One of the NBA’s most interesting relationships is between Dallas forward Dirk Nowitski and his long-time trainer and mentor Holger Geschwinder. Geschwinder interests me because of his unorthodox approach to training Nowitski, especially compared to the way that most U.S. basketball players train during their teenage years and in their early professional career. I have tried unsuccessfully to track down Geschwinder for an interview for the Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletters, but the video below offers some insight into Nowitski’s greatness and Geschwinder’s approach.
Some key points:
- A systematic plan to develop his skills. I have heard interviews before where Geschwinder talks about adding tools to the toolbox every off-season so that Nowitski constantly develops and adds to his game.
- Nowitski started late: “I didn’t get into basketball until I was 13, 14 really.” Yet, he was an NBA lottery pick when he was 18. He played multiple sports as a child and he saw others peak early (a characteristic on early specialization) while he continued to grow and improve his game.
- Emphasize the game. Not about the money and it’s not work. It is a passion. Playing and practicing is play for Nowitski – the activity is enjoyable in and of itself, regardless of the reward. “Once basketball is a job, you’re on the wrong route.”