Player development is one the most crucial aspects of professional basketball and that is why having a great skills coach can be a huge asset for NBA organizations, but also for players themselves.
Most NBA pros usually spend their off-seasons working on their craft. That is when players go the extra mile on the weakest aspects of their game in order to separate themselves from competition step into the new season ready to dominate. That is when skill coaches come into play and use their knowledge and experience to help players get to that next level.
Ganon Baker is someone who does exactly that, he helps pros improve their game and he has been widely recognized for doing so. Baker is one of the most famous NBA skill coaches out there and has worked with some of your favorite superstars throughout the course of his skill coaching career.
In a recent exclusive interview with Basketball Network, Baker talked about everything from how he got started to the most memorable moments of his career. One thing that stood out most were the one on one sessions he had with the then young point god Chris Paul and his impeccable skill-set.
“[With] Chris Paul, there was nothing I could do to advance his skill level. Everything I showed him, he could do, but he was constantly asking me ‘Break me, give me something hard. Teach me something I don’t know.’ And as a coach, it was challenging.”Ganon Baker, 1-ON-1 with Ganon Baker
Baker went on to explain that at that point he realized that all he had to do to make sure CP3 was on top of his game was to help him be consistent, so after every great workout, he would push Paul even harder. If yesterday he hit 10 step backs in a row, Baker would push him to try and hit 20 in a row the next day.
He also explained how all of the greatest players embraced failure rather than fear it, which is something that the majority of young players struggle with. By retelling something that CP3 told him, he tried to emphasise how getting out of a players comfort zone is the only way towards improvment.
“He was like ‘Look, make me uncomfortable, because you can be comfortable or you can be great, but you can’t be both.’ And so they understood that it was a skill to be able to be comfortable with the unknown, to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.”Ganon Baker, 1-ON-1 with Ganon Baker
Things like that influenced Baker’s coaching style and made him even more determined to get the most out of a young player’s potential by constantly tweaking the tone of his workouts, his energy, and his coaching expectations.
If you want to learn more about Ganon and his coaching career, make sure to check out the exclusive Basketball Network interview below.