Interview with Bob Hoffman - Coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
When did you start playing basketball and when did you decide that you were going to make a career out of it?
I started playing organized basketball when I was in fifth grade. While in junior high, I decided I wanted to be a coach. Specifically, I wanted to coach basketball to have an opportunity to continue to be involved in the game. I love making a positive impact on young people.
Did you have any challenges to overcome when you started your basketball career? How did you do it?
I think the hardest thing in coaching is going from being a player to becoming a coach. This is usually because the guys that go into coaching the game have a love for the game and it comes quite naturally to them. It is quite different to teach the game than to play the game. You have to stop and think of the best way it would be to teach a certain point that might have came so naturally to you as a player. For me the best way to learn all these techniques was to go to clinics all over the country and hear the best coaches in the world communicate all different kinds of teaching points. I still have notebooks from those different clinics from all the way back twenty five years ago until now. I still refer to them. Another way that I was able to learn different coaching techniques was to work camps in all different parts of the country. There I would ask coaches how they were able to accomplish different objectives in their own careers. I have always believed that knowledge comes from asking people that are knowledgeable in their specific areas of strengths. If you do not ask questions of those that have gone before you and have been successful in your particular field, you will never reach your potential.
Tell us about the kids Basketball Camp?
Our camp is open to boys and girls who have finished second through ninth grade. We will be teaching fundamentals of every area of the game of basketball. In the morning will be fundamentals only. In the afternoon, we will be holding a shooting camp that will teach the basics to shooting to all the way of showing great drills that they can work on at home or in the gym. The campers can come to one session or stay all day. We will be holding the camp at PSJA NORTH on June 21, 22, and the 23rd. For more information you can call 956-972-1144
Do you expect the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to be a big hit like the Killer Bees Hockey team or bigger? Why?
I feel like we have great opportunity to be very successful this first year in the valley. First of all, we have a great product. Our players will be of a high level. Some will have the opportunity to go straight from our team right to the NBA. This affiliation makes our league different than most minor league programs. Second of all, I feel that the folks in the valley are great sports enthusiasts that like to watch great events. Third we will have a number of our games on national and international television that will be a great chance to show our area to all the country. Fourth, we are going to be in involved in all kind of things that will be community and charity related to help make a difference where we live.
What type of players is the team getting? Are these players potential NBA stars or will they be life long minor leaguers?
We will get our players from try-out camps and a draft that will be conducted right after the NBA teams have their final cuts in late October. Our team will be a collection of mostly young players with some veterans thrown in to help with experience.
Tell us about your "Run-and-Gun" style of play that made you so successful with the Aeros.
Everywhere I have been, we have tried to play at a very fast pace. I know that is how the players enjoy playing the game. Most fans enjoy this style also. I have been blessed to have some great players that really enjoy playing that style of play. It usually gives you an advantage against your opponents when you make a commitment to play fast. They have a hard time simulating what you are trying to accomplish in practice, which gives you an advantage when you get into the games.
Do you feel your team will be on top this year or will this season be more of trail run?
We plan on trying to compete for the championship.
What advice would you give to a High School Basketball player that wanted to make it to the NBA?
Most players are not willing to sacrifice at a high enough level to obtain their ultimate goals. If you want to play at the highest level that your ability will allow you to play at, you must be totally committed to your goals. Most young men and women do not have any written goals of what they want to accomplish, which leads to not reaching any goals. Write down some specific daily, monthly and yearly goals. Then get a coach or a personal trainer or both to help you stay accountable to reach your goals.
What advice would you give to Coaches that wanted to achieve a 25 and 2 record?
First of all obviously it helps to have great players. Secondly you must get them to look at common goals and not individual accomplishments. If you can get them to care about each other you have a great chance to have a championship team.
Do you believe that the Valley will ever have a pro team like the Spurs?
I would never say never. I think it would be a long time from now if it did happen.