Interview with Holger Geschwindner - BASKETBALL
Coach of Dirk Nowitzki
Holger Geschwindner (67) played more than 600 games in the German Bundesliga and in 1972 he captained the Olympic Basketball Team in Munich. He studied Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy. Geschwindner acts as consultant, personal trainer and mentor for Dirk Nowitzki.
COOPERATION DIRK NOWITZKI
Mr. Geschwindner, how did you start working with Dirk Nowitzki ?
I discovered Dirk by chance during a game of DJK Würzburg. When we started to train together, he was 16,5 years old, and we were faced with the great task: "How can we satisfy his desire to compete with the best in the world?" It turned out that neither Basketball-literature nor specialized magazines could help us on the way.
Why was that so, and what did you do?
In my view, sports-disciplines develop much faster than books or magazines can be printed. In this respect we had to think for ourselves and sense, how basketball will evolve. This has worked quite well.
Nowitzki - Geschwindner Workout
ATTITUDE AND WORK AS TRAINER
With all the success life as a coach could be boring. What keeps your enthusiasm alive ?
Basketball was never been boring to me and we didn't experience only successes. On the contrary, in the past 19 years we experienced many ups and downs together. It's a constant challenge, when an athlete competes at the top of the world and if he wants to stay there. At that level you constantly have to think: "How do I act, what's next, how can we reach the next step?" Also, there is no literature. It is a complex challenge, you are constantly searching, trying out new things, watching training of other sports and wondering if something could be of help.
But with your experience as a player and coach in Basketball you know "how the wind blows" ?
Sure, I do have some experience. But that does not mean that I have the right answers for all the boys questions. Especially in the initial phase, there were many moments I said to young players: "Slowly, please. I do not know the answer right now, we need to talk about that tomorrow again." If a coach or trainer is seriously and honestly working with talents, he respects their needs and continues to work on their development, and these various tasks remain exciting. Therein lies my enthusiasm and my commitment to Basketball.
Geschwindner Basketball Camp
How should one handle sporting talents ?
Talents are often put off by rigid methods. In sports you won't achieve much through statements like "you must do this and you should not do that !!". I rather represent the motto: "You don't have to give up anything, but you should not lose sight of your goal." Therefore, I drove the boys to the disco a few times and picked them up again. Young athletes cannot be kept away from the world. On the contrary, you should show them the beautiful things in the world.
How would you rate your relationship with this generation and how important is learning ?
If one maintains an open, honest relationship with young guys, communication and cooperation should work well. Learning plays a special role - I have learned at least as much from the guys as they learned from me. As a coach, of course, I hope to contribute to their advancement. Anyway, from my experience I have to say, it's great fun to evolve together.
Nowitzki - Geschwindner Training
DIRK NOWITZKI - DEVELOPMENTS IN THE NBA
Through individual development Dirk Nowitzki brought changes into the team sport Basketball. What are they ?
According to the NBA Dirk instilled five major innovations. These developments have now been adopted by many top pros. As a "7-footer" - 2,13-m-man - he was the first one to score a high percentage of three-point throws. Before, big players used to play almost exclusively close to the basket. Also, Dirk introduced a resolution from the one-position tactics. Whereas big players previously held solid positions, he can play from several positions. In addition, Dirk introduced special throws, like the so-called "Flamingo-shot" or the "One-step-fade-away". He also increased the success rate for major players in free throw shooting considerably.
How did the competition in the NBA react ?
In order to develop strategies against the Dallas Mavericks, the opponents always discuss the question: "What do we do with Dirk?". The Los Angeles Lakers tried to get him under control with seven different players in the play-off round in 2011. Without greater success, because Dirk found a suitable solution for every situation.
Pfaff, E. (2013). "The most important thing is that we always act on equal footing." - Leistungssport, 43 (3), P. 49-53.