NBA Skills Trainer Reid Ouse Joins the HustleWithUs Podcast to Tell You How to Improve Your Basketball Footwork


Tristan: All right. Welcome in everyone. We have with us on the line Coach Reid Ouse. He comes to us from Catalyst Training out there in Minnesota. He founded that Academy. You can find them on social media. @coachouse on Instagram. That's O-U-S-E. And @reidouse on Twitter. Again, O-U-S-E. Coach. How are we doing tonight?

Reid: I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on.

Tristan: Absolutely. Thank you for taking the time to join us here. I mean, you come with a pretty storied past, I'd say. Your father was a longtime high school coach, and look at you now, you've got your own Academy out there in Minnesota, plenty of pro clients to really speak to your name here. I mean, let me ask you from the start there, did you get that coaching itch from working with your dad as a kid and growing up?

Reid: Yeah. You know, my dad became the junior varsity coach and I was in third grade and so it's something at a young age I dove right into. I was his manager. I probably looked a little bit silly, foolish on the sideline. My job was to make sure the water was cleaned up and I was going to do a dang good job at that. So coming from a farming background, I knew right away the importance of hard work. And I watched that translate into my dad's coaching career and so kind of fell in love with it quickly.

Tristan: I'd say so. You put that same amount of rigor into cleaning up the water, or whatever it was, as well as into your coaching. I'd bet that as well. You went on to play in college. Unfortunately, injury cut your career short there, but you jumped right onto the coaching ballot, starting at University of Northwestern in Saint Paul, Minnesota. You went from there to Bethel University to Waldorf College. I mean, you coached at a ton of places. Let me ask you do you have a favorite memory from coaching at the college level?

Reid: Well, you know, that's probably a loaded question. And I actually do need to make a correction there. So I did not play college basketball. I had the opportunity to do that. And just had kind of some knee and hip stuff. Moreso hip stuff we thought was going to get worse from a childhood thing with an infection. And then I did some stuff to my MCL and meniscus my senior year in high school.

So I had the opportunity to play. I didn't know if my body was going to hold up. And so just had like a really unique experience at Northwestern with a high school teammate. [I was] actually just talking about this today with one of my buddies who is a Division One head coach and saying that I'm sitting in my dorm room thinking, "Hey, I don't think I'm going to play."

And I don't know where that had come from. My high school buddy stepped into my dorm room a couple of hours later and said, "Hey, coach wants to talk to tomorrow morning." And [coach] basically said, "Hey, I was up at your Alma mater talking to your high school coach, Greg Preston, who's a mentor of mine. And he said, 'Hey, there's a kid down there that should be coaching. He just doesn't know it yet.'" Which was funny because I hadn't said anything to Coach Preston or anything like that. And so he said, "We've never had a student assistant before, but we'd like to give it a shot. Are you okay with that?" And so, ultimately, you know, we had a lot of great wins. I mean, we beat one of the top teams in the country on a buzzer beater. We did a lot of that stuff. But ultimately, my start and getting into college coaching and all the things that have kind of fallen into place through the years, I think those are some of my fondest memories where you look back and...

Not to go on too much of a tangent, but I got my last college job at Minnesota State-Moorhead because I knew the North Dakota State coaching staff. The year before I got it, we were in Vegas for an AAU tournament, and my buddies just happened to be in Vegas that weekend. I'm like, "Okay, we're going to get into trouble. This is going to be crazy." And we went to go into a nightclub and I had Sperry's on. And the bouncer said, "No way, dude, you got to go." So I didn't want to screw it up for my buddies. So I said, "You guys go in. Find me when you're done."

And I walked across the street. I don't gamble. I once put $20 in a machine. I got down to like a $1.75. I won my $20 back. I cashed out and was like, "Heck yeah, that was exciting enough for me." And so I go over to this casino and here's the coaching staff at North Dakota State sitting there and I start talking with them. The next year, one of those guys is at Minnesota State-Moorhead and he calls me and says, "Hey, we have an opening. Are you interested?" And I joke with people that I got that Division Two job because I wore Sperry's in Vegas.

Craig: That's so interesting how different things just kind of align. You know what I mean? It just goes into place, and that's a really interesting story. Let's go back to your early coaching days. So you were essentially a peer with the players that you coached during that first job. How did you kind of balance that?

Reid: Yeah. Well, it was interesting. My first two years at Northwestern, I was the guy that was just begging for responsibility and I was willing to work my butt off for free. And actually Howard Moore, who's at the University of Wisconsin, who was in a tragic accident this summer and his wife passed away and one of his children. He was actually sitting out this year. He was a big mentor in those two years working camps at the University of Wisconsin. And he was telling me, "Reid, you need to be in a situation where if your boss is going to give you a recommendation that they can say, 'Hey, Reid never told me no.'" And that needs to be your work ethic. And so, although I was with my peers, I didn't really look at it that way. It was like, you know what? I know what I want to do and so my mindset changed.

And so as I'm at University of Northwestern, I go over to Bethel, which was oddly enough, was a mile and a half down the road. So I still lived with Northwestern guys, so it was kind of crazy. I'm coaching at Bethel. I'm taking classes at Bethel, but when I would leave, I could go escape to my roommates that didn't go to school there. And so it was really kind of a perfect setup that way. So I could be the coach, I could have friends at Bethel, like a normal college student, but I could also get away and didn't feel like, "Oh shoot, this is my buddy, but he's also our point guard and we just had a coaches meeting and coach just cussed them out cause he's playing terribly." So I was fortunate that way.

Craig: Nice. And so then early on, what role do you play in recruiting other players, especially early in your coaching career?

Reid: So I didn't do anything the first two years off campus. I would assist with anytime we had somebody on campus. And then when I went to Bethel... It's funny, because again, I had this conversation this morning. We found out after I left, but it's a whole new coaching staff now. But I think we broke a ton of NCAA rules because I don't think I was ever supposed to be able to go out as a student assistant, and I was out three to four nights a week. I remember standing in a gym and an assistant coach at a school in Wisconsin was like, "Hey, how's everything going?" We're talking, and he's like, "So you married? You got any kids?" And I'm like, "I'm 20." Like I have a goatee, because what 20 year old at that time has a goatee? Like no one. But I was like, I have to make myself appear older. And so from a recruiting standpoint, I was heavily involved during my three years at Bethel.

Tristan: It certainly helps, I'm sure, if you're ever chatting with parents at all, they'll get a little more relaxed talking to a guy with a goatee versus the 20-year-old baby face, so to speak. So we mentioned all those colleges you worked at, you were on the college coaching circuit for several years. Now you're at Catalyst Training in Minnesota, but before that, you moved out to New York city and you teamed up with a very famous trainer, DJ Sackmann, and started running a ton of clinics and camps out there. What made you make that jump from college coach to full time trainer?

Reid: You know, similar to my Sperry's in Vegas story, I think every job that I've gotten has just kind of fallen into my lap. I was a finalist at a Division Three school in New York City, which sort of made me one of the youngest head coaches in the country. And to this day, I have no idea how I made the final two. I had an interview and went through that, didn't get it. They gave it to a guy who was from the area. And I'm like, "You know what? As I'm looking for these jobs I need to make some money." My family had just moved away. My wife's working in reality TV, which is not a job that you have in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota. It's a New York City or LA thing. So I had made the decision to take a leap of faith and go to where my soon-to-be wife was. I'm working at a gym and I'm training kids and I'm kind of thinking, "Hey, this is going to be really easy." My dad's a high school coach, I've been in the gym since I've everyday since third grade. And I started to fall in love with learning cause I realized I didn't know as much as I thought.

Similar to the Sperry story, I think it was a Sunday, and I skipped church to go do some work because we needed the money. And a guy called me and said, "Hey Reid. I drank a little bit too much last night and I don't feel very good. Can you cover my shift?" I don't really want to, but sure, I need the money. And so we had two gyms at this facility on Long Island and I walked in the back cause they didn't really need me. And there was a guy was running a camp and I'm like, "Hey, that's a DJ Sackmann." And so I walked right up to him. I'm like, "Hey, listen, I would love to help you out if you run any camps here. I'm a former college coach." I literally had my Minnesota State-Moorhead business card that I gave to him. I didn't have anything else. He's like, " Hey, I just moved back from Los Angeles" and fast forward a couple months, and he's like, "I'm moving to New Jersey." [So] I'm working for him. We're flying to Atlanta to train Demarre Carroll, who had just signed a $60 million contract with the Toronto Raptors. Things just kind of exploded. And so, I got a D-2 job because I wore Sperry's in Vegas and I'm now training because some guy, who I actually can't even remember who it was, was hung over on a Sunday. It's literally why I'm doing what I'm doing because that allowed me to meet DJ and really allowed my career to take off.

Tristan: Similar to, I'm sure what you'd tell your players, always be ready. You never know when coach is going to call your number there. So what really urged you to go out on your own after working with DJ for those two and a half years?


Reid: So, you know, I've always been moreso independent. And one of the things that I struggled with as a college coach and my dad would always point out and say, "You know, you seem to always kind of butt heads with other assistants that you work with." And it wasn't that I didn't like them, but I worked really hard and was just like in like just motivated intrinsically. So when I would go do something, it's like "I was here till 3:00 AM last night by myself figuring this out. I think we should do it this way." And they'd be like, "Nah, let's not do it." And it would just drive me nuts. I'm like, "I don't need the credit. I just... This is how I'm motivated. This is how I work." And so my best friend, who I coached with and is still a Division Three coach out here in Minnesota, we had thrown around the idea, "Hey, why don't you come back to Minnesota? It would be an opportunity for us to like kick it for a week and we can run camps and do all that." So we had just kind of pitched that idea around. And in that time, I happened to meet DJ and then started setting some stuff up at my alma mater. And next thing you know, it's like people in Minnesota... It was right when Instagram videos came out. So it's like, how much content can you cram into 15 seconds. And those videos keep popping up now on my timeline for memories. And I'm like, "Oh my God, this is awful. Why did I post this?" But it was like the cool thing then.

So coaches just started calling me. It was like word of mouth. And then the next thing you know, I got hit up by Jared Berggren, who played at University of Wisconsin and was playing overseas and playing in the NBA summer league. He's like, "Hey, can you work me out?" And then Nate Walters, who's the second round draft pick for the Milwaukee Bucks, hit me up. Anthony Tucker wins an MVP in China and now Cole Aldrich is coming. Now you fast forward, it's like, okay... Talking to my wife, like I'm getting coaches calling me saying, "Hey, can you come two days early and run another camp?" And we're getting 70 kids at a camp. So it's like, "Okay, we might need to seriously consider this." So really kind of right place at the right time with social media. And kind of my following from Minnesota just allowed me. Next thing you know, I was coming back for three weeks at a time. And I'm like, "Why don't we just go on on your own?" Because I was motivated enough to do it.

Craig: Nice. I always like hearing about people with that entrepreneurial spirit. Is that something you'd always had? You know, you kind of like to run your own thing and you know, a lot of times people don't have that level of confidence in themselves to take that leap.

Reid: See, you know, I laugh when you say that because absolutely not. I never [did] in my wildest dreams. I was going to be a college head coach. I was going to do that. I was going to eat dirt for as long as I needed to until I proved that I would work hard and that I had worked hard enough that I deserved something. And so that was always my mindset. I never really thought outside of the box. It was like, "Okay, what are the people around me doing? Okay, I'm going to do that. I'm just going to do it better." And I never had the idea of like, "Hey, how do I take this and make it my own?" and then working with DJ...

I would compare DJ, and I mean this to compliment him, he's like Steve Jobs. From my understanding, Steve Jobs was like, "Yo, this is the idea. Now, just figure out how to do it." And so we always seem to have... I remember one time, I do some website stuff and we had like four websites that were like 70% done. And DJ was like, "Why don't we ever finish one of these?" And I'm like, "Because I get 70% done and you get a better idea." And so it was like, "Okay, hold up. Like this is awesome, but we gotta stop. We've got to finish something and then come with the next one." But that really started like, he'd throw ideas and I was just listening and observing because again, I worked for him. I had that college coach mentality. And then it transitioned to, "Hey, I'm coming up with my own ideas" and now pretty soon I'm saying, "Hey DJ, I know this, this area better than you and that's not gonna work. This is how we do it." And then we'd have some success with it. And that's where my confidence came from because it was like, "I think I have the ability to figure this out."

Craig: Now, you talked about, you know, how you built up this client base, did you have a certain specialty that certain clients were looking for? That level of expertise in a certain area that differentiated you from other coaches?

Reid: Yeah. The thing that I focus on, that I that I think is my strength, is talking about footwork and timing.

And really when you talk about social media, and I keep going back to Instagram because that's where a large amount of my following came from, basketball training like wasn't a thing, right? You kind of had these guys that were just doing it and it wasn't like a huge popular thing. But then these phones kept coming out with better cameras. Now anybody and everybody with a phone can take a video and post it and say, "Hey, I'm a basketball trainer." And so I really was fortunate that I built my following because I was able to put together clips that provided some value. I joke about them being terrible, but you could see something like, "Oh, he's teaching something. I might be able to learn something from this 15 second clip." And so I was really focused on making sure that the stuff that I put out to the public that you had the ability to learn from it. It wasn't just a garbage. And so I think as any new trend comes out, you kinda gotta weave your way through it and figure out what looks good, what doesn't look good. I think I kind of had the upper hand that way cause I was putting stuff out that was kind of like, "Oh, this guy's good. He's teaching something," and ultimately just providing value. And so that's where I think I was able to get the upper hand because people were like, "Oh. He's providing value." And then ultimately having the seven years of college coaching experience and then a picture and Demarre Carroll and then a couple pro guys in Minnesota, and it was like, boom, you're validated.


Tristan: Yeah. That never goes against your credit there, for sure, to have a pro guy right there on your ballot there.

Reid: Yeah.

Tristan: So you say you're a footwork specialist. Can we try audibly here to describe maybe some of your favorite drills to improve your footwork? .

Reid: Yeah. So ultimately for me, I'm focused primarily, on just motor skills and foot control.

And so we can get super in depth. Like for example, this morning we were focusing on starts. So I said, "Listen, if you have the ball and you're dribbling it and you have a defender that's giving you some space. Right? You could take the ball in your right hand, you could keep your left foot down and you can push forward because you have space."

But what happens when you don't have space and that guy's attached to your hip? You can't step forward. So now we're maybe gonna step back with our left foot to get to that split stance so we can have some leverage. We just talk about situations and really a lot of common sense stuff. Something like "Okay, listen, your stance is too skinny. You're not able to get around guys," and talking through that.

I mentioned Jared Berggren before who played professionally. He now works with me. He does a great job. One of the things with him from a foot control standpoint, when I started working with him, I stereotyped him. Like, "Okay, 6'10", 6'11". Big white guy who plays at Wisconsin. He's going to be not very athletic. He's going to be able to shoot the three and he's probably got great feet." And I was spot on on everything, except he didn't have very good feet. And so we're filming some of this stuff. I'm going home to make videos. I'm like, "Dang. He's traveling every time we put him in a situation that he's uncomfortable with." And so ultimately, when you break it down, we call it skill development, but I don't think a lot of coaches treat it as a skill development. They treat it as situational development. The skill is foot control, right? The situation that he's going to be in is probably around the basket. But if I want to increase the skill, do I really need to be around the basket all the time? And so we took him away from the basket. I said, "Jared, I need you to trust me. We're going to take you to 45-50 feet. You're never going to be in this situation. You're not a point guard." But we gave him specifics. "Alright, I need you to stop right, left, and exchange behind your back. I need you to split your feet, one dribble between the legs..." and we did all these things to force him to control his feet. And so once he did that, it's like, "Hey, I feel like I'm getting pretty good at this." We brought him back down to the block where he was going to be in a game situation. We realize that he's not traveling as much. He has better control of his feet, and so that's where the footwork stuff comes in. For me, it's like we've got to figure out what the end goal is here. We've got to get control of your feet. Then we can do that a variety of different ways.

Tristan: Let me ask you, obviously at Hustle, we're big into the use of technology in sports training. Let me ask you, do you utilize any technology in your training today? And do you have any thoughts on maybe where the future of technology and sports training is going?

Reid: I think that the sky's the limit. I just had a conversation with a guy yesterday on the phone and just talking about different ways to increase your muscle memory and all this stuff. And with the technology, and the testing we're able to do right now, I think it's incredible.

Me personally, I worked with a company called Burner Fitness. So I have an online training program through there. So I find it pretty cool that I have the ability to work with kids all over the world. I would get kids that would send me a message on Instagram like "Hey Coach, can I work with you?" And I say, "Yeah, I'd love to work with you. Where are you from?" They're like, "Zimbabwe." I'm like, "I can't work with you dude, you live in Zimbabwe! But I have an online training program for you." And so, now with the use of technology that way, I have the ability to get in front of kids for super cheap and just leave my footprint that way. And then from all the other stuff out there [and] being able to use technology stuff for competition. Like, "Hey, where are your goals, your vertical jump, your 40 yard dash, all these things. And where are you for your age group on average?" All the different software that goes into this, that it's no longer like you're in this basement gym trying to lift weights. And [thinking], "Oh, I hope I get stronger." No, we can test and actually show you where you're getting stronger. So the use of the use of technology, I think is a huge help in my field. 100%.

Tristan: No doubt. Especially when you started in technology, well, not started, but really got that leap off the ground once you moved back to Minnesota with technology and all the Instagram videos there. Well, that's great. Yeah. Making your footprint worldwide. You heard it here first with Coach Ouse. We're talking to Coach Reid Ouse of Catalyst Training. You can find him on Instagram, @coachouse. That's O-U-S-E. And on Twitter, @reidouse. O-U-S-E. Now, Coach, I got to ask you, I saw on Twitter you had a big announcement. Was the big announcement coming on Hustle With Us or can we get a little sneak peek?

Reid: Yeah, so what I'm doing is we're releasing a Coach's Portal through BasketballCatalyst.com. And so about a year ago we came up with the idea. We're doing these breakdowns of NBA and college and high school players and talking through the detailed footwork stuff. And not only how you do it, but why you do it. Started calling it the Film Room. And that was a place where I did a ton of learning as a college coach. Film doesn't lie. So I started the Film Room really as an Instagram and Twitter thing and it really took off. I'll post the video of Jake Layman or the Timberwolves and the next thing you know, you look at the analytics and you got 1,200 followers just from that post. I'm like, "Holy smokes, these breakdowns are awesome. Like the people are loving it. We're getting a lot of engagement."

And then on top of that, what I started to realize is I'm putting stuff out here for coaches or seeing coaches use Twitter primarily to bounce ideas off and [saying] "Hey, this is a great drill." And I'm looking at it like, "No offense, but that's mediocre." Or [thinking] we could do so much more with that. And so what I'm doing with this platform is we're releasing this. It's going to be a free platform. I partnered up with coaches, trainers, athletic performance specialists to provide, free content and videos. We got a guest blog. So in the Film Room, the guest blog is called the "Guest Room" where we have coaches all over the world that are just going to provide insights on different topics. We're talking through practice planning. We're going to have a section for youth players and youth coaches that way. And so ultimately, just trying to create a hub of information where we can bring coaches together. There's a forum on there where they can talk and discuss things. Because I think with the technology that's available to us, we need to make sure that we're putting quality stuff out there, so I'm trying to use my network of quality coaches to team up and do that so I'm really excited to get that.


Tristan: No doubt, no doubt. We're excited to see it. Further use of technology to advance the sports training world, that's for sure. We'd love to see it. Coach, really appreciate your time here tonight. Before we let you go, we got to get into something we do with all of our guests. It's a little Rapid Fire Round. We're just going to throw some questions at you. You throw them right back at us. First thing that comes to mind real quick, how does that sound?

Reid: Perfect. Let's give it a whirl.

Tristan: Well, we'll start off real easy, Coach. What's your favorite sports movie of all time?

Reid: Favorite sports movie? I don't know. I kinda got to go with Hoosiers.

Craig: Oh, classic.

Reid: I think I have to or my fault... Angels in the Outfield! Are you kidding me? I grew up on that thing, man.

Craig: Oh, that's a good one. Nice. Alright, cool. So I've got another question. You know, we find a lot of coaches have favorite quotes that they use with their players all the time. What's your favorite quote?

Reid: My favorite quote. For coaches, I would say it's, "Players don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." And with players, I actually used it the other day and I love it. I said, "Listen, there's a lot of different ways to do things. You can cut a tree down with an ax, but it goes a lot faster if you have a chainsaw." And so we want to be efficient. We need to look for chainsaws. So with the technology, we have video of everything and everything comes out and we argue which way is better. Can we just admit that there's a lot of ways to do something? Let's just try to find the most efficient way. Let's find the chainsaw.

Tristan: I like that. Find the chainsaw. I feel like that's the hashtag out there somewhere. Find that chainsaw.

Reid: Find the chainsaw. We'll get like Texas chainsaw massacre accidentally.

Tristan: Alright, yeah, we'll rethink it then. Okay, best music to warm up to before a big game?

Reid: It depends on the mood. See, I'm a guy that like this morning, on the way to workout, I could have Christian music playing. The other morning, I had an old Linkin Park live. I mean, I say, "Siri, put my music on shuffle" and we go. So, I'm kind of all over the place. I can do hip hop, I can do heavy metal. I could do John Mayer.

Craig: Awesome. All good choices. They all work. Another one that I love to hear. What's your favorite basketball shoe?

Reid: My favorite basketball shoe. I'm an Adidas guy. So, I've loved some of the Harden shoes, but right now I think the Pro Bounce. New Adidas Pro Bounce would have to be my favorite shoe.

Tristan: Got it. I haven't heard that one before yet.

Craig: A lot of Jordan fans out there.

Reid: If I was [picking] Jordans, I, I'd go twelves.

Tristan: Coach, again, really appreciate your time here tonight. Really think you gave out a lot of great analysis, a lot of great tidbits for our young athletes out there. This is Coach Reid Ouse. Again @coachouse, O-U-S-E, on Instagram and @reidouse on Twitter. Keep an eye out for that coaches portal and, coach, appreciate it one more time. You have a great night and hopefully we'll check in with you sometime down the line.

Reid: Awesome, thanks for having me.


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