Q and A: Tab Baldwin on imparting hoops knowledge to Filipino coaches
MANILA, Philippines – Coach Tab Baldwin is set to lead a coaching clinic for Filipinos from June 16 to 18 at the Marikina Sports Complex. He will be joined by a number of highly experienced international coaches to impart their knowledge, together with the country's own Alex Compton and Jimmy Alapag.
The clinic costs P6,000 all-in for the entire 3 days and those interested may sign up through the online registration form.
There will be a total of 14 sessions, each averaging about 70 minutes for a marathon learning experience of up to 18 hours from Serbian, Spanish, and New Zealander coaches.
Coaching topics to be taught and discussed include modern European basketball trends and styles, offensive and defensive fundamentals, player development, leadership, and undersized big man play.
Rappler spoke with Baldwin to glean his insights on the basketball coaching landscape in the Philippines and what he hopes to achieve through this World Hoops Clinic. He also talks about his ideas for future clinics.
Read the full transcript of Rappler's insightful interview below.
Q: Is the clinic open to all Filipino coaches regardless of level of experience?
A: It's actually open to anybody who wants to come. Obviously it's targeting coaches but there are some very passionate fans here and if they think that it's worth their time and money to be exposed to what these coaches are gonna say – and believe me it's going to be something different than what we're used to here in the Philippines – then there's no limit. The Marikina Sports Complex probably seats 1,500 people, and I'm not expecting that many but certainly we have that capacity. So I think there's gonna be plenty of room for the young coaches, the experienced coaches, and even casual observers if they want to come along.
Q: How different will this coaching clinic be?
A: I believe radically different. I believe that you're gonna have coaches on the floor speaking in accents that you are not necessarily used to. There will be a strong Spanish accent, a strong Serbian accent, a strong New Zealand accent. And I think they're going to be saying things in terms of the content that is going to challenge the way that we think here. It's going to challenge us to – not necessarily change – but certainly to broaden our knowledge.
The biggest thing that I really hope to achieve is that our coaches are able to give more developed observation to our players about what they will be exposed to if they reach the international level or if they are ever put in front of international coaches and have to perform for them. I think certainly some coaches will heed the call and make changes in the way that they coach, but not all and I don't expect that. But what I'm hopeful for is that we coaches are ambitious enough to understand our profession, to understand our industry. And even if we don't employ some information, at least we're aware of it.
Q: Is there an overarching theme or style of coaching that you want to impart to Filipino coaches?
A: No, I just want to expose them. I believe that one of the inherent weaknesses of the Philippine basketball landscape is that we are myopic in our view of basketball by almost exclusively in the NBA and America. And I think that's an inherent weakness. And we as coaches we speak to our players about attacking another player's weakness, well we are ourselves as a basketball culture we have a weakness. And I think it's up to us to strengthen that area and to develop ourselves so that we at least understand what other people are doing in other parts of the world.
Q: You mentioned a weakness you observed from Filipino coaches. Is there a particular strength that you see they can develop through the clinic?
A: Yeah, I think that they can gain a greater understanding of how to develop their players and what information to give their players. Not necessarily to change the systems that they coach, but within those systems, to help their players understand the fundamentals of offensive and defensive basketball a little bit better, according to what some of the most modern trends coming out of Europe are.
Q: After this do you have other plans to reach out to coaches based in the provinces to improve the talent level across the country?
A: Yeah, I would love to. We don't have anything on the books now but we've created this World Hoops Clinic and we don't intend this to be our last clinic. I've already got some ideas around doing a point guard clinic, and that's bringing some international point guards who are either at the end of their career or just retired. I think point guard play in the Philippines is one of our strengths, but when we go internationally, I think it needs to be strengthened. And I think our coaches need to do a better job of teaching our point guards, particularly how to lead from the point guard position.
So this is another concept that I'm playing with and I'd like to do another clinic, whether it's later this year or the first window that we can. I like to believe that I think outside the square of it. And these are examples of how we want to do that. And whether we do it again here in Manila or whether we take it to provinces, we haven't thought that through yet but we don't intend for this to be the last clinic exercise.
Q: Do you consider this clinic your way of giving back to other coaches?
A: I've always been an enthusiastic clinician. When people ask me to do clinics, I'm always jumping at the opportunity. When the NBTC (National Basketball Training Center) with Alex (Compton) asked me to do a clinic two years ago, yeah, I didn't hesitate. Because I believe that all the work and experience I've gained, and knowledge that I've gained over 36 years, I don't wanna die with that. I don't wanna retire and take that and bury it somewhere. I want as much as it is desired to pass it on to other coaches. And I know that these guys I'm bringing here – they're coaching friends of mine – I know these guys feel the same way. This is a chance in a country with a well-loved basketball landscape to do something that I hope will be seen as beneficial and positive for the coaches. If it is, then that's enough for me. – Rappler.com
For interested parties, you may visit the World Hoops Clinic Facebook page for details or contact John Flores (09175517275, 09989977275) or Jay Salvador (09281716108) or email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.