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…

HOOPING IS THE EASY PART, EVERYTHING ELSE CAN BE CHALLENGING

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.

Shine,

Idan

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.