Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  26 responses

Hoops Whisperer Joins SLAM

To be the best, get help from the best…

by Lang Whitaker | @langwhitaker

Last summer I finally met up with someone I’d been hearing about for a while. Idan Ravin is known in NBA circles as The Hoops Whisperer. If you want a little background on Idan, you can read about him here. Simply put, Idan is one of the top basketball trainers in the world, and he’s worked with everyone from Melo to Bron to CP3 to KD.

And now he’s going to work with all of you guys.

Starting in SLAM 142, which will drop in September, Idan will be answering questions from our readers in each issue of SLAM. You can submit questions by emailing thehoopswhisperer@harris-pub.com, and the best of the best will end up in print.

I was going to write some sort of column introducing Idan to you guys, but Idan wrote something himself…


by Idan A. Ravin Esq.

You read SLAM because you love the game. You love to practice, play, watch, study, learn and read — anything and everything related to basketball. Your passion for the game is absolutely necessary for you to develop as a player. But your passion and hard work are not the only tools required to grow. In each stage of your development you will find yourself faced with different on-court and off-court issues which will require you to make both smart and informed decisions. Each decision will help you graduate to the next level of basketball competition, performance and even pressures. Let me give you a few examples.

As a basketball trainer to many of the NBA’s best players, I witness the tremendous effort and commitment it has taken to achieve their dreams.  While their path to the NBA was filled with passion and hard work, it also required each player to make the “right” choice for themselves based on smart and well-informed decisions.

Many of the issues faced by these NBA stars are and will be the same issues you will face as you progress in your journey. These can include: dealing with a difficult coach who may play you out of your natural position; balancing school work with basketball and a heavy AAU/college travel schedule; addressing teammates when they underperform; becoming more mindful of your words in meetings and during interviews; balancing the interests of family members and friends with your own personal goals; filtering good advice from self serving advice; preserving your professionalism at all times; and challenging ways of thinking and doing when they run completely against what you stand for and believe.  Navigating through this new and uncertain terrain will be challenging and likely leave you feeling overwhelmed at times.

I write this monthly column for SLAM to offer you guidance on how to manage these tough issues. Over the course of the next year, I encourage you to write to thehoopswhisperer@harris-pub.com to share with me your questions and concerns. Hopefully I can share with you my thoughts, experience and the insight of the NBA’s best to help you address these challenging situations and make the “right” choice for you.  Each month we will select 2 to 3 of these questions and I will post my advice in SLAM Magazine and www.slamonline.com.  Looking forward to hearing from all of you.



About Idan: The Wall Street Journal, Men’s Journal, Sports Illustrated, ESPN.com, NBA.com and many other media outlets have referred to Idan as “The Hoops Whisperer” because of his unique ability to engage, inspire,  challenge and develop the many NBA players he trains. Along with these national publications, Idan has also been featured on NBA Inside Access, NBA Fit, NBA TV, ESPN, Nike/Brand Jordan commercials, etc. Over the last few years, Idan has worked with many of the NBA’s elite, including Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets), Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Amar’e Stoudemire (New York Knicks), Gilbert Arenas (Washington Wizards), LeBron James (Miami Heat), Elton Brand (Philadelphia 76ers), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors),  Joe Johnson (Atlanta Hawks), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Jason Richardson (Phoenix Suns) and Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies). Idan can be reached @IdanWan on Twitter and also on www.IdanRavin.com.

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  • Marcel Mutoni

    From now on, I want to everyone to refer to me as Marcel Mutoni Esq. Thanks for the inspiration, Idan.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    I’m looking forward to this column. Only wish it was around when I was hooping competitively.

  • arthur


  • hoodsnake

    The thing about the lesson you learn inhoops is that you can apply it to real life. Some of it anyway. Looking forward to this

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Idan, I have a question for you: Weights. Where do you stand on using them for training? I’ve been interested in using a series of kettlebell weights to recoup my explosive leap (I am 30 now) I had in my early 20s.

  • Ronald

    I’ve wanted to see something like this for a while. ESPN has their trainer guy, but his stuff is all “insider”, so it’s nice to see Slam adding this guy to the mix.

  • Da Real

    new, new fresh idea. Idan, let’s hit Barry Farms and get a work out in!

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Dacre and anyone else with a question: Email it to thehoopswhisperer@harris-pub.com

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I’m very excited about this. HUGE thanks to Idan and Lang for making it happen. Also happy to start following Idan on Twitter.

  • http://www.twitter.com/gerardhimself Gerard Himself

    interesting, can’t wait til the next issue.


    Idan Ravin is like a Jedi. I look forward to soaking up his words of wisdom in SLAM.

  • Boogie

    I like this guy has got a column now, im all about good ball tips. Buuut his nickname has always bothered me. I mean it kinda makes it seem like he’s training animals not people… slightly offensive? I mean i know you’ll think im trolling but have u seen the movie? The context of being a whisperer applies to being able to speak to a beast that is otherwise unreachable. Funny that they gave him that nickname. Alright thts all. I know everyone will be mad but sometimes i see quite blatantly racial things and gotta address them. Especially with basketball which is like a hotbed for americas racial tension but somehow avoids any way of discussing it because…. well too many reasons.

    Anyway, welcome to slam Idan. Maybe they can hook u up with a better nickname.

  • Sparker

    i agree. i often find myself dealing with questions that nba players must struggle with. like: shall I take the rolls or the escalade? and: is this lady for real, or she just after me for my millions? also: damn, i got to figure out how to keep hitting my head on the rim when i jam in traffic… can you help a brother out? so yeah, i’m rounding up my posse as we speak and they have strict instructions to tune in…

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    Very interesting…in a good way.

  • JoeMaMa

    The hoops whisperer. Nice. I can see him gently stroking CP3′s head and whispering sweet little nothings into his ear to calm his wild play. In Montana. On a ranch. And Jake Gyllenhal is there?

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Love this guy, he gets into your head and pushes you further. Of course LeBron couldn’t handle the criticism so he never went back.

  • permaculture james

    Looking forward to it. Good addition.

  • JTaylor21

    @Anton, Of course like bron needs the workouts. Dude being doing fine by the way and has improved in every aspect of his game since day one, FU*K BOY.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    This is cool. I’ve read plenty about Ravin thanks to Truehoop – always interesting stuff.

  • Z

    what happened to my comment…?

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    And hot damn that is one impressive client list.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    wassup Idan!!!!! you the man! I watched your special on NBA Fit and was totally inspired. Seeing someone do what they love and excell at it is a beautiful thing, you the man Idan!

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    @JTaylor: Wouldn’t have hurt him to improve on a few relatively weak aspects of his game though, would it? If not now, at least some time before his athleticism starts to decline (which is still pretty far away).

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