F Whisperer of Hoops - Powcast Sports

Whisperer of Hoops

Whisperer of Hoops

You must have heard of many kinds of whisperers. You have the horse whisperers. You have Cesar “The Dog Whisperer” Milan. These two types of whisperers are however animal whisperers.

The whisperer I am talking about and my favorite whisperer is the Hoops Whisperer, Idan Ravin.
Ravin is a basketball trainer and, to some extent, a life coach to players whom he trains not just to play basketball but to play the game of life as well. Like most sports stories, Ravin’s beginnings were humble and unassuming. Ravin is a lawyer by profession but he practices law in a different court.

Whatever basketball skills and talent he had unfortunately didn’t get him far enough in the sport. It however got him somewhere else – training the sport’s elite like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Russel Westbrook and Kevin Durant. His client list reads like a Who’s Who in the Association, the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Ravin grew up in Washington D.C. and was raised by an Israeli mother and a Russian father. He went to the University of Maryland and then moved to San Diego where he took up law at the California Western School of Law. After law school, he worked as a lawyer in the San Diego area and the same time, taught kids basketball through unconventional and unorthodox sessions and means that improved their playing ability.

Ravin moved back to the East Coast where he continued to pursue efforts at being a better basketball coach and to improve his craft as a trainer.

Teaching and coaching youth basketball caught the eye of then NBA player Steve Francis, a native of Maryland and a product of the University of Maryland. Francis participated in some of the drills and training sessions and then spread it by word of mouth. Francis recommended Ravin to other NBA players and that’s when Ravin’s career as a Whisperer started to take off.

From that point, Ravin has worked with some of the NBA’s best: future hall-of-famers Bryant, James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Blake Griffin and, of course, Francis.

Ravin’s methods are, shall I say, different from one’s average basketball trainer. For instance, he throws tennis balls at the players who are doing ball handling drills and he does this to test the player’s hand-eye coordination. He requires the player to catch the tennis balls while he dribbles through a maze of cones on the basketball court.

Ravin never shouts at his players. All throughout the training, the tone of his voice is normal. Oftentimes, he taps the player’s chin when they fail to keep their head up while dribbling. His workouts either last less than hour or end exactly in 60 minutes. When training is over, he gives the player the option of running, unlike other trainers who run their players to the ground. Ravin gives them a choice as he explains in his book, “The Art of a Beautiful Game: The Thinking Fan’s Tour of the NBA.”

According to various reports, Ravin has declined numerous offers to work for NBA franchises. It is said that he would rather work with players who look for him, reach out to him and seek him out and agree to undergo his strenuous training sessions. All these practices are reportedly found in another book Ravin authored, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players.”

Ravin has gone a long way from training and coaching youth players – now he is sought after and training future NBA Hall of Famers. How’s that for success?



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