Business,  Sports

Ep. 1 – NBA Trainer and Triathlete Joe Abunassar on Training Elite Athletes and Committing to the Grind

Joe Abunassar (@Joe_Abunassar) is the founder of Impact Basketball and has been a trainer and mentor for over 20 years to some of the best basketball players in the world including the likes of Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups, DeMarcus Cousins, Kyle Lowry, and Kristaps Porzingis, among countless others. Joe is also an accomplished triathlete, having completed 17 IronMan triathlons and qualifying for the IronMan World Championships. In this episode, we discuss Joe’s start in triathlon racing, his IronMan training regimen, his time at Indiana working under Bob Knight, how he got his starting in personal skill development, the early days of training Kevin Garnett and Chauncey Billups, his advice and thoughts on the current state of training elite athletes, and much more. Enjoy!

Show Notes: 5:00 – How Joe’s triathlon career got started. 8:40 – The mentality of training and running an IronMan race. 10:05 – Joe hiring his own IronMan coach. 12:25 – Joe’s typical weekly training schedule for an IronMan. 14:55 – Growing up playing lacrosse versus basketball. 15:28 – How reading A Season on the Brink changed his life’s path. 16:38 – What it was like being a manager under Bob Knight at Indiana. 21:23 – Story of Joe’s experience of making a mistake working for Bob Knight. 25:56 – Bob Knight’s philosophy of no excuses. 28:45 – His dislike of recruiting as assistant coach at the University of Wyoming. 32:23 – Joe’s entry into his professional player development career. 34:32 – Joe on running Kevin Garnett’s fan club and summer camp. 38:07 – How he turned his training into a business. 41:00 – How Joe gained NBA players’ trust when he was starting out. 44:10 – Why he thinks NBA players continue to train with him. 44:43 – His favorite Kevin Garnett story. 46:42 – The importance of getting Kevin Garnett to change his diet. 47:27 – Kevin Garnett using shoes as defenders in workouts. 47:52 – Chauncey Billups story on getting to the gym early. 49:06 – Joe’s philosophy on the focus on attention to detail. 50:02 – The growing pains and mistakes Joe made in his early days of training players. 53:50 – The importance of rest, recovery, and giving his athletes time off. 56:10 – On what Joe thinks a recovery day should look like. 57:12 – How Joe structures and customizes his NBA client workouts. 58:22 – Myles Turner typical weekly off-season training schedule. 1:00:12 – NBA players who are successful despite being poorly built for it. 1:01:58 – Athletes Joe refuses to work with. 1:02:56 – Biggest wastes of time that he sees in training. 1:05:00 – Joe’s best bang-for-your buck exercises and drills. 1:06:38 – The philosophy that has been the most important in Joe’s career. 1:07:42 – Joe’s mentors and the best advice they’ve given him. 1:10:15 – The worst advice he hears given. 1:11:08 – On why he doesn’t use social media to promote his clients. 1:13:48 – Joe’s message that he wants to broadcast. Show Links: Impact Basketball Online Coaching Certification Program IronMan Triathlons A Season on the Brink: A Year with Bob Knight and The Indiana Hoosiers by John Feinstein Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy at IMG Academy Equinox Sports Club in Southern California Theme music: DREAM by SackJo22 ft. Jeris Haskel

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