Coaches Corner: Neal Hopkins

We sit down with Head Coach Neal Hopkins, who is at the helm of defending EABL Champions, Myerscough College.

1) How did you first get into coaching? Did you used to play, if so for who/at what level?
Always had a love for basketball, started as a player for the Worcester Wolves but mainly due to terrible knees, I stepped into coaching where I have been ever since.

2) How was your transition into coaching? What were the biggest difficulties at first?
The main transition is learning how to manage different personalities especially coaching older age groups – it was important as a young coach that I had strategies to deal with the psychological side of coaching to help with this I have kept on top of my education.

3) What is your biggest career coaching achievement to date?
Winning the EABL in only our second year of existence with Myerscough.

4) What is the best part of your job?
All of it – I love my job!

5) What is the worst part of your job?
There honestly isn’t!

6) Who have been the biggest influences on your coaching career and why/what did they teach you?
Coach Tony Garbelotto, he gave me my break and taught me the basis of what I know. I can’t thank him enough!

7) What is your coaching philosophy?
I believe that players should be accountable to their teammates and should strive to make the next guy better. Every part of my philosophy is built around accountability, from the strength and conditioning to the way we carry ourselves off the court.

8) What advice would you have for young aspiring players?
You must learn how to work smart and in doing so how to push yourself past your limit – talk, listen, be inquisitive and never hide!

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