Holger Geschwindner, Dirk Nowitzki’s legendary personal coach and mentor, doesn’t just train the Big German. He puts on his own basketball camps in Germany, too. One particular camp, which takes place in a particularly beautiful area on the water, was recently spotlighted on VICE Sports by reporter Jermain Raffington.
Raffington took part in one day of camp from start to finish, including morning stretches and late-night dribble sessions backed by an opera singer and guitarist duet. (I’m not making that up.) Geschwindner very seriously refers to his camps and teaching methods as “The Institute of Applied Nonsense,” after hearing for years from his coaching contemporaries that the drills he puts his players through are silly, superfluous, or downright pointless.
Obviously, there must be a pretty solid method to the German’s madness, because the prized prospect out of Geschwindner’s academy is Nowitzki, who’s soon going to have more career points than all but five players in the history of the NBA. Their practice routine was highlighted in Nowitzki’s documentary “The Perfect Shot,” which is available for viewing on Netflix.
Seeing the success Nowitzki has achieved through Geschwindner’s tutelage is certainly a huge motivating factor to the young kids at the camp. But, as you’ll find out when you watch the video, the week-long camp is less about basketball and more about learning to control and master your body and mind. Ultimately, that’s what matters most when you play the sport. For example, the kids row instead of lifting weights. They dribble at a pace set by music. They practice what look like ludicrous dribble moves, but when we see Dirk do the same thing in-game we think nothing of it. As Raffington points out in the video, the truly “perfect” shot will go in regardless of what the rest of your body is doing. But there is without question order in that physical chaos, and that’s what Geschwindner is looking to teach these kids.
The video is roughly 15 minutes long, but it’s well worth the watch. Check it out below.