Mike Lee, avid Dr. Dish user and supporter, is the founder of Thrive3, which uses basketball and mindfulness training to positively influence the lives of middle school through NBA players and coaches. Over the past 10 years Thrive3 has trained over 30,000 players, from 32 states and 5 countries.
Mike has also conducted NBA Pre-Draft Training, served as the Assistant Director for the Stephen Curry Skills Academy and worked events for Nike Basketball. As a basketball player development coach and speaker, Mike blogs, shares stories, and encourages people across the world to tap into their own personal power through mindfulness.
Dr. Dish was able to sit down with Mike recently to ask him how he has been able to build Thrive3.
Q: What’s your background in basketball?
ML: I started playing basketball when I saw Michael Jordan and the Bulls against the Lakers in the 1991 Finals. That’s where I fell in love. I also played in high school and a little in college at the D3 level. Back in 2006 I started the Wisconsin Playmakers Basketball Club and then transitioned to basketball skill development full-time in 2009.
Q: What’s your basketball training philosophy?
ML: 1) Skills before situations There are so many coaches, parents and trainers trying to teach kids to do things like split ball screens before they have a great crossover or fade off a screen before they know how to set their feet.
2) Simple, but not easy 97% of high school players will never play in college — at any level. But, they spend time working on skills like step backs and combo moves they’ll never use in a game. Be great at simple things like creating space and finishing with both hands. Most people would be surprised, but a lot of NBA guys need the same thing.
3)Any drill should be able to be extrapolated out of your offense. It’s unbelievable how many drills I see on YouTube and I have no idea how it relates to the game.
Q: Who have you worked with?
ML: We mainly work with high school and college level players, but have spent time with NBA guys like Wes Matthews, Jae Crowder and Joel Embiid. Matt Thomas, Bronson Koenig, Carrington Love, Paul Jesperson and Duane Wilson are some of the other college guys we’ve been working with for several years. I find it really rewarding to develop a relationship with someone and see them grow as a player and person.
Q: Where does your training philosophy come from?
ML: I’ve been really fortunate to spend a lot of time with some incredible teachers of the game like Forrest Larson. I think the best thing they really taught me, wasn’t new drills or concepts, but how to actually break the game down and teach it. Whether that’s creating vision or becoming a better passer — you name it, I think you can teach it— through film breakdown and drill work. It’s all about isolating a skill and then finding ways to get a high number of reps in those specific game situations.
Q: How does Dr. Dish help you train?
ML: The versatility that Dr. Dish basketball shooting machines provides is unmatched. As a player development coach, I always stress the importance of efficiency during workouts and Dr. Dish helps immensely. And beyond the repetitions, Dr. Dish delivers with detailed analytics and the ability to simulate game-like situations. It also frees me up to focus teaching proper technique instead of constantly chasing down rebounds.
Q: You’ve been doing this for over 10 years, how do you keep track of all your drills, teaching points and concepts?
ML: We have our Blueprint: A Coaches Guide to Skill Development, that has over 500 drills, 20 positional workouts and 25 articles I’ve written. I even go back and read the articles sometimes for motivation. Probably because I usually only write what I need to hear myself.
Q: How can coaches get a copy of the Blueprint or is this something you keep for internal use?
ML: We actually used to sell it on our website for $279, but have recently decided to give it away for free to reach as many coaches as possible. They can grab a copy here.