The "Godfather" of player development is now speaking to businesses: Clips from speech on culture development at PCI in Dallas
Coach David Thorpe has been coaching/teaching/inspiring players from all levels of basketball for over three decades.Over the years he started doing the same for coaches, teams, and executives around the world. His unique ability to be inspirational and compassionate, and his overall message about dreaming big and then focusing on "finding joy on the merry-go-round" resonates with corporate culture as much as a sports team. Men and women want to be given the blueprint for increased productivity and developing new skills while gaining motivation to follow that plan.
Serious NBA fans know Coach Thorpe. His articles, videos, podcasts, and radio interviews have been heard by millions of people starting back in 2007. Coach Thorpe left his analyst job in April of 2017 to launch hs consulting and speaking businesses, but still appears weekly on radio stations and podcasts around the country. His book, published in 2017 "Basketball is Jazz" was written for basketball enthusiasts, but has now been passed along inside the business world as a selection of lessons on motivation and reaching people.
David married his wife Christine in 1990. They are the parents of twins currently in 11th grade, and a Vizsla named Spalding. He can be seen coaching multiple high school and AAU basketball teams in the Tampa Bay area as a volunteer, hosting free clinics for coaches and young players near his home in Clearwater or around the world, or watching his ballet/lyrical jazz loving daughter compete in dance events.
How is he different? David Thorpe’s success as a basketball coach and media talent has made him a world-renowned basketball expert. He served as a lead NBA analyst for ESPN.COM starting in 2007, leaving ten years later to start his speaking business. Beyond players, he mentors successful head coaches and executives in the NBA, along with some NBA agents, and he has consulted with NBA owners on the business aspects of their teams. David Thorpe ranks as one of the most powerful voices in basketball today, and is considered globally to be the first person to have a career based on consulting with basketball players, much like golf and tennis pros have done for decades. No one has the kind of resume he has built over thirty years.
What will he leave behind? As a coach, writer, and author, Thorpe is a master storyteller. He uses his stories to illustrate feelings and best practices that each participant will feel and remember. Thorpe’s players say they hear his voice in their heads when they are playing in a game a thousand miles away from him. When faced with any challenge, participants will be able to say the same thing, and make better choices because of it. His counsel and inspirational messages will cause those that hear him to think and act differently immediately. When development is the goal, there is no substitute for a daily plan. Once exposed to Coach Thorpe’s description of that process, people will feel more confident in their approach to improvement than ever before.
How are NBA teams and players like the rest of us, companies and staff? A core principle in Thorpe’s teachings is to use basketball as a tool to reach people on more important lessons in life. NBA franchises operate just as most companies do in today’s world. The balance between winning today while building for the future is a never ending quest. Managing egos, inspiring the players, building a core culture that helps to create the environment where production and efficiency reigns, all are a daily part of the NBA lifestyle. Both as a consultant and an analyst, Thorpe is on the inside of these dynamics. What he shares with players, teams, and fans is the kind of “gold” that companies are mining for. Players come to train with Thorpe to learn better basketball techniques on the court, but they return for what he teaches them about daily habits off the court that have even stronger consequences. Eating habits. Adding to the culture of the team. Dealing with failure, even embracing it. And success. These are make or break principles for players with million of dollars on the line. Employees at most companies may have fewer dollars to gain from success, but the consequences are the same. “Culture as strategy”, a quote from the brilliant business book “An Everyone Culture” starts with each individual learning how they can uniquely add to their teams approach to growth and development. This is at the core of Coach Thorpe’s work.
You can't just refer to David as a basketball coach. He's a life coach, too, not only for the players he trains but his colleagues as well! If you want to truly unlock the secrets to the game of success, partner up with Coach Thorpe-prepare to be enlightened, and to be inspired.--Marc Stein, Senior Writer, The New York Times
I read "Basketball is Jazz" because I have two young girls who play basketball. As I read the stories and lessons contained within I realized this was a business book, and that Coach Thorpe's messages about developing players is just as much about growing people. So, we arranged for him to come speak with our leadership team. I'm so pleased we did. His passion and focus on helping people reach new levels was both inspiring and in total alignment with our business philosophy at PCI. David’s message that personal growth is a foundational element for building a dynamic and engaged culture really resonated with our team.
Publishing Concepts | President & CEO
Watching a basketball game with David Thorpe at any level is like riding shotgun with a surgeon in the operating room. He is one of the rare people who works in the sport who can combine a deep and versed knowledge of the science of it all while at the same time provide cutting big-picture perspective. It is in those tucked gray areas where he shines, not just in improving his students' performance but in letting his readers and listeners in on many of the secrets of why it all matters. --Brian Windhorst, ESPN and ESPN SPORTSCENTER
I know David Thorpe as a man of deep personal integrity with an extraordinary commitment and capacity for helping people, teams, and organizations become even more than they might have dreamed themselves. I couldn’t be more delighted that his services are now in-demand beyond the basketball world where he has earned a reputation over 30 years as a genius-level developer of individual players and team culture. For any organization that aspires to greatness in the 21st century, I would offer my highest recommendation on behalf of David as a speaker, teacher, coach, and role model. His stories and lessons will resonate. His presence and humanity will inspire.
CEO, Way to Grow INC
Contributing Author: "An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization”
(Named “Best Management and Workplace Culture Book of 2016” by 800-CEO-READ)
Thorpe is a valued teacher and authority like no other. I’ve seen billionaires hang on his every word as if they were middle school players learning how to make layups. His messages are the stuff we all need to hear and heed.
--Jason Levien, Owner and Managing Partner for Swansea City/English Premier League and DC United/MLS
His passion is evident, not to mention contagious. Spend fifteen minutes talking with Thorpe and you'll immediately want to do one of two things: go play a game or go watch one. He is one of those people who can energize you with just his voice-- Chris Ballard, Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated and author of "The Art of a Beautiful Game: The Thinking Fan's Tour of the NBA" (November 2009)
David Thorpe may be the very best that I have ever known at that quality that makes people say, "I like myself best when I'm with him." I have felt the entire room glow when he is speaking, as it seems like every person thinks Thorpe is talking to them directly. David has the ability to connect with people in a way that is reserved for only the most gifted of communicators--Bobby Gross, Owner, Windstar Homes
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