- National Teams
For Episode 92 we sit down with Chris Mayes, Technical Director of BC Triple Threat in Haarlem in Holland.
Mayes, who grew up on the South East coast near Worthing, started out playing before turning his eye to coaching between Worthing and Solent Kestrels under the tutelage of the legendary Jimmy Guymon.
Whilst trying to build his experience at a camp in the US, he was told he would need a degree to be able to permanently relocate across the channel so returned to the UK to take an assistant role with Worthing Thunder, whilst doing an undergraduate degree in Coaching Science at the University of Chichester.
However, in late 2004 he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, having to undergo surgery and requiring a period of recovery but it gave him an opportunity to reflect and decide coaching was the path he wanted to pursue seriously.
After getting his undergrad, he moved to Worcester for an MSc in Coaching Science whilst assisting with the BBL side, before feeling that for him to progress like he wanted, he would need to leave the UK. He dropped out of his masters and in 2010 took an unpaid job (food and board only) at Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain.
After five years at CBA (he did end up taking a salary!) working with some of the top prospects in Europe, he moved on, having now worked in Belgium with Pepinster-Verviers, Liege Basket and Leuven Bears (where he was interim Head Coach for a period), Netherlands (New Heroes Den Bosch), and Spain (CB TerrAlfàs), in roles split between Assistant Coach with the pro side and youth development roles.
Mayes has now spent over a decade on the continent in unstable conditions in pursuit of a career in the sport he loves.
02:32 Interview start
02:40 The situation with COVID-19 in the Netherlands
04:22 Chris’ role as Technical Director with BC TTT
06:33 The structure of BC TTT
09:53 Comparing the levels of junior talent in Holland to the UK
12:04 Mayes’ first exposure to basketball and why he decided to pursue coaching
18:03 Getting his undergrad in coaching science and whether it has helped with his coaching
20:22 Why chose not to pursue the US route in the end
23:36 Dropping out of his masters at Worcester
24:27 What he was unable to get in the UK which led him to want to go abroad
26:54 Why he wanted to go overseas
28:56 The process of going abroad and landing a role with CBA
32:30 The early years of Canarias Basketball Academy
34:07 His roles and responsibilities at Canarias Basketball Academy
36:07 How often he was coming back to the UK when at CBA
38:21 The realities of day to day life at CBA
42:23 Some of the most talented players he worked with
45:46 The Sports Illustrated article in 2016 alleging potential underhanded dealings at CBA
48:47 Why he decided to leave CBA
51:05 Moving to Belgium with Pepinster-Verviers
52:43 The differences going from elite youth to elite pros
56:38 Player development becoming team development
58:48 Whether his focus is around youth development or coaching at pro level
1:01:38 Believing development comes from top to bottom
1:08:34 Working with the Armenian national team
1:12:42 Moving to rival Belgium club Liege
1:14:27 His time with Leuven Bears in Belgium, becoming interim Head Coach
1:16:56 The lack of stability in basketball coaching
1:20:41 Whether the instability of coaching is sustainable
1:23:09 If there is frustration with the British game for not allowing him to be able to develop at home
1:28:58 Best British junior player he’s ever seen
1:30:27 The best coach he’s worked with
1:31:22 His favourite basketball memory
1:32:09 Whether we are going to see a return of Makem Takem podcast
1:32:58 Where Mayes wants to be in 3-5 years