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Ganon Baker's way of getting players to work hard and buy-in


With Kobe Bryant, the emphasis was on boring stuff. With Chris Paul, the key was consistency. With Amar'e Stoudemire, it was the lesson of professionalism. With others, it's all those stuff combined, plus more. Because, as Ganon Baker said it, 'Just because they're pros, doesn't mean they're perfect.'

This is why Baker's approach is always personalized. Before even engaging in a workout with someone, Ganon focuses on getting to know the one who he's preparing to train. He spends time talking to the player, his agent, his head coach to find out about his strengths and weaknesses, his projected role within the system. Once he gets all the information necessary, Baker comes up with a personalized program, with an intent to add another tool to the player's toolbox.

But for some, a complete approach overhaul is necessary before even thinking about upping their game to the next level. With individuals like these, Baker emphasizes mental work, trying to figure out what is the thing that will motivate them to work. So he confronts his guys. No word micing. No beating around the bush.

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If the positive confrontation doesn't work, Ganon brings the stats. He talks about guys who were in a similar situation but failed to succeed because of their self-inflicting attitudes. He's doing it all with the hope of players having that eye-opening moment, that the only thing standing on their way to maximizing their potential as basketball players are themselves. He even tried kicking them out of the camp, but soon enough, he realized that wasn't the way.

Challenging them mentally and physically, that is the way. And if it works, then comes the fun part. You get a guy who has bought in and has made the necessary shift for him to be successful. It's a tough process, but if it works, the effect is instant. And for Baker, it works every time. That's why he's one of the best in the business.

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