Basketball academy spotlight: Pat Coughlin

"We are able to bring a level of consistency as far as a place to train, practice and get better."

Pat Coughlin, a Brookings, South Dakota, native, played basketball at the University of Sioux Falls and graduated in 2013. He has been an assistant with the Sanford POWER Basketball Academy since 2014 and has worked with thousands of young athletes.

Coughlin was named coordinator of the program in 2018 and answers some questions about it and the game:

What advice do you have for parents in terms of what young basketball players should be doing in the summer? How does that vary by age or ability?

The summer time is very busy as we all know and is full with all sorts of activities. Without question, there should be variety in what athletes do as far as sporting activities and non-sporting activities. Our staff here is very supportive of multi-sport athletes at all age levels. Kids should try as many things as they can. We believe that participation in different sport can help each other in many ways. From both a physical and mental side.

What about strength and conditioning training for basketball players? Does the old adage that lifting can “mess up my shot” still stand? Or is the idea that strength and conditioning is merely pumping iron also outdated?

Strength and conditioning for basketball is very important. It is important at all levels but even more important when you make those big jumps from middle school to high school, and high school to college. The balance of strength training and basketball training go hand in hand. They help each other since they are connected. The knowledge about today’s sport’s and strength training helps greatly. We have access to groups that are well versed on how best to train and what areas of the body/movements are best. Our POWER staff is a great example. They have the knowledge and training to help all age groups and levels of athletes. The staff helps to get their bodies ready and prevent injuries. They are a great resource and that is something we are fortunate enough to have on our campus and readily available to athletes that train here.

How have you developed as a coach since getting involved as an assistant in 2014 to now being the coordinator?

I have learned and developed a lot since I first came on board in 2014. I have been very lucky to have had the chance to work with coaches with a great knowledge for the game. To be able to pick their brains on not only Xs and Os but coaching styles and other areas of the game has helped me continually grow.

You have a large staff of experienced players as academy staff, including longtime NBA star Kirk Hinrich. What does that crew bring to the table?

Our staff is one of the most important parts to our program. We have a wide range of coaching levels on staff. They range from current college players to high school coaches with many years of experience. We are very fortunate that our coaching staff has such a wide range of knowledge. The willingness to help one another learn and grow will help us get better as individual coaches and as a whole staff.

The Sanford Pentagon has gained a national reputation as an elite game venue. But how does it benefit your academy players?

The Sanford Pentagon is one of the best facilities in the country there is no question about that. Our program as a whole is very fortunate to have a facility like we have. We are able to bring a level of consistency as far as a place to train, practice and get better. Not only for our program players but anyone who comes to our facility.

Posted In Faces of Sanford Health, Sports

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