This week, we’ve got Coach Poncho Hodges, a former professional athlete turned coach.
PH: Whenever a client starts training with me, they always begin to grasp a better outlook and understanding of the game. PH: Honestly, my specialty as a coach would have to involve my attention to balance and understanding how your body works and moves while in the heat of the moment. Ben NadeauSomehow, Ben is a Red Sox, Nets, Packers, Avalanche, and Arsenal supporter -- yeah, it doesn't make any sense to him either.
Come back every week as we ask some of our most successful coaches on CoachUp their tricks of the trade and how they get the most from their athletes. Hodges has had many fruitful basketball experiences, from attending the University of Colorado to playing an entire pre-season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
After finishing high school, I was blessed to receive a Division 1 scholarship to the University of Colorado. As a coach, it’s my responsibility to correct my clients on the spot in order to fix and develop upon bad habits. When this happens, I always consider it a win — just being able to point athletes in the right direction is a truly wonderful feeling.

For me, the icing on the cake is when an athlete also realizes that all their hard work has started to pay off and reaching their desired skill level has gotten a little bit closer. It may be easy sometimes to be a bigger, faster, or stronger athlete, but those who work hard and play smart will see just as much success over time. I’m constantly reiterating to my clients that to become a better basketball player, believe it or not, it all starts with balance and footwork.
Of course, this lesson has taught me that no two athletes are alike, so it’s impossible to take shortcuts or create blanket statements for everyone. For coaches, listen to Coach Poncho — each athlete is different, so you must teach them as such.
Don’t forget to check out his profile if you’re lucky enough to be in the West Hollywood area!
Whether you’re a coach, an athlete, or a parent of an athlete, we guarantee there are some great points for you to takeaway from our Coach Spotlight Series.
After that, Hodges took his game overseas for a while as he competed in Israel, France, Turkey, and Japan. Upon completing my time at Colorado, I was able to have a great 7-year professional career.

In turn, by making sure that the client has a solid foundation, it will ultimately benefit them much more in the long run.
Between the intense drills, I also throw in some fun developmental exercises as well, so athletes get a little but of everything from me during each session. Once a client begins to see the game from a clearer mental perspective, their overall performance will also improve. Each client, no matter the similarity in skill level, needs to be approached with individualized focus and game-planning! Letting bad habits go unchecked will always prove detrimental to the development of an athlete.
You can’t just verbally tell an athlete what to do, you must show them in order to create full success.
If the athlete is committed and desires to be better, they’ll seek out extra opportunities to get better, but constant criticism and advice might just create more frustration!

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