Marcus Bullock joined the Upper Hand pod to talk about his work at Baseline Hoops. Coach Bullock is the Program Director and Head Trainer at Baseline Hoops, which focuses on skill training through group training, one on one training, AAU teams, camps and clinics. Bullock played at Division I, University of New Hampshire where he was a 4 year starter at the point guard position. Since graduating from UNH Marcus has trained many athletes including various pros, both with the NBA and overseas.
Q: What is the vision and mission behind Baseline Hoops?
A: The vision or mission behind Baseline Hoops is just to create an atmosphere where athletes, basketball players, can come train, get better at their sport, perfect their craft, but also become better people and just learn life lessons through sports.
Q: And how did you get started at Baseline Hoops?
A: I was a basketball trainer with another company for eight or nine years and then my wife and I decided that it was time to just do it ourselves… I think the main thing that I see, especially in this area… everyone caters to the best players and everyone only wants to deal with the best players. And something I thought of is, what about the kids that love and enjoy the game but may not be the best, but they still want to play, they still want to get better and maybe they can be the best. And so that’s kind of the niche that we really settled into is those kids that just love the game, enjoy the game, but may not be those top kids that are going to the top schools across the country.
Q: Tell us a story about one of your proudest moments in your coaching career?
A: I guess one that comes to mind, is that my, I guess they’re in 7th grade now, I’ve had these kids since they were in third grade and we have never won a championship or tournament or anything… And last year we were able to finally get over that hump and won our first championship. Some of the kids were so happy they were crying. And then they’ve won a bunch since then. So getting over that hump, and the persistence and not giving up or quitting or just accepting it. They really wanted to win it and now it has just kind of turned the page… and now they expect to win which is great.
Q: Tell us a story about some of the challenges you faced in your coaching/athletic career and how you overcame them, or maybe you still are?
A: So for me the basketball part of it is easy, the coaching part, teaching, that comes pretty easy and natural to me. The hardest part for me has been and still is the business or sales side of it. I’m not a big talker I’m a pretty quiet person. I’m very humble and I don’t like to talk about how good of a coach I am or anything like that. I’m good at talking about how good other people are. So that’s the hardest part for me is really selling myself to people and getting them to buy into and trying… Once they see me work, it kind of sells itself, but getting that person who may not initially know me or know our program, getting them in the door or just to give it a try, has been the toughest part for me because I’m not that sales kind of person…
Q: What do you think has been the key to your success that other coaches could learn from?
A: I think my wife and I and even all of our staff I think we just tried to be real and genuine. We don’t try to sell people things that aren’t real, or give them false hopes or guarantee scholarships or anything like that… We’re going to give you everything we’ve got and we’re going to get your kid as good as we can, but a lot of it’s on them and at the end of the day they’re going to be better basketball players and better people…
Q: How do you think technology is changing the way you work and coach?
A: I definitely think technology has kind of taken over in sports, not only social media and stuff like that, but training wise, there are all these different apps and things that you can use to track a player’s progress. We do a lot of different video analysis. We use a couple video softwares for that… We can review it as coaches and then send it to players and they can send back what they think… And I think that’s why players are getting so much better, so much faster, because there’s just so much access to, you don’t have to be together with the player to watch tape or see what they’re doing wrong or right, everything can just kind of happen at the snap of a finger… So I think that has been great for sports in general…
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring coaches who are just starting out?
A: I guess the biggest thing is it’s not easy. I know a lot of guys, especially when their careers are done… You think I’ll just teach kids how to do it. And you can do it, but to make a living off of it is very difficult. It takes a lot of work. It’s not a quick thing. So if you’re into it and you’re willing to put the work into it, it’s great. But I guess my biggest piece of advice is just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Make sure the kids are the number one reason why you’re doing it. And the benefit of them has to be the priority and that’s when the success will come.