We recently had a chance to catch up with Atlanta Basketball Trainer Chasity Bowman. Chasity is a former collegiate player and has been recognized as an up and comer in the basketball trainer universe. Check out the interview below.
1. Tell us about the day you decided you wanted to be a basketball trainer.
I always wanted to coach since I was a “young buck.” The thought of having a job where I am around sneakers popping, whistles blowing, and athletes getting better through my coaching techniques brought excitement to my spirit growing up. I mean who can beat going to work daily doing something they love; teaching a “kids” game; and getting paid for it…OMG!!! As I got older and started to experience the political side of basketball as a player; being a coach didn’t seem fun to me anymore. I couldn’t dare put any child through the pain and hardship that I experienced throughout my basketball career. After working out with my trainer for the first time in 2004 and forming an intern under him in 2006; I knew being a basketball trainer rather than a coach was for me. Therefore, in 2007, my senior year of college; I started my personal training business which was known as Fearless Basketball Training at the time and now has merged into Chasity Bowman Basketball.
2. How are things different for a female trainer if at all?
In my opinion, any kind of personal training; whether it’s for getting your body in shape to defining your skills sets in some kind of sport; is a MALE DOMINANT field. It seems as if women have to work twice as hard to get half of what a man would get in the same length of time. And I truly believe this is why so many women quit the field that I am destined to be a success in. You have to be willing to work at it with no excuses. Personally, I have experienced parents choosing a male trainer over me because they feel like a man can get their child better in basketball than a woman. I don’t know if this is due to men being more athletically inclined or come cross tougher than women to certain parents;but the truth of the matter is a female basketball trainer can do whatever a male basketball trainer can do and sometimes better. Therefore, it takes longer for a female trainer to build her clientele.
Another thing that is challenging for female trainers is coming up with a fee that people will respectfully pay without complaining or trying to appeal to your emotions to get you to lower. Men seem to be able to charge whatever and it’s cool. I mean either sex are going to experience people who are not willing to pay for their services; but women get it a lot. My trainer from college training fees are twice as mines and his clientele is huge. I guess this is why I have and still do struggle with pricing at times. I just keep in mind for the most part that I can’t give to the point where it hurts me. This helps me stick with a price without comprise.
Lastly, a female trainer appearance has to be “top notch.” This is true for women period! I have seen some out of shape male basketball trainers; but the looks that a woman will get or the clients she will lose or never gain could be a result of her appearance. Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer that business men and women; especially trainers of all sorts; should be walking billboards for their business; but women get judged hard. This to me comes as no surprise because this is just the way of life for a woman—on and off the court—athlete or non-athlete. I am in the process of redefining my body due to this very truth.
To conclude it all, it doesn’t matter what challenges I have to face in this business; they will not make me quit what I have already started. It’s the challenges that energize me and give me power to keep going; even when I am tired or things just don’t seem to be working. I guess that’s the athlete in me. I am a die hard for this game that refuses not to quit no matter what. Therefore, I strongly encourage more women to become personal trainers of all sorts; especially in the area of basketball. We are a high-in-demand right now in this business and the time could never be more right than NOW. Women basketball is changing and evolving into something bigger than I can imagine at this point in my life. The game needs dedicated women to give back and help little girls with the challenges that they once had at their age in order for them to reach their fullest potential on and off and court.
3. What are possible benefits of working with a female trainer for a young woman chasing her basketball dreams?
The only and main benefit that a girl would get from working with a female trainer is EXPERIENCE–not just as a player; but as a person too. A woman knows what another woman feels and go through as an athlete. That’s why women skill developers; such as myself; train from “related” experience; which makes a huge different. Anyone can put cones on the court and tell a kid to do this and that; but when you are training girls; teaching concepts are keys. We as women pay attention to concepts and learn from them.To understand and explain certain concepts that are needed for a girl to grow as a ball player; you have to be a woman who can relate to the growing process. For example, most girls are horrible finishers at the basket because they don’t understand the concept behind momentum. Am I saying men can’t train girls??? NO! Some of our most extraordinary female basketball players have men trainers. Although, don’t think for once a female somewhere in their career did not play a major role. I had a male trainer in college but had a few women coaches along the way who taught me a lot due to them being able to relate to me from a woman stand point. They were not on the outside looking in and criticizing me. They were right their with me looking out of the same lens that I was; teaching me from experience.
4. If you could go back in time and talk to 14 year old Chasity Bowman… what advice would you have for her on her basketball journey?
A. Allow Yourself To Take Steps
Success doesn’t happen overnight and this is something I have to constantly remind myself. I am a very impatient person. This alone really hurt me doing my basketball career. I didn’t understand that success was failure turned inside out while playing ball. I thought since I worked hard; that going pro was going to happen for me….WRONG!!! I have learned that the area you fail the most in is the area you’ll be the most successful in;if you keep going. I would practice drills and get in the game and couldn’t perform them the way I practiced and would stop doing those drills all together. Worried about my image caused me to shy away from the things I more than likely would have been great at eventually. I became frustrated and stop my success before it could even get started. It wasn’t until I read certain things in the Bible and the book “The Talent Code” that I realized that if I would have allowed myself to take steps and grow, I would have developed and learned so much more as a player. It’s like a toddler learning to walk. They fall countless times; but they get back up over and over again until they master the proper footwork to walk without falling.
B. You Play How You Think
Your mind is so powerful. I have learned that you can control your life by controlling your thoughts. Most players and parents blame their coaches for their child’s poor performance on the court or for why they are not getting playing time. The reality is it’s the player’s fault, The player is on the court playing the game; not the coach. When a coach give a player a chance to play and they don’t produce; then that’s on the player. Productivity starts in the mind first. If you think you can; you will. If you think negative and fearful thoughts; you are going to perform that way and probably not get a lot of playing time. I was that kid for a while. When I got to college though; I had to make a serious turn around mentally to keep my scholarship. Before then, I would attract bad games after bad games based on the negativity that was going on in my mind. I had to learn how to control those negative thoughts; especially when so many were coming in. The answer: WORDS. I started to speak and/or confess words out of my mouth that were the opposite in my head until those thoughts didn’t bother me anymore. It looked crazy at first; but I and my teammates benefited from it. When I thought better about myself; I performed better. Being a great player starts first in the mind way before it can manifest on the court. It’s what I like to call “mental swag.” You can get the best basketball trainer/coach in the world; but if you think bad about yourself and have no confidence in yourself; it;s pointless.
C. The Game Only Needs One of You
It’s a common mistake that we all make and that is to compare ourselves to someone else or want what someone else have. I would compare myself to my teammates and distract myself from focusing on my gifts and talents that I had that were unique and needed on the team. I had to learn that the world doesn’t need two of the same kinds of people or players. This is why their will never be another Michael Jordan. Even his sons can’t duplicate him. Think about it: life would be boring if every one was alike. I know this from experience because I am a twin and we are night and day and I love it. The things that I brought to the game as a player; such as my jumping ability, my quickness, shooting range, etc were beautiful gifts that I possessed that a lot of my teammates didn’t have or have down pack like me. Likewise, my training style and techniques that I bring to this profession is like no other; but highly respected and needed in the game of basketball. It’s all because I got my “mental swag” in check, I don’t compare myself to other trainers and I allow myself to take steps and grow so I can help others grow as well.
5. What % of time should players be working on skill development rather than just playing?
Their are so many components that make up the game of basketball. No one can practice all of them in the course of one day. I think players should make out a weekly or monthly schedule and work on a different component daily. For instance, Monday and Wednesday can be shooting days, Tuesday and Thursday can be speed and agility days, etc. I, personally, would only spend forty-five minutes to an hour working on these components during school and basketball season. I recommend training with a high-level of intensity to increase the number of reps while building muscle memory at the same time. During the summer months I would extend the workout time to two hours max. While training, keep in mind the body needs rest; which is very important to growth and development. Don’t over do it. Also, intensity in workouts is key to getting better rather than spending all day or week on the same thing at a slower pace.
6. What are your goals as a trainer this year?
First and far most, continue to grow as a person. I can’t do this without God’s help. It’s my mission to train all athletes to be a better person first and a better athlete second. Therefore, I have to do the same and I can only do this by growing closer to Him. This business is His and I am just a distribution center for it. Therefore, I can’t run this business without His help. I have tried and this is one of the main reasons why things have not taking off yet. Luckily, I still got time to make it right. Second, continue to seek new drills, techniques and anything that is needed to get better as a skill developer. I can never stop learning this game. It’s like technology.It changes so much with each generation of athletes that are born. I have to stay healthy and in shape to learn and keep up.
Check out Chasity Bowman’s website at www.Chatbball.com