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March 21, 2019 By BridgeAthletic

Getting Players Through The Door Pt. 2 - Breakdown of Episode 9 with Evan VanBecelaere


With March Madness nearing, our 9th episode of Powering Performance is sure to get you in the spirit. We are joined by University of Oregon’s Director of Performance for Men’s Basketball, Evan VanBecelaere. He shares with us his journey to becoming a Duck and how he is building new relationships across his new role.

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Find People to Have in Your Corner

Much of Evan’s success, especially as one of the youngest in his field, he credits to his mentors.

“I attribute much of my success to all the people who have helped me along the way. to people like Ramsey, who were just willing to give me a shot, and like Coach Hudy, who just really believed in me.” Evan has a drive that those who work with him can easily see. It was determination that got him his foot in the door at KU. He sent a daily email asking to intern until finally getting the position. Evan continues to put what he has learned into practice. His approach to player-coach relationships is based on what he learned working with Dr. Ramsey Nijem, a coach well known for his unique ability to truly relate and participate in his players' daily lives. 


Have Your Athletes Take Ownership

Evan’s method is to give his athlete’s ownership of their strength routine during the in-season. If they’re willing to come to him, they’re able to get more done together. Since this is his first season with the ducks, his main objective is to create trusting relationships with each of his players on the team. He keeps notes of the players he hasn’t checked in with in a few days and makes it his goal to connect with each of them. Even if it is to just catch up about life outside of basketball. He wants his athletes to know he cares about their athletic performance but also who they are as people. With collegiate athletes, he is in the unique space of helping to educate these guys in multiple facets of their life and preparing them to reach their future goals.. “I can build them to be better athletes, but also better people. We talk a lot about character. NBA scouts look at the way you carry yourself on the court and the attitude that you have. Teaching them the little things I think goes much further.” Being an outlet and creating a trusting relationship encourages his athletes to seek him out themselves and to take ownership of their performance. For many players, they don’t yet have a training routine so he can help develop these players more than he would be able to at the NBA level. So, if they are drafted they at least have a foundation for other coaches to build on.


Tune in to minute 20:49 to hear more about the similarities and differences of training NBA vs. collegiate athletes


It’s About the Culture You Create

With a relationship in place, and a background in the NBA, the players trust Evan’s advice and that he has their long term goals in mind as well. When they show up to put in the time on their own merit, Evan admits it makes the job easier. He doesn’t want to be restrictive of his athletes, but rather encourage and educate them on what they need to do to optimize their performance. He will watch them play, and give them feedback that will relate back to work they can do in the weight room. The example Evan gave us was, “If I notice a players getting knocked out of his lane. I will tell him to come in for lifts so we won’t get pushed around and he can have the confidence to be the one going in to make that contact.” This excites the players, because it no longer feels like a burden on their already busy schedule. When they can see the direct correlation to their play, they are more willing to get themselves into the weight room. “Half of the battle is just getting them there” Evan explains, “If they are never coming into the weight room we’re never going to be successful.”

Evan wants to have his players want to be in the weight room, so he cranks up the tunes and keeps it light with the guys when they aren’t going through a hard workout. Rest assured, Evan has different plans for the Oregon Ducks come offseason, “when they are beat up and sore, is when I am going to kick it up a notch”. But for now, he is more focused on working and developing each athlete individually so they can perform their best on game day.

About the Author


At Bridge, we are all athletes and coaches first. As athletes, our team has experienced everything from riding the pine on JV, to winning NCAA championships, to competing in the Olympic Games. As coaches, we have helped countless athletes reach their full potential, winning everything from age group section championships to Olympic Gold Medals.

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