NBA Champion Head Coach Host Clinic in Singapore
Erik Spoelstra, fresh off coaching the Miami Heat to the recent National Basketball Association (NBA) title, took a relatively low-profile visit to Singapore this week, as part of a regional tour involving training sessions and coaching clinics. In an invitation-only coaching clinic conducted at Pasir Ris Sports and Recreation Centre, Coach Spoelstra shared his experiences with local coaches and other basketball personnel, including Team Jumpshot’s very own Coach Esther. As a coach of a caliber rarely seen in regional settings, the Filipino-American passed down his technical expertise in the high-performance aimed at helping coaching staff to bring out the best in their teams and players. Beyond technical assistance, Coach Spoelstra also passed down some valuable advice for the locals, stating the importance of support for players as an authority figure. For instance, he voiced out his support of Heat star LeBron James in his Olympic experience, instead of fearing an unnecessary injury, stating that he “think it's exciting for LeBron to get the opportunity to compete for an Olympic gold again and build on his legacy." In addition, Coach Spoelstra also shared the value of perseverance and self-belief as a coach. He experienced many downs following the Heat’s defeat to Dallas in the previous season, when he was blamed for not bringing home the title. Instead of wallowing in sorrow, Coach Spoelstra sought out other coaches, even from other sports such as American football, in an attempt to learn from them and improve upon the season, and eventually climbed to the peak of the NBA as a champion. Coach Spoelstra also showed some allegiance to his roots as he paid homage to Southeast Asian basketball, stating that they were on the rise and that he felt very encouraged by both the level of interest and the talent present in the region. Using the example of Jeremy Lin and his recent success, the 41-year-old mentioned that perceptions of what a basketball player should look like have changed. Speaking with obvious pride, Coach Spoelstra remarked, “I don’t see why there won’t continue to be players from Asia, from Europe, from South America, one of these days hopefully from the Philippines.” The young coach also weighed in on the recent Dream Team vs Team USA 2012 debate, claiming that he would stake his bets on the team from 2008 instead. Following the conclusion of the very informative and helpful training sessions and clinics, Coach Spoelstra reiterated his belief in the ability of Asian players to succeed. With his tour set to continue in the Philippines, youngsters and coaches alike in the region certainly have more reason to place their faith in the local hoops scene.