Monday, 22 August 2011


Changing your game.


To all those young, aspiring basketball players out there looking to develop their game you need look no further than the coaching and training of Marqus Coleman from Oakland, California. This talented man has coached on so many levels, from High School to pro and he has helped male and female players of all ages. His 10 year coaching career has also seen him help the development of NBDL players and he is currently an assistant coach at San Francisco State University. Coleman also runs many boot camps and trains some of the pros. He's been working with a very, athletic and talented young man by the name of Aalim Moor (a focus of another one of our features) who really is going places. The same can be said for Marqus who's about to take his career, as well as the talent of the individuals he coaches and trains to a whole new level. So let's go over some X's and O's with Coach Coleman.

24/48/82: How you doing coach? Congratulations on all your success. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

MARQUS COLEMAN: I am doing well. Thank you. I draw my inspiration from different people I see in the coaching business. I am always exited to watch coaches like Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers who are passionate about the game and create ownership opportunities for the their players on the floor. Also at the same time the young people inspire me, because they are hungry to be better. Once we get going they always want more, which forces me to produce more.

24/48/82: Can you tell us what you've been working on recently?

M.C.:I recently finished a major collaboration called the “Moor III Project”, which was put together on film and made available for viewing. Following the completion of this project, I took some personal time off to take my daughter to Grambling State University, where she will be participating as a full D1 scholarship athlete on the women’s basketball team. In the upcoming weeks I have plans for some new team training sessions, as well as continuing with my existing clients. I am also looking forward to major projects arising in 2012.

24/48/82: You have to love this kid Aalim Moor. His dedication and work ethic, you make a great team. Can you tell us more about what you guys have been working on?

M.C.: Aalim Moor is a great kid. The relationship that was created between teacher and student is a bond that will last throughout his basketball career. We have been consistently discussing carrying on his workout to coincide with his season at San Jose State University. Aalim is currently in Rome with his SJSU team, prepping for four big international games. Upon his return, we will to communicate and discuss how to increase and strengthen his growth level.

24/48/82: Moor really is going places, just how far do you think he can go?

M.C.: Aalim in my opinion has a shot at the pro level. I think his passion for being the best he can be is not limited to just college basketball. He has been able to adapt to any level of play so far and I think that will continue. We talk a lot about how we are building for the pro level in everything we do.

24/48/82: I love the different types of creative drills you do with him, especially the ones that simulate certain things that happen in-game. Can you tell our readers more about these techniques, like the bungee cord resistance training?

M.C.: The techniques I used in Aalim’s workout are based on my philosophy of 2-6-2. We work the moves two seconds at a time, within six inches of his body, to create the two feet of space you need to complete a successful move on the floor. The resistance band helps simulate playing against a force holding you back, in doing so it strengthens each factor of the “2-6-2”. However, in order for this workout to reach its full potential, the player undergoing the workout must maintain a professional level of focus and concentration on every aspect and detail of every drill. I believe that the greatest pro players are masters at playing consistently in small areas of the floor.

24/48/82: I'm really impressed with the way Moor manages to take the resistance and get his shot off. This technique must really be one of the best ways to develop a players offensive skill and one of the closest things to actually one-on-one or in game basketball right?

M.C.: I believe it is the best. If a player can move and be explosive with resistance, that player will have no problem creating space against any opponent.

24/48/82: What do you see as your most important type of drills and skills to develop with a young player of Moor's type?

M.C.: Moor is a point guard. The drills are broken up into 3 parts: From half court to the top of the key, I create drills of leadership and mental understanding of the entire floor. Second: From the top of the key to the second peg of the lane, I create drills of decision-making. The idea is to make the point guard think ahead, and how to set teammates up to succeed. Lastly: From the peg to the box is all about making the goal, that is when you have a scoring mentality. Within these drills I break the court up in percentages, using 25% of the half court for each skill moves to create different angles of execution while changing the complexion of the floor for the defender.

24/48/82: When you start with a new player, what do you first look to train and develop?

M.C.: I teach a player two things: first is footwork because that is the building block for a player to be successful at a high level. The second, I start working on the mind. I create tests of understanding the game mentally. I the player to be able simulate and create a visual of what their opponent is seeing at all times.

24/48/82: Can you tell us more about your work with the San Francisco State University and your time in high school playing and coaching?

M.C.: This is my second year with SFSU. My role is guard development for their women’s program. Every drill I create is based on real situations of the type of offense we are running. I played ball in high school and was fortunate to win a state title my senior year. However, coaching has always been my passion. I started coaching an 8th grade basketball team during my sophomore year of high school. I always had a drive to be a leader on my sports teams both mentally and physically. Being a point guard and embracing the role helped me develop leadership that later characterized and shaped my coaching abilities.

24/48/82: How about your work in the NBDL and with the pros? How rewarding and valuable to your experience has that been?

M.C.: Every summer I am fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to work with the Bakers Field Jam during their tryout period. Being a part of this has raised my level of teaching due to the serious attitude towards the game, the intensity and pace. These players who come to participate approach the game in a business manner, allowing me to walk away with new findings on how to add to a pro workout and help them succeed at that level.

24/48/82: You've done many great things in 10 years, what's been your most rewarding experience?

M.C.: My most rewarding experience in 10 years was meeting Maaeah Howell (who has now become my surrogate daughter). This was a kid that wasn’t skilled but had a passionate desire to play at the division 1 level. We started working out and in two and half years of development I was able to watch her sign her letter of intent to Grambling State University. I have worked with a lot of players, but by far she is an inspiration and has a story to tell about going against all odds to achieve her goal in life.

24/48/82: I'm really impressed with your 'Elite Boot Camp' and it's philosophies. Can you tell us more about this?

M.C.: The Elite Boot Camp is designed to improve the athlete in more areas than just the basketball court. I wanted to combine the whole experience of athletics into a program that wasn’t so routine as showing up and shooting for an hour or open court drills. The body is a machine and you have to program it to function the way you need it to at all times, but the only way to do that is to build in stages in the most extreme conditions. I will admit the workout is unorthodox and looking at it from the outside in can be troubling for some to understand, but once you start to see the results in the athlete it tends to grow on you, leaving you wanting more. The mental growth that I have seen in the players from these workouts is rewarding.

24/48/82: Can you share with our readers the camps core principles that you have created?

M.C.: The most important principle, and perhaps the most unique part of my training is that I create my workouts around the individual athlete. Most camps offer a structured training session and expect the athlete to follow suit. I prefer to work in small groups in order to give the participants personalized workouts. When I run group training sessions, I design a curriculum that includes what I believe to be the three major factors to becoming an elite player; explosion, conditioning and consistency. Another major principle I try to install in the workouts is work ethic. In other words, learning how to workout. Anybody can go to the gym and break a sweat and claim they worked out. My goal is to teach young athletes how to give 110% on every detail of their workout and make the most out of each minute spent in the gym.

24/48/82: Can you also tell us more about the camps 'Six Step Athletic Scholarship Search System'?

M.C.: The six step camp was created by Patricia Marino and Al Musante after their daughter was in the process of trying to get recruited to play college basketball. I had the pleasure of coaching their daughter in high school and training her in the off-season. I like to share this story on how this book, workshop and self-help book came to life. This process was created to give parents the information and step by step instructions needed on how to go after their child’s dream of being a college athlete, on their own. Patricia and Al were forced to market their child to the college community without the stage of AAU or a recruiting service. The end result through their efforts landed her a full ride to the University of San Francisco, were she played and graduated. I would encourage every parent of any sport to pick up this workbook and get proactive in the process of helping their child get to college athletically. We have combined the Six Step clinic with my camp to give kids the complete program to help them become athletically better but more importantly knowledgeable of how to approach a university with all administrative steps in order. Knowledge of the details of the recruiting process is often over-looked, we assume that if an athlete is talented enough a school will automatically pick them up. This book reveals tips and secrets that everyone parent or athlete can benefit from.

24/48/82: You strike me as the kind of coach that loves and feels like its his duty to coach and help as many different individuals as possible, which is incredible. It shows true love of the game over those who just want to bulk up their resume. Just how important is it for people to realise that great basketball extends more than just the NBA or men etc?

M.C.: I am a mentor and a role model first before I am a basketball trainer. The life lessons you can teach in this business are more important than the NBA or any level of playing. Once I take on a new client I feel it is my job to stay with them for the duration of their life. I take it personal because as a trainer I get to see the vulnerability in people. By discovering those things, I want the player to maintain a positive experience and leave the training with a foundation to help determine their future. To me mentoring athletes is like conditioning; if you stop running for 72 hours, you will fall out of shape. If I stop mentoring for a minute I may lose a player to distraction, but more importantly I may lose a person who in turn will not achieve success in life.

24/48/82: You do a lot to help a players confidence, some may say the most important skill. Can you share with us more on how you help develop this?

M.C.: Confidence is everything. The first thing I will tell them is; “when you step on the court you have to feel you are the best one out there” Not with a cocky attitude but with your approach to the game. The next step is making the player great in one area of the game. A lot of players believe that to be good they have to be masters at all aspects of the game. This goal is more or less impossible. I try to teach my players to master one small area of the game at the time. As the player becomes great at each area of the game, the confidence grows and the game becomes easier for them.

24/48/82: Who inspires you most in coaching?

M.C.: Ansara Johnson. He has filled 3 major roles in my life, a father figure, brother and friend. He started mentoring me as a young person and taught me about being a leader in life as well as in the gym. The great thing is we are still as close today as we were when I was young kid trying to figure this whole thing out. We continue you to work hard week in and week out mentoring young people in our community by using basketball as a platform to create successful people in society.

24/48/82: What advice you have for young aspiring coaches?

M.C.: I would tell the up and coming coaches, learn as much as you can about the game in small steps. Gain experience in one area and then move to the next, know what you are good at and surround yourself with people that are good in other areas. Also, volunteer for as much as you can at the higher levels. Moving up in this profession is about opportunity and trust. Develop relationships with integrity and do it because you love the game.

24/48/82: Thank you for your time it's been much appreciated and all the best of luck because your going far. Although your already achieving so much you seem driven for more. What's next for you and what do you see as your long term goals?

M.C.: I am working on a few things in the coming future that should allow me to be involved in the game of basketball more. My long term goal is to work for the NBA in some capacity. I would love to be involved in this game full time, but I remain patient for the day I get the opportunity to work for a professional organization. Tim, thank you for all your time and effort spending time with me. Hopefully the next time we sit down I will have much more to share with you.

There's no doubt Marqus Coleman will have more to share with us the next time we interview him because the last thing he'll be doing is sitting down. The more and more this man works the more and more you'll be seeing and hearing of him. Marqus doesn't just talk a good game, he knos one too. from every X and O, to developing every sort of talent in every which way possible. Soon it won't just be this hard working coach's students who will be living their NBA dreams. Coleman has the talent, drive and ethic that the big leagues welcome with open playbooks. Watch this space.

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