BEFORE THE SYSTEM
The beating heart of the Next Chapter Hoops training program is it’s creator and driving force, international basketball player Vlad Moldoveanu.
Vlad’s always had his eye on a coaching career he’s always looked to improve, to get better, to work out as professionally as humanly possible, respecting both the game, himself and those around him. With an already successful (ongoing) career, Vlad is now looking to pass on the knowledge he gathered in his first years over in Europe as a professional basketball player, but also from his work and study in the United States.
It’s always been a great mix, the best of both worlds, achieving strong fundamental knowledge in Europe and expanding and improving on that in the US. Vlad’s always loved to be in the gym, something all of his team-mates and coaches can attest to, either getting shots up, doing extra individual work or running through routines, always in the pursuit of greatness. Through his experiences, he’s come to believe that the best feeling, other than winning, is improving your game, that feeling of accomplishment you get when you know you’ve legitimately improved something about yourself and your game.
A great example of this is Vlad’s 3P shooting which was at a (roughly) 35% rate in his college years and his first years as a pro. In his third professional season, after his first all-around, complete summer improvement effort, his percentages shot north of 40% and never looked back. This is where he truly became a 3P specialist. With it, came his first MVP title, his first pro career Championship and his first Euroleague (best basketball league outside of the NBA) presence. Always valuing workouts, trying to go at game-speed and keep the rhythm up, always working within the system, are keys to his durable and successful European career so far.
THE TRAINING SYSTEM
The main focus is working on developing fundamental skills. It’s important to first master the fundamentals before players can develop their advanced skills. Once mastering the fundamentals, then a player can truly improve at a much faster rate.
Vlad has always been a “details guy”. He loves to watch tape of his opponents, do a bit of extra scouting so he can never be surprised on the floor. He’s looking to take the same approach towards his training methods. When teaching a skill, it’s easy to kind of.. move through the motions and think the players “got it” but everything is in the details, such as.. Is the player dribbling hard enough? is the bounce pass crisp and does it hit the receiver in a good spot to shoot / pass / dribble? Small details such as these have to be improved on and really have to be taught. It’s not enough to tell a player to throw a bounce pass. The speed of the pass, the distance where it bounces from the receiver, it becomes and the angles game in order for the receiver to get the ball to the “sweet spot”. It’s all in the details.
Working on strengths
Something not many say, but really.. at a young age, at high school level, or even college or pro level, do you ever master your strengths? My guess is.. probably not. As he was taught in college, when a coach says “you’re a good shooter but can you become great?” it’s a great challenge. It took Vlad almost 4 years until he started shooting over 40% from long range and now, every year, he passes that mark, even having 40-50-90 seasons (one of the hardest achievements for a shooter is getting 40% from 3P, 50% from 2P and 90% from FT). When coaching, Vlad is looking to help the player develop, one skill at a time. On top of developing the player to become a bigger part of his team, to practice within the system. Game shots, game passes, game cuts and finishes.
Mental training is sometimes a taboo subject or coaches just decide not to tackle it. Vlad has been working with a mental preparation coach for over 5 years now and understands the importance of mental preparation, goal setting, visualization and meditation, just to name a few. He is ready to share the knowledge he learned, with young, aspiring basketball players.
Analytics is a huge part of the game nowadays and video analysis is just as big. It’s very important for players to learn how to watch a game and not just watch it for the sake of watching it, especially when watching an opposing team or old tape of themselves. Vlad has been through thousands of video sessions and has learned how to use video analysis to not only improve himself but also how to learn about the opposing strengths and weaknesses.