“Basketball is only the second thing we try to do.”

Joerik recently got interviewed by one of our online Coaches Platform members William Lo of Basketball Performance Podcast.

“Joerik Michiels is the founder of Elite Athletes basketball in Belgium. With a burning desire to do everything in his power to elevate youth basketball in Belgium and around the world, Joerik and I talk about how he first got started, his unique perspective of training youth and how to build world class culture in an organization!”

Check out the podcast on iTunes.


– Why we started Elite Athletes during our last year college exams
– Kaizen Mindset
– The 10-minute rule for our Academy coaches
– Off-court lifestyle tips we have for kids
– Having expert coaches instead of one coach who teaches everything
– Using constraints in practice
– Importance of decision-making situations
– Our year round program
– Long-term athletic development approach
– Play vs. Performance
– Explaining danger of over-specialising to parents
– Understanding who you are as a person
– On basketball mentors
– Challenges we had at EA


– “More important than the stuff you deliver is the way you see life and go on with challenges.”
– “Kaizen means continuous improvement. We try to improve every day. We have the 10-minute rule for the coaches in our Academy: you try to improve something for at least 10 minutes a day that can make you a better person, trainer, business guy.”
– “You get out what you put in. I’m not going to push you. It has to be coming from the kids themselves. For every kid it’s different. If you want it, we’re going to give all the tools you need. We got some of our kids who are 15 years old who are books from Roman Emperors.”
– “Every coach only teaches his expertise instead of having one coach for 12 players who teaches everything.”
– “Each kid finds its way within our system.”
– “The process will never be finished. It will always be in progress. After 10 years I’m still experimenting every day. There’s no perfect way to teach.”
– “I see the kids not as a team but as individuals. You get to know kids in their individual needs.”
– “The less I talk, the better my practices are.”
– “Creating situations that help players experiment and develop their own playing style.”
– “We create situations around the moves our pro players want to use in the game.”
– “You have to be creative as a trainer in creating situations.”
– “Soccer is way in front of basketball. You can learn more there on the level of skill development.”
– “With kids everything has to be playful. We want them to be creative, try new things. Performance should come when they are older. Even with our U21 team we are not talking about performance, we talk about playing. Winning is an outcome, not our goal in player development.”
– “We give workshops to parents about what we are truly doing here. Basketball is the second thing we try to do. First of all we try to help kids evolve, become more confident, to dream and experiment. Once parents see that they truly see what we are doing for kids.”
– “You don’t have to pressure yourself. If you do what you want to do, life takes care of itself.”
– “All the times you literally feel you cannot go any lower, those help you to get higher in the long run.”

Want to learn more in detail about how we built our culture at EA, how we run sessions and build our team? Here are the options we have for you as a coach:

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