessions.
I like a lot of food, I love a good Chicken karahi and all the extras that you get with it the samosas, poppadom’s etc. but my ultimate favourite has to be a spicy meat feast pizza.
Favourite basketball team?
San Antonio spurs
Lebron or MJ?
I have had a lot of great moments in basketball from being part of the Myerscough division 3 men’s coaching team in the year we won the shield, league, and playoffs to getting into the playoffs in my second year of coaching at u13s. Being part of the U18s coaching staff as an assistant when we won the junior final fours in 2019 was another great moment. But for me the highlight of my coaching so far was winning the Haris tournament in 2019 with the u18s. It was just great to compete with teams from other and then to beat the Americans in the final.
Favourite player that you have coached?
Outside of the Academy I would say Dylan Consterdine he was one of the hardest working kids I had seen in my early days of coaching, and he would be 100% committed to getting better.
Within the Myerscough programme there are too many to choose from, but I think I would have to go with Ben Nailer he played a vital role for me at u18s premier was a great leader on the court and I can’t forget that solid performance where he put the team on his back against St Helens.